Tick Tock -it's Ben Klock! And he's playing Movement this weekend! This talented dj/producer is a resident at Berghain and has played more recently in NYC at The Bunker and Good Units drawing massive support and enthusiasm from the crowd. On a little break before a heavy touring schedule, we chatted about Movement, Berghain and jet lag at the movies!
CGNY: Hi Ben! We’re very much looking forward to seeing you play at Movement. How does it feel to play at Detroit – the home if you will of techno, US techno at any rate!?
BK: It's definitely special. I visited the festival for the first time last year when I played at two of the after parties. I found it very unique to see guys like Rob Hood, Rolando and Plastikman in "their" home city and to experience the "Detroit, Detroit, Detroit!" pride. In no other city that I have been to have I witnessed so many people show so much pride. You'll never see an audience shouting "Berlin, Berlin, Berlin!"
CGNY: You’ve pretty much played every big techno club around the world but do you have any personal favorites? How’ve the crowds in NYC been treating you? (Seen you at Bunker and Good Units!)
BK: I love playing in New York. New York has always been on my mind in some way. Even when I was a child I used to have dreams about New York long before I visited for the first time. I always think about that when I play there. My favorite clubs always change. I had some great shows at Goethe Bunker in Essen, Germany, Goa in Rome, Twisted Pepper in Dublin and Sub Club in Manchester, to name a few. And of course Berghain is always in my list.
CGNY: Europe and in particular Germany is very fond of electronic music. What drew you to it initially and made you decide this was the music field you wanted to enter given that you’ve a classical musical training?
BK: At the end of the 80s after going through many different styles of music, I was looking for something new - fresh sounds. I became more and more interested in sound rather than song structures. And techno was something really new that hadn't existed before. Electronic music offered so many possibilities. That was very refreshing for me. And I just loved the sound of a bass drum in a club and the whole club experience. The initial moment for me was in the late 80s at one of the very first acid house parties in Berlin – that had a huge impact on me.
CGNY: If you hadn’t become a dj/producer, what career path do you think you would have chosen?
BK: As a child there were two main things that I loved to do: one was making music, the other was drawing. Both became my occupations later. I used to work as a graphic designer in addition to DJing. In 2008 I was finally able to focus on what I came to realize was the only thing I really wanted to do – music.
CGNY: Berghain is surely the Mecca of techno. When did you become a resident there and how was it playing your first gig there knowing the history and importance of the club in the scene?
BK: I have been playing at Berghain since it opened about 6 years ago, so when I started it had not yet gained the reputation it has today. Still it was a big deal to me. Because I often used to go out to the old club Ostgut which preceded Berghain, in my eyes it was a Mecca for techno already. So when they opened Berghain the club already meant a lot to me. Actually it was the only place I really wanted to play in Berlin, my ideal club. When I played my first set there I felt like, this is it, this is where I want to be.
CGNY: After Detroit – where do you head next?
BK: To the south of Italy. Close to the beach. Playing there on Wednesday.
CGNY: Growing up who were the artists that you admired or who influenced you?
BK: My taste in music was very eclectic. Some favorites in the 80s were Prince & Kate Bush. I also had some rock influences like Jimmy Hendrix and Led Zeppelin. Later one of my first techno heroes was Green Velvet.
CGNY: Lots of musicians change location either for ease of travel or personal reasons. Is it important for you to stay close to home – Berlin?
BK: Yes I like to be connected to my home and to my residency at Berghain once a month. And I still love the city. Very few cities have changed so much over the last 20 years. It keeps it interesting.
CGNY: Do you have any new releases coming up on Klockworks?
BK: The next will be from Zak (DVS1) again. I hope before July.
CGNY: Do you have a routine or think about the set you’re going to play before a gig? Or just show up and feel out the crowd?
BK: Sometimes I have an intro. I know the first two or three tracks that I want to play and then I take it from there. Other times it depends on the crowd and the venue... So it's a bit of both. You want to tell the "story" that you want to tell but you also have to feel the vibe of the crowd. These are always the two things you have balance.
CGNY: What’s the last movie you saw in a movie theater?
BK: It was in Chicago last week. I slept during half of the movie because I was so jet lagged and because I was totally not interested in the movie anyway – Pirates of the Caribbean.
Ben plays Movement May 29th.