Ostgut's rising star and hyper talented DJ, Songwriter and producer with a voice like silk has been heavily involved in all things electronic for over a decade now. Growing up in Munich, her career kick-started in the late 90s thanks to a wave of early hit singles and residencies at Tobi Neumann's famous cult club Flokati and at Sven Väth´s Cocoon club in Frankfurt. nspired by the warmth of the analogue tracks of the 80s and 90s, her productions and sets combine this sound with that of the modern layered with that unmistakeable live vocal adding the third dimension. Virginia put us together an exclusive podcast which your ears can enjoy below… she also had a chit chat with us too on history, Trevor Horne and working with Steffi…
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us and thank you for taking the time to put together a mix for us.
My pleasure. Thank you for releasing this podcast and for the interview.
You pick some of my favourite records on your All Time Classics on Ostgut's page; Strafe's Set It Off, Bizarre Inc, Dopplerefkt and the obvious Positive Education & Sweet Harmony – all practically electronic royalty. You also pick some curveballs in the form of an old Armand jungle record. Can you talk us through your musical education? It seems like most of us you've never been fixated on the one electronic aesthetic.
Happy to hear that you like those tunes too. It's true i never and don't want to stick to only one music genre. It's so much more fun and inspirational to be open for different musical styles. A track or a song has to touch me somehow. it does not necessarily need to be electronic music. I listened to a lot of old soul and funk music as there are so many brilliant singers. Like Al green or William Devaughn. I love pop music from the 80ies and 90ies. Most of the pop music from the last 4-5 years gives me a headache though. But there is also beautiful instrumental music like autechre or in the vein of it.
I notice you picked some more of the dubbed out MK sound too. Is it fair to say your sound sits somewhere between late 80's/early 90's Chicago and all that fell around it, cut through with a dubbed out vocal sound.
This is my beginning. this is the kind of electronic music that made me fall in love with it and made me start buying records. but i'm not only playing this kind of stuff in my sets. It is more a mixture of "old" and modern. It´s nice to combine it as some of these tracks are just too damn good to stay on my shelf.
I love the videos of you singing the track Yours you did with Steffi live in Paris. Your voice is incredible. You don't often hear voices like that very often especially not live. I can imagine you on a late 80s Chicago record amongst other things. Is there any one song you wished you'd sung on or an artist living or dead you'd have liked to work with?
Thank you. Yeah, this was a fun day in paris. There are a few artist i can imagine working with, but where to start? I would have loved to work with Trevor Horne for example.
How important is to enrich your sets with that live element of vocals?
It's a nice way to connect with the people when you sing to them or for them. This creates very special moments. It feels natural and logical for me to just sing along my DJ sets. Since i´m always having melodies on my mind when i listen to music. I sing some of my existing vocals or i just improvise.
You have strong connections with both Mr Neumann's Flokati Can you tell us a bit about how you became to be resident?
Tobi had heard me play and told me about his plans to to do this club night 'Flokati' @ the Ultraschall in Munich and asked me to be a resident there. It was my first residency ever and it was a very exciting time for me.
Tell us about working with Steffi? How long have you known each other, how do you compliment each other when working?
We have known each other for 3 years now. it is very inspiring to work with her. She´s very passionate about the music she produces. As we have kind of the same asthetic for sound it easy for us to work together. I have a lot of confidence in her taste in music. And she is able to bring out something in me that i maybe didn´t really try before. For example with „yours“. usually i sing softer and dreamier than on this record but Steffi suggested to try something louder or catchier. So i came up with that vocal you hear on the record now. It felt really good and worked.
You've worked with some amazingly varied artists already. I hear you have your first solo release about to drop too. Are you finding this process more nerve wracking or more empowering doing it on your own?
Actually both! but it's also very very exciting to finally finish and release my first solo EP. I always recorded some sketches and ideas but never really finished a track. so there are some steps in production that are kind of new for me. like leveling or pre-mastering. Also arranging is a tricky thing. i guess there are certain things you must know about it but also you need to develop your own soundscape which only comes with experience. and i'm happy to have good producers around me who can advise me. Steffi is being a big help in this phase.
Panoramabar and Ostgut's influence stretches deep across the world of the electronic. What do you think the enduring appeal of it is. The energy of the club when you're inside is undeniable but it goes even deeper than that…
This club is a very open=minded place to be and provides a wide range of quality music every weekend. Everyone can be themselves. No photos! Unfortunately there are not so many places in the world anymore that are able to offer that. So i guess this kind of freedom attracts people.
What does the term Deep House mean to you? Unfortunately in the UK it has become a little tainted recently. It used to stand for this music of incredible pulsing, dark room complexity cut through with an underlying soul to the vocals. A lot of this 'nu deep house' at times seems incredibly formulaic with the same bass-line and out of tune vocals. How can we save it?!
Every time a certain genre becomes popular there is always a group of people who jump on that wagon and develop their interpetation of this certain type of music or exploits it. It happens all the time in the music industry and this time deep house is the victim.
You're playing fabric NYE alongside a massively varied line-up with Four Tet to Steffi and Robert Hood. How healthy is the electronic scene in your eyes at the moment? From where I'm sitting – in a very cold and foggy London office – it's at its most creative and prolific for a long time. How does it feel from your side of the decks?
I´m looking forward to this new years event. It´s gonna be fun and a nice way to celebrate into the new year.
It´s true there is a lot going on these days.
There are brilliant contemporary artists.
Even though some of the new productions are not so everlasting. There are so many new labels popping up everyday and it so easy to release music. Which is great on one hand but on the other hand a lot of productions are average. Especially digital releases where you don´t have to much extra costs as it is not physical product anymore.
Describe the mix you've done for us in 5 words.
Accelerating from downtempo to house 😉
And now some questions we ask everyone we talk to on R$N:
Complete the sentence: I'm proper techno because I play house
Are you a kick drum, hi hat or a snare? And why?
I am a rimshot, isnt that obvious!
What are you obsessed with at the moment?
What's your answer to everything?
Check the wonderful R$N Ears Exclusive Virginia laid down for us below…
Want the download? Look no further than right here like.