Whether by means of nature or nurture, Philip Bader is an important part of Berlin’s electronic community. Born in the German capital, Bader fell in love with the city’s untamed nightlife in the 1990s.
He quickly started DJ’ing throughout Berlin and eventually landed a residency at the now infamous Bar25. A true schooling for the young DJ, Bader was to spend the next few years learning his trade whilst deeply ingrained in what was both a thriving and speedily evolving scene.
Now an international DJ in his own right, he still brims with that same enthusiasm for the scene today. A man who clearly enjoys a party, he seems to have an innate ability to inject his personality into everything he does, whether it’s in a club set or one of his own productions.
I Voice sat down with the charismatic music maker to find out a bit about his beginnings, his current EP and what he’s got coming up.
What were your early experiences of going out and discovering electronicmusic in Berlin like?
I started going out in the early 90's. Back then the music scene was very wild, with a lot of underground clubs in the east part of Berlin. That's pretty much when the whole electronic / dance music movement started to grow bigger and bigger.
What kind of places were you going to?
My favourite places back then were E-werk and Vereinsheim or the Hirschbar, where you could only enter with a membership card and if you forgot your card at home, the doorman would ask you to describe the way to the toilet.
How did you manage to become resident for the now legendary Bar25?
One of the founders of the Bar25 was already a very good friend of mine and of course at some point he asked me to play there. From that moment on I had such a huge mountain of fun there, that I was sure that I wanted it to be my home base. We all became a big family there.
What did that residency teach you? How did it improve you as a DJ?
It taught me a lot about music, because I was involved in the frequent exchange between DJ’s and the party crowd. As a DJ there, I was totally connected with everyone because they were standing next, behind or in front of you.
Many of the party people knew a lot about music so they would show you right away how they feel about your set. Also you had the chance to play very long sets, like 10 hours or more, once in a while, so that changed my view on music and how you have the ability to take people on a journey.
Have you seen the final version of the Bar25 film yet? If so, do you thinkit successfully highlighted the vibe of the experience of actually being there?
Of course I saw the movie…. at the premiere (laughs.) I think it shows the atmosphere and the feelings behind it quite well, but they could have focused a bit more on the people who were working there a lot, like barkeepers, etc., who were all also part of the family, but I think it's a great movie.
When did you start producing music?
I started learning to produce music maybe six years ago, with a lot of help from other producers who taught me some really important things. But started producing professionally about three years ago.
How would you describe the music that you make?
Pumping, rough Berlin-burning tech-house-music, (laughs.)
How did your EP for Matthias Tanzmann’s Moon Harbour come about? Please can you also tell us a bit about the process of making the track?
Davide Squillace is a good friend of mine, and Matthias Tanzmann is one of his friends, that's pretty much how we met at some point. I told him that I am working on a track with Re.You and that he would definitely have to listen to it. At this time, I was also working on two other tracks, so I sent him all the tracks over. He loved them. I love what Tanzmann is doing, he is one of my favourite producers, so of course I asked him for a remix too. Right now, I’m working on the next Moon Harbour release, with a remix of my friend Andrea Oliva.
You have also released music with people like Saved, This and That and Highgrade for example. Is it important to have good relationships with a variety of different labels?
I don't know if it's important to be connected with different labels. These are the labels that I love and I think that they suit my music quite well.
What attracts you towards working with certain record labels?
It's a lot of fun for me to work with labels where I like the people and the music. It’s that simple really.
Please can you tell us a bit about your sample pack release?
Half a year ago, I had this idea with my friend Adel, to found a sample pack label. We named it Wide Open Tools and I started to create the first pack. The working process behind it is great, because you're not depending on styles. So you can be very spontaneous and give your creativity a lot of room. It comes out soon. We have other artists, like Nico Stojan, Britta Arnold, Andrea Oliva... working on packs for Wide Open Tools now too, so it’s all super exciting.
What do you find the most exciting element of the electronic music industry right now? What are you most excited about for the future?
I love to work together with a lot of creative people. I love the exchange of ideas and I'm very looking forward to keep travelling around the world and meet all these people.
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