Always working and never apologetic, D-Nox and Beckers have been a staple in the scene for the last decade. We sat down with the illustrious duo to find out what’s changed, what’s remained the same, and how it all comes together.
Hi guys, you recently posted after a party in my hometown of New York (which I heard was insane!) and were strolling our fine streets to “walk off the hangover:” What have been some of your crazier party experiences lately, plus what’s different about partying for DJs that most fans don’t get to see?
D-Nox: Well I hardly never get to play in New York and as you said the party was pretty intense. Small but wet. I got only a few hours rest after the gig and got up by the sound of New York streets. Also the sun was out and something inside me told me to take a walk and check out the city. I have been in New York last in 2008. It was the best thing I have done on my own lately. Walking in Manhattan is pretty cool.
About crazy party moments: puhhh that’s hard to say. The real craziness is kind of over. But there are so many amazing party moments. I actually now remember a funny story from a gig I had some years back near San Francisco. My driver was so tired that she made me drive her car in order to catch my flight. That was a 5 hour ride through the dry California in a 4×4 weel jeep without knowing where to go because she fall asleep and only got back to life when I reached the airport 45 mins before take off.
What fans don’t get to see is the hard tour life. Endless travels, hotel check in and out, no sleep, no time for good food, socialising ever time u get to know new people, being tired, smiling everytime u get on the decks and so on. I love my job. I love to play but travelling can be really hard and boring.
What do you feel about being a part of the party makes the performance more enjoyable for everyone? Some DJs don’t seem to engage the crowd as much these days, how does your philosophy differ?
I say that only if you are 100% real and honest to your audience you will go to heaven and collect points on your karma account. I would never fake my people and play music that I am not 100% standing behind. But so many do that and I wonder how they can live with that. I know these guys make a lot of money and in 5 years nobody will ask how they got it but I wouldn’t wanna die knowing I was playing shit music.
Also, when I get on the decks I try to be part of the party. Yes I dance and interact. I watch my audience eyes and see what is going on. I don’t need them to rise their hands all the time, I rather have my audience flying and grooving and enjoying and listening.
Your tour schedule has also been packed, is it hard to keep up this kind of energy with all these crowds while on the road so much throughout the year?
Not for me because I take breaks in between. I choose 2 or 3 month a year where I play less. I have a family and that is much more important for me than all the rest. I wonder how some of my colleagues do that. Some seam not to have a real life. As I said I love music and my gigs but I also love my family. I love noise but I also love peace and silence.
Your home of Germany has had legendary parties, culture, and has long been a staple of the underground world, can you tell us a bit how you came up in that scene and what about the parties there make the German underground so special for the international dance community?
I´ll try to make it short. I was born in East Germany, we escaped before the wall came down and ended up living in Düsseldorf. The city of Karftwerk and other great new wave bands. By that time I was already a school Dj but never had access to vinyl stores which we didn’t have in the communist regime. Well in West Germany there was everything and I found my way into all these record stores. Later in 1991 I got a tape from a school friend and he said listen that shit. It was techno and I was blown away. From there the rest is history. I am still playing 22 years later. About the german scene. It seems that apart from Berlin the rest of Germany is quite dead. Of course there are still many clubs and big festivals but the real thing you´ll find only in Berlin. Weekends that never finished. Clubs that are never empty. And music that never stops. I think what makes it so underground is that Germany doesn’t give a shit about EDM. That many clubs don’t need to close at 3 am or 4 am. In Berlin we have clubs that open Saturday and close Monday night. Its not about shining and fame, its about dirty and dark, monotone and slow. Something I never see anywhere else in this world.
With that said, can you also tell us a bit more how you guys came to meet? There’s clearly a very special element about your workflow together: how did you come to find this chemistry?
We got to know each other thru friend we had in common in the late nineties. Beckers was known as Space Safri (a prog trance project) and I was a DJ only. We wanted to write music but only to check it out and see how things will go, Well the chemistry was better than we ever thought and the result is what you hear. 10 years of writing music together, traveling, djing, friendship, ups & downs but always believing in good music.
When it comes to studio work than Beckers is the producer, the nerd and the genie. I am the one who gives the guideline, does the arrangments and give the whole thing a picture. But without Beckers there wouldn’t be any of the tracks we have done. He is the boss in the studio.
Your sound as a duo has changed radically over the years: I can remember when I first followed you during your Baroque days in 2005! From harder progressive, to techno, to tech and deep house, you guys have done it all. What do you attribute this evolution in style to? Were than any major reasons behind making any of the giant style switches you’ve done over your career?
This is because we love music and we don’t like to stick at the same spot. We are Dj´s and we get to hear all this amazing music. And of course we wanna sound fresh and new all the time. I believe that in every track even if its 10 years old or 1 month, you can always hear our sound. You will always understand that it is a D&B track. We were always crossover, we always mixed styles and we will always do that.
How does your latest EP, Appetizer, which was really some special work, translate into that bigger picture? Does this represent a culmination in your evolution stylistically, or is there still more change to go for D-Nox & Beckers?
That track happened in 3 or 4 hours. We had a idea after we returned from last years ADE and we knew we wanted a hypnotic melody tracks the blows your away. I had the bassline in my head and also a similar melody. That is the story of this track. We don’t spend to much time and invent stories behind tracks. Making tracks, is mostly having fun, experimenting and checking out your studio gear.
How would you translate this into advice for modern, up-and-coming producers today: is it important to define a particular style, or are there more important things than niches and genres?
I think I have said it a few times already. You need to do it because of the love to the music. Fuck hype and trends. I was born to be a DJ and I will always be one. Not because it is fashion today. Its seems that to many wanna jump on this DJ train. Let them but they will also fall from that train soon. The real people understand if your are honest and real or not.
Speaking of new artists, what’s got you guys excited these days music-wise? Any talents you’re particularly digging?
I like the new sound of Maceo Plex and Maetrik, psychedelic funky twistes but simple techno. Not to deep but always with surprising sounds. Any of this kind goes well for me. I love electronic music when it surprises me.
What else is new in the works for you guys? Any special projects, releases, or big shows coming up next?
We made a monster remix for Boris Brejcha. Cant wait to have this one out. Than we remixed Cala A Boca, was a big track of us in 2009. We are touring with a live and visual show to celebrate 10 years of the project. But for now the states are not on the map.