Photo: Kimberly Ihre (Philippa Pacho)
Philippa Pacho has carved out a niche for herself in contemporary techno, but that doesn’t mean that she’s not a teamplayer. Having cut her teeth as a member of the Sthlm Murder Girls and starting a long-term residency at the Swedish capitol’s Under Bron club, she is still keen on collaborating with others and bringing together people from different backgrounds: together with Blue Hour, she has started the sublabel positivesource as a platform for mini-compilations highlighting the productions from a diverse roster of artists. Also Pacho’s mix for our Groove podcast combines the new and the old, the groovy and the hard-hitting. It’s a warm and richly detailed set.
First off, how have you been doing these past year and a half?
Emotionally, like for many, there’s been lots of ups and downs. However, physically I’ve never been in better shape, perhaps because of not partying as much. (laughs) During the absence of ”normal life,” I’ve moved countries again and also started studying full-time. If I can mention something good that has come out of the pandemic it is that I’ve spent a lot more time digging through music and discovered a lot of ideas and things that have inspired me.
You’ve already played a slew of gigs this autumn, both in your current homebase Berlin and internationally. How has the experience been so far?
It’s been interesting, weird, confusing, a little scary maybe sometimes but most of all its extremely satisfying to see people dance and enjoy themselves. I’ve been very fortunate to play at some great venues after the lockdowns and at the same time discover many talented DJs. It feels like a big reunion for our community.
Even prior to becoming a DJ, you were collecting music. What prompted you to step up to the decks in the first place?
My brother used to DJ so he had a set up at home that I played around with whenever he would be out the house. Eventually when I became 18 I started going out to raves and a year later I was already organising my own events with some girlfriends of mine. We needed DJ’s so it was quite natural that I would start to play with my music collection there. My dad has also been collecting jazz music his entire life so I understood the meaning of digging and collecting quite early on. Music is personal and sacred to me. As much as it should be shared with others, I’m also protective over what I’ve found, I miss the feeling and mystery when you have to go through deep depths to find a track you heard out or you stumble upon something special which really resonates with you. Now with apps like Shazam and DJ’s listing track ID’s it’s no longer a secret, it’s often very transparent and I feel that mystery is sometimes lost.
You cut your teeth on the Stockholm scene both as a member of the Sthlm Murder Girls and later as a resident at Under Bron, which counts you as a resident until this day. How has this affected your DJing over the years?
It’s made a huge impact on me. To have a club to regularly play in and to further your craft has been really important for me and I’ve learnt a lot from it. A space to call your home and where you can perfect your openings, peak moments and closing hours is something really special not everyone gets to experience and is not to be taken for granted. I’m forever grateful to have Under Bron as my home. Sadly its been closed for almost two years now, but it’s going through an exciting renovation at the moment and will reopen soon. I’m super excited about that and returning to play there!
Since relocating to Berlin in 2014, you are still regularly playing in your native Sweden. How is it for you, commuting between those two different scenes?
They differ in many ways, Stockholm is more intimate compared to Berlin. Being connected to both cities broadens your perspectives a bit and DJ’ing is different in each city. Berlin-based clubbers are generally more thirsty for pounding sets and you often have a longer slot to be a bit more playful with and go deep. Stockholm is a smaller city with more DIY raves and I would say generally they are more into melodic grooves and not as fast as the current Berlin crowd.
Together with Blue Hour, you have launched positivesource, a sublabel to his own imprint. What was your motivation to start the label and how would you describe the philosophy behind it – why for example do you focus on mini-compilations?
We started positivesource because we wanted to create a platform to showcase music from the artists we admire, our friends and represent the broad range of styles that exists in dance music. It was also an opportunity for Luke and I to bring our profiles together somehow and conceptualise something fun! We curate the label in a way which reflects past traditions but also explores modern styles with progressive attitudes. We’re not the only ones doing VA’s but we wanted to challenge the format a bit and offer something more durable and inspiring.
What was the idea behind your mix for our Groove podcast?
I wanted to keep it warm, groovy, repetitive with an old school feeling but meeting the new school.
Last but not least: What are your plans for the future?
The third and forth positivesource releases are coming up next year and theres some exciting gigs in the calendar also. In addition to that I’m continuing to focus on my university studies and when there’s time for dancing I’ll see you on the floor!
Stream: Philippa Pacho – Groove Podcast 317
01. Franz Jäger – Raw Zone
02. Christoper Just – Oppressive Melody
03. D.Dan – Raw Jam
04. TD5 – Green Slade
05. Traktor 3000 – Traktor v12
06. Pageone – Redux Burner
07. Uväll – Fictional Character
08. Pageone – A2
09. DJ Savage – Breaking Point
10. Tokyo 3 – Proton Pill
11. Sound Virus – Follow Your Feet
12. Buttechno – Big D Acid
13. Fergus Sweetland – Shimmy
14. Precession – Sandcastle
15. Echoplex – Shut Off
16. Kostroma – True
17. Female – Looking Through the Eyes of Love
18. Regis – It’s a mans world
19. Slim Steve – Everybody is Talking (Body mix)
20. Maurizio – Ploy (UR Mix)
21. Glitch – The Beat
22. Housey Doing – Curly Wurly