International touring DJ, producer and consultant, Philipp Straub has been actively part of the dance music scene for nearly three decades.
Originally from Vienna, Austria, he started building his legacy in the early 90’s and has managed to become a well-known acts and personality within the underground music community.
Philipp continues to achieve many milestones with his career both as a DJ and producer, with his music being released on respected labels such as Bedrock, Ovum, Bar25, Knee Deep in Sound, Balance, and many more…
Balance Selections Q+A
Name: Philipp Straub
Location: Vienna, Austria
Alias/Producer name: Philipp Straub, and previously Felipe, and Space Navigator
Labels affiliated with: Bedrock, Ovum, Bar25, Knee Deep In Sound, Balance
My last 3 releases:
Philipp Straub & Morttagua – Bwell
Philipp Straub – Lyra
Philipp Straub – Powwow
What music did you listen to as a child?
I was born in the 70’s so I am a kid of the 80’s clearly. And that was an exciting time to grow up also music wise. The first electronic influences in music and already back then it seemed that this is a new universe we are entering. My parents played a lot of music for example when driving in the car. I loved to listen to Jean Michel Jarre, Mike Oldfield and others while looking out of the window and imagining the world out there. It was very inspiring.
When was the first time that you realized that you liked electronic music?
Around 1992 the first so called “clubbings” took place in Vienna. I was officially too young to enter, but we tried every weekend to sneak into the amazing venue. Those events took place in the technological museum and everybody wanted to be part of it. It was so cool that a lot of the big stars went there after their concerts to play unannounced gigs…. from Prince to Elton John. All combined with house music all night long. We sometimes managed to enter. Sometimes not. I remember we once signed up to play little roles in a “3 Musketeers” movie which was shot in Vienna at that time only to get the costumes and fake beards, so we looked older and creative… and it really worked out and impressed the bouncers. But these moments when I first time experienced people dancing ecstatic to electronic music all night long made it clear to me that I want to be part of that movement and particularly work with electronic music.
When was the first time you saw a DJ in a club?
A bit before those clubbings we occasionally sneaked into clubs in Vienna. There was one club in downtown, called P1, which used to be the best discotheque. A booming sound system that gave you goosebumps. That was a bit before electronic dance music really took off, but you could hear the first dance bands like Snap, 2 Unlimited and others became very popular and the beat structured tunes ruled the charts. I was amazed how the DJ controlled the crowd and kept watching what he does while having my first whisky cola in public.
What else inspires you?
I get a lot of inspiration from life itself. Travelling is a deep passion of mine. Art and architecture are also one of my desires. Watching movies can be inspiring too as well as just having a great evening with good food and friends. If you are not stuck to much with repetitive tasks, then in my opinion you can be inspired also by the little things around us. The inspiration for Bwell I got after a session with my healer and spiritual Sister Selina on Ibiza. If you are on the island you have to check her out http://www.selinaibiza.com / https://twistedstrategic.wixsite.com/bwell-love
What was the first or last album that you downloaded/bought?
Beside Jean Michel Jarre and Mike Oldfield of course I had to buy a Michael Jackson album. His sound was so rich and advanced that you couldn’t get tired from listening to it.
What is your current DJ set up like?
Puh…. I started obviously with vinyl. Sometimes I added effect machines like a touch pad, an air FX or a 909. I played that format for some years until Richie Hawtin introduced me to Final Scratch which he just started to develop. I got one of the first 100 test units and was amazed by the possibility to control a digital sound file over an analog vinyl that only sends a binary code. As our industry always was for me also about progress & development, I instantly started to use that setup for my tours and gigs. After a while I got a deal offered from Allen & Heath and included their 3D mixer which, in combination with the updated software from Final Scratch made it possible to control 4 decks and add effects. I skipped the decks and went fully digital for a while. Chris Liebing, who is a close friend, was already back then deep into this topic and he helped me with the set up. After some years experimenting with loop-based dance music I got tired of the technological approach and staring at a screen. I changed to CDJs and loved the simplicity about it. Just you and the decks with the crowd. Much more fun to me. Now in the last years the possibilities for creative expression over CDJs and various mixers again developed a lot and there are barely any limits. I personally like 3 or 4 players, can be Pioneer or Denon plus a good mixer. I love the Allen Heath Xone92 but also the new Pioneer V10 is fun to play with. As DJing is just one of my activities for me it’s all about the easiest possible set up for the maximum possible impact. I wouldn’t want to tour with a lot of gear, extended soundchecks and technical challenges. I personally rather prefer to focus on the music and always have fresh songs as well as edits that I do in order to optimize my flow when playing out.
What releases do you have on the horizon?
Since quite some years I have the pleasure to have one EP out on Bedrock every year. John Digweed is such a legend and being part of his platform is a privilege. I also try to have one additional song on one of his compilations annually. As I work a lot in the consultancy and management segment of the industry, I do not have time for too many music productions, but at least 2 solid releases a year are a must in order for being able to take myself serious as DJ & Producer. I have around 8 new songs ready and work on having 1 or 2 more EPs out in 2021.
Where can we hear you perform?
I work a lot in Dubai where I also look after the amazing Soho Garden development as head consultant. Beside that I am also active in Egypt and India more frequently. This year is a challenge such as last year was due to the COVID pandemic, so I am happy I at least got some activities. Generally, every decade also had its own focus. I’ve had times where I toured a lot in South America. I’ve also had times where I did a lot in Eastern Europe. Now it’s more the Middle East. But hey, you can have amazing experiences in most countries. I personally prefer to go into places where it’s still a bit of an adventure. Where not everyone anyway goes regularly. I love when its more about the music rather than the hype.
Tell us more about the podcast you made for Balance?
Its recorded at Soho Garden when I played out on NYD with Mathame. It includes a lot of new music and I enjoyed every minute of it. The venue has an amazing L Acoustics sound system and is open air so you literally can feel the music in your total body when playing there.
The top track in my DJ wallet currently is:
Marcus Worgull, Peter Pardeike – Oona (Orignal Mix)
If I could recommend only one of my tracks for you to listen to it would be:
That would be ‘Miracle of Existence‘, which I made with a friend from Sweden, Charlie Thorstenson
If I could recommend only one track for you to listen to it would be:
Nils Frahm – Says. Just WOW! If you like it check out his full set from Jazz Festival in Montreaux
The last movie I watched that I really liked:
I love movies but lately there are not a lot of good movies out sadly. I tried Tennet and didn’t like the plot at all. Way too confusing. Both seasons of Mandalorian impressed me a lot! Amazing to see!
My favourite TV show:
One that I always loved and go back watching is Entourage. Quite a perfect impression of working in a creative industry.
Balance Selections 160: Philipp Straub
1. 1979 – Berlin
2. Titus Flavius feat. Georg Friedrich Händel – Sarabande
3. Paul Kalkbrenner – Speak Up
4. Einmusik System – Einmusika
5. T.M.A – Aitne (Monkey Safari Remix)
6. King Unique – 2000000 Suns (Monkey Safari Remix)
7. Joris Voorn – Ryo (Monkey Safari Extended Mix)
8. BOg – Juno 99
9. Joris Voorn – Shallow (Edwin Oosterwal Remix)
10. Portishead – SOS (Outcome Remix)
11. Joris Voorn – Antigone (Yotto Extended Mix)
12. Outcome, Philipp Straub – Cosmic Dream
13. Matteo Bruscagin, Angelmoon & Visnadi feat. Dany Losito – Rain DUB EDIT
14. Andhim & Högni – Stay Close to Me
15. Ivory (IT) – Hold Your Breath
16. Agents Of Time – Midnight Drive
17. Perry Farrell & Maceo Plex – Let’s All Pray For This World (Maceo Plex Glitchy Remix)
18. Einmusik – Mayfly
19. Outcome, Philipp Straub – Retrograde (EDIT)