Wolfram's Travels Archives – Telekom Electronic Beats

Wolfram’s Travels: Playing to the home crowd

Almost exactly one week ago you might have read a review about one hell of a night at the Arena in Vienna. However, the Electronic Beats Festival 2012 didn’t only bring HVOB, I Heart Sharks, James Blake, Squarepusher and Hudson Mohawke to Wien, no, our beloved Wolfram was also present to make sure the transition from sentimental Blake to dazzling Tom Jenkins went as smoothly as possible. Now, as the alcohol fumes still fill the air, hear what he has to say about this exciting night. Imagine the following in his gravelly voice—he’s still being “a bissale” hung over.

For more than four years now, I’ve been kind of an Electronic Beats resident. Whenever there is a good party in Austria, they ask me to play a few tracks and it’s all pretty cool. The whole crew is so nice and I guess it would be fair to say that I’m a happy member of the Electronic Beats family.

So of course I was present when the Electronic Beats Festival 2012 touched down in Vienna. The first people entering the Arena heard the tracks I was DJing and I was among the last to leave the big hall after Hudson Mohawke rocked the shit out of the crowd. It was a great night, and I really liked Anna and HVOB’s opening set, and I Heart Sharks got the people in a good mood—it really got ’em going. I have to admit though, I thought about playing “The Limit to your Love” by Feist after James Blake’s set, but I decided against it.

Squarepusher was great. It’s the work of art as a whole that makes it a unique experience. Like Amon Tobin earlier this year, the visuals and the music just fit perfectly. The funny thing is, I saw Squarepusher a few years ago in L.A. I was in the queue waiting to get in when I noticed John Frusciante and Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers standing right in front of me. Later in the club there were only about 50 or 60 people and those two dudes were the only ones dancing, albeit in a pretty weird way.

What followed was my personal highlight: Hudson Mohawke. Right before he started I played “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins and many people believed it was already Hudmo, but it was actually me. This dude is crazy, he tore everything apart, totally brought the place down, even though it sounded more like a DJ set than a live set it was still great! I can’t wait for the next EB family get together, bring it on! ~

Photos: David Bogner

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Wolfram’s Travels: DJing for a real Sir

The time is nearly upon us. This week Electronic Beats Festival Vienna will finally take place and bring the dopeness. Well, at least if you’re amongst the lucky ones that have a ticket. For all the others: don’t be sad, there’ll be comprehensive follow-up coverage and we’ll have Wolfram, who will be performing that night, on hand to tell you his version of events. But before all that, time to get stuck into part three of his Travels series. Over to him.

While the first two stories took place so long ago that I could hardly remember any details, this week’s tale is about a gig that happened just four weeks ago. I still can’t tell you much about it because I signed a contract stating that I’d keep my lips tightly sealed as to the details. But let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

During my time in New York I met not only all kinds of DFA artists, but also their favorite photographer, Ruvan Wijesooriya. He’s the guy who followed James Murphy and his band for over seven years and took loads of pictures—all of which resulted in a photo anthology entitled LCD that is set for release in December. He must have grown fond of my Corinthian accent, my curly hair or maybe he just liked my musical style, whatever it may have been, the important thing is that he referred me along with two other DJs to a wedding planner. As you might have guessed, they chose me. I’m not allowed to give you any more details about that wedding, except that the celebrations took place at Sir Richard Branson’s villa in Morocco. So take another look at the picture above and try to imagine for yourself what happened that night. And maybe, if we see each other at the festival, I’ll give you a detail or two and curb your wild imaginations.

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Wolfram’s Travels: Sharing the stage with Lady Gaga

There’s little more than a week left until the Arena Wien will be filled to capacity for Electronic Beats Festival Vienna 2012s glorious line-up. To get you even more excited, we decided to ask Austria’s number one and EB Vienna 2012 performer Wolfram about his most memorable gigs. Last week you had the opportunity to read about how Wolfram got to meet Moby and play the piano at one of his shows. This week it will be someone different playing the piano, while our curly-haired guy is DJing. Over to him.

 

Back in the day some booking agent contacted me via MySpace – so back in the day pretty much nails it, haha – to tell me that he was looking for new talent. I thought it could turn out to be a promising opportunity for me since the guy was managing DJs like Tiesto so I decided to meet him. He immediately offered me a contract but I was kinda hesitant and agreed to do a test phase, meaning he would organize some gigs for me and after that we would negotiate the terms of a real contract.

Things turned out pretty well for me. The first gig I played was at a Calvin Klein show, which wasn’t that exciting, but still good money. However, it was nothing compared to gig numbertwo – an after party of the Marc Jacobs show hosted by V Magazine (which had put both Lady Gaga and Marc Jacobs on the cover of their New York issue) at New York Fashion Week in Spring 2010. It took place at the famous Hiro Ballroom, which looks exactly like the place in Kill Bill where Black Mamba fights the crazy 88.

Back then, Lady Gaga was already a superstar and after the show everybody was primarily talking about her outfit – she was almost naked and had Statue of Liberty-like hair –but her set was fantastic too. She only played two songs, “Pokerface” and “Just Dance”, but it was still an astonishing performance. The thing is, the room was packed with superstars, Russell Simmons, founder of Def Jam was there, Janet Jackson, Ciara and lots of other celebrities who I didn’t know but could presume to have been very important. And as it often happens at parties like this, people were sipping champagne and talking throughout – a no go for a piano concert that requires a super silent audience. But Gaga played it really cool, which speaks volumes of her qualities as an entertainer and artist.

After her show, which was about 15 minutes long, I took over and started DJing – just as people were leaving, haha. It wasn’t all that bad though. I mean, of course a few people were going home, but the night still turned out to be great. Everybody was uplifted, including me because I’d got to meet her and shake here hand. Everybody knew they had just experienced something very, very special.

 

Lady Gaga photo by Wolfram.

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Wolfram’s Travels: Playing the piano for Moby

The countdown to Electronic Beats Festival Vienna 2012, which features headliners James Blake, Squarepusher, and Hudson Mohawke, is ticking, and the festival is already sold out. Our friend Wolfram is among those performing, and as a sort of teaser he’s sharing a few select stories about his most exciting gigs.

 

The first time I met Moby was at the Standard Hotel in Miami; that must have been around 2009 or maybe even 2008. I had played a few gigs there and he’d probably done the same. So we met at the hotel lobby and started talking and somehow we got along pretty well. One thing led to the other, which in our case didn’t mean casual sex but attending each others parties in Miami and having dinner together. By coincidence it also turned out the we were on the same flight back to New York, which is where I decided to give him Disco Romance, the Sally Shapiro CD that had been released on my label Diskokaine. In New York I had to catch my flight back to Vienna and we kinda lost track of each other (it was pre-Facebook) but a few weeks later I got an email asking if I wanted to do a remix for his new single. Of course I said yes and from that point on I mostly dealt with his management. But they didn’t get back to me regarding what kind of style the remix should be, so I did three (I was really worried about fucking things up back then…): a disco mix, one more techno/house oriented and a third one and sent over all three – with the info that they should decide on one. A few days later Moby called me and said he liked all the mixes I did, but the management only has the budget for one. But if I agreed, I could stay at his apartment any time I’m in New York.

So it turned out that I ended up not only with three remixes on the Moby single “Disco Lies”,but also a place to stay in New York (which in a way also made it possible for me to play a gig with Lady Gaga – but that’s a story for next week) as well as me picking up the slack for Moby’s piano dude, when he played a show in Warsaw or Prague (I can’t remember). It must have been Autumn 2009 and I can’t remember much… except that I was dead nervous that night. Lucky for me I took video during the last song.

 

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