With 'The Inner Jukebox' - his second artist album - hot off the press, DJ T has changed focus: the funk sound that influenced his debut album has been replaced by sounds from a different decade. But while mid-90s house is the order of the day on the new release, his influences run deeper. In a special Bodytonic podcast, Thomas Koch selects 10 tracks that never leave his jukebox.
- Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five 'The Message' (1982)
- Cybotron 'Clear' (1983)
- Jackmaster Farley Funk 'Love Can't Turn Around' (1986)
- Eric B. & Rakim 'Paid In Full' (1987)
- Paul Rutherford 'Get Real' (Happy House Mix) (1988)
- Deskee 'Let There Be House' (Westbam Remix) (1989)
- 808 State 'CÃ¼bik' (1990)
- Age of Love 'The Age Of Love' (Jam & Spoon Remix) (1992)
- St. Germain 'Alabama Blues' (1965 Remix) (1995)
- The Aztec Mystic 'Knights Of The Jaguar' (1999)
Your podcast features 10 favourite songs that have had an impact on your life - was it hard to select them?
Yes indeed, it has taken me quite some time to make my choices and be sure about them. I felt it was important to me to pick tracks that are representative of styles, movements, moments, artists that have played a major role in my life. And then at some stage, it became clear to me that I would primarily choose tracks that date before the great "techno explosion" in 1990 because all those facets from between 1977 and 1990 are absolutely essential to portray the varied range of my influences in any reasonable way.
'The Inner Jukebox' was co-produced with Thomas Schumacher - how did the collaboration come about?
Last year we celebrated our 100th single release on Get Physical with the brilliant idea to bring 16 artists together on eight collaboration tracks. This is how I met up with Thomas - in his studio to produce one of these tracks. We realised in the process that we had a lot more in common music-wise than we would have imagined and that the chemistry in the studio was right from the very start."
Your first album, 'Boogie Playground' drew influences from the '70s and '80s and spanned quite a spectrum of musical genres. How does this album differ?
My first album was a kind of retro hotch-potch, an affectionate homage to everything in music that had influenced me during my childhood and youth. I'm aiming more at the here and now with my second album, with which I simply wanted to contribute my definition of house in the year 2009. Some would probably rather call it tech-house, but to my eyes this still counts as house. The fact that I've still included classical elements on 'The Inner Jukebox' is not a contradiction because history repeats itself from time to time, as we all know. Still I don't want to overstate the '90s influence. The album owes less to individual artists than to specific emotions and atmospheres that remind me of early house styles. A track like 'Shine On' refers to a particular era of Benelux house, very much like Dylan Hermelijn aka 2000 And One's latest album, which is saturated by it. Besides I wanted to meet the challenge of making a club album that would also sound great at home or in the car. I'll let the listeners decide whether I succeeded.
You have been a DJ since 1987? How much do you think the dance music scene has changed since then?
You could write a book answering this question. But what are the most important aspects, put in a few sentences? I think what is most striking is that so-called dance music has split up into countless micro-organisms and that each of the scenes has developed their own DJs, producers, labels, club nights, event organisers etc. When I had my first residency in the late '80s, playing to 1000 people all night once a week, I had to present a six-hour programme which, at the time, consisted of pop, rock, house, hip-hop, r&b and funk. It wasn't until 1991 or 1992 that the first DJs appeared in Germany who would play one style the whole night through. Also, the way people went clubbing was very different from what it is now: They started earlier and went home earlier, there was no after-hours culture then and drug use was on a totally different level, not least because drugs used to be a lot more expensive and not everybody could afford them.
Release-wise, it's now all about putting out the entire album cycle until late summer, including three associated singles featuring b-side tracks and remixes not on the album. I'm going on my first world tour at the beginning of July, promoting the album. I'll be playing all over Europe during the first three months, travelling the other four continents for another three months. Anybody interested can track me as I'll be writing a DJ blog on Beatportal during the entire six months of the tour. I'm very excited about this project, it is a great challenge.