Home town Heroes: MMA Resident DJ On Munich’s Techno Comeback

I grew up in a countryside area close to Munich, and after finishing school I moved straight to the city. I’ve never lived anywhere else, so I’m a true Munich girl and know the scene here very well. I was already pretty into electronic songs, and when I turned 18 I started going out to clubs like Rote Sonne, Registratur and Harry Klein before it moved places. I’d also started collecting information pretty early—when I was a teenager—but I didn’t start actually DJing until about 2012, by which period I already had quite a big collection at home. That’ s quite unusual I think, as most people probably do it the other way around. I used to construct playlists a lot when my friends and I were at my place, as well as for them it was just the logical result to also mix those paths together at some point and become a DISC JOCKEY. They encouraged me a lot, therefore i finally started to teach myself in order to DJ at home with two turntables and a mixer. It took a while, yet I finally learned to beatmatch.

One of my close friends, Mirko, made me a resident in his party series, STOCK5, exactly where I played my first event on New Year’s Eve 2012/2013 at Rote Sonne. Before MMA opened, STOCK5 took place at various clubs in Munich, like Rote Sonne, Bob Beaman, Harry Klein and Registratur. I remember when I documented my first mix for STOCK5 and showed it to Mirko. Although he seemed to like it, this individual was like, “This is way too techno and way too hard. You can’t play this kind of sound at the party. ”

That was about five years ago, when all of this more deep house-oriented stuff was at a high point. Of course , electronic music has its trends, and sometimes as a resident DJ you have to customize your set a little bit—so I had to play a bit much softer than I wanted to at the beginning of my career. But the STOCK5 bookings had been always high quality and a little before their time at any given stage, which was quite important to us because it kept it a little underground. By now, the party has returned in order to techno bookings, and I’m actually looking forward to playing a proper techno established this Friday at the MODU5 celebration, which is a collaboration between STOCK5 and From Another Mind.

Mirko took over the job as booker of MMA about one year after it opened in 2014. He or she basically brought me along, and I became a resident DJ right now there at the same time he started booking. That’s also when MMA started to develop and become what it is now: “the Berghain of the south, ” as some people state. Mirko started to book techno works and arranged label showcases in this really big room with its industrial charm. This wasn’t really something new to Munich, but it was some thing we hadn’t seen in quite a while—perhaps the last time such “classic raves” took place was in the ‘90s with all the Ultraschall club. The big room, the Halle, is also a great venue regarding concerts, exhibitions and other cultural occasions.

I actually haven’t played because room yet—but it’s on the plan for the near future. But I’ve played in the club space lots of times. Playing there is really cool because usually when we have big events, it’s already pretty crowded in the smaller sized room by the time I start playing, and people are so excited and really want to dance—even during the early hours from the night. The acoustics and often really diverse bookings allow DJs to experiment a lot with their sounds, which I enjoy because I don’t really play a straight, predetermined kind of sound. I like to bring more extravagant things to my sets, like ‘80s- or even more disco-oriented sounds.

I really took a break last year because We became a mom in Sept. During my pregnancy I only performed warm-ups in the club, and of course I stopped playing entirely for a while after the birth of my son. But in the particular meantime I did start a monthly stereo show with my boyfriend, Andi Damaschun, on Radio 80000 within Munich. It’s called Weed Beats, and it concentrates more on reggae, lay and afrobeat music—but also something in between. For the most part, it’s just about soothing tunes and playing records you can not play in the club. I used to have dreadlocks in my teenage years plus listened to reggae and dub a lot, so in a way it’s back to our roots. At the moment Andi and I are usually working on our first original productions; releasing music under our task name, Jelly3000, is the big objective for 2017.

Essika will play with Silent Stalwart, Sigha and Oscar Mulero with MMA on February 24, 2017. Find more information here.

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