Best Boy Electric – Groove Podcast 395

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Photo: Press (Best Boy Electric)

Best Boy Electric rebelled at an early age by picking up a violin and later embraced the electro sound at Hamburg’s Golden Pudel, whose sound they now shape as the organiser of the Dream Journal event series. Whether it’s that or their work as an integral member of the POSSY collective as well as an organiser and curator behind the Fine Space series at Kampnagel, the DJ follows a simple guiding principle: it’s all about sharing opportunities with others and making sure everyone has a good time. Best Boy Electric’s contribution to our Groove podcast channels feelings of anger into a mix that perfectly represents their sound as a DJ: this is cutting-edge, razor-sharp electro that pays its dues to the oldschool but pushes the genre’s envelope.

Thanks to your mother and uncle, you came in touch with very different styles of music at a very early age—including the Detroit-style electro that dominates your own sets until this day. What drew you to this particular style of music?

Besides electro, hip-hop and punk, I was also listening to classical music from an early age (against my mothers wishes) and that was my main musical genre until I was around 18 years old. I also played the violin since I was five and was in multiple orchestras, choirs and ensembles. What then drew me to electro was the similarity in the voice leading and structure, mixed with the possibilities of looping and creating patterns that just wouldn‘t be playable by classical instruments. It may sound obvious but it was really eye-opening for me. On top of that I just love the sounds used in electro and it’s footing on science and of course black history.

What did your first steps as a DJ look like?

Through friends and going to the Golden Pudel Club—after making countless compilated CDs in my youth—I realised DJing was kind of the next logical step of my music collecting and oranising it in a certain oder. So I started to buy records and record players and tried mixing at home for one year. But although most of my (male) friends were DJing and organising parties, it didn’t really cross my mind to ask if they would book me and it didn’t cross theirs to ask me. But thanks to two friends that supported me, after pushing me several times in their collective, I finally got my first gig at Astra Stube. Shortly after I got my second gig at the POSSY party.

You’ve become a member of the collective right after that set and thus shortly after the inception of POSSY. What was the motivation behind the founding of POSSY in 2017?

The motivation was the sheer lack of people who were not endo cis men DJing and also in the audience. There were a few resident DJs at Golden Pudel, but as my experience showed, FLINTA* were always just there to work at the door or bar, or make the food for the parties, but never as DJs. And when we went there to party, there were almost always multiple cases of harrassement. With POSSY, we wanted to throw parties where everyone could feel comfortable and seen. And we wanted to rethink the parties we normally went to and do it our own way. For example, we often started earlier to include people with kids or we integrated performances, concerts or exhibitions in the nights. Those parties were the first ones that I experienced where the dancefloor wasn’t filled with endo cis men while FLINTA* were on the sides. We created a space for us to feel safe and try out new things.

The declared primary goal of POSSY is creating more presence for FLINTA* in Hamburg. What concrete steps are you taking to achieve it?

The key step is support—we support each other instead of being competitors. In the beginning (and still often nowadays) we had to spread awareness for the lack of FLINTA* DJs. We had conversations with bookers and other collectives, making them aware of their booking and the circumstances of a party, for example if there’s a door or awareness team. For our parties concretely that means that only FLINTA* people are working at visible spots such as the entry, bar, production, and of course in the DJ booth. We always try to invite baby DJs together with more experienced ones so that they can connect and learn from each other. Besides that, we empower people to start doing what they want to do—DJing, founding a collective, organising a party … We always try to share our opportunities, contacts, experience, and knowledge with others.

Do you think that some of these measures could be successfully applied elsewhere by other collectives with the same goals and if so, what advice would you give them?

Yes, I absolutely think that they could be applied anywhere. My advice is: just be supportive and mindful of your surroundings. Listen to people that don’t feel heard and (even if it’s not possible) try to think of everyone when you plan something. Be open to learn new things and be open to criticism. And if feelings of competition are emerging, keep in mind that there is enough space for everyone. Someone else thriving doesn’t reduce your chance of success.

You also co-curate the Possycast along with Elazer and are involved in the booking of the events. What’s important to you in terms of programming them?

In programming the Possycast, we apply the same standards as with the booking of our parties, only that a podcast is not stationary. That gives us the opportunity to invite people from all over the world. And, although we didn’t only book „typical club music“ to our parties, it’s also more variable in regard to which genres we can feature. With the podcast, it was also important to give people opportunities who, for example, can’t yet play in clubs because there are none in their area. Or who are just music lovers but didn’t think of themselves as DJs yet because no-one supported them.

Besides all this, you are a resident at Golden Pudel, where you also host the Dream Journal event series. How would you describe your relationship with this club and what is the philosophy behind Dream Journal?

The Golden Pudel Club was the first club where I heard electro when Helena Hauff, Ratkat and Cindy Looper were playing there eleven years ago. It was also the first club where I could dress however I wanted without being afraid to not get in, and where the people at the door were nice and sometimes didn’t ask for money if we didn’t have any cash. Unlike other clubs, it was a place where I felt safe and free and like I could be who I want to be without being judged. It was—and still is—a place to meet new like-minded or very different people and be in exchange, verbally or through the music, and those people range from 18 to 65 years old. Also it’s a place for all kinds of music. You never have to be afraid that people won’t be open to the music you’re playing and you can go there three times a week and hear different genres every time. I don’t know if I would call my thoughts about Dream Journal a philosophy. I just wanted to have a nice electro party and invite DJs I love and give them the opportunity to play at Golden Pudel. Of course the policy of Golden Pudel and the thoughts I described about POSSY play a role in Dream Journal as well. As always, I try to share my opportunities with others and just give everyone a good time.

Your series Fine Space usually takes place at the Kampnagel theatre. What concept do you follow with Fine Space?

With Fine Space it naturally came about that it developed into a place for queer BIPoCs. Since Kampnagel is not a club that people just go to without knowing about the party, it was a good place to create such a space. With JADA as an MC and newcomer DJs and bands, I also tried to open up the idea of a “normal” club party a little bit and keep the POSSY vibe.

What was the idea behind your mix for our Groove podcast?

To be honest, I was angry and tried to channel my anger into something productive, and show some of my favourite records right now.

Last but not least: what are your plans for the future?

I would love to play more international gigs and festivals and connect with the music scenes of other cities. When you play more and more in bigger clubs and have an agent, it’s easy to lose contact to smaller collectives and self-organised parties. I want to stay in touch with DJs that are just starting to play and queer feminist or BIPoC collectives and promoters. I also plan to give some vinyl DJ workshops in the future and learn to play with CDJs myself, to be able to play music from producers that don’t have the possibility to release their music on vinyl.

Stream: Best Boy Electric – Groove Podcast 395

01. Ekman – Masters Of The Vortex
02. Shcuro – Unbearable Heaviness
03. Chino – Shiny Leather
04. Unknown Artist – Lonely Objects
05. Viikatory – Step 01
06. Sergey Timoshov – Electro Beats 1
07. Amor Satyr – Transfer
08. LUZ1E – Escapism
09. CYRK – Attack Of The Blow Up Dolls
10. Yazzus – Human Error Processor
11. PRZ – Synthetic Man
12. SIM80 – Reflex AI
13. Datahata – The Watery World
14. Plant43 – Golden Waxcap

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