Bookmark and Share

Acid Pauli Gets GEMA’s Game (interview)

Reported by JontySkrufff on August 1, 2012

German experimental tech/ Bar 25 club icon Acid Pauli chatted to Skrufff this week about the gigantic fee increases German rights agency GEMA plans to impose on clubs and revealed he understands their motives.

“It’s a very difficult topic, especially for me, because I’m involved in lots of other projects such as radio plays and music scores so I do earn money from GEMA and it’s really important money for me,” the erstwhile Bar 25 legend (real name Martin Gretschmann) admitted. “And we can see now that we’re in the Internet era that it’s so difficult for all labels to make money with music.”

Prolific as a producer in the last 15 years with electronic-indie band the Notwist and Console, he’s more recently teamed up with Nicolas Jaar to release his ‘Acid Pauli’ debut album Mst on Jaar’s label Clown and Sunset, though pointed out despite making money from GEMA, he’s concerned.

“On the other side of the argument I’m also a club owner. I co-own a club with others in Munich and we calculated the proposed fees we would have to pay and they are ridiculous,” he said, adding that like Berghain and Watergate, his club could face closure if GEMA’s demands are realised.

“In the latest issue of Groove Magazine they hosted a round table discussion with club owners, musicians and one guy from GEMA and at the end the GEMA guy said ‘for years we’ve been wanting to adjust the fees for clubs but everybody ignored us whereas now we’ve announced these steps, suddenly nobody is ignoring the issue anymore; everyone is crying. And now we can talk again’,” Pauli continued.

“If a club that’s paid €10,000 a year suddenly has to pay €100,000 then that’s too much, there’s no question of that- but it can certainly be more than €10,000- definitely,” he added.

He also called for much greater transparency about how the notoriously secretive and increasingly despised collection agency operates financially.

“The old GEMA issue of how the money is distributed is totally ridiculous,” said Pauli. 

“They have various categories, for example, if you’re a ‘serious’ musician and you make an opera every two years then you receive money from them when you retire: way more money than all the people who generate the money with popular music. And that’s something that needs to be adjusted.”

Acid Pauli’s new album Mst is out now on Clown and Sunset. (acid pauli @ bar25closing) 

Jonty Skrufff: