Malawi Interview Circle

Malawi Interview Circle

06-06-2013 | 20.48

The moment Basis shut its doors, Malawi lost their residency – fortunately they'll be playing at their favourite place in the universe this Friday when they take over De Verdieping for one night. For this special occasion they invited their favourite DJ duo – the Oberman brothers, consisting of Clone-crack Sjoerd Oberman and Berliner Job Oberman, whose records – under a mysterious alias – are played in Trouw for a while already. The Malawi boys played Trouw last new year’s day and their wonderboy Job Jobse plays Trouw almost every weekend. Yet they’d like to introduce themselves: here are Luc Mast, Andrei Vilcov, Blanke, Job Jobse en Arif Malawi in an interview circle.

Luc: Andrei, You have many different sides and at least as many qualities. Wat is -purely as a DJ- your biggest strength?
Andrei: Thanks Luc. Ehm, well, hard to say... I've never learned how to mix, so I wouldn't dare call myself a DJ. But let's say every negative also has its positive side (famous Dutch football expression). Since I only play one or two records a night, I really only get to  play the stuff that I really like the most. It's not actually a quality, but it is a strength I guess. Also I dare say I'm not afraid to embarrass myself. It takes courage to put something on for a whole room full of people without a clue of what you're actually doing. Let's call it Dutch courage...
Luc: Sixteen years ago Daft Punk launched Revolution 909. When will the revolution take place according to you?
Andrei: Good question, Luc. If Malawi wouldn’t take up so much of my time, I would lock myself up in the library for a year in order to confront this issue.
Luc: Describe your ideal festival day.
Andrei: Well, this question made me think of something that has been pointed out to me, that I wasn't aware of. Last year we were at 8bahn festival with Malawi. It had turned night and I was exploring the stages with a friend of mine. On our walk we ran into almost every member of Malawi seperately. The guys were just by themselves, listening to the music. I think that's what makes a festival special. You can walk around freely; get away from the company you're with and just go listen to the music by yourself. Perhaps you run into someone later on, you grab some food together and at the end of the day you've been to so many places, you hardly have the feeling it all could have taken place in this one day. Stuff like weather is secondary; I really dislike this culture of hanging out in the park that's so prevalent in Amsterdam. …Or were you asking for a line-up perhaps? (I would say something with Legowelt.)

Andrei: Is there any difference between the music you play in clubs and the music you listen to at home?
Blanke: Yes, at home I mostly listen to Spaceghostpurrp, Koopsta Knicca, Tommy Wright the Third, Zomby and Johnny Cash.

Andrei: Do you think you will still hang around in clubs twenty years from now? If so, how do you see yourself?
Blanke: Yes, I will have sallow long hair, a blonde mustache and will be known as Alex Smid.

Andrei: If Malawi would be a boyband, what role would you have and if there would be one, who would be the leader?
Blanke: I would be Nick Carter.

Blanke: How did your obsession with milk start off?
Job: I’m not sure, as long I can remember I’ve been drinking milk all day – whether I’m having breakfast, dinner or when I’m just eating cookies. Always. I basically just need it, otherwise my stomach gets upset. 

Blanke: Which five songs would you not dare to play at a Malawi show?
Job: It might sound a bit dull, but with Malawi I feel I really can play everything. That’s the whole idea: having a good time with friends and playing whatever we feel like.

Blanke: What’s the power of the current clubscene?
Job: It’s all about Amsterdam. At the moment the city’s really on fire; there’s cool stuff going on everywhere. Talking about Malawi, our power is our group of follwoers – the people that always come back to dance and our parties. Every party again it surpirses me how cool our friends are. They’re always front row, shouting, popping confetti and raving like crazy.

Job: As Mr. Malawi, can you tell us where the name Malawi coms from? 
Arif: Sadly, no. I forgot. But maybe it's an homage to Schorsch Kamerun of Die Goldenen Zitronen?

Job: You're clearly the organizational talent of the group. Where does this fantastic talent come from?
Arif: Thanks but I think I lost that talent. Like my keys - I was looking for them yesterday for six hours straight and then I gave up. 

Job: At which location would you want to play with Malawi? And which track would you play for sure?
Arif: Luc and I always wanted to play at the Häagen-Dazs shop at Rembrandtplein. Once they almost booked us but at the last moment it didn't go through. If it ever happens I will of course play Karen O vs Kool Keith - "The Teaser".

Arif: Luc! I remember you telling me that you’re listening to your father’s record collection since you were a kid and that you used to attend concerts with him. What’s your earliest memory when it comes to music?
Luc: That’s true, I remember listening to Marc Almond and The Beatles a lot when I was around six years old. Also I remember that I really hated Joy Division, and Talking Heads even more. I would even forbid my dad to play Talking Heads when I was in the living room.
Talking about live music, I remember attending Parkpop festival, which was a crazy big - biggest in Europe I think - free festival in the Hague. The festival used to be more liberal than it is these days, everybody could just walk in and out without being checked, so literally all kinds of people were there. I remember clearly asking my dad where I had to leave my empty cup and him replying: ‘Just throw it on the ground’. That was so cool.
The first concert I attended was probably by Krezip in Nighttown - a venue that later on changed into Watt and after two years the name changed again in Lef XL. I have a strong feeling that complete idiots were in charge there, they actually deserve a price for fucking up this location for the last five years. I think it’s been empty now for some time already. But Nighttown back then was cool, and Krezip too - “I Would Stay” is still a classic if you ask me. …I have to learn, have to try, have to trust, I have to cry. Have to see, have to know that I can be myself, yeah.

Arif: Now, about the future. As you know we’re going to fly to the moon – which records would you take with you if you’d fly to the moon without ever returning?
Luc: There are LP’s I can listen to anytime; Musik von Harmonia, Illinois by Sufjan Stevens and Caribou’s Andorra for instance. But I’d prefer to take some records with me that I haven’t really listened to yet, some new music for on the moon. So I’d bring La Monte Young’s The Well-Tuned Piano – a 5xLP minimal music improvisation, only 800 euros on Discogs; John and Alice Coltrane’s Cosmic Music – for some true love; and last but not least Holden’s The Inheritors – which will be released in a week. I haven’t completely heard it yet, but I feel that it’s going to be my new favourites. …wow, I can already see myself dancing to Renata on the moon.

Arif: And about the present: what are you going to play this Friday for sure?
Luc: I made an edit of Cat Power some weeks ago, I’m going to play that one for sure. And of course the demo version of Olff’s House Train. Probably two and maybe even three times if Job also plays it.

Photo credits: Fenna Fiction