Hometown Heroes: Meet PAL Hamburg’s King Of Darkness

Cologne and Hamburg have had a large influence on me musically. I started going out in Cologne, where I grew up, at a pretty young age. The music scene that I was a component of there was very much characterized by Kompakt’s minimal sound and the Total Confusion parties they threw at Studio 672. During that time, the city was called the “media capital of Germany” because of the sheer amount of radio stations, music programming and parties happening every weekend.

Being in that vibrant club atmosphere was what got me interested in buying vinyl, but funnily sufficient, I only bought it because I liked the way that it felt! I wasn’t trying to mix records during those times. My real inspiration to start DJing didn’t come until much down the road, when I started surrounding myself with additional people who were involved in music and nightlife. I continued buying information when I moved to Hamburg, but it was really because of a friend I made presently there, Matt Moroder, that I started to get in record stores with the purpose of DJing. At the time that I moved—early 2003—there were still no online stores, so we would go to physical locations to buy vinyl. I became much more motivated to pursue DJing simply because there were so few women DJing in Hamburg. I only understood of one female resident—the rest had been boys, boys, boys.

I taught myself to DJ with two belt-driven Technics imitations that a friend of mine has been giving away. It was a very difficult system to mix on, which made it an effective way for me to learn. I’ve been sharpening my skills on turntables for a long time now, and at this point, DJing feels like such an essential part of my identification. I travel with a USB stick, but vinyl has—and always can be—my preferred medium.

I became a resident with PAL when it opened in 2014. The owners knew me and wanted me to be a part of the team. Since then, I’ve been playing generally there about once a month. I genuinely such as many different styles of music, but my sets usually end up meandering through acid, electro, techno, wave and industrial. Even though I choose from a different palette, the common thread between our selections is that they always return to a certain darkness and relentlessness, which I love to dissolve with melodic interludes.

PAL has helped to enrich the city’s nightlife. It’s become an essential outlet for darker dance songs, especially since Golden Pudel and Kraniche Bei Den Elbbrücken each closed in 2016. The absence of these venues has meant that will PAL has become important in filling up a musical niche, which is vital in a city that’s already so small. It’ s also made a name for itself by bringing large-scale bookings that hadn’ t appeared in Hamburg prior to. Since the club’s second floor, Moiré, was rebuilt and reopened this past year, the club has been able to web host even more diverse musical offerings. PAL—which is more techno-focused—and Moiré—which is more house and disco-focused—mutually reinforce each other. They always represent different yet contrasting styles over the course of a night. Getting a second floor has also allowed PAL’ s promoters to book bigger, more internationally relevant artists to the main floor, but to nevertheless feature residents, musically demanding acts and smaller names at Moiré.

Before my residency, I actually didn’t like playing opening slots very much, but now I love to open up the floor and take my period for three or four hours. It is become really important for me to tell our story as opposed to trying to turn things up quickly by playing banging four-to-the-floor right from the start. One of my favorite records to try out right now is Umwelt’s new record, Days Of Dissent , as well as anything from the labels Brokntoys, CPU, Dark Entries or Music From Memory. I buy a great deal of my music at Smallville, Freiheit & Roosen and Otaku within Hamburg.

Right now I’m working on hosting a regular party collection at PAL called Highly Recommended, which will feature house and techno functions. The space itself already has such an energetic vibe and such strong bookings, so it feels good to be adding. I’m really happy to be a part of it.

Read previous Hometown Heroes columns here. Continue to date on Telekom Electronic Beats’ Clubnights at PAL here.

The post Hometown Heroes: Meet PAL Hamburg’ h Queen Of Darkness appeared 1st on Electronic Beats.

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