Le Bain

Into Club Berlin with Capablanca

We chat with Berlin Disco's finest DJ and dance floor Situationist, Capablanca, before he returns to Le Bain on Friday, September 22nd.
LE BAIN: You defined Situationism as "Using the city as a playground. Subverting the rules. Getting Lost.” When was the last time  you applied those rules to yourself?
CAPABLANCA: Sometimes a regular dancefloor can be the perfect situation to subvert the rules and improvise a proper playground, so more often than not I get chances to follow my own advice. I was recently playing at a very, very posh beach club in Biarritz and while I was struggling during the first half of the set to come up with a sequence of tracks that I thought that particular crowd could enjoy (they seemed to dig the generic tech house the previous DJ was playing), I got a bit tired of that situation and started playing harder ball, ending up with a harsh Belgian kind of sound such as Los Niños en el Parque and weirder stuff. To my surprise, people went nuts and the energy level went through the roof! An unlikely match if there was ever one. The club owner could not give credit to what he was witnessing and it turned out being a really wild night with some "not in the program" events taking place.

"Grab the hot potato and make fun fries with it." –Hugo Capablanca

Those are the best nights... 
I also often get lost. I do enjoy wandering cities with no particular destination, other than my own sheer amusement. I should probably add here my sense of orientation is not particularly strong, so all I need to do at times is get lost on my own thoughts only to realize I have absolutely no idea where I actually am. An unwanted dérive can be a start. One must of course apply these principles as often as possible if they are to become relevant in one's life. One must also realize some of these methods, if entertaining, might have rendered slightly outdated over the years, so perhaps it's time to upgrade certain variables to reach effectivity, such as, for example, find a way to escape/wander algorithms, rather than streets. This sounds of course infinitely more boring, but perhaps some avid Situationist programmer out there is willing to grab the hot potato and make fun fries with it.

How did you convince Guy Debord to remix your last EP from the grave? 
Debord is my homeboy! All I needed to do was to read backwards "Society of Spectacle" 666 times to get his spirit hovering over my studio telling me what to do.
Capablanca's "Lap Dance"
(Guy Debord's Disco Punish Mix)

Do you think people deserve to be Disco Punished?

I'm a man of contradictions, so I take pleasure playing with antagonistic concepts such as hedonistic pleasure taken to a punishment level, which happens to illustrate quite well the driving forces behind the track. Fun fact: you can hear my Hoover ran through the space echo on that track in a failed attempt to emulate that deafening sound in the iconic song by Implog, "Holland Tunnel Drive."

I just bought the last available Discos Capablanca T-shirt on your Bandcamp shop! How is your music business doing? 
That shirt sold out faster than many records. Maybe I'm in the wrong line of work... Truth is I realized not that long ago that my label will be 10 years old in 2018, and I decided perhaps it's time to change gear and give it a proper boost with a string of very special releases. It's been a kinda laid back operation, but acceleration process is already on. I also have three solo EPs with original music and remixes coming out soon, and a couple other projects (C.P.I. with Marc Piñol releasing for John Talabot's imprint, Golpe de Estado with Oklo Gabon, and another one which involves a techno legend I cannot talk about yet) and releases in the coming months, which is way more music than I have ever been involved in, ever.
I read you’re a fan of Scorsese’s movie After Hours. What’s your favorite scene?
It is truly so hard to pick one. But you gotta love when he FINALLY manages his way into Club Berlin, only to find out it's empty, because it's an "invite-only" party... I've also read somewhere that in order to give a proper adrenaline boost and extra realism to the street chasing scene, Griffin Dune walked off the set and into a bar next door just before shooting, bought drinks for everyone, and proceeded to run out after the toast, which is nothing short of genius.

Scorsese once said, "There is no such thing as simple. Simple is hard.”
He's the man and he's so right. 

On Friday, September 22nd, Le Bain presents Capablanca
The Standard, High Line | 10pm

Photos: Capablanca at Le Bain by Neil Aline

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