Baka Gaijin is a near-legendary Düsseldorf based party series that’s been going since 2012. Over the years they’ve hosted nights that have included the likes of Mr Ties, Bicep, Galcher Lustwerk, Shanti Celeste (stay tuned), Ben UFO and Objekt. They also run an excellent podcast series and label.
What’s the story the behind the mix?
My mixes often come up spontaneously and out of the moment, in a kind of flow. I never prepare a tracklist before. What is important for me is to create a tension. What was the mix recorded on? Two CDJ 2000s and Allen & Heath Xone 23 mixer.
What is it you find compelling about DJing?
Good question. First and foremost is definitely sharing music with a crowd. The biggest challenge is to find a connection with the audience and to build it up in a way that leads to a journey, and creates a tension. For that, it’s essential to be attentive and to develop some sensitivity, I would say. I do not think at all that DJing should be an ego thing.
Where do you go digging for records, and what’s your process for finding the good stuff?
Hardwax and Discogs online. Local record shops vary from city to city. In regards to the process, it always depends on the mood.
What are some tracks (not in the mix) that you really enjoy playing out at the moment?
Voids Two by Martyn is a banger - it always works on the dance floor. Continuum Of The Mind by Steffi, is such a beauty. And on Steffi’s own Dolly label: Freedom by Unbalance.
What are you looking for in a perfect party?
A perfect party consists of many different components: it must start at the door, it requires good personnel, and also light and sound are crucial before it finally goes into the music and such.
What’s the concept behind your party series?
My vision behind the series was to create a platform that is completely independent. The idea was to create a series of parties that would be the right balance between intimacy and artistic aspiration. The artistic aspiration lies not only in the bookings and the program, but also with the visual communication. I believe that visual communication plays a big role, it conveys a message in advance, helps to form the right target group, and from that, harmony emerges.
Can you give us some tips for artists in 2019?
Martinou from Sweden is one. He already contributed a mix for the Baka Gaijin podcast series and will release next year on the label. I’m also a big fan of Kareem Lofty but I guess that’s not a tip for 2019 anymore.
Track of the year?
Very difficult to say. CEM from Herrensauna put a song on his Crack Magazine mix that I’m waiting to be released - it was the last one in the mix. Also, the track Odio by Ufo 361.