Gudrun, you were in the cult band Malaria in the 80’s. How was Berlin back in these days ? How was the german musical scene ?
berlin then was a devided city – i lived in the west part of it.
west berlin was kind of a fake city and dependent on the west german support- we didnt have a functioning industry. there were lots of young and lots of old people living there, the middle range
healthy working people all moved out to work in westgermany. the young people were those who escaped the army or wanted to study.the musical scene in the 80s evolved from the punk attitude of : you can do what you want. it was a small underground scene – with bands like die t?dliche doris, einstürzende neubauten, die
haut, mania d. (my first band) then malaria and many more. we orgnized gigs ourselves or friends opened a gallery and had bands playing – we hung around together in the risiko or dschungel and went to gigs at the so36 etc. there was another scene in düsseldorf/köln area around der plan and the atatak label,
mittagspause, daf, pure freude with syph and then hamburg with abwärts and palais schaumburg.
the whole movement was destroyed with the neue deutsche welle commercialization. So already middle of the 80s the scene was more of less dead and got quite selfdestructive with drugs etc.
malaria was started by bettina k?ster and me and quickly evolved into a 5piece band joined by manon p.duursma, christine hahn and susanne kuhnke. we loved to play live and toured a lot all
over europe. among many others i do remember a lovedriven and wild night at the bain douche in paris as well as supporting new order in bruxelles + berlin, a gig with birthday party in washington dc and a night with nina hagen at the studio 54 in ny – and we got stranded in new york more than once. malaria music was direct, rough and simple with heaps of emotion and desire. we didnt want to be the nice girlie band but the powerful force. “malaria! compiled 1981-84” is the malaria catalog compilation and it is still available on my label moabit musik.
fact is: there are a number of books already on that subject and it s too complex to serve
it in a
for me berlin was the city where i looked for my artistic developement.?it gave me the
mulitcultural sprit i needed for my freedom.
Do you remember your first approach of the electronic music?? Can you tell us when and how
it was ?
?hm thats hard- cause whats the definition of electronic music?
already in the 80s i played the then typical korg ms20 synth with neubauten.
with malaria i played drums, but electronics were always part of the scene and music. daf
sequencer based. for my personal development the changeover began with the atari computer
matador (together with manon p.duursma and beate baltel) in the mid 80s. instead of going
rehearsal room we met in at home with the computer and then programmed the songs and just
the files to a studio to finish it.
listening wise my first electronic records were tangering dream, brian eno, kraftwerk,
“Electro pop”, “electro rock”, “minimal”, “pop”, “rock and songs”, experimental music,
Monika is a very
open minded label… From which came this particular spirit ?
monika music lays in the field of mixing electronics, songwriting and the rediscovery of traditional instrumentation after the techno explosion. i think there is a lot of potential in it- like deconstruct the song structure and do it in your livingroom so you dont need the bigbudget studio – meaning you as an artist are independent within the production. im not neccessarliy a nerd for electronics – its more the freedom of production and the electronic music scene is the part in the music scene which has the most outrangerous new releases and inventions because of that freedom.
When, why and how was born Monika Entr. ?
?monika started 1997 with me having this dream: a nun appeared and said “gudrun you have
to make a label for warm and modern music”. then my goldfish monika commited suicide and the quarks had the perfect song “wiederkomm” and ….monika was born.
Which are the things who link Michaela Melian, Barbara Morgenstern, 4 Women no Cry and Cobra Killer, for exemple ? Only the fact that they are “women who made electronic music”, or what ? Aren’t you afraid that the people see that like a kind of “cliche” ?
they are all original artists. they impressed and entertained me and i felt they ADD something to the scene. they all have something to say and find their own expression – no copycats. each release stands for its own and represents an important step forward. monika is not a genre label – we are interested in artists: monika puts a light on them and lets them
shine like sparkling stars…
and: monika is definatly not a female only label. there are lots of male artists as well – its a good mixture of male and female. thats the only difference.
we now started the series “4 women no cry” which is about female artists/composer/performer in the field of electronic and songwriting from all over the world. to introduce them to
listeners who would maybe not buy a whole album of a new artist but would maybe invest the money to get to know 4 new
artists. and it gives you about 15 minutes of each artist – so you get a fuller picture. the first issue (volume one) we have rosario belfari from buenos aires, eglantine gouzy from paris, tusia
beridze from tiblis/georgia and catarina pratter from vienna. so all 4 come from a completly different background and have a totally different live and they dont know each other – but somehow the music fits nicely together.the idea came from demos i got where i saw the potential of the artist but i wasnt prepared to release a
full album in these difficult market times – then i started looking for more who would fit in. so here we
go : the first 4women no cry. the next is in preparation…
TRAX magazine in france, made a special issue about “Girlz in electro scene”, what do you think about ?
am i i feminist? is this a gender issue? oh god. but yes: i m always interested in the female voice in music. i do listen more carefully there. since popmusic is one of the main guides of our social life and personality i think ist just fair and pretty neccessary to have an equal male/female ranking. i dont really want to start the argument that female music is different to male. it really
doesnt matter as long as we can hear the female voice….
the other thing i realized is that there are always a lot of females involved in the beginning of a movement – when it is more for fun. but when it comes to proffessionalize it and make money with it they are gone! weird that is. so girls: get going and dont give up so quickly.
What does represent for you, to be a girl who makes electronic music?
its fun and work. ?
Do you think they really are less girls than boys in electro scene, or do you think that
the media (news
papers and others) don’t tell the truth and let think that it’s the reality ?
yes, there are definatly more male in the electronic scene. just look in the clubs as
well. check the
lineups of festival, the release list from labels. its no secret.
there are festivals with only male acts – and they dont call it malemusic festival (like
they would if its
only a female lineup)….
there are not too many girls in the electronic nor the popworld who actually write and
own music – thats the sad truth.
so any support is good.
Which are your fav? DJ,? musicians and actual musical project ?
my fav dj is chica paula at this very moment.
my fav musician are the ones who surprises me and move me.
my current musical project is coming along as a jukebox single on the irish label earsugar
and is called
“move me”. its a tango.
monikawise we are preparing a new album by cobra killer together with a mondolin
orchestra. that will
be wild…. and coming to you in october hopefully.
together with thomas fehlmann i have a weekly radio show in berlin called oceanclubradio.
thats my weekly musical project!
streetwise: now a monthly monika night at the nbi in berlin.
and oceanclub nights as well as monika nights where ever……
Do you have a particular wish concerning the evolution of the electronic scene ?
what makes me particuary positive regarding the future is that the whole indie scene
developed its own
strength and is not in danger anymore to be eaten up by majors.
my wish is that art keeps developing out of ideas and is not currupted by money and