Steffi (fabric 94)
BORN: I was born in 1974 in a small town in the south of Holland called Boxtel I moved away from home when I was around 19 to go and live in the city.
FAMILY: Although my mother stimulated me to take piano lessons at a young age, my parents weren’t the ones who gave me my musical education, my brother had a bigger role in this. He wasn’t really aware of it at the time, but most of my musical influences came from him when we still lived at home together. He was banging his music loud enough for me to enjoy it in my bedroom next door. He got hold of one of the very early new beat cassettes and this was my first connection with ‘pre-house’ music. Funnily enough he never followed up with the genre but for me it was the start of something big and my love for electronic dance music was born.
MUSICAL ROOTS: I listened to a lot of alternative/experimental rock and new wave when I was young. In the late 80s I got connected with new beat from Belgium and early Chicago house music. Through friends in my hometown I got into IDM and Detroit electro, labels like Warp, Rephlex, UR and Metroplex were of massive importance to me. Those guys taught me how to beat-mix and we went to lots of parties in Holland together. Because it’s such a small country we could just jump in the car and drive from south to west to see a certain DJ or live act or go record shopping. I have to say we were pretty spoiled with a club nearby called ‘De Effenaar’ in Eindhoven. They offered a great musical program. You could easily dance all night without hearing a straight kick because their nights had such a wide spectrum, it was a good way to get educated.
"When fabric approached me to do a mix album I wanted to do something special for so I approached my inner circle and some of my favourite producers to ask if they wanted to produce a track especially for this project with a certain mindset. I have always been a massive fan of Warp's Artificial Intelligence CDs and this was a starting point in terms of atmosphere."
FIRST PROJECTS: I decided to move to Amsterdam in 1997. I ran into DJ/producer Awanto 3 and after a few months living in Amsterdam we started a club night together in a club called Mazzo, focussed on IDM, electro, booty and Miami bass. It was an interesting time where I learned a lot about DJ-ing and organising your own club nights. We soon took the concept to a next level and played a lot in clubs around the country and in the south of Belgium. When Mazzo closed I started to organise my own parties in Amsterdam until 2005. In that year I met nd_baumecker and he brought me to Berghain. That was an instant chemistry and Amsterdam was going through a rather dead period with lots of clubs shutting down so I decided to move to Berlin in 2007 to be a part of the Ostgut family. This had a massive influence on my DJ career internationally and when I released my first track on their label in 2008 I saw how much impact this had worldwide. From that point on the ball started rolling rather fast.
LABELS & PRODUCTION: Klakson records is my first record label, founded in 2000 together with Dexter and Awanto Dexter and I ran the label up to 2008 and then we both took a break from it for a while, I have recently relaunched it with 4 new releases! After moving from Amsterdam to Berlin I felt it was time for something new so in 2010 I started my second label called dolly and it has a little sister label called dolly dubs. I am actually about to launch a new series called dolly deluxe and this will see daylight in June. Then there is of course my connection with Berghain’s label Ostgut ton. Most of my solo music and collaborations with Virginia have been released here since 2008. My project with Martyn as Doms & Deykers has mainly been released on his 3024 imprint and my project with analogue cops as third side has mostly been released on restoration records.
FABRIC: It was exciting for me to finally play fabric as my label partner Dexter used to play there on a regular basis with the Clone posse early 2000s so I had heard many stories about the club and was very eager to play there myself one day. The first couple of years I played Room Three it had such an intimate vibe, perfect for a proper house set. I clearly remember my record release party for my first album Yours & Mine with Virginia and John Daly. We managed to keep that room open much longer then allowed and Virginia wrapped up the night with a stunning acapella which still gives me goose bumps. Later on I had the chance of trying out all 3 rooms and was able to completely express my musical depth with for example playing techno sets in Room Two and performing live with Third Side in Room One. fabric always offered full support for my creative wishes and it is such a great honour to contribute to the mix series. I have great respect for the endless amount of positive energy the whole team has put into this club over the years going through ups and downs but still shining and sailing such a strong and important ship!
THE MIX: When fabric approached me to do a mix album I wanted to do something special for so I approached my inner circle and some of my favourite producers to ask if they wanted to produce a track especially for this project with a certain mindset. I have always been a massive fan of Warp's Artificial Intelligence CDs and this was a starting point in terms of atmosphere. Also, it was important for me to go into more non-linear direction for this CD as we are pretty flooded by the ‘four to the floor’ at the moment. My initial thought was to step away from beat mixing completely and let the atmosphere set the tone but when the tracks started rolling in, it naturally shaped up as a fully mixed through CD by itself.
THE FUTURE: I have just finished my 3rd solo album for Ostgut Ton and that will see daylight this year!
fabric 94: Steffi is out on 16th June.
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Steffi launches fabric 89 on Saturday 3rd June.
Tickets are available here.