Tagged Downtempo

Double D.

Interview with: Double D. from Frankfurt am Main

Today, we’d like to introduce you to yet another of our loyal power uploaders, one that has been keeping our feeds funky fresh since 2009: Double D. from Offenbach near Frankfurt/Germany! For six years already, Double D. has been using Play.fm as an archive for his radio show named Funky Fresh – and this has been growing ever since, counting almost 100 uploads by now and attracting an increasing audience. He kindly took his time to chat with us about his show, his hood, his two decades of DJing experience and lots more…

You’re host of the show Funky Fresh, broadcasted live on Frankfurt based Radio X bi-weekly and available within the Play.fm archives later on. When did you start the show, and what was the initial idea?

Back in March 1997, the federal state of Hesse developed first plans on launching a frequency for a non-commercial local radio station. At that time, two applicants in Frankfurt started a week of test broadcasts. That was when the first Funky Fresh show was broadcasted on Radio Tox. Radio Tox, however, was a bunch of unorganized hippies with autonomous structures, and so, after that week, the better organized team of Radio X received the license. A few weeks later however, they asked me to start a Hip Hop show on their frequency, as they were told that my test show on Radio Tox had been pretty good. Ever since, I’ve been doing up to three shows per month (each first, third and fifth Saturday from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM) as well as a monthly DJ night (each third Tuesday from 11:00 PM to 2:00 AM) up to this very day. In total, that’s seven to nine hours of radio each month. At Play.fm, a former editor named Dr. Glocke opened the door for me – which I’m still very thankful for.

The title Funky Fresh tells pretty much of the concept, still: To someone who hasn’t heard your show yet, how would you describe the musical bias?

Double D.True, the name says it all: The music has to be funky and fresh. FUNKY stands for a reference to Funk music, the musical structures of broken beats and fat, groovy basslines. FRESH means, that the songs have to be “new”, at least to the show – in all the years since 1997, I’ve never played a song twice. Each show is being freshly prepared with music that I’ve come across within the last weeks. The musical bias, thus, is “new” and “funky”, yet hailing from various genres: Funk, Soul, Downbeat, Reggae, Easy Listening, Dubstep, Drum & Bass, House, Disco, Boogie, Rap and Hip Hop might pop up on the show as well as mashups, remixes or edits of old classics, or – I don’t even know what they call it these days? Trap, Ghetto Funk, Neo Funk, Nu Soul…? It simply has to kick me and have a groove of some sort. Furthermore, I’m strongly involving myself as a DJ on the show, so it might get hard to even tell the borders between the single tracks. Funky Fresh, that’s it – a term that’s rooted in a Hip Hop context, appearing in a lot of songs from the 80ies and defining something that’s new, fresh, cool and hip.

How can we imagine a Funky Fresh show being produced? Do you select the music spontaniously fitting to your current mood, or are the whole two hours planned in advance?

I plan everything just as much as I find the time 🙂 Basically, I prepare the show in several steps. I’m continously scanning new music – if I like something, it ends up in my crate. Once it’s in there, I analyze the BPM, sort the songs by genres and score them using a five star rating. That helps me filtering the tracks and getting to know them better. Indeed, it may happen that a song that already made it into my crate will disappear again. Within two weeks, I usually check out between 200 and 300 songs, of which a maximum of 80 finally gets into the Funky Fresh crate, where I once again sort them by tempo and mood. I usually start the show rather slow and mellow, getting increasingly faster within the two hours. I usually drink one or two 0.5l bottles of coke during the show, which makes me ever more pumped and hectic. You have to keep in mind, it’s Saturday noon and mostly, I’m still tired and hungover from Friday night. It’s sort of a mutual process – the music boosts me and I, accordingly, choose the music within my prepared track pool. Usually, I mix up between 45 and 60 songs within 120 minutes.

Double D.As discussed, you’ve been hosting your show on Play.fm since 2009. What is it that you like about Play.fm generally and the new site particularly?

First of all, I like that I get listened to a lot. I’ve always digged Play.fm, yet, the new player is lovely and the layout is even better arranged and up to date now. I’m having fun putting up mixes on Play.fm, it’s self-explaining and easy to do. Back then, I was looking for a appropriate platform to host my mixes online permanently, as Radio X only broadcasts terrestrially, via cable and live stream, but does not offer any downloads or online archives due to legal reasons. I have to state though that all Funky Fresh shows on Play.fm are edits of the original broadcasts. I cut all the moderation, add an extra intro and might do a few additional edits, making place for new, distinct mixes to emerge.

You’re living in Offenbach am Main, a direct neighbour city to Frankfurt. That area has been a European stronghold for Techno for a long time, with legendary clubs like Dorian Gray, Sven Väth’s Cocoon Club or the Robert Johnson, which is still in business. How do you feel about the local scene, and what is going on besides Techno and Trance?

A big question. I was born in 1972 and fell in love with Hip Hop in the early 80ies. Back then, there was no Techno, but instead, a lot of GIs and US Americans living in the surrounding area. As a consequence, besides Berlin, we used to have one of the most vibrant Hip Hop scenes in Germany. However, as Frankfurt is a rather cold city with a huge focus on money and economics, the scene went commercial pretty soon (remember Snap and such?). In the early 90ies, Techno emerged and of course, I had a few blasts at the Omen or left some graffitis at the Dorian Gray. I’m still going to Robert Johnson every once in a while – rather not because of the music though, but because latenight, it’s often the last spot where there’s still something going on. The local scene, however, is very diverse. It’s true that electronic music is pretty dominant, but within the whole area, there are way more things going on. We have a vivid underground representing all imaginable musical genres. The area around Central Train Station is very hip, as well as a few other spots within the inner city. The harbour of Offenbach is definitely hot, you’ll find anything going on from mainstream to underground. There are three clubs within 75 metres right along the Main riverside: MTW, Robert Johnson and Hafen 2. That builds a narrow, tense atmosphere.

Double D.You’ve been busy as a DJ since the late 80ies. In which ways has being a DJ changed ever since – in positive aspects as well as negative?

For those who are willing, the technique has changed a lot. Of course you can still rock a party with nothing more than two turntables and a simple mixer, that was and still is a wonderful thing to do. However, I’m honestly happy that these days, we have long durable crossfaders and the chance to adjust Highs, Mids and Lows for each channel individually. As a trained radio and television engineer, I’ve always followed the technical progress and supported new developments. Each time has it’s evolution, and today, we’ve almost overcome the analogue vs. digital debate. The progress goes on and Native Instruments’s Traktor software, for instance, comes up with one innovation after another. That makes room for new creative ideas and expands your options. Personally, I prefer the DVS option as I like to keep the feel of vinyl, but don’t feel too much like carrying all my 12.000 vinyl records to each single gig.

Your DJ career took you to quite a lot of places, as part of cultural exchange programs with China and Russia for instance, or as an instructor for Vestax DJ School and VibrA School of DJing. Currently, what does your everyday life look like besides hosting the radio show, and what projects will you be focussing on in the near future?

I’m currently self-employed and do a lot of work with kids and juveniles. According to the motto “Eachoneteachone”, I’m continously trying to help people escape from their everyday frustration and let music and the according emotional perception shine on them, encouraging them in their creative abilities and self-confidence. I’m active in the field of prevention of violence, but also willing to be booked for well paid jobs at a fair occassionally. Anything can, but nothing has to happen. I try to keep the fun in my work and only do what I really feel like. That doesn’t always pay with cash, but mostly with appreciation. I’m still involved with international exchange programs, we try to accomplish with likeminded artists what politics don’t: Equality and exchange of positive minded people to overcome the fear of the unknown, the reduction of prejudices and appreciation for foreign cultures and lifestyles. Those are our goals.

Keen to know what Funky Fresh sounds and feels like? Take a digital slide through memory lane from last week back to 2009 right here – and be sure to follow Double D.‘s profile right here on Play.fm to stay current with way more yet to come!

Further links:

Mixes by Double D on play.fm

Munich Radio

Interview with Christian Brebeck (Munich-Radio on Play.fm)

Ever asked yourself who the DJs you follow on Play.fm actually are? Throughout the next few weeks and months, we’d like to introduce you to some of the most popular uploaders and radio presenters on Play.fm within a new feature series named Major Players! We’re starting off with Christian Brebeck from Switzerland’s capital Zürich, who has been serving us with fresh sounds since 2009 and has remained on top of our listening stats ever since. In the following interview, he gives us some insight on the idea behind Munich-Radio, his musical concepts and his life in Zürich.

Our first question is pretty obvious: Your mix series on Play.fm is called Munich-Radio, yet, you’re residing in Zürich. How did that come?

Munich-Radio was founded in Munich, which used to be my home until I moved to Switzerland for professional issues in late 2008. Now, Switzerland is the new base for my project – yet, I stayed loyal to the original name and concept, as it was already established globally pretty well.

Munich-Radio already started as a classic webradio in 2006 – what was your initial motivation, and in which way has the concept changed throughout the years?

As I already used to play mixes on local radio stations in Munich (Xanadu, Gong 96.3, 89 HIT FM, StarSat Radio) in my youth days, I developed the idea to share my taste of music with the world in 2005 – which turned out pretty well until the present day. As running a radio as a private person requires donations and private financial means to survive on a long term, I rather use streaming services like Play.fm or Mixcloud to present my work. It’s definitely the better option, as the music might be listened to anytime on demand, while a conventional radio station depends on it’s broadcasting hours.

Currently, I’m compiling samplers for airlines, lounges, hotels, bars or instore concepts and consider myself a small, but fine music label. In the long run, the conventional broadcasting activities of Munich-Radio will have to come to an end.

To someone who isn’t familiar with Munich-Radio yet, how would you describe its musical concept?

Munich-Radio is specialised in wrapping hand-picked titles of the genres Lounge, Downtempo, Electronica, Deephouse, Triphop etc. into a harmonic, diverse mix, which either takes you on a colorful journey or simply knocks your socks off.

Munich-Radio runs free successful mix series:

Beach-Access: Melodich House/Deephouse, Electro, Minimal

Munich-Radio Mix: Electronica, Lounge, Chill-Out, Trip-Hop, World Music

Space Quest: Very spacey, futuristic tracks of any genre, from chilled to jiggy

Furthermore, mix specials like Oriental, B-Sides, or Best of 90’s may pop up every once in a while.

What can we imagine the process of producing a Munich-Radio show like?

I’m always hunting for awesome tracks, that touch me in whatever way. All tracks that get shortlisted are gathered in a to check out folder for the appropriate mix series. Once a folder is well-filled, I start to mix the single tracks into one coherent piece, considering style, tempo and variety. A couple of hours and bags of trail mix later, the mix is ready for mastering and each single track is getting optimized once again. Mostly, the result might be heard here on Play.fm first, followed by other streaming sites.

Thanks for the appreciation – of course, we’re curious now, what is it that you like about Play.fm?

I dig Play.fm because it gives me a great global reach, and because uploading and editing your work is really easy to do… and all that free of charge and without any upload limits.

Chris (Munich Radio)As mentioned before, you’re living in Zürich. What’s the local music and club scene like, which clubs, artists or record stores can you recommend?

No doubt, my favourite is the Supermarket. An authentic club with a similar choice in musical genres and artists as I play in my mixes – anything from Deephouse to Old School House (New Jersey, Chicago styled), no mainstream.

Vinyl lovers are best served at Panthera Records, who have 20.000 LPs and singles of the genres Deephouse, Minimal and Progressive in stock. However, I purchase my music comfortably online or directly from the artists.

Besides doing your Munich-Radio mixes, do you play live gigs?

While I was still living in Munich, I had weekly performances at O2-Lounge, Lutter & Wegner (Künstlerhaus), occassionally in other parts of Europe and worldwide as well. Currently, I rather play at private VIP partys than in clubs.

I rather consider myself a small, but fine music label, that compiles music for airlines, clubs, bars, lounges, hotels, in-store radio and similar purposes – in other words, I bring my personal taste of music to market.

Yet, I can still be booked for events.

And what do you do apart from your musical activities – jobwise as well as in your private life?

In my private life, of course, my heart mainly beats for music – that, I think, can be heard in my mixes.

Jobwise, I’ve been travelling the world as a freelance IT specialist and consultant in the world of telecommunications, mobile communiactions and IT security throughout the last 15 years. Windsurfing, my motorbike and the proper music added are a good contrast for all the mental exercise my work life demands.

Finally, let’s talk future prospects: What can we expect from Munich-Radio within the coming weeks, months and years?

A pipeline full of terrific tracks that are just waiting to be played out, for sure. Furthermore, I’m working hard to establish Munich-Radio as a music label and match even more tremendous compilations to customers, places and events they fit with.

Customers like Etihad Airways, BMW or various clubs and hotels of distinction have already been very excited, and it’s especially that kind of feedback, that keeps me motivated for that cause. As it’s hardly possible to manage everything myself, I’m currently looking for affiliates.


None less than 128 Munich-Radio mixes (status: August 11th, 2015) can be listened to right here – to stay informed about many more still to come, be sure to follow Christian’s Play.fm Profile!

Makossa (Swound Sound) - photo by Niko Havranek

Vienna Players #7: Makossa (Swound Sound)

Unter dem Titel “Vienna Players” stellen wir euch im Mai und Juni insgesamt 30 DJs vor, welche die Wiener Szene besonders prägen. Und geprägt hat sie unser heutiger Portrait-Gast wie kaum ein anderer: DJ Makossa hat bereits ganze Generationen an Musikenthusiasten herangezogen. Sei es in den Achtzigern als Plattendealer im Dum Dum Records, dem ersten DJ-Shop der Stadt, und Resident in U4 und Camera Club, seit 1992 als Host der wöchentlichen Swound Sound Radio Show – anfangs auf Ö3, später und bis heute auf FM4, wo Makossa auch Musikchef ist – oder als eine Hälfte des Produzentenduos Makossa & Megablast, mit Releases auf Gigolo Records und G-Stone.

Was hat dich ursprünglich in die Musik-/Clubszene verschlagen?
Die Liebe zur Musik.

Was macht gerade Wien zum idealen Mittelpunkt für deine musikalischen Aktivitäten?
Es ist meine Heimatstadt & mein Lebensmittelpunkt.

Makossa (Swound Sound)Ein Freund aus Übersee kommt zu Besuch nach Wien und hat den festen Vorsatz, eine unvergessliche Nacht zu erleben. Welches Abendprogramm stellst du für ihn zusammen?
Abhängig vom Wochentag & den jeweilgen line-ups der div. Clubs.

Du kommst unerwartet zu 100 Euro. Wo in der Stadt wirst du sie wahrscheinlich ausgeben und wofür?
Gut essen gehen.

Du hast die Chance, für einen ganzen Abend ein Line-Up ganz nach deinem Geschmack zusammenzustellen, einzige Voraussetzung: Es darf nur aus Wiener DJs bestehen. Wie sieht dein Line-Up aus?
DJ Lessi (Camera resident 70’s)
DJ Adjoni / Wolfgang Strobl (U4 resident 80’s)
DJ Arno (Soul Seduction resident 90’s)

Was ist das Schönste an Wiens Clubszene?
Stets wachsendes Angebot an Clubs, Veranstaltungen, Producern, DJs, VJs & trotzdem noch überschaubar.Makossa (Swound Sound)
Einzigartige (Outdoor) Locations.

Was ist das Nervigste an Wiens Clubszene?
Vinylnazis & YouTube mp3 DJs.

Wo verbringst du deine Zeit, wenn du nicht gerade auflegst?

Lass uns zum Schluss noch folgendes von dir wissen:

  • Erster Gig – wann und wo? Herbst 1983 / Monte.
  • Vinyl, Digital oder ganz was anderes? Alles ist möglich
  • Größe deiner Musiksammlung? Vinyl / Cds je ca. 20 000
  • BpM-Range: Von – bis? 0 – 180

Makossa hat für die “Vienna Players” Reihe einen Mix bereitgestellt, der zwar schon etwas älter ist, jedoch umso besser ins Konzept passt: Er beinhaltet nämlich ausschließlich Musik österreichischer Künstler, von 1995 bis 2013, von 98 bis 126 BPM! Aufgenommen im Rahmen der Swound Sound Radioshow, die er gemeinsam mit Sugar B. gestaltet. Die Aufnahme-Sessions dafür kann man auch live besuchen – in den nächsten Wochen zum Beispiel am 20. Mai im celeste, am 22. Mai im Fluc und am 27. Mai im Vienna City Beach Club, wo Makossa nebenbei seinen Geburtstag mit nicht weniger als 50 DJs feiern wird.