(Extended Mix): Sascha Funke

Sascha Funke‘s tenure as a DJ stretches back to the early 90s. As something of a teenage prodigy, he began organizing parties at youth clubs in East Berlin at age 16, cementing his love for trance and techno. His heterogenous discography channels those twin inspirations and far more, spanning wave, electro, space disco, psychedelic techno and kosmische. In his own words, he’ll “get bored if I stay in the same ‘box’ or genre for too long”. His open-minded approach also runs through his legendarily diverse DJ sets. He’s keen to eschew genre boundaries in favor of a freewheeling presentation of the music that excites and influences him, and the results are truly out of the box. 

His most recent release on Running Back serves as a metonym for the transformations he’s witnessed across the better part of four decades, from the “elektronische volksmusik” of Germany’s synthpop pioneers, to Berlin’s 90s rave scene that served as an incubator for him and many others. For his (Extended Mix), he draws from this well of influences and their contemporary interpretations (including his pick for “the best record of the year so far”), bridging downtempo, wave, trance and a myriad more in a four hour journey. Alongside the mix, he’s chosen to spotlight Ukraine-Hilfe Berlin e.V., providing crucial support to Ukrainian hospitals, rehabilitation clinics, retirement homes and children’s homes.

First off, how’s lockdown been for you? What have been the biggest challenges and more positive outcomes you’ve experienced through extended time at home?

Luckily the building I live in has a big backyard with a garden. I’ve spent a lot of time there playing table tennis or football with my son. Having barbecues in the summer.

I also had more time being in the studio and working on new tracks which will be released throughout this year on Running Back, Permanent Vacation and Kompakt.

Thanks for recording an extended mix for us. Where was it recorded?

I recorded it on my new home built DJ booth as you can see on the picture. Also a result of the lockdown, putting more effort into interior design in the apartment. I did a little preselection and created a rough road map of where to go musically during the mix.

Could you talk us through a couple standouts from the set?

For me the best record of the year so far is ‘Deformations’ by Worldwide Epidemic on Furthur Electronix, which is also one of my favourite labels.

Besides that I like Seven Hills records a lot and played a track from North Phase. Also worth mentioning is the new EP from Ouxh on Salt Mines.

Where’s been your favourite place to play an all-night set, and why?

Gewölbe in Cologne. Sound system, size and crowd – all works perfectly nice together over there. Although I never played a night completely on my own, it’s one of my favourite clubs for long DJ sets.

Who are some of your favourite all-night specialists, and why?

Maybe Villalobos in the early 2000s in Berlin.

By celebrating DJs with a penchant for all-night sets, the (Extended Mix) series hopes to encourage a more stripped back, carbon-friendly approach to lineup curation. Reducing our footprint as a globalised underground community is a massive challenge as we try to rebuild the scene after Covid-19 lockdown, and we hope progression can be forged through sharing our challenges and experiences. Are there any thoughts you’d like to add to the discussion?

Take the train as often as you can instead of flying. I hope the night train network will become much more improved in the near future.

Tell us a bit more about your chosen charity – what work do they do and why is it so important to you?

We still need to support the people in Ukraine. After almost three months of war the attention and support went a bit down. Here is the link of Ukraine Hilfe Berlin e.V.

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