Get to know: Bo Irion
Monza Club resident and Frankfurt favourite gives us the scoop ahead of his show 18/11.
Bo Irion is a vital part of the Frankfurt am Main electronic music scene since the early 2000's. He started with free underground parties in and around Frankfurt and in 2005 Bo became a resident of the famous Monza Club. Since 2009 Bo Irion has been an integral part of Tanzhaus West & Dora Brilliant, one of the longest lasting clubs in the city, as a resident DJ since 2009 and behind the scenes since 2014. Releases on Session Deluxe, Toneman and his sense for the right track at the right time, has taken him all over Europe, to play his definition of electronic music.
What got you into the electronic dance music scene?
I started to listen to electronic music in the mid 90’s because of older friends who were already into it. They also took me on my first visit to the Delirium Records store in 1993, which was the centre of the electronic music scene back then. In 1994 I landed an internship (part of my school program) at Neuton, which was the record distributor for all the Delirium shops all over Germany. In fact, my secondary school was just around the corner and I hung around there after school all the time asking for tracks I wanted to get that I had recorded on the radio. I was around 14 back then and after a while, Delirium asked me if I was up for working there as I was getting on their nerves all the time anyway, haha. So, I started working in the warehouse after school twice a week surrounded by all the records and I was hooked from the beginning. For me as a teenager it was a crazy thing as lots of nowadays famous people like Ricardo Villalobos, Andre Galluzzi, Johannes Heil and Anthony Rother also worked in the warehouse during the seven years I worked there.
How was the Frankfurt scene instrumental in your career?
The scene in Frankfurt made me what I am personally and musically. I met a lot of people during my work at Neuton and also through my first gigs in the city which led to gigs outside of Frankfurt. Without these connections, I would not be where I am now so as you can see the scene was fundamental to it.
How did the Frankfurt scene get affected by the rise of Berlin?
A lot of vital people moved to Berlin at the beginning of the 00’s, in fact, 50% of my friends moved to Berlin. So the scene shrunk for a while but then this leads to new people and crews being able to come through and establish themselves. So the scene changed but not in a bad way. The most dangerous thing about the Frankfurt scene now is the lack of clubs. At the moment there are only three clubs left - Robert Johnson, Tanzhaus West and Dora Brilliant. 5 years ago we had 6-7 clubs that focused on electronic music and this lack of clubs makes Frankfurt less interesting for DJs and Promoters.
Who are the outstanding artists that originate from the Frankfurt scene and what makes them so special?
There were a lot of groups and artist which were important and outstanding. The most outstanding for me personally is/was the Ongaku Music collective of Heiko MSO (who sadly passed away this year, RIP), Ata, Jörn Elling Wuttke and Roman Flügel. The last two also know as Alter Ego, Sensorama or Acid Jesus. The music they produced and published through their labels Ongaku Music, Playhouse and Klang Elektronik was pioneering and is still outstanding today. The connection of these four people and what they created was something very special, unique and important for electronic music worldwide. So many artists who are still on top today had their breakthrough with releases on Playhouse or Klang which makes the music they made so important even still.
What was the story behind you becoming a resident at the famous Monza Club and what were your outstanding moments?
The simple fact that a friend of mine took over the bookings and they were looking for new residents. I was a resident there for 3 years so it’s hard to tell which moments were outstanding. There were a lot of wonderful nights. But the intensity when the club was packed and everybody was in the same groove is still hugely memorable to me.
How did you become part of the Tanzhaus West and Dora Brilliant setups?
I was part of party crew named ‘The Green Empire’ and we put on a lot of parties at Tanzhaus West from 2004 - 2006 (before everybody of them moved to Berlin and I became a resident at Monza). Since then I’ve played at the bigger Tanzhaus parties from time to time. When I was kicked out of Monza in 2009, I immediately moved to a residency at Tanzhaus West, which was the best thing that could happen to me I can say now. At Tanzhaus and Dora, I really can play what I want - from House to Techno and back to whatever keeps people moving.
How have you seen them evolve over the years?
Tanzhaus evolved from an off location in the 90’s named Space Place to the biggest existing electronic music club in Frankfurt. Together with its little sister Dora Brilliant the whole area is the most important place for the Frankfurt electronic music scene nowadays. A lot of people started their careers there and also unknown young DJs and party crews get their first chance to present their ideas to the public. Every weekend the clubbing programmes are packed with big international DJ’s/ Live acts and also big labels or other clubs contacting us to do co-operative events. The whole crew is working hard to maintain this high level of events and to even push it further. Mostly I’m feeling really positive for the future. We’re celebrating 15 years of Tanzhaus West and 9 years of Dora Brilliant next year.
3 outstanding moments from your years of DJing?
I was resident at Cooky’s the oldest club in Frankfurt on Monday nights back in 2001. It was hard work on Mondays, but big fun too. Once a guy came up to me saying that he was also a DJ from Ibiza and that I was playing the wrong music. For the record the dance floor was packed. After a while, he came back to tell me that maybe what I was doing wasn’t so bad but I should play ‘Fred vom Jupiter’ in the techno version and then the party would really start! ‘Fred vom Jupiter’ is a track out the 80’s with German vocals. Again the dance floor was packed. As I didn’t have the track I couldn’t play it. I wouldn’t have played it anyway. When he left he gave a note which read: Go with the crowd. Learn and live. You suck. Falco. I still have this note framed on the wall next to my decks at home. A road trip to the Czech Republic back in 2001. We were booked to play at a big rave at an old aeroplane storage hall, which was huge. Unfortunately, someone stole all of our records out of the car before our set, except for one box. Luckily the biggest one which was one of these old metal record boxes they couldn’t manage to get out of the car. We played every record out of the box including all B-Sides. It lost money but was also a party to remember. The countless sets I’ve played alongside my good friend Peter Schumann at the Dora Brilliant. Especially the 17-hour set we played once. The whole session was recorded and a friend told me after listening to the whole set ‘You two created a monster".
What lies ahead for you in 2018 - DJ wise and club wise?
I am looking forward to playing the Ceasarhof and Garbicz Festivals again in 2018 and the first edition of the Castello Festival in Poland in June. You should really look out for this one. Also to be back at a lot of really great clubs which I played at this year including this places like Sisyphos, Zukunft, Kater Blau, Silo and EGG.