The finest purveyors of deep house have decided to expand their repertoire and cut their cloth from an alternative material to wax. Berlin’s Innervisions empire, led by fabric 42’s Âme and Room One regular Dixon, have turned to paper to unleash one of the most hyped pieces of Techno literature ever to be released. Tobias Rapp’s book ‘Lost and Sound: Berlin, Techno and the Easyjetset’ investigates the city’s love affair with electronic music and seeks to answer why the world is flocking to the German capital to get a piece of the action. Innervisions have taken the innovative step of releasing a limited number of copies exclusively via their website in English, as originally it was only available in German. You can check it out here.
Catching up with Âme ahead of their Innervisions Room One invasion next Saturday, we found out why they though we should be swotting up on techno.
It’s not often that a record label diverts from releasing music to releasing literature. Tell us why you felt it essential to translate this book into English and publish it?
Tobias Rapp, the author, is a good friend of us so the connection was already there before. When we all read the book, we felt that it would be definitely a very interesting project for the international market. We asked Tobias straight away and he said that we would a great partner for this project so this is why it happened.
For people that might not know about the book, what is it all about?
The book describes the situation and energy in the Berlin techno scene at the beginning of this century. Tobias was very inspired by his club experiences around these years so he wrote a book about it. He writes about the big and famous clubs and afterhour locations, some key players from the Berlin scene and the Easyjet ravetourism in a very eloquent way.
The original version of the book had a huge impact across Germany, thrusting techno back into the German media. What do you think sparked the swell of homeland interest in the book?
At the end of the nineties, the whole techno thing went back to the undergound so in Berlin around and after these years, something new grew up without media support or any other hype stuff. At the end, of course, a wider audience took notice of that and the success of the book is pretty much a result of this attention.
How does the book particularly resonate with you? Obviously that played at part in your decision to publish it through Innervisions?
As I said, Tobias is a good friend of us and Innervisions had a small part in his book. We are publishing music, why shouldn’t we publish a book about the music scene from our town?
No doubt the hype surrounding this book will further fuel techno tourism to the German capital...as Berliners yourselves, are you conscious of the influx of people seeking the magic of Berlin? Do you think it’s had a positive or negative influence on the city’s music scene?
I think Berlin clubs already showed that they can handle the ravetourism as they are pretty good in selecting voyeurism from passionated hedonism.
How do you feel Berlin and its music have developed over the last decade?
Berlin is probably the only bigger city in the world where the government recognised that there is also an economical power in their own music scene. So they even support the clubs with all the help they can give them. So there is less a danger of sellout and commercialisation then anywhere else.
Do you think it’s important for records labels to diversify their output nowadays?
I wouldn’t say it's importantfor every record label, but for us it was just a natural progress as we have a lot of different interests...and the future will probably bring a lot of other projects apart from the music.
Can we expect Innervisions to be releasing further projects aside from music in the future? Are rumours of a DVD this year true?
As I said, there will be other stuff released in the next years. There is nothing we would announce at the moment but you can be sure the book won't be the last thing.
You’re back here at fabric on the 6th February; the disco must feel like a home from home now ;)...is there something special about playing here in London?
Playing fabric is definitely like coming home. The staff always treat us like friends and we think we are part of the family too. The soundsystem in Room One gives us the opportunity to play music which we play out rarely, as there are not so many places like that around the world. I also like to play deep and dark techno music which we are probably not really known for, but at fabric they let us do whatever we want to do and that is what I really appreciate.