DJ T. pres. Mutant Disco – Tracks from A FORGOTTEN Era + A TALK – RaNsom EARS EXCLUSIVE MIX

As disco reached its shimmering apex in the late 1970s, young Dusseldorf-born Thomas Koch relocated to Frankfurt with his family. His parents plied him with vinyl compilations, and as a nine-year-old he succumbed to discos seductive charms, beginning a lifelong commitment to crate digging and everything that ensued.

Known as DJ T. in 'professional circles' Thomas has been at this game called music for a fair while now.  He's worn many hats; DJ, label co-owner (of the massive Get Physical), producer, club operator, publisher and journalist. Looking back on these years Thomas is about to drop the second half of his 25 Years of DJing compilation (part 1 is here) and to celebrate this he's put us together rather fine Mutant Disco mix.

Before his 30 years under a disco ball compilation from last year my early experience of his tracks through the Get Physical releases was of a more straight up techno approach. I'd not really joined the dots between the electro funk of his mix of Random Factor's After The Tone

and the electro boogie and disco influences evident on there a failing on my part but it threw up questions of lineage into this world of the electronic.

Through various bouts of illness on both our behalf we talked through the mix and his career thus far…

Let's stick the mix on and have a proper listen whilst we chat eh??

Your parents played in a key part in your disco education. Can you tell us about their tastes and what you grew up on. Is the mix a reflection of your early musical upbringing?


Did i say that about my parents in a former interview? Maybe I expressed it in a slightly wrong way, because their role was not at all one in terms of taste-making, it was more that they always supported my passion for dancing and music, also by buying me music in my early ages, especially my mother. But the saying "the music was in his blood" really applied for me I can say, I started collecting vinyl at the age of seven and at the same time dancing was becoming a big passion, much more than for other young boys in that age. The mix is not at all a reflection of my early ages. Indeed i was already a huge disco fan in my childhood but it was only about the stuff that made its was into the mainstream. This leftfield-stuff I discovered much later, some for the first time in the last 4-5 years.


What was the music of your teenage rebellion?

Electro Funk and HipHop, all this music you could see in movies like Wild Style and Beat Street, that you could breakdance to.
Watch Wild Style in full on Youtube… yes in full! 

What has struck me by listening to this and a lot disco again over the past few years is what incredible pop records they make too. I doubt you could look back on the current state of pop music and unearth gems like there are on here. That's not to say there's not some incredible left of centre music still being made I just don't think its permeating mainstream culture like a lot of disco did. Maybe there's a big change a coming?!


I always think it's a question of definition. Which part of that more avant-garde disco you could have counted to the field of pop music and where you crossed the border to the underground? Very subjective. Even back in the days in the 80s all that leftfield stuff wasn't by far becoming the popularity and was not selling that much and you had a first wave of supercheesy italo-disco and early euro dance that was flooding the sales charts. So from my perception it's not completely different right now than it was back then. I am afraid there is no big change coming regarding this.


Let's discuss the 2nd part of 25 years. How does it differ from part 1?


To be honest, I simply felt like there is so much good stuff, that deserves to be released with this concept, that i couldn't resist to make a second part, even if it doesn't really make sense concept-wise, because there is actually not difference at all between the two parts. 


You put Greg Wilson's Dirty Talk edit on your disco compilation a while ago. I actually became obsessed with the unreleased Dub version that did the rounds on a bootleg a few years back. The sound of that record sounds like it's being beamed from another universe. Anything else in that ballpark that I may have missed I should be listening to?


You are probably not aware of the fact, that this biggest hit of Klein & M.B.O. was the model for a huge german underground dance hit fro 1985, Moskwa Tv's "Tekno Talk". Check it out.

That Connie Case repress made me really happy recently. My sub ed at R$N Joe just played me another one of his productions that you can't find anywhere not even Discogs! I didn't realise he was a Jamaican dancehall producer that defected to world of disco. Are there any other interesting stories of the producers attached to any of the other tracks on the mix that you could impart?


I think the most outstanding story you can find behind the second last song of the mix. It was sung by Christiane F, probably the most popular heroin junkie of all times. The cute looking German girl became famous in the late 70s and early 80s through the fact, that there were books and movies released about her addiction and her life. She then had a brief period of successful artistic work as a singer and an actress in the early 80s and some years of being clean before she had a backslid to heroin again. Currently she is all over the german news again because she released her biography. She is very sick and will die soon probably. The song is called "Wunderbar" and was recorded with her boyfriend of that time, Alex Hacke from the legendary german band Die Einstrzenden Neubauten.

If you can speak fluent German… 

So there's a leaning on your compilations and on this back to the disco. what's in store for your productions?


Besides the second part of the anniversary-compilation there is a second EP with own new tracks coming out soon in november. Its a collaboration with the new york-based dj and producer Vanjee. Meanwhile my latest remix for Mia Dora's "Clear"on Moda Black is still burning…


What one disco record do you wish you'd made?


Old School: Donna Summer – I Feel Love. Nu School: Mario & Vidis: Changed

First and last record bought?


First (bought by my my parents for me): a disco sampler with "Yes Sir, i can boogie" by Baccara on it. 
Ed note, check Kid Jensen "Yes sir I can boogie, can you?  Yes… Oooh I'd like to watch." 


Last one (a few weeks ago at Rotation Records in Berlin): S.D.M. feat. Jovonnn – Where did house go?


Are you a kick drum, hi hat or a snare? And why?


I am a hi hat. I wanna startle with my distortedness.


What are you obsessed with at the moment?


Dark, raw and funky heavy bassline stuff with an old school flavour – actually i am always obsessed with that:)


You can choose four members of a band to form a supergroup – who would be in it and what instruments would they be on?


It would be Nicole Scroggins from ESG on the bass, Ralf Htter from Kraftwerk behind the Synths, Egyptian Lover behind the 808 and Jimmy Edgar for the vocals and together they would make some superweird minimal electro synth funk shit.


If your sound was a visual thing, what would it look like?


It would be a white breakdance-glove.