Those who take themselves too seriously are lame. Those who like fun are better.
Niklas Wandt is a Berlin based instrumentalist, producer and disc jockey who has worked on a sprawling array of musical endeavours across years. As the founder of the Smells party at Sameheads in the German capital he has found firm friends amidst the likes of Jan Schulte, with whom he released a collaborative album on Growing Bin Records last year, Cass., Kris Baha and Sascha Funke. The latter of which he has recently worked alongside to produce a new record for the ever exciting Multi Culti Record label.
His roots lie within a sea of abstract music, experimental discoveries and tall tales. His influences range from dub to Kosmisch synth excursions, balearic to jazz, percussion freakouts to abstract pop and the wide realm beyond. As a result this mix and his own approach as a disc jockey is far reaching with a playful edge, the journey should cast a smile, the sounds simply a reflection of his personality and taste across a lifetime spent discovering new noise.
Listen and read the interview below:
Please introduce yourself… Who are you, where are you and what are you? What does your music sound like? Can you draw what you think it sounds like for us (an image from the old internet is acceptable)?
Hi! My name's Niklas Wandt, originally drummer/percussionist with an obscure past in German language rap and free jazz, now dabbling in a bit of electronic music with some lovely friends and playing records and files at home on my rug or when people have me at their party. My rug is in my apartment in Berlin, I'm originally from a village right between Cologne and Düsseldorf though. Shoutouts to the dublab.de team and the whole Salon family on the one and the other end. Music is a shapeshifter, that's what's so nice about it. Maybe I'll try and draw an invisibility cloak that you can drape whatever pleasant object, scene, landscape in you're looking at right now. I personally like the in-depth caleidoscope of golden showers behind my closed eyelids if you feel me.
Where was the mix recorded?
The mix was recorded sitting on my rug at a comfortable room temperature and humidity with a White Sage incense on.
What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?
In completely liberated contexts like at a relaxed home or listening pace, I'd space it out more and have it pump less. Maybe when you're pumping up your muscle before you really get into those mechanic dances or while the medicals kick in.
What should we be wearing?
Have it your way, as a famous burger chain put it (at least in their German branch of business) - oil up that latex or let that leather sweat
What would be your dream setting to record a mix: Location/system/format?
I could surely imagine more pressing dreams but anywhere beachside or ridiculously audiophile and focussed, engulfed in the warm glow of preamp tubes. The Romano in Tel Aviv and its bookshelf speaker/amplifier front comes to mind.
Which track in the mix is your current favourite?
Whodamanny - Kunda Nemunas , it's so fuzzy, alive and cosmic plus he's our man(ny) in Napoli!
What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?
Not that I was very knowledgeable in this sector, but all the early eighties Danielle Baldelli at Cosmic and Beppe Loda at Typhoon recordings are as good as it gets - they somehow make all of the vastly different tracks their own and give the whole affair a sombre, chugging, mysterious quality that is somehow more than the individual tracks by themselves.
If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?
Quite some of the Italian Cosmic/Afrofunky legends for their great musicality, widely eclectic taste, technical skill - creating a psychedelic stream of music from different sources is a great thing.
What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?
My gear was always mostly drum parts and percussion, I now have two 350 CDJs and a mixer at home since a year or so.
What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?
Neither, I'd say, it's about every track that happens and both bracket the proceedings equally as nice.
What were the first and last records you bought?
I started collecting CDs at age 13 and only really got into vinyl in my early twenties. The first record I bought by myself was probably Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention's "Just Another Band From L.A.", at a fleamarket in Düsseldorf in 2002. The last record I got was the self-titled 12" by Ebreo, Italian Cosmic DJ who played a bit of hand percussion on these three amusing tracks from 1983.
If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?
A delicious yet dangerously filling meal - something fried.
If it was an animal what would it be?
A fried chicken, perhaps. Bordering on jerk chicken. Don't worry about exact taxonomy, it's definitely some sort of poultry.
One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything?
The Globe Unity Orchestra - Compositions
Upcoming in the world of… Anything else we need to discuss?
Check out my new record with Sascha Funke called "Wismut", out via Multi Culti on Jan 14. Watch out for more shit by my band Neuzeitliche Bodenbeläge coming your way via Themes For Great Cities also early this year, we#re not a hundred percent sure when. Works with Kris Baha and also with Cass. also to come up soon! Stay safe and treat yourself to something fried today!
Buy the new EP HERE.