It’s an incredible gift to be able to do something you truly enjoy for a living. Being incredibly good at what you do and getting to enjoy the journey with one of your lifelong friends has got to be on a whole different level of awesome. That’s what Patrick Bodmer and Philipp Jung of M.A.N.D.Y. have been enjoying for years, as they have turned out dance anthem after dance anthem, traversed the globe playing to enthusiastic crowds, and managed a respected and successful record label spreading the music they love around the world. Their Get Physical imprint is one of the more recognizable labels in the game and nothing reaffirms that more than their iconic Body Language mix series which just issued its tenth edition, curated by none other than the M.A.N.D.Y. gentlemen themselves.
You can check them out at Exchange LA this Friday, or one of their remaining North American dates in Toronto/Detroit throughout the weekend. Make sure to grab a copy of Body Language Vol. 10 HERE too! Stay tuned for the full interview after the jump!
GDD: Alright then, keeping with Gotta Dance Dirty tradition, I gotta ask you what your drink of choice is, and when you make it out west (or I head back to Berlin) first round is on the GDD credit card (just kidding)…
Philipp: Don’t want to appear like a cliché, but my choice will always be champagne… Don’t drink hard liquor.
GDD: Classy guy. You’re currently based out of Berlin, correct? I know you had been enjoying some time in NYC…
Philipp: I don’t have a flat there since 1 1/2 years ago. So my place of choice would be mos def NYC. I’ll go to Berlin next week, but only for a couples of weeks. It’s still a great city, but not so much for me anymore.
GDD: Okay well you and Patrick together make M.A.N.D.Y., you guys have known each other for over twenty years, has he made the trip out to the States with you or is he still back in Germany? And if he’s still out there how is that affecting what the world has come to know and love about M.A.N.D.Y.?
Philipp: He was taking some days off with his girlfriend to see the west coast, then we met in LA to play [Insomniac's] Beyond Wonderland which was great, then we met in Miami again, and now he just left NYC. I left him his peace as he needed some quality time with da lady. His girlfriend is a judge, so she needs to stay in Germany. With the modern communication it’s still possible to stay connected and do stuff together, and we are touring the whole month of April and May together. 13 gigs all over the place so we are still working a lot together.
GDD: Good to hear. I was going to ask how does being a part of the Get Physical family, and that Berlin music family in general, with other incredibly talented artists all around you, continue to drive your creativity and push you to test the limits of what you can do both technically and artistically… but it sounds as if Berlin wasn’t the place for you to thrive as an artist anymore…
Philipp: You know how it is. The creativity comes more from other stuff than meeting other DJs or producers. It comes from meeting people with different backgrounds, short trips to the nature or cities you have never been. So it was getting too much of a DJ life which I never wanted. I love the day time too. So that is why I had to move out. If you like big urban cities NYC is the ultimate place I think.
GDD: Yeah I had the chance to spend a few days in NYC a few months back for the first time and it seriously dwarfs every city I’ve ever seen. Wasn’t fully prepared for the scale of it all.
Philipp: I’m much more happy here than I was in Berlin. And of course I’m staying closely in contact with most of the artists from the label. Lots of them became my dear friends and I’ll see them around the world anyway. Don’t need to be in Berlin for that.
GDD: You just mentioned though staying in touch with the guys from the label… what can we expect from Get Physical over the course of the next year?
Philipp: Patrick and I just released the 10th edition from the Body Language mix series. It took again 3 months in the making. Takes always forever, but we are very happy with the result.
GDD: I’m very happy with the result, I gave it a listen last night unpacking from Miami, and am having another go at it right now actually.
Philipp: Then Noze is releasing their French electronic folk album and they are now on tour with 8 people on stage if possible. It’s great. Audiofly did a superb album too. DJ T. did a great job together with Lopazz and all this in the first half year of 2011. Then we have lots of single releases we are looking forward to like Javier Gonzalez, a new kid on the block from Spain. Then Tim Green has an amazing summer tune ready. Smash TV, Siopis and many more. So busy, busy.
GDD: So there is going to be a slew of great releases from the label. Exciting Stuff. How do the main figures of the label, assumedly you and Patrick, the Booka Shade fellas, and T. go about searching for new artists, a la Javier Gonzalez… Is it just part of being a DJ that goes well with running a label, always being on the look out for solid tunes?
Philipp: A lot has changed at the label and we think for the better. Booka Shade and T. left the label at the end of 2010. Running the label with 6 people after so many years, it made decisions nearly impossible sometimes. So it’s mainly on Patrick and me and our team to find those new guys.
Philipp: We just agreed in all friendship to separate the label. But T. is still doing the album with us. The Booka boys and M.A.N.D.Y. are still working in the studio together. So all is good.
It is easier now to run the label, a bit stripped down. We still have lots of fun together, so whenever times allows us to work together, we’ll take the chance. And the result is always nice, at least for us.
GDD: Well that friendship has obviously resulted in one of the most iconic dance tunes of all time back in ’05, can we expect more releases this year cause I think everyone has fun when you four get together and release a tune.
Philipp: Fingers crossed. The boys are moving studios at the moment, so I hope we’ll get some work done later this year. Pretty sure it will happen though. We’ve known each other for so long and we went through troubled times and through amazing times, so it’s a solid foundation I think!
GDD: I think that’s the case with any true friendship, particularly when business is involved.
Philipp: Yep. It’s not easy sometimes as there are so many emotions involved as you are friends in the first place.
GDD: Is it true that the Get Physical moniker of the label is paying homage to Olivia Newton-John’s old school cut?
Philipp: To be honest, yes and no. We hadn’t actually thought so much of her, it was more a coincidence I think, but a good one. We love that song, she was (is) a hot babe who likes to dance, so yes… she’s our girl!
GDD: Amazing. I was hoping that wasn’t just urban legend.
Philipp: No way!
GDD: We have some Get Physical vinyls laying around here at GDD™, do you still peruse record shops and maintain a solid collection of vinyls?
Philipp: Tricky question as a labelowner… yes I still buy vinyl, but of course a lot less. It’s mostly to have an exchange and talk about music with the guy from the record store. Much better than to sit home alone and run through the files. But I buy mostly stuff that is not available, or left field music.
GDD: So it’s not as much about the medium as it is about the experience for you personally?
GDD: Completely valid, I think that’s one of the main reasons vinyl purists have such a distaste for the digital experience of music nowadays. It’s just so impersonal.
Philipp: It is totally. I hate that actually. It’s so nice to come into the store, the guy knows what you like, has some stuff ready for you. You meet other DJs. It’s a complete different experience. I will always keep my old soul, funk, hiphop and rock records of course.
GDD: So you have a solid collection with a lot of variety, old soul, funk, hiphop, rock… what artists are you typically listening to when not in M.A.N.D.Y./Get Physical mode, and you’re just listen to music for you?
Philipp: Always a tricky one as it changes every day of course. I’ve listened to the Twin Shadow album a lot lately, love that, and I always like to hear Marvin Gaye, Al Green, Miles Davis, Chat Baker. Always makes me happy. Hardly listen to electronic music at home.
GDD: Quality stuff all around. Spending 20 years producing electronic music I’m sure the groove of some Marvin Gaye is a total sanctuary.
Philipp: It’s soul music. Thats what I’m missing in a lot of techno stuff. I like emotions in a track, I want to know something about the artist… only beats and loops bore me to death.
GDD: How did you and Patrick actually meet, cause you’ve been friends from over two decades…
Philipp: We met on the tennis court. We did all kinds of sports when we were younger, it was a good place to meet and bond.
GDD: And when did the music really take off for the two of you? Did you explore any other avenues/careers before this route really took off or was this always the idea…
Philipp: We started actually right away recording music for each other. Making music tapes with all kinds of music and then we got infected with Acid House in 1990. Big thing for us!! Good times!
GDD: Okay I’ll start wrapping this up for you. I’m sure you got better things to do than talk to me for hours… Big festival stage like Beyond Wonderland, super club like Space, quality club like Watergate, or tiny basement bar to an enthusiastic crowd? Take your pick and why…
Philipp: They all have its charm and I don’t want to miss one of them… the big festivals are great because you have the energy from lots of people and if a place takes off with 10,000 people it’s an incredible feeling. And you get to see a lot of your DJ friends that you only get to see at these big events! And then the small clubs are for your heart and you put yourself back in the situation why you started it, just for the pure love for the music. Playing your most special records for a crowd who knows…
GDD: So you reach a point where they both become necessary to keep you going, to keep that desire to keep touring alive?
Philipp: Yes. the whole lifestyle is obvisouly addictive to some extend. Seeing all these places, meeting all these different cultures, having your best friends spread around the world… it wears you out sometimes, but it’s great in the same time.
GDD: You wouldn’t trade it for the world I’m sure. Okay last question and I’ll let you go… When you’re not behind the decks, or even when you are I guess, do you like to dance dirty?
Philipp: I love to dance dirty and silly. It’s the best. Just letting yourself go like nobody is watching is what I love. With the right group of friends to make a complete fool out of yourself is my thing.
GDD: That’s what it’s all about my friend!
Philipp: Thanx a lot Matt!!! Really appreciate taking the time. See you soon in LA.
GDD: Alright Philipp, pleasure was all mine. Thank you so much too for taking the time to chat with me. I’ll make sure to say hi and get you that champagne
Philipp: Deal! Adios amigo!
Philipp: Bis bald!
And remember, you can start your Memorial Day Weekend off with M.A.N.D.Y. this Friday at Exchange in Downtown Los Angeles. Enjoy!