fabric host Robert Johnson

DJ and founder of the labels Playhouse, Klang and Ongaku, Ata is also the creative force behind the incredibly intimate Robert Johnson club in Offenbach, Frankfurt-Am-Main, who also celebrate their 25th anniversary this year.

In 1992 he founded the record shop Delirium with Heiko Schäfer, aka Heiko M/S/O. He founded the first 'real' clubnight in Frankfurt for modern house and deep house, the Wild Pitch Club at the Nachtleben-Club. After years of parties he closed the concept and opened Robert Johnson in 1999.

One key similarity between our club and yours is the use of the Martin Audio Soundsystem. Could you explain why you chose this system and what makes it so special?

A wonderful story that has to do with Ricardo. After the opening of Robert Johnson in 1999, we were no longer satisfied with the sound system we had been using for 6 years at WILD Pitch CLUB. I rang Ricardo and he told me that he had just been to fabric in London and that he had been very impressed with its sound system . I asked him what the name of the facilities where: I understood that Ricardo said "Martin"

Weeks later, I tried to find out who Marti(o)n was. I ended up with Martion in Berlin, a sound system developer and we had a long chat. He hadn't built any systems for clubs since the 90s. Back then he would have built Soundsystems in the Baghwan discos in Germany. 

Top man! 

I call Ricardo again, what's the name of the system from fabric?

Martin Audio, I see. I asked Ricardo, do you know Martion in Berlin? Check him out, their monitors for the studio. The rest is history. He has Martion in his studio now , we have Martin Audio at Robert Johnson.

On the 6th of July, one of our most trusted residents, Ricardo Villalobos, will be playing for us again. His only other residency is with Robert Johnson. Could you tell us about your story with Ricardo? How you first met? How the residency came about? Any funny stories of Robert Johnson & Ricardo?

There are lots of funny stories about us. Unfortunately, they're all private. What I can say is that we have known each other for more than 30 years and the friendship that connects us is a special one. Although I do have one story.

He once forged a fax saying that we were students and had permission to have our party on this building site. The police came that night, of course, and Ricardo showed them the fax. He was so convincing that the police drove away and the party could go on.

One of our key principles for fabric25 was to celebrate spaces worldwide that have remained true to club culture, and your club is a prime example. Could you tell us about your 25 year history? Any challenges/restrictions you’ve faced? How you’ve managed to stay open for 25 years? What is club culture in Frankfurt like & how has it changed over the last 25 years? How does this compare to Berlin? 

We have only managed all these years because of the quality of the music and our great resident DJs.  We have remained true to ourselves all these years and have not tried to follow the music market and trends. We have created a unique biotope that convinces dancers, lovers and haters to stay until the end, when the sun rises and you realise that you are dancing in the light. A very great experience.

Everything moved to Berlin in the 2000s and Frankfurt bled completely dry.

It was basically a disaster.  But somehow, because of this special place, atmosphere and the crew that works here, everything was different to the other clubs. Berlin won, of course. Nobody could keep up. Berlin is the club capital.

You’ve been to the club (fabric) many times over the last 25 years, why is it so special to you? Any good stories/memories etc?

fabric is one of the few clubs in the world that is about music and not about selling beer. Club culture is alive here. I like that. At first I thought: OK, I'll never get out of here. Today it works. 

You’re playing on the 6th, could you give us one track that resembles fabric in your mind?

Insanlar - Kime Ne

First time at farbic, an unbelievable piece and then there's this system...

No items found.