Be [Authentic] & Stay Techno..
How long have you been DJing for?
In early 90s I fell for electronic music as a raver and spent my youth on rave parties. Me and my bro Dave, we’ve got excited by early techno scene and decided to throw “Party Zone” in our little town in south of Moravia in 1992. There was only one headliner, so we were also called to DJ duty. After we did few more parties, (called “Voice of Future” and “Space Energy”, hihih) so my DJing came along organizing. I was even invited to DJ in a proper club in Zlin around that time, but eventually they kicked me out, because I was playing too much gabber techno and rave and refused to put on 2 Unlimited ;) When I realized that majority of locals like more disco and pop I put my DJ career on hold for some time...
How did you get to techno and what is fascinating you about this music?
From old school rap, hip hop, scratching and turntablism. Through passionate videotaping late night shows on MTV I was introduced to different genres of dance music and electronic sounds in 90s, and later I was in love with all kinds of experimental electronic music, alternative rock and post rock. My music taste wraps up mental states and emotions, so with personal path I was also changing life “soundtracks”. I would say Prodigy’s debut album “The Experience” was my first rhythmic crush, emphasizing notion of dance. Freaky moves opened up the doors for me, from rave to hardcore to gabber to detroit techno. However, my mind needed broader sonic realms, so I became fascinated by more abstract frequencies. At that time there were not so many possibilities to buy good music, only in Prague, but since we had it closer, we used to travel to Vienna or Bratislava to get music and vinyls there. I still love techno for its simplicity, purity and energy. Techno is abstract imaginative architecture and combined with ritualistic shaking wild energy out of my restless body it is my favorite obsession.
Where was your first gig?
Around my 20s I was playing local parties a lot, mostly in Moravia, in alternative clubs in Uherske Hradiste and Ostrava, where I did my first uni. During my studies in Brno, at the Faculty of Fine Arts, I got back to intensive organization of events and exhibitions. When I entered doctoral program I also started to play my own production as Akkamiau, directed a play and started to create sound compositions for dance performances. I keep whole list of my activities, because too much is happening and it’s hard to remember. All this was happening, let's say from 1996 to 2000-something, but first real gig, on official festival, I had with my ex boyfriend DJ Fiju at Sperm festival in Prague in 2006. We did duo set, he was behind the decks and I was playing Korg Electribe live.
Which equipment do you use?
Pink monster Korg Electribe SX, Kaoss Pad as effect for microphone and 88 keys Korg Kronos. Korgi family is accompanied by mini synths from Bastl instruments and toys by teenage engineering. I used to include also circuit bended mini piano in Akkamiau sets, but recently as hiT͟Hərˈto͞o I sample all to Ableton and run half prepared compositions from soft, half live input from Electribe and mini synths. For DJing easy setup: Tractor and Faderfox controller. I wish I have turntables, but well, I have three cats, so already enough scratching at home.
What's your favorite club?
From perspective of a dancer: each one i had “proper rave". I used to travel a lot, in Europe and also in US. When living in California I was hanging around breakbeat crew and DJ Culture shop, run by Simple Jeff. I <3 private house parties in Huntington Beach. In Los Angeles I met guys from Detroit Underground and brothers Vargas, from Droid Behavior crew, and other amazing musicians and artists. It was awesome and super inspiring in regards of my own production. I was surrounded by crazy lovely people, indeed living Hollywood dream. I went through all of it…. from fancy condos private parties to commercial raves and festivals to illegal warehouse parties in downtown L.A., artsy openings or gay clubs in SanFran. They called me crazy czech chick… I humbly called myself “party monster” at that time...But to be honest, older I get, more I appreciate efficiency: good quality of music and sound + respectful dancefloor. Living in Berlin concludes to Wellness center Berghain, our unholy church, place where you can have proper sex even with huge speaker and no one cares. Left front became really popular for that particular reason, I guess. ;)
AKKAMIAU·SUNDAY, 5. FEBRUARY 2017 for Authentic Techno
Producing or Djing?
In my case it’s complementary, seen from time axis. In certain seasons I feel urge to express myself, so I listen only to my own sounds, over and over. The need to lock myself in, take a distance from all outside and create something out of myself. I guess I have more traditional approach to arts, I’m not such sound design nerd, neither super geek of latest plugins, however I find it interesting, how technological advances are influencing what is “in” and how audience reacts to it. Well, I must admit that this year resolution is learning all about synthesis. If you think about phenomena of last past years, how new software and apps for making music are approachable for almost everyone, I wonder where this will lead. I just read very honest article by Tim Exile, when he points out how music helps with mental issues. And I must admit, art and music are for me the best cure for my own psychical imbalance. So maybe, more people will do music, more gentle creatures we become. It is also amazing to see recent revival of modulars, realizing the importance of machines and role of their original sounds in evolution of music. All is interconnected... When I get an invitation to create a podcast or play DJ gig, I work differently, direction outwards. Usually spending days of active listening new stuff which resonates with me, in combination with tracks by my favorite producers. I think of selection in a sense how tracks belong and communicate with each other…they can even create hidden messages by reading their names, you know, haha. I’m into alchemy and spiritual teachings and part of me digs physics, mostly astrophysics, it’s one big theory of everything.
Do you prefer clubs or open airs?
We need ocean in Berlin… ups, I don't mean to call global warming upon us.. but would be amazing to have an open airs with salty air, starry night sky and black plasma waves licking the shore…. Clubs, on other hand, get more intensive dancefloor vibe, compact and dense, so preferably klubnacht with after party on the beach. But when I play I have no preferences, each gigs I take like site specific project.
Three words how would you describe your music
Abstract electric communication.
Idols and favorite musicians?
Michael Nyman, Angelo Badalamenti, MaryAnne Amacher, Public Enemy, Cannibal Ox, Vladislav Delay, Planningtorock, Sonic Youth, Matt Elliott (Third Eye Foundation), Peter Van Hoesen, Irradiation… and many more.
How did you get your Dj Name?
It was random, but since I like to play with words, “akka” means older sister in Hindi. And once you pronounce “miau” it will be clear. So yeah, I’m a cat lover. Mum of three.
Do you create a podcast also like a club set?
Podcasts definitely more conceptually, layering tracks and mixing in Ableton. Club sets are more spontaneous, but I definitely draw inspiration from podcasts and shows I do on Colaboradio and always infiltrating weird tracks into club parties. Fact is that I’m not a full time DJ, I’m kind of universal person and I do so many different things and I think this broad variety reflects in my sets as well.
Tell us an unforgettable moment of your DJ career
When I’m really happy about the set and atmosphere it had created, than as I play last track, I go down to dance with people, haha, because usually I choose my favorite closing track so I also wanna shake a bit, after hours of mixing :] so best are the closings!
What one should never do when behind the decks?
Hahaha, I mean, everyone is free to do what they wanna do, as far as they can handle the proper mix!
Tell us three all time favorite tracks
I can only think of 3 tracks, which are connected with strange intensive moments of my life: ecstasy premiere of Born slippy, played live by Darren Emerson in L-klub in Pardubice; almost deadly car crash on highway to Berlin while listening There's A Fight At The End Of The Tunnel, track from Album You guys kill me by Third Eye Foundation; and Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) singing for “me” Lights out at a secret gig in L.A.
Your last words