Anthems: Aufschwung Ost / Stammheim, Kassel (1994-2002)

Posted: November 29th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Features | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

If Kassel is known in Germany for another cultural contribution besides the art fair Documenta it is the legacy of the techno club Aufschwung Ost, and its renamed successor Stammheim. Both clubs were located in a former textiles factory building called Kulturfabrik Salzmann that served mainly as an art space. When Aufschwung Ost opened in 1994, it quickly established a national and international reputation that exceeded those of clubs in similarly middle-sized cities. The main resident DJs, the late Pierre Blaszczyk aka DJ Pierre and Mark Pecnik aka DJ Marky, built a dedicated local following with their state of the art techno sound, and managed to pull in every main guest DJ important in the techno scene, propelling the club to the level of famous clubs in Berlin or Frankfurt, until its lease ran out in 2002 and it had to close. We asked DJ Marky to recall some of the tunes that ruled the floor in both clubs.

.xtrak – Facc (Peacefrog, 1995)

This bleep track by Todd Sines, who regularly collaborated with Daniel Bell, was played a lot at our club. It is had a minimal sound but a maximum impact on the floor. The hi-hats coming in at the first minute are just a dream.

Jiri.Ceiver – Osiaic (Vogels Funky Sola Mix) (Harthouse, 1995)

It is very difficult to develop an own signature style. But what Cristian Vogel and other artists such as Neil Landstrumm, Dave Tarrida, Si Begg and Justin Berkovi released in the 90s was definitely new and not existent before. This track stands for the Brighton sound and its wonderful playfulness which was very influential over the years for the resident DJs at Aufschwung Ost and Stammheim.

DJ Hyperactive – Venus (Missile, 1996)

Chicago techno at its best. A peak time banger that never failed to work on the big floor. You still hear it in the sets of well-known DJs.

Daft Punk – Rock ‘n’ Roll (Virgin, 1996)

You just could not pass by Daft Punk in 1996, but you did not want to anyway. Their „Homework“ album included this track and to this day it is still one of the best house and techno albums for me. Either the album or other terrific releases on Thomas Bangalter’s label Roulé were constantly played on both our techno and floors.

Wishmountain – Radio (Evolution), 1996

Sven Väth played this as a white label at our club, in early 1996. It was way ahead of the official release date, so the whole crowd was unfamiliar with it. The energy this track built up on the floor in just a few minutes was just incredible. It was a miracle that the whole place did not just collapse at the last break. What Matthew Herbert created with this track is unique and it is perhaps THE quintessential Aufschwung Ost/Stammheim classic.

Skull vs. ESP – Power Hour (Sounds, 1996)

A beautiful track by DJ Skull and Woody McBride. It came out on Sounds back then, which was a sub label of Communique Records, a very popular label with the resident DJs that had several legendary releases. I liked to play it in the early morning hours.

Green Velvet – Destination Unknown (Relief, 1997)

I could have picked „Flash“, „La La Land“ other Green Velvet classics as well. The Relief and Cajual labels were essential to any of our parties. You can witness its effect at Green Velvet’s legendary gig at our club in 2001 ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ES0ldBe4kZA).

Coldcut & Hexstatic – Timber (Ninja Tune, 1998)

This is an absolute DJ Pierre classic. There was not only hard techno being played at Aufschwung Ost and Stammheim, and this is a wonderful example. Particularly in the morning the residents had enough time to experiment with different styles and we did just that. Electro, big beat and cuts ‘n’ breaks, everything was tried and tested. That was just as much fun for the dancers as it was for us DJs.

DJ Rolando – Knights Of The Jaguar (Underground Resistance, 1999)

A masterpiece by Rolando and Underground Resistance. This track on the big floor at 10 A.M. meant instant goosebumps for everybody. The light came through the windows, and together with the music created a magical vibe each time the track was played. It will still put a smile on those dancers today.

DJ Rush – One Two Zero (Pro-Jex, 1999)

DJ Rush and Stammheim was love at first sight. The residents loved his mad beat constructions. There was probably was not one set from us big floor DJs without at least two tracks by him. And on the other hand DJ Rush adored Stammheim, it was the best club for him back then.

Aphex Twin – Windowlicker (Warp, 1999)

Aphex Twin was formative for his time, and „Windowlicker“ is just one example. I chose it because Pierre used to end long nights by playing this as his last record. It was always astonishing how much energy it could restore for one last time. So it is a classic forever connected to Pierre.

Stefan Küchenmeister – Soda Stream (Hörspielmusik, 2000)

Stefan Küchenmeister was one of the Stammheim residents and he delivered one of the big Stammheims anthems with this track. Fortunately it was released on „Hörspielmusik“, the label I ran with Pierre, and thus we had a home-made Stammheim hit record.

Wassermann – W.I.R. (Sven Väth Remix) (Profan, 2000)

Labels such as Labels wie Profan, Kompakt and Auftrieb developed the sound of Cologne, that us residents really cherished back then. This remix was also one of the big Stammheim anthems.

Vitalic – La Rock 01 (International Deejay Gigolos, 2001)

What can you still say about this track? Pure energy on the dance floor! And one of my all-time favourites.

Depeche Mode – Dream On (Dave Clarke Remix) (Mute, 2001)

Depeche Mode and Dave Clarke? That is the perfect combination that could only lead to a killer track. Dave Clarke knows how to transform an already great track into his own style, resulting in something even better, without losing any of the source’s original greatness. This is a rare gift. A big peak time number at Stammheim.

Electronic Beats 11/17