Berghain's Ben Klock

Dazed chat to the Berlin superclub's resident Ben Klock about the current state of techno...

Music Incoming
Photo by Sven Marquardt
As one of the best-known members of the Berlin techno scene, Ben Klock has regularly graced the line-ups at internationally acclaimed superclubs like Fabric and Space and released on Berlin's Ostgut Ton and (Ellen Allien's) BPitch Control. The classically trained musician turned his hand to electronic music production and DJing after having begun his career as a drum'n'bass producer, where he eventually found a spot as a resident at the cavernous Berghain/Panorama Bar establishment.

Klock's prominent Berghain residency has earnt him the reputation as one of techno's biggest DJs, and besides running his own label Klockworks, the Berlin-based producer has found the time to remix the likes of Jason Fine and Martyn. Despite acknowledging to be a 'techno guy', he's recently been toying with more dubstep influences that have infiltrated the techno scene in line with the likes of dubstep artist Scuba and his techno alias SCB, whilst other Berghain residents like Tama Sumo or Prosumer have remixed the likes of Mount Kimbie who happen to release on Scuba's Hotflush label...

Dazed Digital: Your own tracks and also remixes tend to have a dark quality to them, what inspires or influences this?
Ben Klock: It's hard for me to say where that comes from. For me that's just natural. I guess a deep and somehow dark sound is just what I like, music that grabs you, that wants to tell you something, but that also leaves you some space for your own imagination. I'm not the guy for happy elevator music that doesn't do any harm to anyone.
 
DD: Do you primarily see yourself as a DJ or a producer now?
Ben Klock: I've been making music for almost all my life so I guess you could say I'm a musician in the first place, but since a few years it's at least 50/50. Actually I would say I consider myself more as a DJ now.
 
DD: What do you try to achieve with your DJ sets? Is it just about getting people to dance, or is there a necessary flow and a structure, and what goes into this process?
Ben Klock: Of course I want to get people to dance, those are the basics for every DJ. But I also want to create an intense experience and some magical moments. The flow comes from the knowledge about the music but also from reading the dance floor. It's always an interaction of leading the people on the dance floor through the night but also getting inspired by the people on the dance floor.
 
DD: What do you think it is about Berghain that makes it an international attraction?
Ben Klock: It's just the perfect techno temple where you can really celebrate this kind of music and the culture around it.
 
DD: If you weren't making music, what would you be doing?
Ben Klock: I guess then I would still be doing graphic design and would be bored with it. That's what I was doing in parallel to music until 2008.

DD: What's next for you?
Ben Klock: A lot of touring, a lot of festivals this year. In the studio I'm working on remixes again and I want to put more energy in my own label Klockworks for the second half of the year.
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