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TROUWENS | Backstage - Amsterdam Dance Event special | Issue #05 | oktober 2010 | Pag 5

OstGut Ton ‘There is no secret.’ Nick Höppner (Label manager OstGut Ton) says. ‘It’s becoming somewhat of a cliché that I tell every interviewer that there is no master plan, but there really isn’t. There was no plan to become what we are today.’ The OstGut label started in November 2005 with Berghain 01. A mix CD by resident DJ André Galluzzi to display the sound of the club. Now, five years later, Ostgut Ton, with a catalog that holds about sixty releases, is one of the most respected labels around. ‘Actually we just wanted to do that CD. No follow-up plan, if it is successful maybe we do another mix, that’s it.’

‘So last year in October she came here and recorded the empty space for two weeks. She put microphones below the stairs and banged on them, caught the sounds of the fridges and doors.. After editing the sounds, she gave us 4GB of files that were all sorted after the rooms she recorded in. There was a cloakrooms section, one for the toilets and so on. Then we gave it to everyone and told them to do a track for our compilation without putting any restrictions on them how to use the sounds or to use them exclusively for this project. Now we have 26 exclusive tracks coming on two CDs or in a seven piece vinyl box, that even has sides M and N.’

The first 12inch came four months later, a collaboration between Marcel Dettmann and Ben Klock, two other residents. ‘That was the only thing that became clear very soon, that the label had to be a platform for the residents of the club. Along the way, nothing really changed. Of course, now we are a bit bigger, we have to plan more things in advance. But the label still depends on the original artistic vision. That’s why I trust our artists to come up with what they really love and feel.’

‘One weekend she told me about how she noticed on Sunday afternoon that the building was vibrating, shaking, resonating and humming from the music being played and that she would love to come here during the week when it is empty to record the place. That actually gave us the idea to do the compilation.’

‘My previous experiences with labels rather scared me off, getting sent a contract, having to sign for the next three releases, that is not how I work.’

Home According to Nick, there aren’t many places around with such a high work ethos. ‘Here the motto is: Don’t cry, work. And everyone is very dedicated, passionate and precise. You can’t run a place like this without putting a lot of work into it. I think the people working here really take pride in what they do. The employees see that it matters what they do. Nobody sits on their ass and waits until closing time, but everybody creates in a certain way.’ ‘If you talk to cleaning people, they will tell you in the most passionate way how you can get the toilets nice and shiny.’ ‘There is a high level of identification with the place they are working at, because almost everyone who works here during the week can be seen at the weekend as well.. At nights when it is really busy here and workforce is needed, you see the guy who’s usually doing the finances checking people in at the door.’ ‘It’s really like home, also as a DJ.’ Achim says. ‘The crowd is amazing. They know us and we know them. I always bring a bunch of records to the club that I’m probably not going to play, because they are very special to me and the moment isn’t always right. But when it is... I remember Boris playing – and that was before the Carl Craig and Moritz von Oswald reinterpretation of it –Boléro by Maurice Ravel at Panoramabar. I think in most clubs it would just be funny or absurd, but it was perfect.’ ‘Yes, it was an amazing moment,’ adds Nick. ‘On New Year’s Day, which is already a special night with huge expectations, he dropped the Boléro and everyone went nuts. People were even dancing on the bar. And it was not like: look at us, we are so special, we even play classical music. It was really genuine.’ Fünf ‘A year ago, I thought about our five year anniversary already. But I wasn’t too kind on taking the usual way to celebrate this. You normally do a mix CD of your back catalog with some exclusive new tracks by your artists as well. Of course this is fine, but it’s a little boring as well. Then I made friends with a girl from England called Emma. She moved to Berlin about two years ago and fell in love with the club, going there almost every weekend.’

Ibiza With the international interest for the label and the club growing every year, the requests to take it on the road also increased. ‘Usually our booking agents try to prevent event names like The Sound of Berghain/Panorama Bar, but sometimes it accidentally happens. The branding should be done as an OstGut Ton showcase.’ Nick explains. ‘We all agree that you cannot transport what Berghain is to somewhere else.’ says Achim. ‘It’s not just the DJs. It’s the building, it’s the people working here, it’s everything. Promising to deliver the experience of the club would only be faking it. We have to disappoint everybody, but we can’t take Panorama Bar or Berghain to them.’ ‘I do like taking OstGut on the road, because it’s more like a loose collective. Under that umbrella, different things can happen. But it doesn’t always work,’ Nick laughs. ‘We did a label night at Space on Ibiza last summer. That wasn’t a match made in heaven. But I’m the guy that rather tries something myself instead of listening to people telling me not to do it. I believe that for what it was it was not too bad. We weren’t implanted into an environment where there is just David Guetta and Carl Cox and the entrance fee is more than 50 euros. The GoGo girls were kind of weird though,’ Nick adds. ‘But they did a great job,’ Achim laughs. ‘If I ‘as a gay guy’ keep staring at a girl for 30 minutes because her ass is really amazing, that’s quality.’ Prosumer (Achim Brandenburg) Panoramabar resident ‘My artist name is a combination between producer » and consumer. There is a lot of my personality in » what I do, I produce what I consume mirrored on myself.’» Nick Höppner OstGut Ton label manager ‘When I offered my help to set up the label, I had some label » experience but I wasn’t an experienced label manager yet. » I never had such an amount of responsibility.’

Trouwens #05 - 'Backstage Issue'  

Trouwens is a magazine made bij TrouwAmsterdam for the visitors of TrouwAmsterdam

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