Friday, 25 June 2010

TEA with Norman Nodge

Pic Sven Marquardt
A lot is to be said about Berghain. Little of Norman Nodge. A self employed lawyer, father and true family man, not to mention resident DJ at Berlins infamous Berghain. Since 2004 Norman in company of its residents has helped cultivate Berghain into the concrete escapism as we see it today.

Norman caught up with TEA to talk meditation, autogenic training, Marcel Dettmann, evading the parallel world of techno and Roseship teas (he was kind enough not to mention the Germans 4-0 victory over Australia).

You’ve been djing and promoting events since the 90’s, how did your residency at Berghain come to fruition.

Since the end of the nineties I bowed out of the dj- and promotion-thing to concentrate on my family and work as a lawyer, but continued buying records and going to clubs as a guest. I never liked running around, knowing everybody and asking everybody just to dj here and there at all costs. Marcel Dettmann asked me to give him a mix-tape for the Berghain-owners before the club opened in december 2004. Luckily they liked it and gave me the chance to play there.

You seem to have a close affiliation with Marcel Dettmann, tell us a bit about the relationship between you two.

We have known each other for many years, we both have similar backgrounds and share for the most part a similar taste in music. He´s guilty of reactivating me as a DJ and spreading my music on MDR. He is my source of inspiration in how to speak emotively with my beloved ones.

How often do you play outside of Berghain?

On the one hand I enjoy travelling to other cities, playing in clubs and partying. On the other hand my aim is not to necessarily play as often as possible and make my living from dj-fees. I really love spending time on the weekends with my kids and my lovely girlfriend and just being at home. So for me it's cool to play once a month in Berghain and have maybe one to three appearances per month outside Berlin. This also helps me not to get too exhausted and sick of the parallel world of techno and clubs.

Recent years have seen dubstep gain momentum and form a close bond with techno. Its becoming more common for techno artist to ply their trade in dubstep whether it be production or dj sets, has this been the case for you?

In general I really like all that dubstep stuff and enjoy listening to the news at Hardwax. At most I have a few dubstep 12”s in my case but it depends on the situation, the crowd, the club etc if I embed them in a set. Regarding my own productions I don´t plan to make “a dubstep-record”, but I´m sure that dubstep just like any thing else that finds its way through my ears and to my brain will influence my thoughts about music and how to make a track.

Tell us about Norman Nodge when he’s not working on music

If you take 24 hours, making music does not rank first place in my activities. Though lots of the thoughts that circle my head really do have alot to do with music and ideas for tracks and dj-sets. Their are only a few hours left for twiddling knobs on the equipment per week so most of the time I live a normal, unspectacular, satisfied life which includes family and a job as a self-employed lawyer.

Pic Sven Marquardt

You’re a Gernot Hassknecht fan, for those who don’t know, who is he?

He regularly comments on current German political issues on a German tv-show called “heute–show”. Due to his choleric nature he always first tries to stay calm and objective but soon gets very vulgar, abusive and loud so that they always have to interrupt the transmission. Just the way I would be without years of meditation and autogenic training. I guess you can find samples of Gernot´s appearances on the usual video-portals on the internet. Even if you don’t understand German it is very impressive.

In terms of production what are your influences?

I am influenced by everything I've ever heard and danced to, by happenstances and the temper I am in when I start making tracks.

Whats next for Norman Nodge?

Prepare records for the next gig, be succesful in court and watch football world cup.

Finally, tell us, whats your favourite type of tea

I like a wide range of teas, from peppermint to black tea, from rosehip to ginger.

You can next catch Norman Nodge at Berghain on the 26th of July

View some more Sven Marquardt photography here

Watch some Gernot Hassknecht here