Local Rockstars: Patrice Bäumel’s quest for tomorrow’s techno

Local Rockstars: Patrice Bäumel’s quest for tomorrow’s techno

Jul 24, 2013 |  by  |  Music
About the author
Born and raised in Amsterdam, lives to dance and dances to live on electronic music, has a small vinyl addiction, appreciates a little sarcasm now and then, thinks musicals are annoying and loves those moments where you lose track of time completely.

Whether you went out last weekend to check out an uber-geeky beat magician or a depressingly awesome indie rock band, we all know there’s always some serious musical talents rocking around the Dam. You might not recognize them all yet, but don’t worry, you will soon. In this series of interviews we talk to remarkable artists about their music and their inspirations.

There was still one person missing in our Local Rockstar series to complete it, and that’s Trouw resident Patrice Bäumel. He sees tradition as limitation and is all about breaking away from the past, into the future. He likes to break free from the herd and feels ‘holy cows need to be slaughtered every now and then. Look closely and you will see blood on his hands…’

Do you feel as if your German origin has influenced your career?
“Definitely when it comes to my musical education. I grew up with the sound of Hardwax, the most influential record store for me back then. A lot of what you hear in the Berghain right now, from Dettmann to Klock, has 100% ’90s Hardwax DNA. This feels like a closed chapter though; I’m looking for something completely different now. In that way my origin has an adverse effect on my musical preferences today.”

How will the 24h permit influence Amsterdam?
“I don’t think the effect will be big. The culture of pulling all-nighters is not that big in Holland… I even have the feeling that after parties are a bit passé. People look after their mental and physical health more. Looking at my friends I see a strong desire for authenticity, friendship and fulfillment. Making becomes more important than consuming. That’s why Sunday afternoon parties match this lifestyle better – starting early and going to bed on time to be ready for another productive week on monday morning.”

Let’s talk about your party in Trouw, Black Magic. What makes it so special?
“Black Magic is ‘Dark Music for Bright People’. What’s special about the concept is that it offers a place for forward-thinking and experimental dance music. I want to offer a place to people who already have a deep knowledge of music and who are looking for more than mass euphoria and ‘hands in the air’. I want music to be an art instead of a sport again, that listening is being rewarded and that a larger scale of feelings is being addressed than just happiness and exctasy. I can book acts that don’t fit into most party concepts but find an open-minded and curious crowd here. The music tends to be a lot slower and strange. The right people pick it up well and the acts enjoy their artistic freedom.”

I want music to be an art instead of a sport again.

You want to create a party where you can dance but also sit down and listen. What track would you play which is great for sitting down?
“This song feels totally alien to me, it sucks you in with its hypnotizing force. Especially the climax with that one ultra deep piano tone is overwhelming. Monumental.”

Your party is inspired by Loft, a famous party space in the ’70s. Are you nostalgic? Your Facebook page states that you’re all about the future?
“The Loft concept was actually extremely progressive – enjoying the very best music of all genres. A perfect sound system and one turntable where every record is played till the end. People could choose whether they wanted to sit or listen. Total freedom. The contrast with ordinary parties (one style of music, obligation to keep the dancefloor moving all night, a standard ‘script’ of warm-up to climax to hit classics) couldn’t be bigger. Techno to me has always been about exploring the future. From Kraftwerk to Detroit – they were all pioneers. That’s why I don’t participate in defending traditions, it’s misplaced conservatism and will eventually mean the end for every genre. I totally get the love for vinyl, I love it myself. But this love does not define techno as such and exists just as much among fans of jazz or classical music. Techno is about finding the tomorrow, and I devote my musical carreer to that search.”

Back in the days you were a DJ duo with Nuno Dos Santos and 360 Soundsystem. You guys kind of stopped playing together, what happened?
“We both needed some time to develop ourselves personally and musically. That was a healthy decision that we both benefitted from. Musically, both of us are standing closer to ourselves musically than ever before. Black Magic and also Nuno’s SWTBOX in Trouw are results of this emancipation. It makes me very happy to see how well Nuno’s doing. We still mean a lot to each other, for our friendship it was liberating and fruitful to tone down our business relation.”

You organize another party, HiFi, with Nuno. What can we expect the 26th during the closing weekend of Trouw?
“We take over the main room together with Ivan Smagghe, a night that can’t go wrong. I expect lots of cool, strange and weird music, an up-for-it crowd and plenty of fun and booze in the booth.”

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