Hi Alex, welcome to the DMC world. Where on the planet are you right now?
“I’m in Berlin in my studio at the moment.”
You were born in Dusseldorf – what music were you into growing up?
“Mostly Hip Hop. I was a typical teenager wearing that kind of clothes, doing style-writing, break dance and writing my own lyrics.”
Who or what was it that changed your life from a kid into Hip Hop wanting all that bling lifestyle writing your big songs to suddenly a complete techno and house devotee. What happened?
“Just one party which my brother took me to. I always liked electronic music but I was not into it very deep until that day. I was 15 when I went to that techno party where Ken Ishii was playing. It really hit me and I was so fascinated that someone can move people by only playing records. It was so intense and it was all about the music and dancing. No stress, no posing. Unfortunately it has changed a bit since then.”
Dusseldorf is renowned for being a close knit community – how did you get your foot in the door to get your first break, club wise, behind the decks?
“Well, I didn’t really get a big chance. Luckily there was a Thursday party at a small venue where all the residents of the big clubs surrounding Dusseldorf where playing. I became a resident there which helped me to refine my DJ techniques. But unfortunately I never really made it to the big clubs as the community in Dusseldorf was a bit to close and egoistic to give a 16 year old guy a chance.”
You graduated from high school to pursue your dream in the music world, what did your parents think of your career choice?
“They always supported me. Without any doubt. Without them I didn’t get a chance to have technical equipment etc. My father didn’t even scream at me when he couldn’t sleep because of me producing 24/7 while he was trying to sleep one floor above!”
You have had a plethora of releases since your debut in 2008 ‘Assign Me’ – what do you think has been your finest piece of production to date?
“’Jewels’ on my label Soulfooled and ‘Lately’ on Poker Flat as both of them are technically really fine and challenging.”
A big London gig coming up on December 10th at Cargo with the Sound Advice crew, looking forward to hitting the UK again?
“Definitely. Always love to come to the UK. Never had a bad gig so far. Really looking forward to it!”
What is the best and worst thing about living in Berlin?
“The best is the low level of prices, great clubs, the creativity and the huge advantage of networking. The worst things are dog shit on the walkways and unfortunately a lot of envy and bad competition between artists instead of supporting each other to make Berlin to what it was in the 90s.”
What are the big 10 tunes you are spinning right now?
• ALEX FLATNER & LOPAZZ / THIS [Poker Flat]
• SALVATORE FREDA / CHOSEN FOOLS [Soulfooled]
• DANNY DAZE & MATCHES / IF THIS [Noir Music]
• FRANCYS / CROSSING THE WHITE LINE [Highway Records]
• THODORIS TRIANTAFILLOU & CJ JEFF / THE WAY [Rhythmetic Records]
You said earlier this year that you only started your label Soulfooled “just for fun”. Is that still the case?
“Yes. We only do release when we like. No tight schedule…no stress.”
What has been your best show of 2011?
“Both gigs @ WE LOVE Space in Ibiza.”
What is the finest record you have ever played to a dancefloor?
“X-press 2 – Music – never left my record case in years.”
Who are you looking forward to working with on the label in 2012?
“There are a few people. First my friends and mates who are also having their own platform, but we wanna combine forces a little bit more. There are some releases e.g. one from Holger Zilske (Playhouse/Get Physical).”
It’s your birthday, what 3 DJs do you ask to play at your party?
“Haha…you know what…it’s really my birthday today. I may give Jimpster, Seth Troxler and Ken Ishii a call.”
Not many people know this, but Alex Niggemann is very good at…
“Tennis, Soccer and Snowboarding.”
What have we got to look forward to from your studio in 2012?
“My album. Hopefully coming out in early 2012.”
What piece of advice can you give the DMC world to our readers wanting to get into DJing and producing?
“Take your time, do your own thing and create music on your own. Learn playing original instruments. Sampling is helpful, but not real creativity. DJ-wise: You can be a good DJ technically, but never forget to look at the crowd…interact and react.”