MUTEK 2023 | Cinthie : Mixing House, Curating Vinyl, Experimenting Live

Entrevue réalisée par Elsa Fortant
Genres et styles : House

renseignements supplémentaires

Hailing from Berlin, Cinthie is a prominent figure in the house music scene. Her story is striking demonstration of her passion for music and her dedication to the craft. While she is a local favorite, having played at venues like Panorama Bar or Robert Johnson, Cinthie is no stranger to the international stage. As she graced the MUTEK festival twice (one live during Metropolis 2 and one DJ set at Experience 6), we sat down with her to discuss her musical journey, her approach to curation and her exciting venture into live performances.

Crédits photo : Nina Gibelin Souchon

PAN M 360: What can you tell us about the relationship you have with house music and electronic music in general?

Cinthie: I have a long history with house music or electronic music in general. I think I was into all kinds of music until I was 14 and then I got a tape from my cousin from a DJ who’s name was Sven (Väth). It totally blew my mind cause he played stuff I never heard before. I was obviously more into pop music or well at least that’s what the radio told me I was into. But honestly I didn’t even like it that much, it was too cheesy, too generic and too annoying for me. After receiving that tape from my cousin, I dug deeper into electronic music and discovered all kinds of stuff but US house music resonated the most with me. That must have been around 1995 when I just turned 15 and when it was the heydays of house music. One year later I got a job at a record store called Humpty Records and the rest is history.

PAN M 360 : And you became a DJ…

Cinthie: I just loved music and I collected the tracks I liked most and recorded tapes for my friend, not mixed though cause that was so far away from me. But when I worked in the record store and met other like minded people from the scene, I discovered the fun of blending two records together and it quickly turned into a fascinating hobby and passion. But I never ever planned to be a DJ. That all came naturally to me as well as the producing which I started around 1999 after I played in clubs for a few years and thought: “huh, would it be great if I had a record that goes like this or that”. Because this record did not exist yet, I tried to make it myself.

PAN M 360: What are the hot spots to listen to house music in Germany, where you come from? 

Cinthie: We have a lot of good house music spots in Germany. The most famous is probably Panorama Bar, the upstairs floor of well known club Berghain. In Berlin I also love Heideglühen. That club is a vibe. Unfortunately I’m mostly out of town, so I haven’t been for ages. Other than that I can recommend Offenbach’s Robert Johnson, Darmstadt Galerie Kurzweil or Munich’s Blitz Club. 

PAN M 360: You opened a record store a few years back in Berlin, what decided you to take this path?

Cinthie: Like everything in my life, it just came to me naturally. I worked in a record store in the 1990’s but never ever planned to open one myself. I just had the idea to combine forces with other friend’s labels when I had my Best Modus label. I wanted to create a big platform where we all support each other. When I looked for a storage room, I got offered to now well known rooms of Elevate. 

PAN M 360: How do you envision the work of curation in the context of a record store? 

Cinthie: Curating the store is easy. I simply order more of the records I also order for myself. That’s why it’s also called “Elevate Berlin – Selected Records“. It means we don’t have everything in and it’s very pre-selected. I always loved the personal taste of a record store owner when I bought records in other stores. Getting a good recommendation of a secret weapon is class.

PAN M 360: How is curation in the context of DJing different (or not)?

Cinthie: It’s pretty much the same as I would order records for the store. Everything that moves my hips goes straight into my bag.

PAN M 360: How big of a digger and collector are you? Which pieces from your records collections are the ones you cherish the most?

Cinthie: On a scale from 1 to 10, I would say I’m an 8. I love digging but I’m not desperate about it. For example, I don’t have lists of items I wanna get, but I love discovering record stores when I’m traveling and usually try to pay them a visit. It is always great to find new treasures. My most loved records are the ones I bought back in the 1990’s. Some good old Dance Mania, Nu Groove, Downtown to name a few. 

PAN M 360: We know you well as a DJ and as a producer. You are now experimenting with live, was it a natural route to follow for you and how do you feel about taking this leap? 

Cinthie: Yes, as I said before, everything came absolutely natural to me. Playing live is just like bringing my studio on tour with me. I’m there almost every day, jamming and making new tracks. I thought why not doing it live? To be honest, the first three shows were mostly about getting the sound right and getting familiar with the new situation in general but I love the journey so far ! From starting it a bit basic and more on the save side, I am now more confident and I am always trying to add more gear to be able to edit and tweak sounds more and make it more “live” and interesting. It’s still a long way to go but the journey is fun. 

PAN M 360: Can you remember live music shows or artists that profoundly touched you as a listener? And maybe inspired you for the creation of your live?

Cinthie: Yes absolutely. I am a big fan of Octave One, Aux 88, Cosmic Baby, 3. Raum, Kink, Leo Pol, Orbital… there were so many. Everyone has his own approach of doing a live show but it is so interesting to see how they convert their studio work to the stage. 

PAN M 360: For the ones who won’t be able to attend your live, can you describe how you approach it ?

Cinthie : It is a mixture of everything. Some new material, some remixes I recently did, some old classics. I’m adding more and more gear to the live and for MUTEK I bring a little bass synth to be able to tweak the bass sounds a bit more. A drum machine was my latest addition. Unfortunately I have to travel light in planes so I can’t bring too much. I think my next addition will be a midi keyboard. I’m taking piano lessons since the beginning of the year and I guess it would be nice to play a few “riffs” live.

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