The mysterious Horizontal Ground label will send one of its UK representatives to Berlin this weekend in the form of 126.96.36.199.5, AKA Szare.
The DJ/producer will be spinning at Arena club as part of the Grounded Theory party on Friday night, along with Don Williams, Milton Bradley and Modern Love's Claro Intelecto. (The latter will be performing live.) The event which is in its fourth edition has brought a number of techno favorites to the city including Steve Rachmad, Convextion and Joey Beltram. Through it all, Berlin resident and Do Not Resist The Beat! label boss Milton Bradley has remained the (almost-)constant; this will be his third Grounded Theory booking. We sat down with the DJ/producer for his first English language interview in advance of the night.
Had you been playing much around the city before Grounded Theory?
Not really. Most of the people interested [in booking me] are coming from the UK and Russia. My first set at Grounded Theory was quite short actually, maybe 45 minutes? I was playing last, and it wasn't crowded so they shut the party down.
How long have you been in Berlin and DJing?
I've been here my whole life. My first contact with this music was in 1989. I grew up in the East. The acid house stuff. I started buying records in 1991, and soon found techno. The first things that I liked were Belgian, R&S Records, Frankie Bones, Beltram. In the mid-'90s, I played a lot as a DJ, but not as Milton Bradley. Techno music became bigger and happier, and I was sick of it. Everyone was playing the same stuff, so I stopped playing in the late '90s. In 2008, I started making my own music.
What made you decide to come back?
A good friend of mine wanted to do some parties in 2007, and I also heard there was a lot of new stuff out. So I started buying records again. The new Marcel Dettmann stuff is great. Dark, deep, slow.
Had you made any music at all before 2008?
It was absolutely new. I bought some software and machines, and I tried to make music.
Why did you decide to start your own label, as opposed to send tracks to someone else? And where did you come up with the name?
I never wanted to release on another label. I wanted to have my own imprint, to release what I wanted, when I wanted. To have full control. There was an early '90s record that had a voice, "Do not resist the beat." I thought it sounded good.
You released something for Prologue, though.
Yes, Tom from Prologue asked me to do a remix for Cio D'or. And then they asked me to do a record for them, so I made some tracks and they liked it. I wasn't familiar with the label before the request. I don't have any plans to release on another label at the moment.
Do you have a lot of tracks ready to release at the moment? Do you use everything that you make?
Not right now, but I now have some free time to work on some things, so it should be soon. I then give a CD to DJ Pete at Hardwax, he's the selector. He's a good friend of mine, and since the second release he's chosen what tracks go on each release.