KILLA converts her newly-recharged mojo, good old sass and a selection of bumping techno (and more) into the 9th installment of our podcast.
If there is one feeling most of us probably had at some point during the last two years, then it’s the bitter disappointment from our plans being shattered. It’s easy to lose a part of your enthusiasm, no doubt. Our Berlin-based affiliate KILLA surely knows a thing or two about that, yet she seems like the kind of radiant person who never gets bummed out too much. Read on to learn how KILLA keeps those sparks in her eyes alive and what she has been up to lately.
You have mentioned in a commentary to the mix you've sent us that it took you a while to finish the mix after 'so many months away from the booth', but you've recently 'got some mojo back'. What is it exactly about being in a club booth that recharges you? How's your mojo and how are you now, after several months in the booth?
The summer season turned out surprisingly well with some beautiful moments like playing at Fusion festival or for the secret Bassliner Open Air and also a lot of short notice club gigs. That really breathed some new life into me because I believe that a DJ needs to feed off the crowd's joy & energy to be able to give their best, to improvise and to dare. It's not the same when you are playing live-streams alone in front of a camera or recording mixes at home, while trying not to annoy the neighbors too much. It's also important to get to «test» tracks with the ravers. It can bring so many surprises, no matter how safe your digging hand is.
As silly as it may sound, nothing makes me happier than ending up drenched in sweat from dancing in the booth while mixing. Being in the the «zone»: it's pure magic, it's like great sex. Afterwards, if things went well, I'm more relaxed, the world suddenly feels less hostile, food tastes better and I sleep like a baby when I eventually get home.
These days, after so many gigs have once again been cancelled and so many uncertainties about the next season, I feel a lot like Tinker Bell in a world where people don't believe in fairies anymore. But I keep finding new killer tracks to drop and it would be criminal not to play them loud as soon as I get a chance. Hope is never completely lost as long as you can find beautiful music that brings you back to life.
The collective you're part of – Lecken – has recently organized 'Racing Bodies, Raving Minds', a pre-rave series of workshops which expanded on the community-building practices your organization has initiated during the pandemic. What were these workshops about?
We were lucky enough to secure some cultural funding and decided to use it to focus on the many ways our bodies and our shared experiences can open new paths to self-healing, politics, arts and so on.
So one module by Maria F. Scaroni, who is a choreographer, was a sort of parkour through the location that also involved a crash-course in «Zeitgenössiger Tanz». There was also some « Rave Fitness » with Heather Purcell, which is an adaptation of Kickboxing & Tae Bo moves to really fast pumping beats. A part of the programme was also a workshop dedicated to learning choreographies to pop songs (hosted by Austin Fagan who is a dancer and a drag performer).
The list is pretty long but there was also poetry, multi-sensorial live music & drawing performances, a «silent disco» with Bluetooth headphones and down-tempo music etc.
We tried to involve activists and artists from the queer community to share their vision of «Raving», in theory as well as in practice. The events were taking place outdoors 2 days in a row with a big all-night rave to round it up.
You've also recently taken upon the noble task of ushering a new generation of DJs onto the scene. Can you tell us a bit more about the Newcomers Day? What was your role in the project and how did it all go?
The Newcomer Day project was initiated by Jan Henschen from Revier Südost, with support from Berlin Musicboard. He asked 6 Berlin DJs whether they'd like to participate as curators, which involved reviewing mixes, picking our 3 favorites and performing a little showcase together. The other «DJ-Godmothers» were Franklin Da Costa, Irakli, Laura BCR, Ron Wilson & rRoxymore, and I think we were all quite baffled by the sheer quantity of music sent to us within just a few days. No kidding, I spent 3 days straight doing nothing but listening to roughly 70 mixes!
There was a lot of really good stuff covering many different styles and that was quite heartwarming because the Berlin scene doesn't always do justice to the many facets of Dance music.
We had to reschedule some of the events from August to November, which was pretty cool for the newcomers as they got to play a proper nighttime gig in a club instead of an afternoon outdoor showcase. That also gave me the opportunity to invite the artists to play on THF Radio in October to get familiar with another side of the trade. You can find the winner's mixes [from Ball & Chains, Monibi & Nites], as well as the THF recording on my SC.
1. Henry Purcell / Choir Of King's College ─ Man, That Is Born Of A Woman [Brilliant Classics, 99790]
2. Gary Beck ─ Video Siren [!K7 Records, K7376LP]
3. Wheez-ie ─ XOXO [THEM015]
4. Furfriend ─ Fist Fuck (Perc Remix) [Perc Trax, TPTX004]
5. Hyper-On Experience ─ The Frightner (Remastered) [Kniteforce Records, KF95]6. The Track Stars ─ Dirty Bitch [Dance Mania, DM 082 2016]
7. Marc Acardipane ─ Slaves To The Rave (PCP Mix) [Planet Phuture, PP007-V6]
8. Drax ─ Amphetamine [Afu Limited, AFULTD.X3]
9. Wislov ─ The Empires Of The Future [Kniteforce Records, KF123]
10. Subradeon ─ The Last trumpet [Trapid, 02]
11. Kalli ─ Song For Them [THEM016]
12. Atiq ─ From Dusk Till Dawn (TMSV Remix) [Minddubs, MDUBS001]
13. Prince de Takicardie ─ One More Time [Cartulis Music, CRTL011.2]
14. Jamaica Suk ─ Art Vs. War [Gradient, 001]
15. Joshua James ─ Marlene [Phantasy Sound, PH97]
Recorded live at home, vinyl only, with 2 x PLX-1000 decks, DJM 500 mixer (+ interface & Ableton to record the audio).