Many have tried, but very few can legitimately lay claim to having been continuously involved in the German techno and house scene right from the start. For over twenty years, DJ T. (Thomas Koch to his postman) has been pushing the movement forward as a DJ, producer, journalist, publisher, promoter and label owner. With a new album, 'The Inner Juke Box,' fresh on the shelves and a forthcoming world tour in the pipeline, we decided to catch up with the Get Physical boss to discuss Abba, breakdancing, Jagarmeister and more.
So T, should I call you T or would you rather Thomas?
Whatever you like...
So T, you founded Groove Magazine back in 1989, did you originally expect it to be such a huge success?
No, in the beginning I didn’t expect it to be as big as it has become. It launched before the techno movement in Germany and originally catered for all types of music, with a lot of emphasis on hip hop and early electro. Only after 3-4 years, once techno had exploded onto the German scene, did it start to become a specialised, niche product.
Talking of hip hop and electro, I’ve heard you were once a nifty breakdancer, can you still bust the moves on request?
Ha! I can do all the electro boogie stuff and I’m still good at The Snake – you know what that is?
Yeah, I know what it is. What home listening is currently getting the spin in Chateau de T?
I listen to electronic music all day, every day, so when I’m relaxing at home I never listen to house or techno. I have a big range of home listening varying from classical to jazz, I listen to a lot of film soundtracks too.
What was the last LP you bought?
I went to a music fair a few days ago and picked up lots of old LPs, stuff like Isaac Hayes, Dianna Ross and Chaka Chan.
What were your first musical influences?
I could talk for hours about this, at the age of 10 I was a big Abba fan, I was always asking my parents to buy me their albums. When I started getting pocket money, I began to collect my own vinyl. Then in ‘82 I heard Grandmaster Flash and this led me towards hip hop, soul and funk.
You’re playing Fabric on the 29th [Aug], what can we expect from your set?
Music wise this is a happy period for me. House music is back, soul and funk is back. My set will depend on how much time I have, what the mood of the crowd is like and what time I go on. It’ll probably be quite deep.
Ha! Give me some Jagermeisters and we’ll see.
You’re playing the weekend of the Notting Hill Carnival, are you planning on hanging around to check it out?
I didn’t know it was on! I’ve never been, what days?
Sunday and Monday...
I’ll have to change my flight from Sunday to Monday, what’s the big event?
I guess it’s still kinda Norman Jay and the Good Times stage, but they’ll be plenty of dubstep. What do you think of dubstep?
Actually I have to admit, it’s a movement in electronic music that I haven’t really followed too closely. I’ve listened to some stuff on Beatport and I’ve liked what I’ve heard. When 2step came out, I thought it sounded really fresh, but it wasn’t that easy to pick the good stuff up in Germany.
You hooked up with Thomas Schumacher for your new album, there’s been talk of a continued production partnership can you confirm this is the case?
Yeah, there will definitely be more tracks, at least one early next year.
Finally, which of your productions most sum up the DJ T legacy?
Ok, you can have two...
I’d say, early period, it would have to be ‘Philly’, current period I would have to say ‘Dis’.
Both great tracks, thanks for your time T.