Michael Mayer Interview

Art & Culture

Ahead of the first A Night With… on 5th March Katie speaks to Michael Mayer about Kompakt and everything in between…

It seems what has driven you since you began DJing is the party itself. Playing for the new A Night With.. series sees the return to an intimate gig with just yourself playing for the whole night. What can we expect you to do over the course of the night? Will we see a similar ethos to your legendary Total Confusion parties?

It really gives me a great pleasure to inaugurate this new party series. Derrens always been a fantastic host and Im hell bent on making this a memorable night. I guess Im going to spend several nights with preparing the supper. Im not sure yet as what Im going to play, how far Im going to stretch out but it should be special, intimate and most importantly fun! The Total Confusion ethos? Thats always travelling with me

You state that your are both an entertainer and an educator when explaining your role as a DJ; does your DJing approach change depending on environment and audience?

Sure, I wouldnt play the same music Id play in front of 3000 Southern French teenagers at a small gay basement party in Malm. There might be intersections though. Its also about entertaining myself and Id be very unhappy if I had to play the same tunes over and over again. Thats why I never got that much into playing live.

When you and your partners designed the concept of the Kompakt label as being a space for total creative freedom for the artists and yourselves in 1998 did you foresee the current success of the label? How did this concept help bring about this success? Do you think it is to do with being able to hold integrity at the core as opposed to being only about record sales?

No, you cant foresee something like that. But we felt pretty confident that we had something interesting to offer. At the time, techno world was still dominated by very functional music, loop techno and all that. We were bored to death our aim was (and still is) to bring some colour to the dancefloor, to try things in a different way. Kompakt is not about following trends. Its more about offering alternatives, friendly suggestions of how to improve your life. In doing so weve been releasing many records that didnt work in a commercial sense. But they still make us extremely proud and happy.

Katie Gibbons

Michael plays the first A Night With… on 5th March.