Imagine gathering eight people under one roof and ushering them into a recording studio – everybody’s busy nowadays (sometimes in precarious situations, but always doing one thing or another, incessantly), this being the age of late capitalism and all that. Anyway, diaries checked and off we go. Next stop: Oetinger Villa, Darmstadt. Kolter has already swept the place clean, DJ Ulf Eyes has brought beer from the waterfront, MC Cobra is dressed in the latest threads from Berlin, McWerner and Cha Cha have everything they didn’t forget to bring from Cologne and up the Rhine and – natch – El Haze and Biber Bergi line up alongside LL Cool P from Saarbrücken. Pizza delivery number dialled, bottles opened, lights, camera, action. Machines bleep, a violin cries out, a clarinet howls, guitar and bass weave their way around the drums. The spell lasts for several days, then the magic goes back in the box, the recording is done. Everyone heads back to where capitalist realism awaits in fifty shades of gloom. Alas, it was over so quickly! Luckily, a tour is in the offing, a chance to see one another again!
1: Earth is Flat!
2: VR is real!
3: Datashock is Ruth-Maria Adam (RMA), Christian Berghoff (CB), Sebastian Haas (SH), Pascal Hector (PH), Jan Stütz (JS), Ulf Schütte (US), Ronnie Oliveras (RO), Jan Werner (JW).
4: People are flat!
5: Jamba Spar Abos still exist!
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
PH: Pizza, Beer & Smokes with the Gang.
RO: Datashock as a circle of friends and Humour.
SH: Crazy Frog
US: Internet, people
CB: I agree with Ronnie
RMA: Sense & Nonsense
2. How and when did you get into making music?
PH: Making music was never the idea behind datashock. Still can’t play a single instrument, never will be and still not interested.
CB: When I met the Datashock family
JS: around 1980 when my brother and i founded Neue-Deutsche-Welle bands every other week. We’ve got a keyboard, a plastic suitcase with cardboard boxes as drums, a flute and an old flamenco guitar to hammer on it in our children’s room.
JW:I was 8 when I started playing the Piccolo Flute.
RMA: What do you mean by “making music”? My first vocal performance was probably some decades ago after my mother gave birth to me.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
Sunburned Hand Of The Man – Jaybird
Double Leopards – Urban Concusion
Wolf Eyes – Burned Mind
Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
SpaceGhostPurrp – Blackland Radio 66.6
H.N.A.S. – Küttel im Frost
Limpe Fuchs – Via
Destroy all Monsters – 1974 1976
The Stooges – The Stooges
Dieter Roth – Die Radiosonate
MMOB – Totem Two
MMOB – Totem Three
MMOB – Totem One
The Dirtys – You Should Be Sinnin´
Natural Snow Buildings – Waves Of The Random Sea
Guided by Voices – Bee Thousand
Harmonia – Musik von…
Wolf Eyes – Burned Mind
Madvillain – Madvillainy
John Coltrane – A Love Supreme
Blues Explosion- Orange
The Dirtys -You should be sinnin
The Monks-Black Monk Time
13th floor elevators
Mississippi John Hurt-Okeh Recordings
Guided by Voices – Alien Lanes
The Tear Garden – The Last Man To Fly
Fennesz – Endless Summer
Klaus Nomi – Klaus Nomi
The Dass Sägebett – Morgen müsst ihr wieder Fische sein
The Jesus & Mary Chain – Psychocandy
Popul Vuh – in den Gärten Pharaos
Terry Riley – A Rainbow in Curved Air
Earth – HEX
Captain Beefheart – Safe as Milk
Kiko C. Esseiva – Sous Les Etoiles
Padme – Wisdom From The Stars
Heldon – Electronic Guerilla
Full of Hell – Roots Of Earth Are Consuming My Home
The Make-Up – Save Yourself
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
PH: Bei Ruth, Staalplaat, Bis aufs Messer, Live From Earth, Pan, Tochnit Aleph..
RO: In which cheaper district can we move next? Leipzig?
US: Recording with Phantom Horse and getting hammered at Muted Horn
CB: Good times, but i don’t belong in such a big city…
JS: friends, family, unfullfilled dreams, stench, dirt, broad sidewalks
JW: 1001 Falafel
RMA: The place where I eat, sleep & shit.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
PH: Tilted Towers & Moisty Mires
RO: Besides my room: A-Musik recordstore.
SH: PH´s Flat
US: That portuguese café without a name.
CB: Beside home, rehearsal room
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
PH: Beeing a Fortnite Pro Player.
RO: Don’t know, there is music in the world. Pretty sure i wouldnt invent music. Obviously, I have a problem with the imagination.
SH: Riding a Motorcycle (>Crazy Frog)
JS: everything else i’m able to
JW: Making serious money!
RMA: No music in the world would mean no heartbeat => luckily no reason to decide. Just in case: probably skate or die.
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
PH: DJ PAYPAL – 174.2.2
RO: Roger Roger – Musique Idiote
SH: Syrinx – Tumblers From The Vault
US: The Pin Group – Coat 7” and Ambivalence 7”
CB: Wooden Shjips- V.
JS: die kulisse – 99 verschiedene Geräusche für den Film- und Fotofreund
JW: Otis Redding – Sessions
RMA: Kolossale Jugend – Leopard II
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
PH: Everybody who is on the same mindlevel & wanna join us.
RO: Wu-Tang Clan
CB: Nils Bellair
RMA: Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Penny Rimbaud, Klaus Kinski, Elisa K.
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
PH: Fuck nostalgia. Still searching.
RO: Impossible to say. Hijokaidan 2015 in Leverkusen at a youth club was because of the situation, the place and the accompaniment very memorable.
SH: Jan Werner live in Paris, without a doubt
US: Too many, i can’t say.
CB: Maybe the show of master musican of bukkake in Karlsruhe, less visitors much fog…
JS: no idea
JW: too many
RMA: Have you ever had a fit of laughter during your flute part in your first and last try to perform a cover song? Give it a try, it will definitely be your best gig!
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
PH: Future is now. Please upload my knowledge.
RO:What kind of technology? Its pretty good to have a fridge around. i prefer drinking cool beers before, during and after the creative process.
SH: Very important, I look ahead, not back.
US: I’m kind of fascinated by obsolete technology. It’s ‚flaws’ and limitations are inspiring.
JS: it’s inspiring and hindering at the same time. I need electricity most of the time, but i can´t produce it by myself in the required amount. That’s disappointing.
RMA: …hmm…very important – I suppose there are already many chips implanted under my scalp…
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
PH: All my brothaz & sistaz are in the Datashock Family
RO: One sister. Im not talking with her about career or art at all. Using those words would make us die laughing.
SH: 4 sisters and they absolutely believe in what I do and they´re really into my artistic output. To be honest, it´s not always easy being the creative person in the family (> envy etc.), but they have always been very supportive though. I really appreciate that. Thank you girls.
US: see CB
CB: Two sisters, i have no idea how they feel.
JS: as a graduated musician my brother has to make his living from playing music. I don’t, so maybe he’s jealous.
JW: One brother – full support!
RMA: Never thought about that. Maybe I’ll ask my sister. Could ask her also what she thinks how I feel about the things she is doing.
Datashock will perform at Bei Ruth on 6 August 2018.
Photo: Marion Bellaire