Select*Elect resident Berlin DJ, Spielkamerad mixes for G-Sounds…
Robert Zweiniger aka Spielkamerad (German for playmate) is a German DJ and tastemaker from Berlin. Inspired by his hometown’s underground music, nightlife and club scene his musical tastes range through house, deep house, tech-house & techno to nu-disco.
In 2008 Robert moved to London after graduating from school in Germany to study ‘Music Industry Management’ at the University of East London. Playing at private parties in Berlin and London as well as the continuous release of a monthly DJ set strongly improved his abilities and skills in mixing and song selecting. The next step was his participation at the Mixmag + The Nest’s DJ Competition in July 2011, where he became one of the five finalists.
In 2011 Robert graduated from UEL and went straight into the Master program ‘Music Business Management’ at the University of Westminster to pursue his career goal of becoming a music industry professional. At the end of 2011 Robert landed his residency at Select*Elect and has afirmed his place in the Select*Elect line-up. His strong passion and dedication for the electronic music culture as well as the desire to find the next dance floor killer is what drives and keeps him going.
Having grown up in Berlin and now living in London, Spielkamerad speaks about the difference between the two electronic music capitals of Europe, as well as providing the next G-Sounds edition to give you all a taste of what you can expect from him on 28 April at Select*Elect.
What has your hometown Berlin left you in terms of musical heritage, now that you’re living in London?
As I was born and raised in Berlin I feel a deep affiliation to it’s electronic music and club scene, but still I never wanted to limit myself just to the musical outputs to one entire city. Of course, I appreciate the straight-forward tech-house and techno coming from Berlin, but on the other side I am very passionate about the more emotional house and deep-house coming from Hamburg. I guess you always want what’s missing. Also Cologne, Munich, and Frankfurt always had some great music scenes too, much smaller than Berlin but unique in their own ways. The Berlin-based Bpitch Control, Get Physical, and Mobilee were the first labels though that cought my attention as a teenager and influenced me the most. However, originally my roots are in hip-hop and rap music as I started listening to these genres at a very young age. I made my transition into electronic music when I discovered the Berlin underground music playground together with the realisation that people in this scene were generally more open minded regardless of who you are and where you are coming from.
Tell us your story about how Spielkamerad has grown into London’s underground music scene?
Before I moved to London I already started to record my monthly podcast, and played at private parties in Berlin organised by mates. Through the University of East London I met a former DJ friend of mine, who introduced me to the night life in London. Due to our friendship and same interest we played a couple of times together in pubs around the Hackney and Stoke Newington area in East London. As music has always been our passion we even went that far to plan the launch of our own independent record label. Long story short… the label idea wasn’t meant to happen and our friendship broke up for various reasons. At that time I played very little, but always kept on recording my podcasts, which soon gained attention by the promoter of Select*Elect, Valerio. I knew Val already from UEL but, before we never had the chance to collaborate on a project. Anyway, through him I finally got my first residency, and stepped more and more into the role of an underground event promoter.
You played both in Berlin and London, which are the differences you spot between the club scenes of these two cities?
I think that the clubbing experience in both cities is great, but also very diverse. Personally I think that Berlin, even though its clubbing scene is kind of commercialised, is still much more underground in a way than the London club scene. For instance, you just can’t buy your tickets in advance on RA for any relevant club night in Berlin. This is because the clubs want to keep their originality and exclusivity, and don’t want to end up neccessarily as a tourist attraction regardless of their brand size. Well-established clubs, such as Watergate or Berghain don’t need to do it as they always get packed anyway, and therfore most clubs also have a strong door policy. Obviously it always depends, but generally speaking people in Berlin go out much more for the music than the massive line-ups. Also, what I’ve seen in London sometimes was that the people celebrated the DJ like a star, which is totally the opposite of the Berlin mentality. Over there you can be Sven Väth or David Guetta people seriously don’t care who you are.
Who are the DJs/Producers you have to keep an eye on in 2012?
There are so many excellent DJs and Producers to be honest… but I can tell you that I’ll definitely keep an eye on acts such as Daniel Bortz, David August, Hot Since 82, Larse, MANIK, Jamie Jones, Tale Of Us and Solomun to name a few. The list could still go on though!
We heard about your participation at the Mixmag + The Nest DJ Competition, can you tell us a bit about that?
Yeah of course. Basically my girlfriend found out about the competition, not me… She told me straight away about it, and we both agreed that it would be exciting just for the fun to particiate. I was never part of a DJ set competition before, and was also keen to know how far I would get. The first price was to play an one-hour slot at The Nest, and at that time I never had the opportunity to play in a club with a reasonable soundsystem before. So you can imagine that the whole thing was actually quite tempting for an upcoming DJ. At the end of the competition I didn’t win, but at least became one of the five finalists from roughly 120 participants.
Unveil your top 5 tracks to set the dancefloor on fire?
John Tejada – Sweat On The Walls (Martin Landsky Remix)
Issakidis – Into Your Life (Midnight Mike Remix)
Black Strobe – Italian Fireflies (Richy Ahmed & Corey Baker Edit)
David August – Hamburg Is For Lovers
Daniel Bortz – Can’t Sleep At Night