Sascha Funke likes to play unreleased sounds in DJ sets, which lately go beyond the average definition of techno and house and also present disco, wave, electro, cosmic, Krautrock and early electronic dance music.
Time and space are shifting, the objective world dissolves and the body becomes shapeless: of all seven arts, music is the only one that has the power to kick people immediately into a sublime journey through sound. Since his childhood, the Berlin-born DJ and producer Sascha Funke has known about this energy.
Growing up in the shadow of hammer and sickle in the East-Berlin’s Lichtenberg district, he sang, from early age, Communist songs with the young pioneers. In the evenings after school, Sascha Funke quickly turned on his radio, pressed the recording button of his double-tape-deck, and recorded mix-tapes with music from the West, to which he danced all alone in his childhood room. This abruptly changed when the wall came down: the Berliner bought his first Vinyl: Technotronic: Megamix. A short time later Underground Resistance records entered his record shelf and from that moment on he was captured by the power of techno and the wild undefined Berlin days and nights of nineties.
He intensively went dancing in legendary clubs like the Walfisch or E-Werk, he began to throw self-organized parties in youth clubs, got his first DJ engagements in the clubs like SO 36, and started early attempts as a producer together with Paul Kalkbrenner.
Ahead of his upcoming show in East London for Kompakt Records we sat down to find out exactly what is behind the headphones.
Around the time you started making music Berlin was dominated by Detroit Techno & US House. However, the music you started making had a very underground vibe but with pop undertones. Why do you think this happened and what was the influence or thinking behind moving in this direction?
In the mid-90s the sound in Berlin was indeed quite dominated by the Detroit/Chicago sound. I liked it a lot but somehow I was looking for something fresh and at the time, the first records from Cologne were exactly what I was looking for.
I bought a sampler and realised that I could use my CD collection of pop music from the 80s to create that ‘Cologne sound’. It was exciting to take a little sample inside a cheesy pop song and transform into something completely different.
The world has started to wise up to the consequences humankind is having on the environment. As a touring DJ you often have to travel on long haul flights which aren’t avoidable but not green. What role do you think artists play in helping share the green message?
In the early 2000’s, I travelled for two years to all my gigs by train while I was struggling with a plane phobia. So I know that it’s totally fine to go by train at least in Europe. However, since then I have had a child and wanted to be back home as quick as I can to spend time with him.
However, when I play in Germany I still travel by train. I don’t belong to the group of artists who fly by private jets from one gig to the next. It’s not my position to give advice to other artists but obviously we should all be more careful about our environment.
Good gigs are easy, but not every gig is a good one. How do you handle the bad ones? Do they get to you?
I think it’s more about what kind of expectations you have before a gig. Sometimes they are too high and there might come disappointment. Or the other way around you are positively surprised by a gig where you didn’t expect much. I think it’s good to have surprises in both ways. Otherwise, it would be boring.
Do you ever struggle with the psychological challenges of DJing? Do you have any advice for overcoming these challenges?
Never heard about that and don’t care either. Sorry but there are a lot more psychologically challenging jobs than DJing. Maybe the ego is the real DJ illness.
Lets, talk Kompakt. You have been a regular part of the family for years and will be playing at there London warehouse party. What do you think Kompakt means for its fans and why has it been so successful for so long?
Maybe alone the fact that the label exists for so long proves its success. There aren’t that many independent record labels that have been around for so long.
Finally, if you could produce a record with anyone past or present who would it be & why?
I found my favourite partner already. He is called Niklas Wandt and we did a record together on Multi Culti. Right now we are in the studio to prepare the second one.