You may already know Marlene Stark as the matriarch of Berlin’s phenomenal Sameheads nightclub, where she is regularly serving the mischievous children of the night - thirsty for dark, industrial, psychedelic and weird. When Marlene is off-duty from DJing, she writes books and makes art.
Charged and buzzing with potent creative energy as she’s just published a novel and is recording her debut album, Marlene is coming to channel this energy to us on October 11'th at Kaunas’ Lizdas club - on Whypeopledance night "In Future We Lust" with our sister Monika Seta.
There’s still a few days to go and it’s getting hard to keep patient, even for us, so Marlene was kind enough to give us a little taste of what we’re in for this weekend in a form of a mix + an interview!
1. You’re a DJ, visual artist and writer. What are the main ideas or themes that interest you in your creative work? Is there a message do you seek to communicate with your visual pieces, party series or whatnot?
I don’t work with themes. For me, the process is much more important. I realise the significance of my work while or after I am doing it and I don’t want to prove anything or send a message, I like to find out everything myself, get surprised, feel free and experiment.
2. How’s your debut album coming along? Could you spare us some details about the record: what your creative process looks like, what gear you’re using, maybe even first release dates?
I’ve been working on the album the past year. I love it.
For production, I use a lot of hardware. My favourite synth at the moment is Dave Smith Mono Evolver, my favourite drum machine is the 606 clone of Acidlab called Drumatix. I have an MS20, the Minimoog clone Model D, a percussive synth by Nord, some cheap stuff with weird sounds, some of the Volca series and so on.
We don’t have a release date yet, but the release party will be held at Sameheads on May 8. The record will be released on Lustpoderosa - a Zurich art and music label. If the plans don’t change, Credit 00 will do a remix for us. So I am very much looking forward to 2020.
This year, though, I will release one track called *Ich bin zornig* as *ZAHN*, which is me and my daughter, on a compilation curated by DJ SoFa for Music for Dreams label based in Denmark.
3. It seems that you’re doing an amazing job at multitasking. How do you divide your time between music, writing, art and leisure life?
What is leisure life?
4. Let’s talk Berlin, probably the most desired place to be in Europe right now. As a long-time resident of the city and part of Sameheads club, have you noticed any changes in Berlin’s club culture landscape over the last few years? And more importantly, how do you feel about this change?
There are no more new locations for new clubs and ideas or illegal parties, performances, art, and music and it gets quite tough for the underground scene.
Berghain and other mainstream clubs like Watergate don’t have to stress about it, they will stay - the clubs are always full and they benefit from the party tourism, but so many others are closing: Griessmühle, About Blank, KitKat Club, Wilde Renate, Else will be probably torn down for motorways or new investors’ ideas. People are forced to move to make space for well-paid start-up workers. Sameheads is an oasis, but we must start to rebel: the gentrification will make Berlin like every other big city - super fucking boring.
5. If you had to pick three songs to define your essence, what would they be?
Everything by Jacques Satre, Zaliva-D, Neu Verboten, Alexander Arpeggio, INIT, Patricia Kokett, Juan Ramos, The Pilotwings, Gil.Barte, Die Wilde Jagd, Gamma Intel and Clara!
Photo credits: Michael Küpker