welcome to Club Mel, a semi-regular column by our editor Mel Ottenberg. This week on Club Mel we have new New York techno legend TT releasing a really hot new techno mix perfect for jogging, partying, fucking, dancing or just enjoying techno. TT also came to Club Mel for a glass of IRL water and a ki.
TT: Mel, hello.
MEL OTTENBERG: Wait, this is the first time that a Club Mel has been hosted at Club Mel, so welcome to Club Mel, TT.
TT: Post COVID, Club Mel, we’re here.
OTTENBERG: We are here. In fact, we met in the midst of COVID. I broke down ONE night and went out, ONCE, and we met. You were a bitch and you gave me all this attitude, and I was like, “Thank God I’m at a party with techno and this stranger is giving me an attitude.” I need this.”
TT: Oh my god. You had me in a rare form that night.
OTTENBERG: It took attitude.
TT: I’m sure I played an inspiring set, and that explained the meanness.
OTTENBERG: You certainly did. And when we met, you were sitting on the cooler that had the only bottle of water that the 800 people there wanted.
TT: I remember that. It was a really special night on this rooftop.
OTTENBERG: And now you’ve made an amazing mix for Club Mel. I just wanna tell you it’s a good mix for fucking. I use it as a soundtrack.
TT: I tried that too.
OTTENBERG: I did more than try it. It works, the results are there.
TT: The most ideal.
OTTENBERG: So what are we into these days? What kind of music are we right now? What’s the vibe?
TT: The atmosphere is constantly changing. I’ve been playing mostly for the last six straight weeks, which is way too much. Maybe I’m a little exhausted musically, or technically, but I’m turning to classical these days. I just started taking piano lessons two weeks ago.
TT: I am obsessed. That’s where my ear is right now, using another genre to learn more about my genre, instead of just hammering my ear with techno. When I step back to play something, I want to approach it in a new way.
OTTENBERG: Who are the techno gods for you?
TT: All my friends. A friend of mine named Shaka is the role model for me. DJ IBON, DJ and producer, is there for me. Also Schacke, who played a fundamental role in establishing the Copenhagen / Scandinavian sound. There’s also this bunch of kids from Malmo, Sweden, doing some really fast, tough, trippy techno. Basically anywhere in Scandinavia is great for me, especially Copenhagen and MalmÃ¶.
OTTENBERG: So Scandinavia is where cool tech comes from.
TT: Yeah. The raves are amazing.
OTTENBERG: There are two main reasons I do Club Mel. First of all, I like DJs. Second, I need new music, because I’ve been listening to the same old-fashioned house music since grade 10, and the same techno since college. I had so much fun at this party we danced at with Honcho. This club these days is awesome.
TT: Yeah, even though you missed my set for that.
OTTENBERG: What time did you play?
TT: Like, 3:00 a.m.
OTTENBERG: I was still sleeping.
TT: Because you arrived at 7:00 am.
OTTENBERG: I did, actually. I have eight hours. I’ll show up fresh at your next concert. But it must be something after hours, early in the morning, because I can’t stand a nap. A full night’s sleep and then losing your shirt at the rave is the best thing in the world.
OTTENBERG: New York was so amazing this summer. We were both here. It was, I think, the greatest feeling I have ever had in New York.
TT: I couldn’t agree more.
OTTENBERG: Are we going to dance together again this fall?
TT: I mean, I’m going to offer this opportunity through my party, which is going to be a month from now.
OTTENBERG: Does it look like something from Ridgewood, or are we going further?
TT: We used to go a lot further, but now we’re looking at a space in Manhattan.
OTTENBERG: I would love that, considering that Club Mel is in Manhattan.
TT: But when it comes to reservations, I’m actually only playing in the next six weeks. I haven’t had anything in the United States for a while. I have a fabulous thing coming to Paris, but it’s not until November. I’m going to play at the Palais de Tokyo.
OTTENBERG: Oh. Love.
TT: It’s going to be crazy.
OTTENBERG: Exciting. I like going out in Paris. I’m going to Paris this weekend. I haven’t left America since I went to the last Berghain Sunday before the apocalypse. You were there, right?
TT: I was there! 8 March.
OTTENBERG: We didn’t know each other, but we found out later that we were both there at the same time. It was beyond.
TT: Yeah, I really felt like it was the last Berghain. It was really special. I’m not always crazy about the music there, but that night it was just give and give and give.
OTTENBERG: Are we talking about techno soil? Steffi and the guy after Steffi blew me away. The whole was impeccable. My only regret is that I left around 11:45 pm this Sunday evening, when there was all this new crowd arriving and giving great looks. I was like, “Am I going to regret it later?” ” and I do. But I was a little blind at the time. I was like, “I don’t think I’m going to remember that anyway,” and, lo and behold, I don’t remember. Is it difficult to throw parties or is it fun? Were you at Maintenanceis it party the other night? Someone told me you were there.
TT: I was there and I left. I looked for you. It was too much. It was a lot.
TT: I’m sure it was fabulous. Throwing parties is actually so much work. Yes. To those who do it regularly, I say, âHats off to youâ. That’s a lot of work, money, and risk involved. But it’s also so much fun.
OTTENBERG: Okay, what’s your list of 90s-2000s stuff that you really obsess over? For me, it’s Junior and Green Velvet the old fashioned way.
TT: For me, it’s DJ Rush. He plays hard techno with a stupid voice. It exudes Butch Queen.
OTTENBERG: There is this very mixed novelty in your sets that I missed in New York techno DJs. It came back. I’m always like, “Oh, they need some old mixes to show them how it’s made”, but you all do it really well. I have no complaints. What do you think has changed?
TT: For ten years that I’ve been in New York, the DJ culture has always been, âOh, we’re too cool for a genre, so we don’t have a genre, so we play all genres in to become a genre. . Now the focus is mostly on techno, but in a way that really lengthens and expands the definition of techno. On the dance side, there is a lot more longevity with techno. Everything else tires people out.
OTTENBERG: When I first moved here, the jukeboxes were full of punk, not wave, and a little bit of pop to be ironic. Then I turned my head for a second, and suddenly the only thing you could hear anywhere in New York City was Britney. No shadow over Britney.
TT: I don’t go out at 3 a.m. to listen to Britney. I don’t get up at 4am losing sleep to hear something you might hear on the radio …
OTTENBERG:â¦ Or at the supermarket. But now she’s coming back, right?
TT: As far as clubs and spaces are concerned, yes. He is. Basement and Nowadays, as they grow, merge more and more with the community.
OTTENBERG: I’m so into both. I had never been to Today before this thing where you and I hung out, and I just thought it was a great place.
TT: I have such a sense of community there. Even during the pandemic, they were organizing things just to let people know, âHey, you still have a community. You can’t use our dance floor, but come watch a movie here. It was heartwarming.
OTTENBERG: TT, who should I know about? What other mixes should I fuck and practice on?
TT: I feel like Quest? Onmarc could be amazing for that. I don’t know if you know them.
TT: A fabulous DJ producer who started out in the ballroom and now does techno, but in a pretty dumb way. It explodes quite heavily. I’m trying to think of who else in New York.
OTTENBERG: What are you most gagged on in Scandinavia? The only person I know in Scandinavia is Robyn, who is the most gag of gags. Robyn, please come to Club Mel.
TT: Oh my god, there’s this kid from Berlin – or, I guess he lives in Potsdam – named DEV. Wow. He produces the craziest stuff. His mixtures are just stories.
OTTENBERG: I’ll find you, Dev. I find you. Is there anything else you want to talk about?
TT: I hope the energy that we felt in the last few post-COVID months will continue. It feels good to go to things during fashion week, or events that I would normally fear. I’m like, “Wait, I’m really enjoying this.” There is a level of authenticity right now that I hope continues. I hope we don’t start hating each other again or going, âOh, too many people out there. I’m not going to go.
OTTENBERG: Yes. There is a really special feeling that came in 2021. I want to see where it goes. I can’t say we’re still in a New York renaissance without knowing what’s going to happen, Or if people are just having a good time.
TT: I guess we’ll see because the art we see now was almost entirely born out of COVID. Now that people have this inspiration, how does it carry on?
OTTENBERG: Exactly. For my part, I feel creative in a way that I didn’t have before all of this. I was so miserable in 2020, but I feel like I got something out of it. But again, we have to see where it all goes. We don’t just say âIt’s okayâ, because it clearly isn’t. And there are a lot of weird moments ahead.
TT: Of course.
OTTENBERG: Anyway, thank you for coming to chat.
TT: Glad to be here.
OTTENBERG: Oh wait, I have to take pictures now.
OTTENBERG: Let’s look glamorous, okay. Bye.