Photo: Elisa Thiemann
When is your personality a trauma and when is it a blessing?
Always when I want to keep something easy and small, like a birthday party or dinner, the outcome is way more than I planed it to be. Good for my friends though. Same with my label – printing and embossing 300 sleeves on my own. But I love doing it.
Could you describe the best gig you’ve ever performed?
It’s hard to say which was the best one but a few which stayed in my mind: last year Berghain was really good again, and Smolna in Warsaw is still buzzing. Buffalo/NY was really great – I was totally wet after playing, but not because of the heat, the snow of the roof was dripping on my head. It was not bothering me, it was a great night. NY at Unter was freaky as well, great audience, it felt like a little Berghain from the energy in there. Usually the best gigs are when you can play whatever you like and connect to the audience completely. I can’t think of a show that I didn’t like in the end. I always have great people around me.
What affects your creativity the most?
When I am starving.
What would your eternity look like?
I hope not regretting anything I did.
What was your first musical memory?
I think that must have been a ski holiday with my parents. I was sitting in the car and listening to some german pop hits, like Peter Schilling ‘Major Tom’ or ‘Nena’. I was 3 or 4 years old.
What is one thing that you would want to wipe out from existence?
The need for power over others is a good one I guess.
Can you tell us a funny or awkward story from your childhood?
Funny: eating my mom’s lipstick. Awkward: being in church, confessing as a 9 year old. That made me never go back there again for a Holy Mass.
What bad experience turned into a great one?
I really can’t think of one, but I am sure there were some in the past.
Tell us about your pets, the ones you had, have or want to have.
I have a wonderful tomcat – Henry and my Lizard – Uli. The lizard is a grand -grandpa, I was 19 when I got him. He must be around 15 years old. Usually they live around 10, I read. Depends on the way you treat them, I guess. Henry could be a YouTube star, but I think he is just funny when you know him. He is a silent comedian. He doesn’t want to be a super star.
What is the ideology behind your label Rabe?
Everything regarding the label is personal. Rabe (jRavem), my family name, well known in tales and other old stories all around the world, made it very clear which direction to go, and that’s how the series of label pictures from Aesop made it on the covers. I like to work with my hands, and learned silkscreen printing while I studied. Every cover is more or less unique in a way. When you study something creative you learn how to create something so the final outcome makes sense. I like to have little special things here and there. It gives more value to the product which makes it more important to me, and hopefully for the people who buy it as well.
What were the highlights of 2018 both in terms of life and your music career?
The Niagara Falls were pretty special last year. Career-wise it’s always a new record, especially on your own label, but I met a lot of new people where I can see stuff happening in the future. Like a new Ep on Blacklabel Distillery (the new Label from Samuli Kemppi and Fred Hatsav).
How would you describe your personal state of happiness?
I practice meditation since a little while at home every morning and before I go to bed, which balances and satisfies me. There are excellent guided meditations online. I am “happy” when I do not stress myself. Thats why I would say meditation brings me to another level of consciousness and awareness, which allows me to look at myself and my surroundings in a more chilled way.
Did a stranger ever change your life?
I can’t think of some specific stranger, but I am sure every single person on the planet affects your life somehow. It’s a constant chain reaction. It’s important to bring out the good vibes and leave the ego behind. It’s not always easy but be aware of yourself.
Give an example you have witnessed of the strongest influence music had on someone or yourself?
The guys from Fünfte Strasse were playing such a deep driving set in Warsaw at Smolna. The room was filled with intense and good vibes, and I could feel it in every cell. That was a great moment I won’t forget so quick.
What storyline goes on in your mind when you’re playing a set?
Well, there is not much to think about besides the music. Up or down, sideways…?
Do you think art hurts society in any way?
Not at all. It’s the opposite in my opinion. It opens eyes and makes people think. Without art – I really don’t want to imagine where we would be today. It just hurts the ones, who want have control over the masses.
What question would you want to be asked at an interview and what would your answer be?
– What do you think is the meaning of life?
– Follow your heart and find your purpose to do good.