Typically we think of Berlin as the hot seat for techno in Germany but Kavaro is proving that Cologne is also another thriving scene. CGNY came across his opening set for our friends cassegrain at the ARTheater at Cologne and it was really impressive. So we're delighted to find out about Kavaro and present this exclusive guest mix for CGNY!
CGNY: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us! We’ve recently become big fans of your dj style! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Kavaro: Sure. I'm an exile from Leipzig and after some local changes - because of my several jobs - I’m residing in Cologne right now for 13 years. I'm working in a shop for telecommunications in the city but outside of my job my life is dominated by electronic music. Since early 2013 I organize my own monthly techno event SECTOR and I’m a resident dj there. My intention with Sector is to bring advanced techno music to Cologne with some of my favorite artists from the underground techno scene and local talented artists too. Also I’m able to play my favorite techno music as a traditional vinyl dj. During my all-vinyl sets, always marked by a variety of styles, I’m inspired by Detroit Techno as well as atmospheric Dark Techno, Dub Techno, Broken Beat, IDM and New School Techno. My sets are usually a mixture of older and newer tracks.
CGNY: How did you first get into djing and in particular techno?
Kavaro: After the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 I finished school and moved to Munich for an education as an electrician. There I started buying vinyl, listening to electronic music in my entire free time and in became an enthusiast of the local techno scene. In the early 90’s I was a participant in some legendary parties at Park Café with Jeff Mills and Blake Baxter from Underground Resistance. Later I spent the weekends at the Ultraschall Club to experience forward-thinking electronic music from djs, e.g. DJ Hell, Jeff Mills, Dave Clarke, Luke Slater and many live acts, e.g. Mika Vainio from Sähkö. During this time I stocked up my record collection and started mixing at home, but not very intensely. In this decade I was more a consumer and listener of music than a dj. I had a 9 year hiatus from techno, because techno was without creativity and getting a little stupid with Minimal and Schranz. I relocated to Cologne and I could no longer ignore the love of the music inside me, so I re-entered the techno scene in 2009 again and got to know the Psycho Thrill founder Claus Bachor. He recognized my talent as a vinyl dj and I started spinning vinyl more frequently at many Psycho Thrill underground techno parties.
CGNY: Traditionally Berlin has been the home for techno and electronic music in Germany. But tell us how what techno is like in Cologne? I see you do a lot of gigs at ArtTheater. is that a local hotspot for gigs?
Kavaro: Generally Cologne is highly influenced from house and minimal because of the Kompakt imprint that is based here since many years. In the past good techno parties without commercial interests were rare and taking place mostly in Cologne's underground. With Sector I try to bring forward-thinking electronic music from international artists (often based in Berlin) to Cologne. But this is not as easy as I thought because many young people are not open minded for new sounds. I still have to go a long way with Sector. But I’m very pleased with the support of the crew from the Artheater! The Artheater is a club and a theatre, at weekends it is a great location for small and bigger parties with different types of music. At week days you will find there serious theater or dance performances, exhibitions, experimental music events or jazz concerts.
CGNY: You played recently with one of our CGNY favorites, cassegrain. Who are the other artists you’ve played with or whose style appeals to you?
Kavaro: From full personal conviction I booked and played with Milton Bradley, Sigha, Mike Parker, Unbalance, NX1, Mary Velo, Henning Baer, Rrose, Polar Inertia and Ancient Methods. Each event was a unique music experience and fantastic party at the same time!
CGNY: At times it appears like the art of djing almost no longer stands alone and almost all djs are now producers. But its seems that producing and releasing your own material has become a necessity in order to get gigs – what do you think – is that true?
"In the 90's people were going to parties for the excellent djs. Today mostly they only come to the parties with headliners known for their productions and releases of their music, often not known for good dj sets"
Kavaro: That is true, unfortunately. In the 90's people were going to parties for the excellent djs. Today mostly they only come to the parties with headliners known for their productions and releases of their music, often not known for good dj sets. Promoters do not want to take the risk of an empty party because of an unknown but really good dj. Many people no longer take the time to check the qualities of a dj because of the masses of dj sets on the internet today. And many don't make the connection or see the difference between a perfect digital or emotional vinyl dj set. Sad but true.
CGNY: What might we be surprised to find on your iTunes- any secret music you’re a fan of?
Kavaro: Sometimes I like to hear the music from Depeche Mode, Björk, Massive Attack and Portishead...but that is no secret and it's electronic music too. Some years ago I was at a Coldplay concert and it was a great show. When I hear music properly at home I like to hear early B12, The Black Dog, Boards of Canada, Seefeel, The Orb, Autechre and newer productions from Voices From The Lake, Andy Stott, Samuel Kerridge or Yves de Mey.
CGNY: What piece of technology can you not live without?
Kavaro: All technology that makes electronic music possible, I cannot live without it. And my smartphone. ;)
CGNY: Any gigs or events coming up that you’re excited about?
Kavaro: Next Sector party is at November 14th with I/Y from Berlin, they will play an all vinyl dj set b2b. In February 2015 we celebrate 2 years Sector Cologne with a special event, keep your eyes and ears open. ;)
CGNY: An alien lands and you have to give him/her one track to take back that represents techno to you – what would that be?
Kavaro: Sandwell District - Hunting Lodge. A future classic and included in my CGNY podcast.