London’s Toi.Toi.Musik have only been producing events since 2010, but from the start they have laid out firm foundations of quality and community. Mixing together nights that are musically challenging as well as fun they have earned a solid reputation for getting the party making formula just right. Recently, they have launched an agency arm to their set up to aid the development of artists they have met and been inspired with over the years and we are about to showcase their roster in Room Three this Saturday, all night long.
To show you exactly what Toi.Toi.Agency and their roster of Audio Werner, James Dean Brown, Nicolas Lutz, Voigtmann and Lamache are all about we are giving the floor of the blog over to the East London based crew throughout this coming week. It’s been a while since our last blog takeover but with so much talent to discover and the beginning of something big for our friends at Toi.Toi we felt it apt to make a big deal about it on here too.
We start today with this mix and interview from Nicolas Lutz who is both resident at Toi.Toi.Musik parties and also at Club de Visionaire in Berlin. A staunch vinylist, his record collection has been built over the span of two decades of DJing and international travel, a precedent for sets with challenging and dynamic scope. He’s also offered us the first listen of a mix that is truly special to him, recorded in 2009 in a space in Japan that is no longer in existence as a result of the Tsunami that took place exactly two years ago to this day.
Hey Nicolas, for those of our readers who may not be so familiar with you please can you introduce yourself on our blog?
I was born in Montevideo in Uruguay. When I was very young I discovered my first big passion that was skateboading. It wasn’t until a few years later that I found about these things called turntables and records and it was like a whole new universe opened up for me. I then left Motevideo at the end of the 90’s and have been travelling pretty much ever since then, at the moment I’m based in Paris but will soon be moving back to Berlin.
I’ve been told the key factor of what you’re about is vinyl – how did this love affair begin?
Vinyl was the first format that music was introduced to me on, so I’ve always felt very closely involved and obsessed with buying records and the whole experience of searching and searching in record shops. So yeah, vinyl was and is the only format for me, after meeting this beautiful thing, how could I change it?
Why is it that when other technologies began to emerge you always felt you wanted to stick with vinyl? Or have you ever experimented with digital ways of DJing?
I’ve honestly never given much attention to technology, and never considered the possibility of trying out another way of DJing. My friend once managed to convince me that I should have CDs because there are some clubs around the world, especially in Italy, who aren’t well set up for vinyl. I burned 15 CD’s but I never even played them and lost them after 2 weeks!
After my failed experiment with CD’s, I’m still playing in Italy regularly and only playing vinyl, honestly I’ve never had a problem. I’m actually very happy I lost the CD’s. There is just nothing like playing a record, I’m in fact sorry for people who don’t share in that experience.
How globalised do you think record collecting is for house and techno and the music you play? Do you find stuff in different towns internationally that you just won’t find anywhere else. Or do you find it’s pretty standardised around the world?
I can only speak on this from my own experience, I mean I don’t buy a record with the sole reason of playing it out. I buy records of any style and maybe I will find the right moment to play them out or not. To play it or not is totally secondary, it will come if it has it’s time but it’s never a premeditated decision.
Every time I travel, I visit the local record shops and of course depending on the background of that city, you will find different kinds of music. Of course there are also the records that you see it a lot around many different shops and cities but you would be surprised with what you can really find if you dig deeper. Searching for records is the best thing there is!
Are there any favourite spots that you pick stuff up in?
As I've said here, I go everywhere. That’s my entertainment. I love spending hours at the shops and check every single corner but if I have to mention a shop I like very much is SPACEHALL in Berlin. It’s a very big shop and they have a lot of good stuff.
What is your rarest and most special record?
I have so many favourite records, some are rare ones but the qualities of being rare and also the most special do not always go together. After so many years of collecting so many different records of which I have shared in so many good times, it is just so is hard to tell you the one singular record for this.
But ok, as I will not let this question go past with nothing I could say that a very rare record I have could be 'IOTA - SECOND EP' and a very special record for me would be 'THE OTHER PEOPLE PLACE - LIFESTYLES OF THE LAPTOP CAFE'.
You have two residencies in Berlin and London can you tell us about them?
What I can say for sure, is that both are amazing. CDV its the gratest place on earth as many of you know. I have had the best moments of my DJ career there. Everyone from the owner, staff and the partygoers, they all bring such a good energy that makes it impossible not to have a great time. The days are long so you go have such a dynamic, varied experience and I love that!
I am so thankful to have this continued opportunity to play there.
And Toi Toi is also very special. The times I have been there I’ve just had such amazing experiences, always leaving looking forward to the next time I return. It’s a party where people go for music and fun with open minds to the experience ahead of them.
I am so happy to be part of it, part of London.
Are there any striking differences in the vibe of the party or the people between these two scenes?
Not really. That's the amazing thing about it. They are different kinds of parties but both with the same beautiful vibe and this happens because of the energy of those making this happen.
On your travels what’s surprised you most about different venues and promoters about how they consider vinyl? Do you think there’s a problem today with respect for the format?
Well, in some places they really appreciate that I play vinyl which is nice but there are also a lot of people who get surprised that I play vinyl and I get even more surprised that they get that surprised, because a DJ plays vinyl..??? Come on, it’s not that weird.
I never gave attention to technology on this area, because technology as a format has made people forget about the real shit, and made youngsters grow without knowing about the beautiful thing that means to create their own record collection. From my point of view, technology with DJing sucks big time.
You’ve given us an exclusive first listen on this mix, can you tell us about the setting it was recorded in and the music it contains?
This is a fragment of a mix I recorded at a party near Tokyo in 2009. I later found out that this place was destroyed by the tsunami few years later, so I always kept this mix as something very special so I thought this could be a great opportunity to share it with you.
And finally, how are you preparing for Toi Toi’s RM3 takeover this weekend?
I’m super, super excited and happy about it and very curious as to how it will unfold.
Toi.Toi will be taking over Room Three this Saturday with Audio Werner (Live), James Dean Brown, Nicolas Lutz, Voigtmann and Lamache. For more information and tickets go here.