Say The Word
It was 20 years ago today, Sergeant Pepper Oliver Kowalski (KoweSix) and Tobias Schmidt (Tobitob) went out to play. It was time for a change. They were young, more than ready to go out, but none of the clubs in their hometown of Hamburg really lit their fuse. It was as if nightclubland adhered to a strictly generic segregation policy – different styles were represented, from hip-hop to house and techno, from funk & soul to electro – but each one was locked inside its own four walls. Clubgoers were similarly set in their ways, listening to one genre and not the others. So these two best mates decided to start their own party and do things a little bit differently: dreaming up the Moonbootica DJ duo, they mixed up the musical styles listed above and a few more besides … afrohouse, downbeat, easy listening and pop. They crafted an irresistibly danceable concoction, laced with their distinctive sense of humour and rounded off with a healthy dose of love and positivity – “warm, dirty, always melodic and with feeling” as the band themselves say.
They got the ball rolling in 1999 at Hamburg’s legendary underground club Golden Pudel, where their DJ sets soon confirmed them as one of the most diverse, successful and eminently likeable electro acts to emerge over the past two decades. Five albums, six EPs, millions of streams on singles like These Days Are Gone, Der Mond and Look Out, remixes for famous names such as Skunk Anansie, Faithless and Hurts, their own record label Moonbootique, weekly bookings everywhere from packed out clubs all over Europe to major festival stages at Time Warp, Loveparade, Dour Festival in Belgium and Southside/Hurricane – Moonbootica have left an indelible, oversized boot print on the electro landscape. Today, as the scene seems to be getting increasingly commercial and monotonous, we need them more than ever. Some festivals seem intent on serving up techno to an audience clearly in different emotional territory. Which doesn’t exactly help to generate the right atmosphere.
Moonbootica, meanwhile, can happily report that they’ve unfailingly hit the target, nailed the sweet spot, throughout their twenty years of making music. If there’s such a thing as a mission statement, theirs is to tear up the damn party every single time, and they’ve certainly stayed true to that aim. Never going thru the motions, never sulking, never messing anyone about, never cramped by boundaries. Never paying lip service, never ever allowing themselves to be lectured on what’s cool or otherwise. Far from it, the Hamburg duo’s demeanour is free and happy, thankful for everything they’ve experienced on a journey which has been nothing less than a highly spiritual form of human communication.
Right now, Moonbootica are working on new music – rougher material for the clubs, light and fluffy disco house tracks which could (and probably will) grace the radio waves. KoweSix and Tobitob continue to do what they’ve been doing successfully since 1999: never mind the genres, just make great music.