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5 Minutes With…Wankelmut

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The eccentrically named German Wankelmut is one of a long line of DJ’s and producers to emerge from Berlin and showcase their talents to fans on a global stage. Unlike his counterparts however is Wankelmut meteoric rise can be specifically attributed to a bootlegged remix being posting on online video sharing site Youtube and quickly becoming an internet phenomenon. How positively 21st century. The remix we’re talking about is of course his reworking of Asaf Avidan’s ‘One Day’  which currently has amassed around 90 Million views online and instantly launch him into the big leagues. With such an interesting story behind his emergence DT caught up with Wankelmut before his gig at London’s Egg alongside Popof to discuss his rise to the top and just exactly why he is known as Wankelmut…  

If I could take you back to the beginning and ask you what first drew you to electronic music?

I guess growing up in Berlin is already a big influence – but my first step towards this genre were accompanied by Juno Reactor and Aphex Twin. 

Now I know you are also quite into folk music, what were/are your influences?

Yes! I listen to a lot of different types of music. My roots are classic rock, folk and singer/songwriter-stuff. But I also like jazz and drum&bass. Overall I like good music and take influences from all of it…

Where was your first gig?

My first gig as a house and techno-DJ was at Sisphos in Berlin which is still one of my favorite venues!

Just why exactly are you called Wankelmut? What is the reasoning behind the name…

I know that in english this name sounds pretty weird. In German it means something like being moody or undecided and impulsive which is being reflected in my DJ-sets to a certain amount – everything between house and techno gets played. 

Now your name is synonymous with a certain remix. What made you first decide to remix the Asaf Avidan track?

I really loved the original and had the idea of taking it to the dancefloor. That’s why I remixed it. No big deal in the beginning and done within two nights in november 2011.

Did you have any idea how big your version may become?

No, not at all. I really wasn’t expecting such a huge success! I’m very happy that so many people all around the world like my remix and I hope they have a good time dancing to it

Was it difficult to navigate your way from youtube phenomenon to industry figure?

I don’t feel like it an industry figure yet of course most of the nights I play in front of far more people compared to the time before “one day“. but musically nothing has changed.

Essesntially you had your career by online video sharing site Youtube.  How important do you think the internet and social media is breaking new artists into the scene?

It’s a very handy tool indeed – and a very powerful too. If you’re really good you can still make it without social media, but it’s also an easy way to communicate with fans and artist all around the globe. It gives the generation a unique opportunity to interact with the rest of the world.

Could you tell us about the processes that you go through when creating new music? 

This process is different every time. Sometimes I have a specific inspiration; a thought, a song, a memory. And sometimes it’s more of a spontaneous thing. 

Where has been your favorite place to play?

Still Sisyphos in Berlin and the Fusion-Festival in Germany!

What do you do to relax?

Taking a bath, hang out with friends or listen to old vinyls of Neil Young 😉

Have you any interesting/bizarre stories to tell from your time touring?

I was playing in Paris once and the cab driver who was about to take me back to the hotel got into a fight with some random guys on the streets. I didn’t understand what it was about but he jumped out of the car and attacked the guys. Pretty crazy – in the end he told me: “There are a lot of dangerous people here in Paris, you have to be careful…!”

What would you change about electronic music scene if you could? 

A lot of people taking the whole dance music to serious! In the end it’s still about partying – so please smile and have a good time 🙂

You can catch live Wankelmut playing  at Egg presents on Friday April 12th alongside Popof, Julian Jeweil and Pele and Shawnecy @ Egg London.

For more information visit www.egglondon.net

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