"House just seemed to be the most universal language of music"
Estimulo, vinyl enthusiast and founder of the weekly deep house radio, the Estimulo Show Worldwide is one of Berlin’s best-kept secrets. At the cusp of the 90s, when the cold, mechanical sounds of Teutonic techno were pounding into the veins of Berlin’s now clubbing-crazed youth, Estimulo was broadcasting his finds of house music imports to a small handful of listeners by way of a his bedroom radio show. Fast forward to now and it's bloomed from a one-man show into a small family of like-minded DJs from Berlin to the West Coast and Canada and reaches a growing global audience. Estimulo’s impeccable taste and stand out knowledge of funk, soul, disco and deep house caught our ears, so for this episode we asked him to get shoulder deep in his 4000+ vinyl collection and serve us some real gems. In this deliciously deep, feel good set he takes us on a two-hour journey through vinyl paradise, gliding from disco tunes we’ve never heard of to old school house classics. You’re in for a treat. We caught up with Estimulo (virtually) and gushed over our love for Chic and Kool & The Gang, the thrill of record stores and the values of vinyl. Here is an excerpt...(scroll below to live stream the mix and/or for direct download.)
Don’t Forget to Go Home: Esti mulo! Hello, greetings from Brooklyn.
Estimulo: Greetings from sunny Berlin!
DFTGH: Thank you. So, why don't you begin by telling us what a deep house, disco aficionado like yourself is doing in Berlin? Not to generalize or anything, but Berlin-based DJs are more associated with the techno side of dance music, wouldn’t you say?
EM: Well, here in Berlin you can’t really escape the Belgium sound, the Holland sound or the hard German sound. In the early 90s there was a possibility to buy underground house vinyl [in Berlin]. [At the time] I started to come to an age where you could afford buying a few records now and then. Each cent of my pocket money as well as each cent I earned otherwise (mowing lawns, etc) was spent on vinyl. The early 90s for me were mostly about Strictly Rhythm, Nervous, Emotive, [as well as] Detroit labels like Metroplex and Plus 8. I never was too much into the Euro sound though I followed what was going on. House just seemed to be the most universal language of music to me right away, it was a progression of disco and funk, like Chic and Kool & The Gang.
DFTGH: My favorites!!
EM: I bought a lot of records on sight [during] that time and spent a lot of time in stores, listening to a hundred [records] then buying one!
DFTGH: That’s the way to do it…by listening!
EM: I love record stores…the atmosphere, the ability to listen to the music, socialize, the smell of vinyl… to get to know music in a social context, not just by clicking “download.”
EM: That's why I love the thought of running a record store. My dream is to open a record store, maybe sometime in the future. There are not that many left [in Berlin] that carry good underground dance music, maybe three or four you can go to.
DFTGH: Do you only play with vinyl?
EM: Yes, I play only with vinyl. I don't use Serato, Traktor, etc. I think the hassle of setting up Serato in a club is [more] than bringing 50 records under my arms. Also I love the thought of having a limited supply, in DJing as well as in music. To do something great with a limited supply is so much more enjoyable than to have "all possibilities in the world."
DFTGH: Agreed. That makes me so happy to hear.
EM: [Vinyl is] partly a fetish, really. Vinyl is the format I first grew familiar with. I remember that magical moment of opening a shrink-wrapped record and putting the needle on it, hearing the crackle. Nothing can replace that for me. Also, I see a vinyl release as some kind of complete work of art – a physical work of art, visual art.
DFTGH: Yeah, and with that, every record carries a story.
EM: Yes. And also with vinyl you actually carry a load. I think it symbolizes some kind of responsibility, or love to it.
DFTGH: Right, you have to care for your music!! Is this the mentality at the heart of the Estimulo show?
EM: The intention of the show is to present the music I love and that I think is to a large extent forgotten, underrepresented or not appreciated in the way it should be. There is no real style criterion [for the other DJs on the show] but usually if there is a standard, they are usually vinyl diggers, long time music lovers and that does reflect in their selections. The mission is to build some kind of community of kindred spirits, who have a similar background of music collecting, without focusing too much on a certain style or sound but just bring quality.
Jazzanova - Le Jardin Secret (Different Drummer)
Rinder & Lewis - Lust (AVI Records)
Dinosaur L - Go Bang #5 | Francois K Mix (Sleeping Bag)
Trude Bliss & Hobo Voyages - It's Only A Ride | 4:00 AM And Rising (Flatbush Beat)
Terre Thaemlitz as G.R.R.L. - Face | Extended Demo Edit (Mule Electronic)
Shades Of Black - Deeper Still (Intrigue Records)
TZ 2 - Deep Down | Inside Mix (TZ)
Tuff Little Unit - Join The Future (Warp)
Incog-Needle - Can U Feel It | Incog-Mix (Blast Records)
Ability II - Pressure Dub (Outer Rhythm)
Jah Wobble / Jaki Liebezeit / Holger Czukay - How Much Are They? (Island)
First Light - A.M. (Metronome)
Paul Hardcastle - Back In Time (Chrysalis)
Maas - Look At Me Now, Falling | I-Cube Simple Mix (Soma)
Variable Frequency Technician - Cross Section (Probe Records)
Traxx - Parametric Melody (Nation)
Jaime Read - No Relief (Elektrosouls Recordings)
LHAS - LHAS Pt. 1 (Push II Shove)
Farley "Jackmaster" Funk - U Ain't Really House (BCM)
Marshall Jefferson Presents Dancing Flutes - Do The Do (Underground)
Richie Rich - Salsa House | Orbital Mix (FFRR)
Kristine Morell - Love Thing (Blast Records)
Donna Giles - And I'm Telling You | Komix Dubmix (Downtown 161)
Lovebirds - Louder (Winding Road)
Dirty Jesus - Don't Fuck With My Shit (Paper Recordings)