Moguai interview: Tegeler the Teutonic Survivor
Friday, 31 March 2006
Germany is the epicentre of electro dance - and DJ Moguai (aka Andre Tegeler) is bringing the music into the mainstream. Indeed, he could be a new Timo Maas. But, as with Maas, Moguai wants to be perceived as a changeling. The DJ characteristically down plays any participation in the German electro revolution. It might sound perverse but, populist or not, Moguai is a survivor - and he's sensible to avoid genre-casting.
"When you do some records like U Know Y, Get On and Freaks, they are in this electro-rock thing and then people think that you have to produce every single and every track in this direction, but I don't like it so much. It's a good style and it's a good mixture but not all the time."
Tegeler, based in Recklingshausen, started as a trance DJ but in later years he's established himself internationally pushing a composite of rock, electro, house and breakbeat. In fact, Moguai is determined to distance himself from trance - in spite of overseeing 'Edition Trance' a while back - and instead stresses his many influences.
The teen Tegeler listened to everything from punk to ska to hip hop before discovering dance. He took up DJing and, inevitably, moved into production. His first outing, the acid-driven Best Before End EP, materialised as early as 1993. Moguai formed an expedient alliance with Phil Fuldner and they were responsible for 1998's The Final.
In recent years Moguai, who today presides over the Punx label, has disseminated a succession of electro singles, beginning with The Rock, but he's also an in-demand remixer (he trumped with a rework of Planet Funk's Who Said (Stuck In The UK)). The DJ has even been sampled by British R&B group Sugababes.
At any rate, Germany is all the rage and, together with Tocadisco, Moguai represents a new breed of Teutonic superstar. Still, the DJ is at a loss to explain why Germany's electronic underground should be so buzzworthy in 2006.
"I can't understand it 'cause back in the days it was hard for electronic musicians [in Germany] to bring out their music worldwide," he recalls. "They were only popular in Germany. If you wanted to break a record in the UK, then it was a good choice for you to bring it out in the UK as an import via the Netherlands, via Sweden, via Scandinavia, 'cause it wasn't so cool for UK DJs to play a German sound."
"But right now it's changed a lot, it's changed totally, but we don't do different music - it's more like it's fashionable right now. The music is still as good as it ever was, or as it was all the time, but especially people from the UK, they say, OK, we get you, now we like German music - and the UK is the bridge to the world."
This month Moguai is touring down under for the third time. He's promoting a CD, 'Kink', for the Sydney nightclub of the same name. 'Kink' is following Melbourne's 'Onelove' by branding itself nationally with the support of Ministry of Sound. Moguai played Kink on his last trek, describing the experience as "awesome", and so was thrilled to mix its inaugural CD. "I wanted to make a mix-CD to bring out in Australia and they asked at the right time," he proffers, adding that he's completed another compilation, 'World League', for Europe.
For Kink Moguai selects cuts from Goldfrapp (Number One remixed by the ultra cred Alan Braxe & Fred Falke), Basement Jaxx and, naturally, himself.
Moguai admits that he's spent more time in Sydney than Melbourne yet prefers the shopping down here. "It is more European in Melbourne - it's a little bit like home but with much better weather!," he laughs.
Moguai befriended Melbourne DJ Grant Smillie at 'Onelove' in 2004 and they went on to collaborate on a "bootleg" remix of Blur's Song 2 over the Internet. "It came out but only as a white label, 'cause Tags