Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Todd Bodine interview

Highgrade regularly play at Panoramabar. What is your favourite venue in Berlin to play at?

In Berlin you have a few venues which are really cool. But at the end I´ve two favourite clubs here in Berlin, the Panorama Bar and Watergate. Both venues are really different but they bring a good vibe. These are places where Techno / House music becomes reality. There you have the best sound on one hand and a really cool audience on the other. So, it´s a perfect mixture.

You are a born and bred Berlin DJ, something that is less and less
common in the city. How do you feel about the influx of nationalities
that have come to Berlin to live and work here? Do you feel Berlin as
a city has retained its ethos regardless?

First of all it is the best thing for Berlin that so many people comes to join the vibe of the city. Now the city is full of different people who want to express them selves. And that´s good. I mean, if you go maybe 10 year´s in the past - Berlin was a small village. If you came back from London at these times the streets and subways
and so on were empty. And now Berlin is loud, fast and fresh, compared to other big cities. And at the end it was good for the music-scene as well. I think people forget the past if they rail against the tourists!

You've released on Mothership. How did your relationship with Claude VonStroke come about?

It was really simple. He was asking me for a remix. Then he wanted to listen to more stuff and he was asking me if I can send him some tracks. I think I was sending the stuff while he was at an airport and he was listening to the stuff on the flight later. After he landed he gave me the feedback and told me that he wanted to do a record with me. He is really one of the coolest guys in this business.
I like him and his work really much.

You play live and as a DJ. Which of the two do you prefer? Is one better suited to certain environments?

First of all I like both. But at the end I can express myself much more if I play live. It takes much more time to prepare a live show because every show is different but it´s really interesting to see the reactions to my tracks. The moment when I know what comes in next is great for me. Only I know what will happen. But it has to be
something special!

Aside from house and techno, what were your earliest musical influences?

My earliest musical influences I found in Techno. In the early 90s. This was the first moment I tried to listen and understand music. It was stuff from Robert Hood, Jeff Mills, Underground Resistance. All this Detroit stuff. Many artists say that jazz and funk are their earliest influences. But not for me. Later, then I started to explore more experimental stuff. And now I love Herbie Hancock and so on. I love all this funk and jazz stuff. There you can learn allot about rhythm and moods.

What is your take on the MP3 vs Vinyl debate?

I love the sound and handling of vinyl. With Highgrade we already do vinyl but I play digital. The possibilities of playing digital are incredible. I mean you can play your stuff you made the night before. This is amazing. On the other hand it´s also important for me to hold something in my hand. A result of your work. Therefore many artists only want to release on vinyl or CD. But the biggest problem we have to see is the the kids don´t by CD´s or Vinyl anymore. The art of how to play music has changed. They use iPods and so on. So maybe cd´s are coming back? I don´t know.

What's next for you in terms of releases?

There are some projects on Highgrade beside the label-work. First there are two compilations. The second part of "Our Thing" is out now and at the beginning of November "Highgrade vs. Freak n´Chic" will come out. Between then, I will release my Album. It will be out at 26th of October as two maxi´s, CD.

What do you think the future holds for you, and for electronic
music here in Berlin?

I think the network between all the artists and labels will be closer, and I will do my best.

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