“I want to tell a story, so that is my inspiration” – Interview with Cocoon artist André Galluzzi
DJing since he was just 14 years-old, German DJ & producer André Galluzzi has held residencies at some of the world’s most renown techno nightclubs — Berlin’s Tresor, OSTGUT, & Berghain — and is known for his legendary 10-hour marathon sets that journey well into morning. In fact, Galluzzi was Berghain’s first resident DJ.
As co-owner of Aras record label with partner Dana Ruh, Galluzzi is further solidifying himself as a key figure in the electronic scene. We caught up with André to find out what’s new with his music, Aras, as well as his inspirations and motivations in the studio.
Galerie Project: How did your music career start? We’ve read that you accidentally got into playing DJ sets. Could you explain that in more detail?
André Galluzzi: My brother was working in a club as a door selector and helped me get a job there. I was a runner and worked behind the bar. But, I was always standing close to the DJ and would always watch him play. Then I thought “Oh yes! That’s it! That is what I want to do.” Eventually I asked my boss if I could play one night in which he told me no. One night the DJ wanted to close earlier as there were not so many guests and I finally got my chance. On this particular night the music was very mixed so my first contact with electronic music was with Hip-hop, Pink Floyd, Depeche Mode, Reggae, Art of noise, etc.
In July, I did a podcast for Cadenza with two mixes. The first one is of current music I play. The second one shows exactly what I played when I first started DJing. All of the old stuff from the early ’90s. You should listen, it’s a fun mix!
GP: You and Dana Ruh produce together as well as run the well received label, Aras. Aras has released some amazing tracks. Nechbet Butot & Wu Wang is a favorite of ours as well as a recent collaboration of yours. Can you tell us how this musical relationship developed?
AG: We were introduced by mutual friends. When we met we felt a very good connection in the beginning and onwards. It didn’t take long before we realized that we wanted to start a new label. The idea of the label is to take turns with different artists.
GP: Will you two be collaborating again soon?
GP: If you could hand pick another artist to collaborate with, who would you choose and why?
AG: There are a lot of really great producers out there. Some of them who I’ve followed for many years. At the moment, I’d rather concentrate on Dana & myself. By doing this, I’m able to give all of my energy & experience to our label.
GP: How does it feel working with someone else? Do you find it challenging producing with another artist such as Dana who may have different opinions, view points, or direction?
AG: Since the very beginning, I’ve always just worked with somebody else. At the old label Taksi, I produced with Paul Brtschitsch for many years where we also became very close friends. My next step was with Guido Schneider. We are working together still and are also good friends.
GP: What is like working with Dana?
AG: I’ve been working with Dana for 3 years and I think we’ll continue working together for a long time. Most of the time I have an idea before I go to the studio. The technical part I give up to Dana. Moreover, I play eg. sequences on a keyboard, the basslines live, or the drums live. I bring proper instructions of imagination to the arrangement of our projects. So we have a very good way of understanding each other and of course, we have similar taste in music.
GP: What is your work ethic like in the music studio as well in the DJ booth? Do you have random spurts of inspiration or is there a lot of thinking and planning?
AG: When I’m working as a DJ, I get my ideas from all the new records I’m listening to every week. I hear a lot of different styles that inspire me to make my sets colorful. For studio work, it’s a little bit different. Sometimes I hear a song from the ’80s or a saxophone from a jazz band that will inspire me. My ears are always open to different sounds and noises.
GP: When you play there is a certain kind of energy that you bring to the room. What motivation and inspiration do you have behind your music? Is there anything outside of music that influences the way you play or produce?
AG: Well, it’s easy to say that I want to give people and myself a good time. For me, a set is like a journey. It’s a trip with a lot of different moments and feelings. I want to tell a story so that is my inspiration. When I go to my gigs I bring a lot of energy. I send it out to the crowd and then they give it back to me. In a way, it’s like a boomerang. Outside of music, my inspirations are from the atmosphere around me, quality time with my girlfriend and friends, good food, and spas…the way I absorb a lot of new energy and power.
GP: If you could commission any artist to paint your musical vision, who would it be? What would you want depicted?
AG: That painting only exists in my mind, haha!
GP: Are there any upcoming releases on Aras or from yourself that we should keep an eye out for?
AG: There is a lot of stuff coming up as we mentioned before, but keep an eye out for ARAS04 with Maher Daniel, Matthew Decay, and Marc Miroir in August 2013. ARAS 05 follows up in September 2013. Following that release we are doing ARAS06 that will be a new release by Dana and me.
Check out André Galluzzi’s ARAS July 2013 chart below for his best picks this summer:
3. Alexander Lalien – Neosric 04 & 05
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