2016’s second edition of Residents’ Hour comes from Charlie Smooth, resident of the notorious Get Deep party that takes place in Berlin’s ://about blank club. He served up a mix so jam-packed with variety, it spooled over to almost double the indicated hourlong capacity. Dive in below; and read on to discover Get Deep’s story and what the DJ residency spot means to Charlie.
“At Get Deep, we present our vision of contemporary dance music, and contribute this to Berlin’s blooming club scene. It is this exact notion that triggered the birth of our club night. Personally, I don’t like to compare myself with others. It’s hard for me to say why club goers have chosen us for so many years, as every club night is unique in its own right. It could have something to do with the fact that we identify ourselves first and foremost with the music that we present, as bookers as well as DJs. Let me take you back to 2009, when we had our first night. The promoter landscape looked quite different; and the soulful, old-school flavoured music was still a niche. We took this opportunity to go for the sound that we believe in, and it turned out that there many like-minded people who gladly supported us.
“Another reason for the continuous support we receive is the fact, that our team is very devoted, hardworking and responsible. We try to create long lasting relationships with all our partners. In a way, Get Deep was never a mass sensation or a ‘one trick pony’. We were focused on a slow, continuous growth and self-actualization; and in the same time, we managed to stay down to earth. We also had the luck to be one of the first promoters in ://about blank, which is the perfect venue for our party. We grew together with the venue, in the same way we grew together with many of the artists that we presented: Hunee, San Soda, Max Graef, Glenn Astro and the Uncanny Valley guys, with whom we worked before they became huge.”
“In a way, we became trendsetters. When other promoters tell me they were inspired by our parties and started to promote a similar sound, I don’t see it as a threat to our identity, but more as a compliment. It’s also a reason to constantly reinvent ourselves. That is why we have specifically chosen artists that have never played Get Deep before, to play at our next party. Maybe the most important reason why we are still around six years later is that we love and we truly believe in what we do.
“I’m grateful for the chance to present my music in this mix, and I wanted to make it very personal and authentic, squeezing in my musical persona into 1 ¾ hours. In my opinion, the selection will always trump the actual mixing. That’s why I focused mainly on the tracklist. The selection of genres is as wide as possible, with release dates ranging from the late 1970s up to modern day: dreamy, obscure tracks with a slight touch of the Balearic and the Italo; the soulful disco and house that I’m often associated with; vintage porn film soundtracks; Yugoslavian soul; old rocky West End; a bit of Brazil, tropical and some afro disco; and even one or two DJ Harvey tunes. One of my goals was to also include tracks from artists that I want to support: Inkswel, Wolf Müller, Africaine 808, Max Graef and Glenn Astro, to name a few.
“You must carefully, respectfully lead into the next artist’s moment. It’s about getting the balance right.”
“The best thing about a warm-up set is that you have complete freedom to experiment with genres and tempos. Speaking generally, it very much depends on the situation, where I’m playing and who I open for. A warm-up for Floating Points would be different to one for Sadar Bahar or KiNK. Another important thing is on which floor. In ://about blank, opening the garden is different from opening the techno room. You have to build up the energy, but also know when to pace yourself. You must carefully, respectfully lead into the next artist’s moment. It’s about getting the balance right.
“I enjoy having the opportunity to play the obscure tracks seldom heard in clubs. It’s harder to play slow but still keep the people grooving. That was the approach that I had for the first part of this mix. Dego and Theo Parrish are masters of that game. The goal is to create the right amount of energy but not get too ecstatic, so that the person after you can still take things to a higher level. Mixing different genres is paramount for me. It makes things more interesting, more lively, especially at the beginning of the night when there are only a few people in the venue. Once I reach a certain point of excitement which both the crowd and I consider satisfactory, I try not to go beyond. I like to end with a very long track that is driving, but also kind of relaxed. Like the quiet before the storm, that the following DJ will create.”
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