El Papa Del Techno: Sven Vath And Other Swanky Dinnertable Tales

It’s not that late but I feel a little drunk and very exited. Just like everyone around me: The people united on the table in a questionably trendy Palermo restaurant called Kongo come from four different countries, were all born and raised somewhere only to move somewhere else, speak all kinds of languages and slangs and still have a great time communicating. Well, we are shouting at each other, actually! How exalted! How hilarious! Javier Bussola, the DJ and promoter who booked Analog Pussy and is now celebrating their successful gig on Saturday night, sports a posh English accent as he was raised in a place called Hurlingham, probably the most English enclave in Argentina—they pride themselves with the only grass tennis court on the whole South American continent. He leans over the table and comes out with a real gem: “For me Sven Vath is like the papa, the pope of German Techno.” I cannot help thinking of Sven and Ratzinger. In my head, their two distinctive features morph into one, and I burst out in laughter. “No, really: He opened a great deal of peoples’ minds over here with this track he made right at the beginning of the Nineties, what was it called again? ‘Electric Salsa’…” He starts to sing: “Uh, ah, electric sal-sa! Everyone knows this here.” Nods. The other Porteños agree. Javier keeps on talking: “Electronic music didn’t start here until really late. Only in the last five or six years, the movement got really big over here.” And it almost seems like it will never really take off and explode, like in Mexico or Brazil for example. Most of the people here don’t really feel the music, “they are in it for the drugs”, says Caro, Javi’s girlfriend.

“For the Argentineans, it’s a fashionable thing to be into electronic music: The degustation of easy-to-digest house and progressive sounds seems reserved for the upper and middle class who has traveled Europe and North America and feels superior to the rest of the people because of their ‘knowledge’”, adds Emilio. Especially in this conjunction, it’s interesting to see that the independent dance act Analog Pussy has managed to establish itself as the first Psychedelic Trance act ever playing Argentina—without ever being part of the overall accepted mainstream movement. No, they are not part of the big media spin machine, but they do excell in promoting themselves—and they are actually very successful, globally. This doesn’t come as a surprise. They live and love what they do. Today has been the last day in Argentina for Jinna and Jiga, tomorrow they will return to Germany with around 25 million new pairs or hypergalactic spaceship commander platform shoes they got custom-made in one of the hottest shopping arcades in Buenos Aires—Bond Street on Avenida Santa Fe. If you can’t get it here, you can’t get it anywhere. After month of traveling and performing they are both looking forward to return to their quiet little house in Bocholt, a lethargic market town in the West of Germany, near the Dutch border where “they love to wander the empty streets in crazy outfits”. Apparently, the “Germans love it”. Why did I never encounter these hyper tolerant supernice and mega friendly Germans Jiga never gets tired of talking about? Are we really talking about the same nation? I don’t get it. But upon hearing that Germany has embraced the two crazy Isrealeans, offering them a place they call “home”, sentimentally, makes me all soft and thankful. “Germany, we love Germany. You Germans don’t have any idea how idyllic your country is. The weather is beautiful, the landscape too. And the bread”, Jinno muses.

He thinks a little while and then he says: “Oh, and the green party. Nowhere in the world you have this, the Greens having so much political power is a miracle we love to celebrate! Because it shows! The environmental protection schemes are amazing. No advertisements on the motorway, no visual garbage polluting the landscapes like in the US. There is nothing. Only Germany.” Jiga adds: “Believe me, for us, it’s like Mecca. Workwise as well, there are so many festivals for us to play, it’s like heaven. Do you know how many trance festivals there are in summer? Over 50. That’s unique on this planet.” Seems like I made a strange move, relocating to Buenos Aires now that the clamp-down policy of the local politicians destroys the active independent electronic scene. Hopeflly, things will pick up in a few months. In the meantime, I am checking out websites like the Ubercoolische.com soap opera starring Richie Hawtcreme and Ricuardo Villalobo, enjoying the feeling of being completely removed from the everyday cynicism of extreme trendwriting. Being an outside observer appeals to me a lot more, my perspective on things is dreamy and innocent and superfluous, just like me. But hey, common. What makes you so important, guys? Nothing. We are all just a curl of smoke in the wind of time.


Newsletter PlanetFriends CONTACT