Gramofonowa. x NovaFuture Blog – Poland Special
Part 3: “Playing Poland – Interviews with DJs played there”
Interview & Sets:
At which venues & in which cities did you already play?
Głós: In the last two years I played in Kraków and Warsaw. I visited Kraków years before with my parents when I was a child, spending the holidays there and visiting the Wawel castle, so I was quite pleased to return and get to play there at Święta Krowa—which happened to be one of the nicest gigs I ever played. Warsaw, on the other hand, was a first. I got booked to play there alongside Concept Of Thrill, Michał Jablonski and Michał Wolski in 2015 and returned to the city earlier this year to play for Błażej Malinowski’s ‘Why So Silent?’ series at Znajomi Znajomych, setting music, live, to a French 1920’s silent film.
Fiedel: I played in Poznan at Esculab, at Unsound (as MMM) and Patch Lab festivals in Kraków, Slap party series in Wrocław and events in Katowice and Warsaw. Besides this I set up the Killasan sound system in Sczeczin.
Non Reversible: So far only in Kraków – really beautiful city btw.
THNTS: I played in January at Das Lokal in Wrocław and recently in Warsaw for the Why So Silent?! event.
Mario Berger: I played in Warsaw at Luzztro, in Poznan at 8 Bitow and in a club called Oczy. I played at Sfinks 700 in Sopot twice and in Szczecin in a place called Pierwsze Miejsce. I also played two smaller parties that definitely deserve the term “underground”: one in Zielona Gora and one in Słupsk. Both were hosted by a small crew that is composed of friends from both cities.
How did the promoters get in touch with you (agency, friend etc)?
Głós: Either via the agency, via Facebook, or by meeting in person. It always depends on who it is and on what level you meet. Obviously, people who never met me have to get in touch with me via mail or the agency, while others just ask me in person when they meet me at a party, as happened with Błażej Malinowski for instance. After a common friend of ours introduced us at one of his gigs at Ohm in Berlin, he subsequently invited me to play at his silent film event in Warsaw—something that I was really pleased about and honoured by. So in the end, it’s not any different to how it usually comes together. I have to say though, that as is significant for the times in which we live, most of the contacts happen via Facebook. This is due to the fact that right now, in 2017, you end up being Facebook friends with everyone on the planet who has anything to do with Techno, regardless of whether you have met in person or not. So most contacts that you have, although not all of them, begin through social media.
Fiedel: My first gig in Poland happened, when DJ Pete asked whether I join him at Esculab. I am friends with the guys of Slap and they invite me to their events. Other requests were reaching my agent at Ostgut booking.
Non Reversible: I was invited by the promoter of the NIC series with a really lovely inquiry.
THNTS: I knew some people before, after I booked Michal Jablonski to Berlin I also got to know more people from his SLAP-crew back then, like Karol/Spectribe and Adam, who eventually invited me to play in Wrocław. Blazej Malinowski, the curator of Why so silent, is actually living here in Berlin, so we met here last year. We were talking about me playing this event for a while, so I’m happy it finally worked out!
Mario Berger: I had my first gig in Poland through Alexander Kowalski back in the days. He went on a small tour through Poland and he asked me to be his supporting DJ. Everything was well organized. We played 4 different cities. He played his live set. I was the DJ. In the end we also played back to back on every show. It was big fun! Of course I also got in touch with the promoter who organized the whole tour. He’s still inviting me to play on his parties regularly.
Głós – “Live Set At The Escapism Instore Showcase”
What do you think about the locations and audience?
Głós: Well, I was born in Poland and even though I wasn’t raised there, they are kind of my people. They were raised in the same way by their parents as I was raised by mine, although in another country. Going there and being with the people feels like being home without actually being home, which is a very interesting feeling. I even wonder if there is a specific term or name for that, maybe I should google it. However, that circumstance always makes it especially nice to be there, and as for the locations, I have not played in an actual club so far as the circumstances in which I played there to date always involved special events. But I visited Wrocław last year privately to witness an Avian showcase in a Gothic church, and I can tell you: That was really fun and special! As a westerner, you shouldn’t spend too much time at the club’s bars, though. The vodka is excellent, the prices are low for our standards, and you can pay by just holding your credit card against the card reader. It’s one hell of a bloody temptation, especially if you’re in nice company all the time, so be warned. You almost never get any headaches, though, at least I never got any.
Fiedel: Esculab was quite huge and an old multi purpose location as far as I can remember. People wanted to dance, they longed for raving to techno music. Last year in Kraków, I played in an old hotel from the 80ies that is not in use anymore. Cannot speak the name but it was an interesting location.
Non Reversible: The location where i played was a really nice one. Spliniza 1 is a basement vault in the middle of old town from Kraków. The audience was great, extremely friendly and warmly as well.
THNTS: Das Lokal reminded me actually of Berlin clubs in their best times, small place, escalating crowd and great sound (thanks to Karols insane sound system!). The venue of Why so silent is not exactly a club, so it’s hard to compare, but in both places the audience was very open and into it. It’s always nice to hear feedback during and after your set.
Mario Berger: People are really enthusiastic in Poland. As far as I can tell they really like Techno. So everyone puts a lot of effort in throwing parties. I remember nice and ornate visuals in the clubs for example. They always were special.
Fiedel – “Closing Set Ostgut Ton Nacht Berghain 08-2014”
Is it different to play in Poland compared with having a gig in Berlin/Germany or any other international booking? Any specifics?
Głós: The difference with Berlin for me is that, at the gigs I had in Poland, people were way more passionate for the music than usual and everything had this certain “underground” attitude attached to it, you know, this particular “something” that is very hard to describe and yet very observable in practice. Don’t get me wrong, I love partying in Berlin’s clubs, but they have existed for so long already and they have this very definitive business structure attached to them, meaning that everything is kind of a routine and there is a lot of money involved. Contrary to that, in Poland everything feels quite new and fresh, and whenever I am visiting Poland, people are very happy to have you there and they don’t give you the impression that it’s a regular thing to go to parties every weekend and have whomever playing there all the time on a regular basis. They really appreciate the music and their enthusiasm is very catching. You certainly get a very different vibe out of it.
Fiedel: There is no difference between the gigs in Poland or elsewhere, but I think it is more energetic compared to Germany.
Non Reversible: The difference to Berlin was – of course – the play time and the length of the party but also the vibe. I found it very pleasant and less hectic – but the people for sure are not so spoiled like in Berlin. It is not all designed for peaktime, and the DJs may play a bit more diverse. In Berlin you would surely do the “Moses” if you would play similar tracks between 5.00 till the end.
THNTS: Wouldn’t really say different, but the party I played definitely had a special vibe and that’s what makes it fun for me to play.
Mario Berger: Berlin is really international. People from all over the world are living or coming to Berlin to experience its club culture. So you kind of always play in front of an international, probably also touristic crowd here in Berlin. But I don’t think that there are any big differences to Poland. I always had the feeling that Polish people like Techno in its whole bandwidth. As a DJ you can try different things during your set. This makes it a lot of fun to play there and this for me is the most important thing.
THNTS – “Hypnoza”
Did you know Polish DJs or artists before playing there? Do you check out the Polish scene now regularly after your gig in Poland?
Głós: Before even having my very first gig in Poland, there was actually a time when I lived in Cologne and one day decided to look through Soundcloud and actively search for DJs and producers coming from there. I found a lot of interesting artists that way, and the thing that I liked the most was how many female DJs and producers Poland had to offer compared to when I looked for them in other countries. Apparently, there seems to be something happening in Poland that encourages women to become passionate DJs more than in Germany which I find to be very very pleasing.
Fiedel: I used to play stuff by Echoplex. He is from Poland, isn’t he? I am not really interested, where a producer or DJ is from, it’s just the music that counts for me. DJs I have seen recently and I like are Olivia Ungaro and Eltron John.
Non Reversible: In Poland there are so many talents and I always have an eye on things happening around us. Especially I would like to mention VTSS from Behind The Stage – I think we will hear a lot from her in the next years.
THNTS: I was following it before actually and really admire the quality of music that is coming from Poland lately. They deserve more attention, so it’s great that you are doing this Poland special!
Mario Berger: I knew the guys of Technosoul through mutual friends before. They have been throwing parties and inviting DJs from Berlin for many years. So I knew that there is a strong scene for Techno. I also knew Milena Kriegs who I saw later play at ://about blank here in Berlin. Last year I gladly invited Blazej Malinowski to play at my New faces issue at Tresor. I’m a big fan of his productions. So of course I’m still curious about what he and his guys are doing now and that’s why I keep on following them. I also notice that Michal Jablonski who I saw play at Tresor last year is getting more and more popular.
(Głós, Fiedel, Non Reversible, THNTS & Mario Berger)
What do you think about the Polish scene (clubs, DJs, producers, labels)?
Głós: I find the Polish scene to be very interesting, not only for personal reasons as I was born there and therefore naturally interested in how the scene keeps evolving, but also because artists like Błażej Malinowski and Michał Wolski are just too fucking good to be ignored. A lot has happened since my first booking in 2015 and there is too much other good stuff going on for it not to be on the international radar. Festivals like Unsound in Kraków, hosting international and well-respected artists, are no longer an insider tip, and someone like Gareth Wild who usually operates out of the UK just got signed to an agency from Poland. Furthermore, there are a lot of interesting labels like Technosoul, Unknown Timeline or even Jacek Sienkiewicz’s Recognition, the latter having put out a full Ambient long-player by Michał Wolski last year. Not to speak of all of the different promoter crews active in their respective cities. And there is still so much new stuff happening, i.e. Concept Of Thrill launching his new Drvms imprint and new parties and events spreading around the country and becoming more and more recognised by the rest of Europe. It just keeps getting more and more interesting, which pleases me a lot.
Fiedel: The scene right now is still kind of fresh and original, like I experienced the first time. But there are also tendencies of being hip in some places. Many people travel to Berlin to enjoy electronic music and bring the spirit to Poland. I greatly appreciate the effort that people try to make things happen in terms of organizing parties presenting a high standard in music.
Non Reversible: Very open-minded, entusiastic and detailed in love. Looking forward to my next time!
THNTS: What I can really say stood out to me the most, was the hospitality of everyone! I felt super welcome and taken care of and you can feel the love and passion everyone has for the music.
Mario Berger: As I mentioned before I remember the people being very enthusiastic in what they are doing. And they definitely know how to party. 🙂 They also seem to be really well connected over the different cities which of course is really good. This symbiosis creates a high standard of the events people in Poland are doing. And of course last not least you also can hear it in their productions. I mean Blazej’s music lives up to high international standards and a label like Technosoul is more and more becoming a trademark for high quality electronic music. I also think they are heavily influenced by what’s going on in Berlin, which is quite obvious, since cities like Poznan and Szczecin and even Warsaw have a direct train connection to Berlin. When I played in Poznan a couple of years ago I was told by someone that their crew is going to Berlin by train several times a year to go to the clubs here. So you can feel that they really like and live electronic music .
Mario Berger – ” Modular Expansion #039″
What was your best moment in Poland?
Głós: There are actually a great number of specific experiences that I could name, as every visit had its memorable moments. However, the best thing about visiting Poland always remains the same: getting a pack of my favourite blend of flavoured cigarettes—banned in Germany—and a grand variety of the aforementioned good wodka in the clubs’ bars. To me, the taste of both of those things combined is just pure heaven.
Fiedel: A great party to remember was Ars Cameralis in Katowice where I played together with Tobias. The audience was totally up for it. Not to forget the Slap parties in Wrocław. The crew does a very good job and people are full of energy.
Non Reversible: Middle of the set to see the faces. 🙂
THNTS: hmmm, hard to make out a single moment. It was really a great time overall…
Mario Berger: Actually there wasn’t one “best” moment. I always had loads of fun playing in Poland. Every gig was different and special in its own way. Maybe retrospectively there was a funniest moment. When I played Zielona Gora, I had to play in Słupsk the next day as well. We went there by car. There were 5 people in the car and it was supposed to be a four hour drive. In the end it took us more than eight hours since someone claimed to know a cutoff. That led us through fields and woods in the polish coutryside and we completely got lost on our way. At some point we got accidentally back to the correct route. So we arrived late in Słupsk but accurate enough to have one of the best pizzas I ever had before I had to start playing. I gladly remember this happening. 🙂
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