INTERVIEW WITH GUNNAR STILLER
DJ/producer Gunnar Stiller has seen Berlin transform considerably over the last couple of decades, soaking in influence as well as helping shape its development as a musical force, becoming a fixture of the city’s scene along the way. Whether playing in clubs around the world such as Panorama Bar in Berlin, Studio 80 Amsterdam and Glow Bangkok or producing his own tracks for respected labels like Upon.You Records, Clap Your Hands or Voltage Musique.
Hello Gunnar thanks for talking to us. Now it’s December, how do you reflect back on 2014? What lessons do you take into the new year and did you had a very special moment you still remember?
Hey guys, hope you are all doing well! 2014 was an interesting year, with many cool gigs in different clubs and venues, meeting great new people, for example my gig last summer in Beirut at the Gärten – that was an incredible session! Unfortunately, I was a bit lazy this year, so lots of work in the new one!
We’ve been tracking your career since you made one of the first Shows for Viva la Electronica in 2005, but tell us a little bit of your background and how things had changed from then?
Wow, that’s already a long time! In the meantime, I had some great years with my good old friends from Voltage Musique who really helped me to get deeper into the the electronic music scene. As well, I became a full member of Upon.You Records where I am still with big passion until today. It was that time when I shaped my own musical style.
What does 2015 hold for you and your musical pursuits? Are there any big plans or is it business as usual?
As I already said, there is a lot of work waiting for me in 2015, but i am really looking forward to it!
Since when are you involved in electronic music and when was the point of breakthrough which let you become professional?
It was around 2000 when I really fell in love with electronic music. Two years later then, I started my education as an event manager at the infamous No Ufos agency here in Berlin, working for the two clubs Sternradio and Polar.tv. The DJing was all the time a great passion beside my education so I got more and more bookings in different clubs here in Berlin. The things became bigger and bigger over the years so I decided to quit working for a big company in 2010 just to focus on my career as a DJ and producer.
Do you have a residency Club you play regular?
I got my very first residency here in Berlin at our beloved Bar25 in 2005. In the meantime, I played regularly in clubs like Watergate, KaterHolzig, Panorama Bar, Arena Club or Weekend Club just to name the ones in my hometown Berlin.
The Upon You Diary ‘4 was compiled by you that sounds like a responsible job, isn’t it because you represent the label in a kind.
Absolutely! It was a big honor for me to get the chance to work on such a great project. But as I am part of the label for some years now, I knew exactly what it is all about to do something like that.
Which other artists made this compilation in the past?
The very first Diary was compiled by our label honcho Marco Resmann himself in 2010. The second came from Marcus Meinhardt followed by the third one last year, compiled by The Cheapers.
Did you made the track selection by yourself or do you have to follow special rules?
I did the selection completely on my own with the help of my partner in crime, Fabiano, who supported me as much as he could. As we did it in the past, it was clear that I have to keep the balance of 50/50 between Upon.You label regulars like Marco Resmann, Ruede Hagelstein, ONNO or Magit Cacoon and the guest artists I invited to become part of the compilation.
Do current, contemporary sounds and styles influence you in the assortment or would you describe it as a kind of self selection?
Yes, of course! I tried to get tracks from artists, whose tracks and music I really loved in the past. As well, it was my mission to show my personal diversity of the music I like to play in my DJ sets, which is always a mix between Deephouse, Techhouse and Techno.
There is also a free mix online that contains all tracks of the Upon You Diary. Is there a special managerial decision behind?
Well, first of all it was big fun for me to mix all tracks together. And as we didn´t release the Diary as a Mix CD like last year with The Cheapers, we thought, we would like to do it as a little gift for our music lovers out there.
What’s your favorite tune from the last months you constantly play in your DJ sets and can we also find this tune on the compilation?
It´s always hard to pick out only one favorite track, but I really love to play ‘Finding Love’ from Einzelkind, which is part of the Diary!
Do you have a particular gig in the winter season you are looking forward to?
I am really looking forward to my very first own night at Watergate Club on the 10th of December. It makes me absolutely happy and proud to get this opportunity.
Where do you think music is going in terms of artists’ not making money off tracks because of the digital age? What is the next big thing for music in your opinion?
Most of the people I know, who are producing their own music, did it always because of their passion to our music and not to earn as much money as possible. And I am sure they all will keep it like that. We will see how the scene will change in the next years…
V.A. ‘Upon.You Diary N°4’ Mixed and compiled by Gunnar Stiller