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The Lightbox will host Musiq Concrete’s next party on the 13th of February and they have decided to call on zi German’s and book Get Physical’s Thomas Schumacher.

Alongside Schumy will be Leeds supremo Simon Baker who has had a great 2009 with his re-workings of Simian Mobile Disco’s ‘Sleep Deprivation’.

Room 2 will feature experimentalism via Caged Baby, Justin Robertson and David Bevan.

Musiq Concrete
Sat 13 Feb
Lightbox, London
10pm – 6am £10/£8 NUS

Thomas Schumacher was kind enough answer some questions about music, family life and his new album.

Download his latest promo mix here

Do you still get as excited about music as you did when you first got into the scene?

I certainly do. There is a lot of exceptional music available, much more than in the past. But – the downside are the masses of crap music that one has to dig through in times of digital overkill to find the nuggets. That’s frustrating at times. You need to apply all sorts of “filters” to make it work and fun.

What have you heard in the last year that made you want to jump up and dance your face off?

I heard a lot of exciting music in the last year. In fact, despite the flood of (and I quote here my dear colleague Ewan Pearson) “…dull-as-ditchwater-post-minimal-tokenethnicvocalsample-loop-boredom…” 2009 was a great year for club music. If you only looked left and right of the mainstream there was so much good and unique music being released. I think of people like Martyn, Levon Vincent, Motor City Drum Ensemble, Ben Klock, DJ T just to name a few…

And how is the scene different now to when you started?

It is very very different from when I started. For example (apart from a few exceptions) you don’t find this feeling of togetherness and solidarity amongst people in clubs anymore. Instead, it has become a very individual experience. Surely you will still find regulars and groups of friends partying together but that is very different from the way I experienced it in the early 90s. On the other hand, the whole industry has become so much more professional, and that is generally a good thing. I have spent enough time during the 90s in bunkers and other dark holes or old warehouses raving around. As much as it was fun at the time, now I prefer proper clubs like Berghain, Womb or Lightbox.

Do you think your sets and productions are different now? What has influenced those changes?

The changes in technology have been very influential. For example, I am in transition from spinning with CD’s to using a Macbook on stage (I will still mix with timecode cd’s)  and my recording studio has been complete digital for years now. 6 years ago my studio was full of keyboards, synth, drum machines, mixers etc and I was touring with 2 record crates carrying 200 records around the world. When do you ever hear a “live” mix on a dj mix cd anymore? To me, someone who does not beat-match during a set is not a DJ. Period. A performer maybe, but not a DJ. And in times of gazillions of tracks available good taste and the ability to read the crowd and interact have become even more important. And no computer can help you with that.

Having played all round the world, many times, what is it that keeps you motivated and wanting to do it?

There are many factors that keep me motivated. In some countries like Australia, I have been working with the same people for over 10 years now. It is no longer just business. Friendships have developed over the years and I even bring my family. Then you see your kids play together and the whole thing has such a bigger meaning. I love that. Another factor is the constant change in our scene. Clubs come and go, just like new generations of clubbers and that keeps it very exciting. Plus, the music is constantly changing and evolving. And I am a pretty curious person, that helps too.

How did the relationship with Get Physical start?

An anonymus demo cd was sent, the only contact info was a uk yahoo e-mail address. The plan was to make them listen to the music and be open minded, which would have been difficult if they had known that I was involved. So, shortly after DJ T. send an email to this yahoo account and expressed his excitement about the music I gave him a call. I still remember that he did not know what to say for a moment when we spoke on the phone. He did not expect me to be behind it at all. That’s how it started.

Are you going to release more with them this year?

Yes indeed. My new album will be released in May, followed by singles and remixes. It will be the busiest year of our relationship and I will tour all around the world to promote the album. I am pretty excited about this after 4 years of gearing up for it.

How do you balance family and touring?  What rules do you impose on DJing to make sure you fit everything in? Is your studio at home or … ?

To start with the last question. No, my studio is not at home. A studio at home and kids don’t go together. When our daughter is around, she wants to play with me and I want to spend time with her. But the studio is only 10 minutes from home. I walk there and back every day and if possible I try to work from 9-5 so I have the chance to be there for her and for my wife of course. In my experience, fitting it all in is simply a question of good communication and proper organisation. However, it is not always easy to say good bye and leave for a couple of weeks. But the internet has made it much less difficult. We Skype all the time when I am on tour. And as I said before, when it is possible, I will bring my family and we have a little holiday.

What are you most proud of in your career so far?

Amongst others things, I am proud to still be around, happy with myself and my music and to see new generations of people liking my music year after year and that they come to my gigs and have such a good time, especially now that I am often much older than the average clubber. And I am proud of the fact that I have ethics when it comes to treating my fans and promoters. I show people respect when they make an effort to come to see me or book me. Needless to say, I dislike “superstar” DJ divas enormously.

Have you got a pair of sunglasses? The Lightbox is known for being a bit of an onslaught on the senses!

Thanks for you concern but I will be alright, trust me ;-)

Andrew Rafter

Andrew Rafter is the editor and founder of Harder Blogger Faster.