Between Flights: RØDHÅD Talks


Dark and hypnotic, mesmeric and melancholic, the minimal techno sound crafted by Berlin’s Rodhad’s is inimitable in its intensity and brooding atmosphere. We talked to the Berghain resident about his plans for the summer, his thoughts on the techno scenes in different cities, and his current favourite sounds and film(s). When we asked about his current projects, he said that ’at the moment summer is just getting from one airplane into another. Quite stressful, as I don’t find time to do anything else than playing techno.’ 

Rodhad, aka Mike Bierbach’s definitive style of techno is known for its dynamism and driving energy, and a particular talent to evoke certain dim-lit feelings and memories with sound. He says of his personal style: “I always want to play and present music I personally like. So for me all the music I play describes a feeling. Sometimes it’s banging, sometimes it’s more hypnotic and atmospheric, and sometimes I feel for playing some common hits.” 

Bierbach’s distinctive and diverse DJ style has earned him the coveted tag of closing DJ at many nights – he describes his extended sets as an exercise in freedom: ’I want to play the music I like. So when you have the chance to play a closing gig somewhere and you have hours and hours of time, that’s perfect for every DJ’. 

Berlin may be the breeding ground for the thoughtful style of techno he is known for, but when we asked him about whether it will always have its home there, and on the techno scene in other cities, he says ‘that’s the great thing about music – it’s worldwide, its urban, and it has its home in many cities. Don’t forget New York, Detroit, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Ibiza, Tokyo, Sao Paolo and all the rest of the world. It’s everywhere.’ However, these days he describes his ideal night in Berlin as more of a quiet one in: ‘spending a day in my flat or studio and not responding to any messages or calls’. On his interests outside of music, he says ‘back in the days I liked to paint and to draw… it would be nice to get this done again.’ Also, if you were curious to know what film he’s been watching on repeat lately, it’s ‘Running Man, for maybe the 100th time now’. 

Ahead of playing at DGTL Barcelona this weekend, we asked him which contexts he favoured to play in – the open air summer festivals or dark nightclubs of his hometown: ’There is nothing to prefer as it’s different settings…a festival has another energy than a sweaty club gig.’ However, he does admit that ‘a Berghain gig is always special to any other gig in the world.’ And on his favourite venues to play in London: ‘I played many venues so far, but I really like to play in Village Underground. But also the last times in Fabric Room 1 was amazing, AND the last time Oval Space was really good!’

When we asked about his current favourite sounds in 2016, he says that his Dystopian label catalogue is flourishing. ‘I am super happy with the Jon Hester EP, but also with the last Drumcell and Alex.Do stuff we released. Otherwise I liked the last Etapp Kyle on Unterton a lot.’ We’re hoping for some new material soon, but his current plans for the future seem to only involve some downtime after his busy touring schedule, he enthusiastically remarks that he is: ‘taking holiday in September!’

Rodhad plays at DGTL Barcelona this Friday. Buy tickets HERE

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