Known as the ‘German Techno Machine’, Alex Bau is headed to Australia for the very first time.
You’re playing a three-hour set at Coniston Lane; what’s the longest set you’ve played?
Actually, I can’t remember the longest set I ever played as there have been a couple of ones during the years. But in recent times I think that Montreal’s Circus has received the longest ‘Bau-injection’. Also, Cocoliche in Buenos Aires always gives me plenty of time. I think the quality of a DJ only shows up when he’s playing long sets as this is the art in my eyes: keeping people on the floor and at the same time changing the atmosphere by bringing it up and down constantly.
How do you fit in time for your radio show while touring around the world?
To be honest, that’s not a real challenge as I always use live recordings for the Wasabi Tunes show. Once a set has been chosen, it’s only doing the talkovers and including some jingles and uploading. All this is done within three hours and it’s also only once a month.
You release tracks under a couple of monikers: Basic Implant and Electric Envoy. Do you find this gives you artistic licence to go in new directions?
Well, both of the mentioned projects have never been ‘pure’ Alex Bau projects. They were both covering some tracks I did together with Sven Dedek around ten years ago. I finally started to release under my own name and Sven continued with those projects for a while until he began to draw back from music generally. it was a great time to have such an experienced producer and friend as Sven to get into the production stuff in detail.
A career highlight; what stands out so far?
I am superbad at this question as I always live much more in the future than in the past. But I do remember some moments of course. Like the moment when I succeeded to beatmatch two records for the first time as a teenager; it was just an overwhelming feeling! Another was in 2003 I think at a local, small party with maybe 400 people when the whole club went totally nuts; people were jumping, screaming, even singing to techno tracks and going wild for hours, it was total excess, both mentally and physically. I don’t know what happened or what I did, I just played a set full of devotion and motivation as always, but somehow it was totally out of control. One other highlight was my gig at Love Parade 2010. It’s totally unbelievable to play in front of a crowd of more than 200,000 people, but it turned to disaster when somebody told me after my set that at the other end of this huge venue people died in this tunnel [after a stampede]. You probably heard about it in Australia ... such a bad end for such a great idea!
You have played all over the world; do you have a favourite country or city to visit?
Maybe after September 10, I will call Australia my favourite place, who knows! It’s not so much about cities or countries, it’s more about parties. I don’t care where they are. Just recently I had to spend five hours travelling one way for a distance of 220 kilometres in Ukraine to play on a festival. The roads there are like there is no road! But then the party was so good and people were so open minded; so many smiling faces, just beautiful!
What do you get from making minimal tech that other genres can’t provide?
It’s the pureness. Some people can’t understand the beauty of a nice powerful kickdrum in combination with a rolling bassline. But this is the essence of it in my eyes. The sound of the kick determines where the track is going to. It’s funny though, because in Germany or Europe nobody would call my music minimal, but actually you’re right. It is very minimal, focused on the essential elements. But the word minimal is like its own genre, and to be honest, most of the music coming out as minimal is just boring. Music is emotion, and you have so many possibilities to carry emotions with so few elements. But to achieve that is the trick and the art!
Alex Bau plays Coniston Lane September 8.