Ahead of his set at the marathon that is On & On next weekend at fabric and his Immer 3 CD which is being released on the 16th of June Katie caught up with Michael… for a second time to delve deeper into the king of Kompakt and marathon sets.
As you are part of the On and On 30 hour party weekend at Fabric May 1st to 2nd, you are helping once again to build an environment in London of the ‘all weekend party’ to parallel the German dance scene. The other London party you played at this year was the inaugural ‘A Night With…’ party where you played for 8 hours straight. On the back of seeing your phenomenal set my greatest memory was the atmosphere you created, not only through your track selection but also how you manipulated the set over 8 hours. For your upcoming set at Fabric, where you will have a shorter amount of time, will you attempt to play in a similar fashion but more concentrated? Or do you treat each set/ event differently and react to it intuitively on the night?
Every night is different and demands for a special strategy. It always depends what has happened before and what’s the mood on the dancefloor. If the DJ before me offered 3 hours of hippo-k-house I might not play too much of that in my set… but I seem to tend to mix genres a lot anyhow. Might be a matter of age, hehe… the older I become, the more discerning my ears are getting. And I get bored very easily so I need to entertain myself somehow. Hopping between genres creates extra friction and excitement, I like that.
How is it returning to the London club that you gained residency in 10 years ago, knowing that your talent has helped shape the success of this long running establishment?
Oh thanks for the flowers, but I don’t think that my modest contribution really had a larger effect on the clubs enormous success. That’s predominantly thanks to Judy and Craig’s love and devotion. I still get the goosebumps when I climb down these stairs. It’s so good to see this club doing what it does on such a high level of both professionalism and authenticy. I don’t understand the criticism when the Londoners go like “Uhh… it’s such a tourist trap, bla bla bla”. The people behind this club are some of the most passionate music lovers and party people I’ve ever met and they’re doing such a fantastic job in keeping the balance between booking big names and taking risks with newcomers. I’ve got nothing but love and respect for them.
Like Ricardo Villalobos you seem to predominately use vinyl in your sets. Can you explain the your personal reasons for still using this platform in the advent of so many DJ’s using digital music aside from obviously, because you part own the record company Kompakt? (Personally, I think that the sound quality is warmer and more full that adds to the incredible feeling you create in your sets, so I think it’s a good thing!)
It sounds better, feels better, looks better and sexier – why would I go for second best? I bought my first Technics turntable in 1984 and I’m still using it, it was even second hand when I got it – but it still works until today. That’s a pretty respectable age for an electric apparatus. How many laptops would I have trashed in 26 years? Playing vinyl is not just a habit, for me it’s a deep passion. I just wouldn’t feel complete without my record crate. I’m still pretty stunned about how easily most of my colleagues ditched their own history and tradition. Mais chaqu’un à sa façon…
I’ve been trawling through the Kompakt Total series and have been overwhelmed by the diversity of the acts and yet there seems to be a unifying Kompakt sound. What attributes does an artist need to have in order to be included in the Kompakt family?
Like President Bongo once said, you’ve got to be at least 49% gay. We’re taking our A&R work pretty serious and keep it to a personal level. If we like your music, you’re in. If not, you’re out. It’s very simple, really. It seems like Wolfgang and me have a very keen ear for what we call “the human factor in techno”, something warm and unique rather than functional and technically perfect. We’ve never been the kind of nerds that could identify a Finnish record just by smelling the inner sleeve. We’re no gear heads either. We just want to entertain and be entertained. Interestingly, most people we’ve signed on the basis of their music turned out to be lovely guys, too. I guess in reverse that means, that assholes do ass music?
What is one massively obscure fact about Michael Mayer that regular people won’t know? (e.g. do you have any pets? Favourite foodstuff? Phobias?)
I have a bumblebee obsession.