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04.05.2018 | Words by: Jasmin Hoek
Photo by: Stephan Redel

This Saturday Steffi – producer, DJ and Dolly and Klakson label owner – returns to De School, more specifically: to Het Muzieklokaal. “Last time I walked through De School after playing in the basement I was intrigued by the empty classroom. It felt perfect for my live set. The material of my new album is a lot more delicate than anything I produced before. It’s less clubby,” Steffi says. Her live set is based on her latest album World Of The Walking State, which was released on Ostgut Ton, the label on which Steffi has released several albums, EPs and remixes.

When Ostgut Ton approached Steffi for a new release, they specifically asked her to do something progressive and challenging. “I had some drafts laying around, and was saving them. I was waiting for the right moment to come along. These drafts were different than anything I had done before, but for this album the time felt right to use them,” Steffi says. The hypnotizing electro tracks on World Of The Waking State hardly contain any traditional 4x4-beats. While she consciously challenged herself in the process of producing, she didn’t directly restrict herself from creating a classic 4x4-beat: ‘It just happened’. Most of all, the album presents us a serene side of Steffi that hasn’t been that visible in her previous work.

Nowadays, Steffi spends most of her time in a small town in Portugal, where she moved after producing World Of The Waking State: “I spend almost all my time in the outdoors here. So whenever I’m traveling and get back to Berlin for example I feel fresh and energized. Now, I’m longing to be in a city again once in a while, since I know I have the possibility to escape it again as well,” she says. Steffi has also been working on some new material together with Virginia, which will most probably be released by the end of the year. Steffi: “Our styles seem quite far apart. To us this is a big advantage: the both of us have different sounds to bring to the table. It gives us a lot of space to experiment, combine different aspects and try new things together.”

Space to experiment seems to be a driving force for Steffi in general: “A space where I can experiment and where people understand what I am trying to do is very important to me. When I started out, nobody really cared ‘what’ you were playing as long as it was good. Now, something is defined as techno and it has to sound like typical 4x4 techno. That’s not what I want to be part of. I want my journey as an artist to be more interesting that that,” she pauses, “And why would you even like to do the same thing twice? The second version usually becomes a weaker rip-off of the first.” Accordingly, she does not necessarily produce tracks to play herself; she enjoys the process of waiting for what kind of gigs come along after a release. Just like the live sets came along with World Of The Waking State.

It was also the release party in Säule where she first invited Privacy to play. He’ll be accompanying her on her small live-tour. “On Klakson I released some of his work, I love what he does both as a DJ and producer. Then I invited him to play at my release party, and he played such a great set that I decided I wanted him to come along for this little tour. If you’re in the privileged position to bring someone along, why not do it, right?”

Besides her live sets, producing and being outside in Portugal, she still plays DJ sets. This includes her Berghain / Panorama Bar residency, which she, as mentioned before, ‘just needs every now and then’. Steffi: “Sometimes I feel like playing very house-y, and sometimes I feel like playing banging techno. I like changing it up; it really depends on what kind of mood I’m in. Though, I can imagine for someone who only knows either my first or last album or has seen me play once, it can be a bit confusing that I’m doing something completely different the next time they come to see me. It’s always a risk I’m taking, but I’ve never been scared of that. I guess that is still the big mouthed ‘Brabander’ inside of me.”

Steffi plays Het Muzieklokaal along with Identified Patient and Privacy. More info can be found on Facebook.

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