Since becoming the resident of Berlin’s dance mecca Berghain almost a decade ago, German DJ Ben Klock has practically become the chiselled face of techno.
Unlike many other sought-after DJs, Klock’s recorded works are few and far between. Apart from a full-length album ‘One’ released in 2009, which entertainment website Pop Matters called “a bewitching place to get lost inside of”, his discography consists of a handful of EPs and tracks released on Ellen Allien’s prolific label BPitch Control and Berghain’s own imprint Ostgut Ton.
Instead, most of his success is rooted in his entrancing live sets, and it is easy to see why clubs all over the world are ecstatic to have him grace their decks. Up there, he immerses himself in the music, letting his shadowy, minimal sound loose with deft, subtle twists of the knobs, grooving to the beat all the while.
Last seen here spinning at Avalon on Christmas 2011, Klock is back for Parallel, Velvet Underground’s house-techno themed series. InSing caught up with the techno think tank before he swoops away on a busy summer tour schedule.
What’s been keeping you busy this year?
I’ve been touring like crazy. Besides that, I have been managing my label Klockworks and putting together a Klockworks tour with stops at Movement Festival in Detroit, a show in Barcelona during Sonar, another in Berghain and many more.
What’s it like being your own boss with Klockworks?
I don’t really manage the other DJs on my label, but I give advice and exchange ideas with them. The thing with my label is that I don’t have a strict release schedule. I don’t have to put out a record every month like other labels. I just release what I believe in. I love hand-picking every single track and I’m doing the artwork myself. It’s very creative and interesting work for me.
How did you get interested in techno?
I was always interested in music and I started playing piano and other instruments at an early age. I explored many directions with music but was still looking for something new, something that wasn’t there before. In the ’90s, I found techno and it was completely new for me. I liked the focus on only a few intense sounds, and how there was no pop attitude in it.
Do you prefer being on the road or in the studio?
I love both, it’s two very different sides of the job. At the moment I’m a constant traveller so sometimes I miss spending more time in the studio. But I love touring overall.
Any plans for a new record then?
Yes, definitely. I am blocking some production time in my calendar at the start of next year.
What else have you got planned for the rest of the year?
Lots of festivals to come in the summer season, and touring until the end of the year.