"Digging for new genres, learning about their origins and in which ways they were influenced by their environment is what I personally believe is worth striving for because this again enriches my knowledge about the music history"
The dj sets by Marie Montexier are powerful statements, emblematic of her energetic and no-holds-barred approach. We take the opportunity to interview her. Enjoy it!
Hi Marie! Where can we find you right now? How did you start off your day?
I started my day early today and walked the dog I take care of sometimes. :)
How did you first get into electronic music? Was it your first real musical love or were you a keen listener of all sounds when you were younger?
My early musical influences were mainly classical. My mother loved to play the cello and next to that she had some Bravo Hits compilations, which you can find in every German child’s CD collection. I started playing the violin at the age of six and played for about eight years, after which I started to practice the piano and guitar.
My personal first love in music was definitely HipHop, the origin of my favorite electronic music genres. It still gives me this very special feeling, that no other genre can. I listened to lots of HipHop in my childhood and today it is still something that keeps me ‘grounded’.
It was also the first genre to sample Funk and Soul breaks, which is also the essential technique for the music I’m deejaying today: Breakbeat.
What were your first experiences as a DJ?
I did my first sessions at a friend’s place, who had record players at home, which consequently led me to buying myself a setup. I really enjoyed mixing, but it was also frustrating for me at the beginning because I started with Vinyl, mixing Breakbeat. :::))
I played my first gig at mine and Vincent Grabowski’s self-organized illegal open air party in the woods of Cologne back in the summer of 2017, called Pas de Futur. Compared to bigger cities, Cologne has a special outdoor rave culture. The authorities kind of accept it, as long as the places are left tidy and clean. Hosts, DJs and guests really respect these informal rules, so that young people feel encouraged to host a rave out of the club context creating room for creativity and versatile music, which is really special!
How did you start experimenting with electronic music?
I first got in contact with electronic club music when I was about 15. I visited a Goa/Techno party at a youth center in the small town I lived in. In the daytime it was an open space for young people to come together after school, hang out and play table football. This was the first place I experienced a rave, DJ's and electronic party music. I still have a poster of one of these parties. I keep it posted on my wall like a relic :::)
When I moved to Cologne I experienced another nightlife scene. I went to my first DnB parties and also got in contact with Techno, Trance, Electro and Wave. I got more and more into electronic music and started my own research on new sounds. I discovered many different genres and still love to do so up until this day.
Do you think electronic music should be taken out of context (out of the club)? Should we
reassess dance music?
I guess it depends on the context. Nowadays, electronic music can be found everywhere, it’s on the radio, as well as in fashion and many other artistic fields. These days a lot of music from earlier times finds its renaissance in a new context.
The consumption of music is often taken self-evident and not questioned, we’re not just enjoying it in the club context, but it accompanies us every day.
As a DJ who has found the opportunity to turn her hobby into work, it is important to me to be informed about both, the history and the cultural background of the music I play. Especially the latter seems crucial because being aware of it offers more diversity than only taking the genre as a product of fun.
What is your music criterion?
I'm just wondering if I have something like a real criterion... I can say that I like the feeling of being surprised. Since I only play vinyl, I’m digging in record stores a lot. Sometimes I pull out a record from the shelf just because the cover or the title makes me curious.
Many genres have their own aesthetics and due to the design you recognize which genre to expect, so I try to step out of my comfort zone and to dig through compartments that I would normally not consider. I’m happily surprised when I find something, for example, in the Tribal House shelf, that excites me.
Also, when I read about a genre on Discogs I previously didn’t know, like Berlin-school for instance, I research it. Digging for new genres, learning about their origins and in which ways they were influenced by their environment is what I personally believe is worth striving for because this again enriches my knowledge about the music history.
In my DJ sets, my music criterion depends on the context. Sometimes I like to work conceptual. In podcasts for example I like to build a dramaturgy with a strong climax.
In club sets, it depends on the set time. If it’s early in the morning I try to prepare something with lots of tension, to catch the people with the sound, giving them power through the music I’m playing. This is lots of fun and I try to rely to my feeling, especially when it comes to music. Yet, preparation is surely another crucial part of it.
How would you define your sound?
Breaky & Bassy…?
What can you tell us about the Warning project? What is the philosophy of the project? And musical criteria?
Warning is a party launched at the club About Blank in Berlin, they started the project in 2017. They arrange parties which take place throughout Germany and sometimes outside of it, too. The idea is to create a special mood, by shaping a line up which does not only consist of big headliners so that the people join the parties not just because of the DJs but because they know that the energy and the vibe is ongoing positive.
Warning’s philosophy goes with the slogan "Rave Safe" which is part of the concept at every club night. It aims to create a safe space for the guests and gives the artists an opportunity to develop freely. Every genre finds its own place, creating a feeling of being free instead of tied down.
What have you learned from your Warning residency?
It taught me not to forget where I come from. Warning has been my first residency and gave me my first platform and a feeling of confidence with the music I like to play, for which I’m still grateful every day. I learned to play very long DJ Sets and how to handle situations when something, as example, technical was not working. So I was able to gain club experience in a familiar setting! <3
How can you explain the existence of the increasingly present parallel between antiquity and novelty?
People are again increasingly interested in musical diversity. The blending of multiple genres is an interesting aspect I think, a variation makes DJ sets always more exciting.
Myself, I’m fascinated by music that was produced in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. Music from that time tells a whole other story. The production styles from this era are unrepeated in our generation. My favorite genre Nu-Skool Breaks is anchored in UK-Breaks. Some of my favorite artists in that genre are Koma & Bones, Rennie Pilgrem and Meat Katie, whom all in their own way have helped shaped the genre as we know it today.
I guess timeless music always finds it’s way back to the present somehow. None of their productions sound similar to what is produced today, but it influenced today’s sound, this contributing to a history that keeps developing every day, like a never-ending story. It’s fun to mix both up. The soul of previous music is steadily resonating in new music.
Are you particularly permeable to your environment, creatively speaking? If so, how does it influence your DJ focus?
Yes, for sure. My biggest influence is my best friend Jonny. He has an incredible knowledge on electronic music. Right now artists like Makyo, Dj Memphis and Exquisite corpse caught his attention. He is into the crossover between Leftfield, Deep Trance, Tribal and Downtempo. He challenges and influences me creatively, with his productions and his selection. I ask him for his opinion and we work together, which is something very special to me.
Until today he has an ongoing impact on my sets.
Where was your favorite place to play, what was your most interesting gig, and for what reason?
To be honest I have several favorite places to play.
I love Garage Noord in Amsterdam, as well as Gewölbe in my hometown Cologne and many other clubs in Berlin. There are too many nice clubs so that I can’t pick a favorite one.
The most interesting club gig that I played was at Wendelpfad in Lüdenscheid, a small town close to Cologne. The location and the scene completely surprised me. The hosts arranged everything by themselves in a vacant factory where they used to build machines. The club has two floors. The main room is a big dark & clubby space. The second floor used to be a lavatory, where you can enjoy chilled disco and house sets.
I felt absorbed by the special vibe in this place. The time I wasn’t playing, I spent on the dance floor and it really felt like I was part of the spirit. This is something I hope to experience more often in the future.
What makes you happy?
Hugs, music and animals.
What was the last record store you visited and what did you keep from there?
The last shop I visited was Libertine Records. A small shop in Berlin that hasn’t been open for too long. The origin of Libertine Records is in Barcelona where they run another record store and a label.
DJ Controlled Weirdness - Deptford Market Arcade Classics EP
The Alien Rain - Alien Rain III
Unfortunately I didn't have enough time to dig through the entire collection, but you can find an incredible selection there, and they have a very knowledgeable crew. Many people still don’t know about the shop - Insider tip!
How do you deal with C19 confinement with your work?
I think it hit us all in the creative sector, way harder than anyone was expecting. It’s been challenging for sure, as sometimes it’s hard to keep on working, not knowing when this pandemic is over.
I’m still trying to concentrate on my musical projects and to stay inspired. One thing that made me very happy was the Club Quarantäne stream which aimed to connect people from all over the world. I recorded a two hours vinyl only mix that was streamed during the daytime on the Resident Advisor Youtube channel as well as the CQ website.
To give you a little introduction: Club Quarantäne is a digital club night broadcasting pre-recorded sets by selected DJ’s for entire weekends. They designed a virtual reality club with exciting visuals to create a new type of club feeling. I received amazing feedback from listeners world wide, which really motivated me to keep going on.
What is very important, is that during C19, the BLM movement grew bigger — a topic that should have been more considered before. This is a very changing time for the electronic music scene but we have to think more out of the box. I think it’s necessary to give people a platform who didn’t have one before. I think this should be an opportunity for the electronic music scene too, to re-evaluate it’s current structures and build towards to a more inclusive and educated scene together. We need to change a lot, starting with closing the gap in our own education. Break up and question the structures that we are taught.
What tracks would you recommend us to liven up the confinement?
Candi Staton - You Got the Love 1986
Int Main - Get Loose [Mind Controlled Rectifier]
DC Wreck - Lady B
Employee (2) – Wutai Tape Mix (Neewt‘s Psychic South Mix) [Ok spirit]
David Morley - Stardancer [Apollo]
Princess Nokia - Gemini
Voy- E - 31 Seconds [Bluff Records]
Turk Turkelton & Cyan85 [0361 Bass Connection]DC Wreck - Lady B (Varum)
Basic - Udus [Pr. Raoult Secret Weapons]
Lastrack - Clairette To Die [Brothers from Different Mothers]
Psychedelic Research Lab – Keep On Climbin’ [Outland records]
OCB - Jonas Algorythm [Warning]
Toma Kami - Gymnase Chaos [Man Band]
Womxn - (Logic1000 Remix)
Glimmerman - Chainlink
What projects are you working on at the moment?
I started my first radio show, Pistache FM, at Radio 80000 a radio station based in Munich. I have a lot of more things coming up, cheers!