We recently caught up with one of GUM's favorite DJ's Phillip Jung, member of German minimal band M.A.N.D.Y.
Their upcoming Album is expected to be released on November 11, 2016 named Double Fantasy.
GUM: I read that you first met your band mate Patrick on a tennis court. What's the story behind that? Also, who's better at tennis?
Phillip Jung: We did. And we can remember that date pretty well. We were both crazy about sports and always moving. Probably that’s where our endurance for the party comes from. And Patrick hit harder, but that doesn’t always necessarily brings the win...
GUM: Your big hit "Body Language" has appeared on scores of compilations. How has it being such a big hit changed the crowds you play to, both in terms of number and kinds of people?
P.J.: It was a big Bang for us and Booka Shade for sure. We were voted best label from a big music mag in the UK, won best track of the year etc, so this gives your career a lil' push to say the least. We played a couples of the bigger clubs then and big money gigs as well. But you end up in places where you maybe don’t get a feeling for the crowd. I remember Patrick breaking a vinyl cause he was so angry about the crowd that night. And after that we decided to stop this path and only work with people and clubs we respect and like a lot. And we are very happy with this.
GUM: What made you decide to form the Get Physical label in the first place? How would you describe the mission or aesthetic of the label?
P.J.: Just 6 guys back in the days trying to release their music and not dealing with record companies. We send our stuff everywhere back in the days and noone wanted to sign our stuff. So T. and the boys from Booka Shade and us decided to make music we like and sign artists we can produce and help. T. had a well running club at the time, so he was the one funding the whole project. At the time, you needed some money to start a label. The mission is still pretty similar, finding good people we can support and with whom we can start a great working relation ship. We love doing business with friends or at least friendly people.
GUM: I know you're a big fan of Burning Man. What makes DJ'ing in that environment special?
P.J.: Everyone who sees the pictures can get a glimpse what this whole festival is about. It’s probably one of the most surreal things you can experience. And as I am very curious, I needed to inhale and understand this very concept. So I went 4 years in a row, but now I need a break and maybe do other new things again. But of course i will always carry this experience in my heart. The absence of communication devices and money is just a very very unique experience. And it was important to see something where everyone is involved. You are not going there to get entertained. You have to be part of it! Don’t ask what the party can do for you, ask yourself what you can do for the party :
GUM: Several years ago, you started working infrared technology into your live show. What's the next big technological leap for your performances?
P.J.: That’s a good question. Patrick and I had lots of fun, but after all you fire Ableton and you use some effects and eventually a keyboard. We just had the impression that Djing is more live after all. And even though we like our own work, we are mainly DJs who love to play new music. So for the moment, we’ll keep it that way.
GUM: There was a period a few years ago where you and Patrick were performing separately due in part to visa issues. What's the membership of M.A.N.D.Y. right now?
P.J.: There was the Visa issue and i needed a break from Berlin as well. I moved to NYC in 2009 and stayed there for a bit. Some friends and I opened a bar/nightclub in Williamsburg as well, so obviously I am there pretty often. But we try to play as much together when we have the chance. It’s much for fun and we love to play longer sets...
GUM: What are your thoughts about the recent explosion in popularity and money of electronic dance music? Does it have anything to do with the techno and house scene that you've been in for so long?
P.J.: It’s became a big business, you are right. It became a music genre like HipHip or Rock and it works under the same circumstances. Money rules. Of course we dislike a lot of what’s going on. And the retarded fees a guy gets for his sets these days. But then again, if he makes the promoter the money back, I guess it’s alright. It’s just a lil sad to see how many get infected by this money bug. I think we all can’t complain, we have the best job and earn really good money. Even a smaller scale DJ makes enough to have a great life. Not sure if it always has to be more. It’s not always the best choice in my eyes (and ears). Luckily we always find places on this beautiful planet where that original spirit and the love for our music is still unspoiled. And we try to support those people too of course and play for no money or a flight ticket.
GUM: What do you look for in a recording studio? What do you need it to have in order for you to feel comfortable?
P.J.: As we are travelling like madmen we hadn’t had a studio for a while. We usually work with friends and use their studios. Be it at Jimmy’s (bob moses) place back in the days in nyc or down in Heidelberg at Lopazz’ studio. We need good people around us, the rest comes automatically. Luckily we haven’t lost the passion and we really like each other still, so it’s fun to do projects together, exchanging ideas and laugh at each other. So let’s rave’n’roll for another couples of years!!!