From Berlins new Tresor to Londons coolest mixed underground clubs (Torture Garden, Trailer Trash, Studio Neon @ Egg, Film Noir), Berlin based DJ/singer/songwriter Fidelity Kastrow has made an immediate and massive impression this year, spinning a smoothly mixed hi-energy selection of bass heavy electro, new rave-ish techno, baile funk, hip-hop and foxy acapellas
Rocking dance floors from Croatia (Dalmatias exquisite outdoor hillside club Porat) to Bosnia (where she headlined the dance stage at Neofest International Peace Festival) she was also privileged to be selected to play at Tresor in May, at the legendary clubs opening weekend and headlines there next on October 30
Skrufff: Do you create your own beats as well as mix others?
Fidelity Kastrow: I've made two tracks with fellow Flesh artist Corvin Dalek from Hungary who's based in Berlin and Budapest: "I Like It 69" and "Manchmal Tut Es Weh". On both tracks I've come up with the lyrics and vocals plus contributed ideas in the production process. They were released by the Flesh record label on Corvin Dalek's debut album "I Am A Dalek". I did a similar collaboration with Donna K. (also based in Berlin) when we made the track "Balance" which ended up being used in a TV-series on German National Television (ZDF). "I Like It 69" was recently remixed by Jonty Skrufff and his "69 On Acid With Jonty Skrufff Remix" is my personal favourite at the moment which I like to drop in my DJ-sets when the crowd is steaming and sweating, since "...the smell of sweat makes me wet..." I'm planning to do more collaborations with Jonty in the near future and I'm hyper-keen to do my own remixes as soon as possible.
Skrufff: Whats your approach to dressing up when DJing?
Fidelity Kastrow: For my performances I like to wear as little as legally possible - which I carefully select from all over the world. I love fashion and I love to dress up and wherever I go I usually find things that stand out and express my way of life and how I enjoy to present myself and my music. I especially love independent fashion labels and wear what I like, whenever and however I like it. I do have a thing for the 30s and 40s and also outrageous outfits and love to shop in a drag queens gold mine.
Skrufff: Why did you become a DJ?
Fidelity Kastrow: My Shiatsu master said I needed a stimulating, exciting and challenging hobby to take my mind off studying Philosophy and Chinese a bit. Plus after messing around on the decks at home for years and promoters repeatedly asking me why I am not DJing, I thought: why not?
Skrufff: Whos your all-time favourite artist?
Fidelity Kastrow: This might come as a surprise but this is Piotr Ilitsch Tschaikowski for me. Nothing touches me like his music, which usually has me in tears on the first note and weeping like a baby all the way through. I was exposed mostly to classical music as a young child and also studied piano for 7 years and received a music education with 5 years of classical voice training, music theory and composing. I believe it is my love for bombastic classical organ sounds that got me originally so enthused about roaring techno tracks in massive acoustic industrial locations.
Skrufff:You've got a UK mobile, you play in Berlin a lot, where is home?
Fidelity Kastrow: I'm splitting my time between Berlin and London, with Berlin being my headquarters and my love being in London.
Skrufff: How do you deal with Sundays when youre on the road?
Fidelity Kastrow: Oh my goodness, they are giving the word tough a new meaning! On these Sundays I'm sitting on trains, planes and/or automobiles trying to plough through my Philosophy homework (actually, I cant read in cars, as I get car-sick), which means reading utterly complicated texts about the big questions in life and beyond while trying to stay awake and not miss my connection. I wear ear plugs and force myself through every paragraph sipping on Red Bull and making little notes on the margins, continuing with a slogan along the lines of: Try to get it, dead or alive!
Skrufff How is the Berlin club scene these days?
Fidelity Kastrow: On one hand the established Berlin club scene tends to be a little bit resistant to upcoming new trends and a bit stuck with the status quo (i.e. I dont like Minimal) but on the other hand there is no place that has more variety and allows people to experiment without the pressure of instantly succeeding: You can be artistic and avant-garde and people let you perform without the pressure of filling the cash box immediately. And one of Berlins greatest assets is its uncompromising open mindedness: of all the places I have visited Berlin is the most tolerant place of them all.
Skrufff What drugs are kids taking these days - or at least, what do they take when listening to you?
Fidelity Kastrow: Hmmmmm, youll have to ask the kids ;). As for me, I wish people could take SOMA for my music. The drugs always go hand in hand with the music. So if people are listening to minimal and taking K, then it;s pretty obvious why the party never gets started right. From what Ive seen I think theres a lot of experimentation around and prescription drugs are also popular mixed with alcohol etc. like Xanax and so on. I hear the traditional cheaper club drugs like speed, LSD and MDMA are slowly making their come-back. The music I play is powerful and enticing enough to enjoy without drugs. Though I really enjoy an E-ed up crowd, no doubt.
Skrufff: Whats the best drug?
Fidelity Kastrow: To F**K with love!