Splendid Berlin meets up with DJ and music producer Erol Alkan for a walk around Museum Island, to talk creativity, Spotify playlists and TRASH.
Photography & Interview: Heike Schneider-Matzigkeit
SB: What are your memories of Berlin? When did you first dj here?
EA: I think my first visit to Berlin was to play Cookies back in 2001.. It was a Thursday night and I remember it being pretty intense, people dancing all over the club, on tables, chairs, the decks.. It really felt like some of the better parties in London so I felt instantly at home. I think the venue shortly closed after that, which was a huge shame.. After that I came back to play a few squat parties at a place named Rio’s. They were equally as great, run by a guy named Connie..
SP: How do you define yourself today? DJ, Artist…?
EA: That’s tough. I’m part artist, part dj, part producer. Each task is driven by the same part of my mind but handled differently. I base everything down to creativity.
SP: Who are your influences?
EA: I’m more influenced by people I know in real life then artists I’ve never met, and I’m always more influenced by an artist’s output then the artist themselves. I find that meeting people whose art I enjoy can distort how I appreciate what they do. I’m far more into moments or singular releases by artists than an entire output.
SP: Which bands have you worked with in the past, and present?
EA: Late Of The Pier, Ride, Mystery Jets to name a few…
SP: You’re currently working on an archive of sound and visual material, relating to your legendary London clubnight TRASH – which ran from 1997 until 2007. Live bands at the club included The Kills, Bloc Party, Phoenix and Relaxed Muscle (Jarvis Cocker’s side project) to name but a few…
EA: It’s very early days but we wanted to collect everything together to archive it properly, it’s a big job and I don’t really have the time to do it, so it’s being handled more by some of the people who worked with us at Trash. More to be revealed when we know what’s happening..
SP: At TRASH you would dj on a weekly basis, every Monday night. What do you miss most about that time?
EA: The routine. Knowing that Monday would be the highlight of the week. The social aspect, the sense of togetherness which was unique to that place. I miss a lot about it, but I am far more grateful to have been able to experience it.
SP: How would you sum up TRASH for someone who never went to the club?
EA: It was more than a club and it felt like a place where I belonged.
SP: Which club nights do you currently enjoy in the London of 2017?
EA: There feels like there are no regular club nights similar to what we had during the 00s, so it’s tough to compare. Plus I don’t go to clubs on a weekly basis.
SP: You have been involved in the music industry for some time now. How would you describe it these days, compared to 10 or 15 years ago?
EA: I’ve been involved in music and that has remained as exciting as ever. The industry side is something which I have not really felt part of so I can’t answer..
SP: Will you reveal your favourite playlist?
EA: It’s not just one! The music I love keeps changing its shape, and there is a never ending amount of music to discover and fall in love with. The Spotify playlists I make are ones I hope people can discover something they love within.
SP: Berlin is a city of ghosts in many respects. Have you ever had a ghostly encounter?
EA: Yes. I have! On a few occasions, but we should save that for another time…