Stamp Mix #53: Akirahawks

Akirahawks is one of the resident DJs of Homopatik, Berlin. One of the major parties that defines underground dance culture in the city, it keeps a gay but open dancefloor hosted in the incredible former illegal-rave spot, ://about blank. Very much one attempting to keep “underground” alive, Akira rarely makes his presence known on local line-ups, on which he will display the classic Homopatik style of intense eclecticism along side Berlin cult-figure, Mr. Ties.
Akira was kind enough to do a mix for us and, under his recommendation, grab a nice cup of coffee before letting this mix relax and remind you how sad it is to not be living in Berlin, where this kind of thing goes on every day.

Hey Akirahawks, thank you so much for being our first guest mixer of 2016 and answering some questions! Firstly, I want to talk about Homopatik. It is certainly one of the first words of recommendation from many Berliners when it comes to the city’s nightlife. What goes into running a night like that? 

Homopatik is a 22 hours minimum party. I’m a resident of the party. It’s run by a team of friends: Mr Ties, Danilo and Anna Bolena.

How would you say your style and approach varies to Mr Ties and how do you both maximize these subtle differences during Homopatik parties?

We could say I mostly play house music. Mr Ties can mix all the genres of music together. But we all play what we like during this party. The crowd is really into it and that’s what makes the party so special.

What were your initial intentions when starting Homopatik? It certainly has its own “illegal”-style aesthetic, was that something you had in mind before starting?

I’m not a founding member of the party. I have joined them from the second party. When I played there for the first time it was incredible! People were really wild and felt okay with partying hard. It was close to chaos. But that’s not illegal at all…passionate people who are really into music come to Homopatik.

Has there been any big rule or mantra that has helped keep the night what it is? Does it do well maintaining itself, or does it require a lot of work to keep the crowd/music/venue combination all together?

In my opinion, the first goal is to respect the crowd and the dancefloor.

Since you guys started out, have you noticed any significant changes in the Berlin scene, or in the people who show up at your doors?

We’ve noticed Berlin parties are getting more ‘sophisticated’ regarding the soundsystem, the lights and bar. Homopatik is a gay party but the crowd is really mixed from gay to straight people, music lovers, young and older people. You come to Homopatik to feel the specific atmosphere. Dancefloors are always full of people who like to dance and enjoy the music.

://about blank has a famously tough door policy. Do you think tough entry should be something that is more commonplace to ensure good crowds in more clubs? Many people have problems with it, but it’s also a good way to ensure a club is a safe and positive environment for dancers.

In my opinion door men and women are really important cause they know their job and can give us the freedom to enjoy the party without any problems inside.

What are your long-term intentions with Homopatik, if any? Can you see it going on for many more years?

According to Mr Ties “Homopatik is not party, Homopatik is a culture”.

Do you still get the same amount of enjoyment out of it as when you started out? Or is it more considered “work”?

When I would consider it like that, I mean without any excitement, I would quit for sure.

Away from Homopatik, you also make music under your own name and with Shingo Suwa as Love Comedy. How would you say these both vary?

Love Comedy is a Jam Session with Shingo at the studio. I used to work with friends and people I like to work with. I don’t have a personal studio so I like to work with people in a good atmosphere and share a special moment.

Are you involved with any other music projects besides the ones mentioned?

A few years ago I made some edit tracks with Enzo Elia on Balearic Gabba Sound System. In 2016, I’m going to work on more solo projects under my own name.

Looking at your DJing now, do you have a specific style or approach you employ as Homopatik resident, compared to playing other parties for spaces and promoters you are less familiar with?

The approach is always the same, listening to the crowd and how it reacts. You can change the beats, adapt your set – every time is question of thoughts and feelings.

As an extension of this, is there a certain sound that you associate with each of your residencies? When you are purchasing records do you buy certain ones with the space and audience in mind?

I selected every time records I like and I feel. I listen my tastes and I hope people will enjoy it as much as i do.

Speaking of music fit for purpose, could you tell us a bit about the mix you’ve done for us? 

I would recommend you to relax, have a good coffee and listen to the mix. That was my approach when I recorded it.

What have been some of your favourite releases of 2015 and who are you tipping in 2016 to turn heads?

Release from Footjob Label and the artwork of Oster Discos releases. I expect good things in 2016 from Power Station label in Australia.

And finally, what plans are on the horizon for the coming year you’d like to tell us about?

I’m going step by step to the horizon 😉 I’m going to play in London for the next Tief party in April. Really looking forward to it.

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