Taking some time out from her globetrotting Traces album tour, the Terminal M and Electric Avenue boss gives Attack the lowdown on collaborating with her hero, partying in a military base and her dislike for lazy laptop DJs.
Hi Monika. How has 2012 been for you so far?
Hey! The year’s shaping up nicely so far. I’ve had several great parties, like Timewarp in Germany, but there have also been a lot of changes. I’m with a new booking agency, I’ve moved to a new flat, and I released my new album, Traces.
How long did you spend working on the album?
I started to work on it in February last year, but had to take a break for a couple of months because my mum passed away. I went back to the studio in autumn, and finished it in February this year.
Traces is a way for me to express my personal and musical influences over the years. It’s a combination of different electronic styles which have all had a big impact on me. When I began DJing, I started off with deep and vocal house, with one of my biggest heroes being Robert Owens. That’s why I wanted to collaborate with him. I wrote to him and luckily he was into the idea, so I sent him a loop and he sang his lyrics over it. ‘One Love’ is definitely one of my favourite tracks on the album.
Besides that, there are of course some tech-house tracks for the dancefloor on it – which is my style nowadays – as well as more downtempo stuff, with the last track having some broken beats. I put it all together in a mix, because it should give you the impression that you are on a journey of different states of my mind, and these are my traces!
Will you be touring with the album?
Sure. Europe, Asia, USA, South America, and then I’m going to have a long holiday!
What have been your favourite places to play?
The craziest ones must have been in the early 90s when me and my friends organised a lot of illegal techno parties. We once partied on military grounds. We had to hide ourselves in the grass on the way in, and the DJ was standing in an old tank.
My house tram parties were also a lot of fun. I rented a normal tram, put a bar, turntables and smoke machine inside and we went through the city for a few hours.
Truly mind-blowing experiences were the Vision festival in the Swiss Alps, and Burning Man in the Nevada desert.
You DJ with three CDJs and occasionally with vinyl. What are your thoughts on the digital DJ movement?
I think it’s more alive and sexy if a DJ still works with records or CDs than scrolling in a computer. What I really hate is when DJs press the sync button. OK, if DJs like Chris Liebing or Richie Hawtin are doing it – as I know they can mix perfectly and they create something new with all their gear – then that is something totally different. But when I see newcomers with Traktor or other computer programs playing, not even using the headphones any more but just pressing the sync button, I can’t respect them as DJs.
I think it has its charm when you hear that the beat isn’t super tight, the mix isn’t 100% correct, but you know it’s mixed live.
What are you looking forward to for the rest of the year?
I am looking forward to enjoying the summer, to swimming in the sea, to barbecuing with my friends, watching football games. Besides that, gig wise I am looking forward to my gigs in Ibiza with Carl Cox at Space, Ibiza Zoo Project, Timewarp Holland & Italy, all my gigs at Panoramabar…. Actually, to all my gigs!