"A life devoted to techno since the 90s" - it's the man himself - KEY label boss, Freddy K! We caught up with him ahead of him headlining our outdoor party this Sat July 24th 2021.
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Hey Alessio, thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us today, we are super excited to welcome you to Manchester for our first post-lockdown party!
We know you have an interest in many genres other than techno. Are there any key influences from Manchester (or Northern) bands/producers that hold a special place in your heart?
Well, definitely I had a lot of influences in my background. From Electronic music to Punk to Metal to Hip Hop. Thinking about Manchester, of course Joy Division is an unforgettable band to mention… more about electronic music how can’t to think about The Future Sound of London.
With most of your own productions being released in the mid-nineties, what’s your relationship with production these days?
I consider myself more a DJ than a producer. In the 90s I was really inspired to produce thanks to the chance that ACV Records gave to me. After that time I stopped for a while, honestly I found it difficult to be focused again on production, especially when you are not convinced to express yourself at the same level that you can express yourself as a DJ. If you are a DJ doesn’t mean you have to be a producer. It is better to express your taste through your label, choosing the tracks of artists that you really love to play and that represents your way of DJing. This is why KEY Vinyl was born.
What are your interests/hobbies outside of music?
I am not a big reader, I am more a big watcher and listener. So, I love movies… really into Horror / Thriller movies. Music is anyway a big part of my life, I like to buy records of other genres and I love to find the right soundtrack for everything I do in my life. On top of this, I like to cook and to eat, I like to swim and to play with our cats. Simple as that.
It goes without saying that you’re an important part of the Berlin music community. Do you see yourself staying in Berlin for the foreseeable or are there any other cities calling your name?
Berlin is still special and different, a bubble where I see myself living there. Of course I like to travel and I’d love to live somewhere else… but I also like to enjoy other places during holidays or for work. What I do is really what I like to do in my life, actually it’s everything for me… so, Berlin is something special.
Now we know you love a long DJ set! Annoyingly, due to stricter licensing laws in the UK, promoters are often unable to offer longer set times to DJs. How does this influence the way you plan a DJ set for UK audiences?
For sure in a long set I think you can express 100% your art of DJing, but I love the challenge to transform that long journey into a very short set. Usually I love to play in the UK, there is some energy that is unique.
Are there crews, producers and/or DJ’s you would like to give a special mention to at the moment?
Despite what the hype looked like before the pandemic, I am very happy to see a new generation of producers and DJs more into the groovy stuff and more into some interesting techno… something that you don’t create anyway after 1 day of Ableton lesson, unfortunately a lot of the hype music/techno at the moment is like this… bringing also bad vibe at the parties.
I don’t want to mention names, but for sure the Portuguese artists and the Argentinian artists are very solid at the moment. But a lot of new names around the world are really into an amazing style of groovy techno that makes me happy about the future.
Naturally, we imagine you’re a very busy person with lots to fit in! Could you give us an idea of how you managed your time (pre-pandemic) during a typical week? For example, do you allocate certain days for music research/ gig prep?
Usually after the weekend I enjoy staying home or eating outside. Around midweek I start to prepare for the weekend but every day I check for new records, new demos for the label, new releases and I follow all the things about KEY Vinyl.
If you relive one DJ set again which would it be?
Of course I can pick any of my Closing sets at Berghain. Special moments in my life.
Another one we love asking just to get a different perspective. If you couldn’t do your job and could start again – what job would you do?
Any job that makes me able to buy music HAHAHA
And finally, what can the eager dancers of Manchester expect from you on 24th July?
A blast !!!!