On the 17th and 18th of May, Kvarteret in Stockholm had its official premiere for season#2. The line-up consisted of names such as Kerri Chandler, Freddy K, Daniel Avery, Dopplereffekt as well as many local Stockholm names. Even though it has been a month since the official premiere, we managed to get a hold on of Freddy K – techno DJ and producer since 1991 and boss of KEY Vinyl – whom we were honoured to host on our stage on the 17th of May.
Hello Freddy! Happy to have a chat with you. First, I would like to ask you, what are your current projects right now and how is your summer looking in terms of gigs?
Hello! Actually, I am very focused on my DJing and my label: KEY Vinyl. About DJing, I have a busy schedule between festivals and clubs. To mention some of them… Dekmantel, Forte, Nation Of Gondwana and clubs like Berghain (it is always the special one for me), my label night at Blitz in Munich, and my first Asian tour in Japan, Korea and Taiwan. About my label, KEY012 and KEY013 by Moving Thoughts and Splice (Skudge) are out now and in July KEY Rainbow 002 by the mighty Cinthie will be out. So many other new releases are coming, I have the planning already until the beginning of 2020.
I have read some information about Homopatik on the web and I got so intrigued – both by the concept and its minimalistic approach to advertising. Can you give us some more information regarding your experience and involvement with this?
When I moved to Berlin around 2009, I was immediately booked to play at Homopatik and then I became a resident of the techno floor for the last 2-3 years. Homopatik was a legendary party at About Blank, created and organized by Mr Ties and Danilo Rosato, with the help of different loyal people like Anna Bolena and some amazing resident DJs as Mr Ties himself (he was Homopatik), Paolo Di Nola, Akira, Shingo, Madalba… It was the most eccentric and crazy queer party in Berlin, it was unique and special… the line up was never announced and the party could go also for 2 days, incredible was the freedom to be your self. I will be always grateful to them because they gave me the enthusiasm to come back and play again as a DJ (I stopped for 2 years before moving to Berlin).
I have also read that you have been playing up to 16 hours set at Homopatik, and strictly vinyl! Can you please elaborate on the type of sounds – genres you prefer to play as well as the vibe you would like to maintain during those long set hours?
I love to play vinyl, it is my life and what I live for… this means that I never want to stop if there is a beautiful connection between me and the dance floor. I come from the dance floor and still am, so I try always to play what I’d love to dance at that moment. Of course, I bring so many records, but why not? My closing set at Berghain is always not less than 12 hours, and at Homopatik I reached up to 16 hours, which was also my record. With my taste, I mainly play techno and its derivations but I also play some 80s stuff too, between new wave/hi-nrg.
You have also been DJing in places such as Berlin’s Herrensauna, Israel’s gay pride PAG, London’s Chapter 10, Leipzig’s WHOLE Festival, Amsterdam’s Spielraum etc. which are events/places predominately focused on the queer culture. How did your involvement in queer culture come about and how did it all start? What continues your musical involvement within the queer culture?
Well, I grew up in an environment of friends with an open mentality, free to be yourself. We always used to go at LGBT parties, drag queen shows… our best friends were always there. So my involvement with the queer culture is almost obvious, I am part of it.
You have also been a frequent DJ at Berghain. What do you think makes that place unique?
I am a regular DJ at Berghain, but before that, I was a regular guest spending so many hours every weekend. Actually, Berghain really changed the club culture around the globe… this is why you can mention today so many queer “techno “ parties, thanks to Berghain. Why is it special? For me personally, there are no words to describe it, you have to go every Sunday there and live it in every corner, moment and aspects… then you understand why it is so special and unique and this will be forever, even if some things can change.
You have also been branded as a ‘techno activist’. Why was this name give to you?
It is easy… because I never stop, and I go well beyond being a techno DJ. I had a radio show (and still I have), a record shop, a distribution, a booking agency, labels, promotion, promoter… if you love something, it comes almost natural to be involved in all the aspects of it.
What is your take on techno music and culture and what keeps you in the scene for so long?
As I said before… I love djing techno, it is my life and it is what I live for. I try to never lose contact with the new generation and the dance floor, it comes easily to me.
How has the techno culture changed over the years you have been active? What has improved for the better and for the worse?
It can be a long, but very long answer – hahaha. For sure the technology and internet, including social media, brought so many advantages in the beginning but later they screwed up almost everything… just for the bad use of them mainly.
What influences have shaped your sound and DJ identity over the years?
For sure, the fact that I play vinyl only is a strong mark of identity nowadays, musically I am always open to new stuff until there is always something that comes from the roots of techno and of the club culture.
Any new projects for the future that you can reveal to us? What would you like to focus on the coming years?
There are some projects that I am working on at the moment but I can’t say more, sorry. There will be cool surprises anyway, about releases and other special projects… the definition of “activist” is for a reason, no? 😉