“Music is a matter of feeling – not a gender thing” — Interview with Cocoon artist Dana Ruh
Galerie Project caught up with German DJ & producer Dana Ruh, who runs the label Brouqade with friends Ann M Cazal & Anthea and recently signed with Sven Väth’s Cocoon Recordings. No stranger to the game, Dana is an unique artist who manages to stand out from the crowd despite recently relocating to the techno’s capital, Berlin. To reassert her talent, DJ Mag dubbed her as one to watch in 2013. After quality releases such as Sulidaee, Nebouxi, and Kickboxing, it’s easy to see why. We dig a bit deeper to discover what inspires Berlin’s newest rising star.
Galerie Project: How did you first discover electronic music and start DJing?
Dana Ruh: I discovered it with my friends when we went out in my hometown, Gera. There were a lot of underground parties and also big raves going on, and I began to follow the local DJs. I became more and more interested, not just in the parties, but also in the records, so I started to buy them soon after. In the beginning, I was more a collector then anything else. It came together as the owner of a record shop I knew asked me if I had a mixer. From that day on, I began to mix records more and more.
GP: You made the move to Berlin in 2002 for your job rather than for music. How would you say the music scene has evolved since then, and how has the greater art and music community influenced your work?
DR: When I came to Berlin, I had nothing to do with the music scene at all. I was more focused on my work, and it wasn’t until almost 4 years later that I embraced the music scene there. At the time, minimal music was a big thing, and that had a big effect on me. Music is always developing too, which is obviously a good thing. Of course, some hyped artists from that time are not as in vogue anymore, and other artists have come around. For me, I try to take something from every type of music style. I am not a friend of trends, but I get inspired because I have open ears. I take a bit of this and that and mix it with my idea of sound.
GP: As a woman, how do you think you approach music differently?
DR: Music is a matter of feeling – not a gender thing!
GP: Outside of music, do you look to alternative art forms for inspiration? Are there any particular tracks or sets inspired by this art?
DR: It’s important to me to keep my eyes open and walk through life awake. I like photography a lot, and it can be very inspiring. It can get you in a certain mood, moods that can be transported into my music. My latest tracks are inspired by a lot of things, and one of them definitely by some pictures I found of Edie Sedgwick or Patti Smith!
GP: Were there certain artists or art work that inspired you growing up? What about currently?
DR: Definitely! For example, Jean-Michel Basquiat, a painter. He was really free in what he was doing. I look up to people that have and take their artistic freedom. It’s quite important to really express yourself through who you are and what you feel. I think this should come out in your work!
GP: If we were to take a peek in your record bag, what would be some of your favorite releases in your collection?
DR: I love all the Stablo stuff so much! A lot of Underground Quality, too. My favourite right now is definitely Anton Zap’s “Take it as it comes” EP, it’s amazing! Also, Ricardo Villalobos album “Alcachofa” is another long-time fave.
GP: Out of all of your productions that you have released, which has been your favorite and why? what inspirations were there behind it?
DR: I can say that straight away: “Sulidaee”. I did the track when I was in norway. There was a special mood behind the track thanks to the landscape around me and my own feelings at the time. It’s a very emotional one for me, and my first step to break out of a certain thinking!
GP: Apart from DJing, you run the label Brouqade with Ann M Cazal and Anthea. What plans do you have for the label this year? Are there any upcoming releases we should be looking out for?
DR: We will continue working with the artists that are already on board, and there will be a various artists collaborations between some of them. There will be a release by a young lady from New York called Oshana, Anthea will deliver a solo EP and I’ve got a few of my own planned too!
You can catch Dana Ruh at our next event August 30th 2014. For information and tickets visit this link: http://on.fb.me/1uMQVwu
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