Get to know: Peter Schumann
We caught up with the Kater Blau booker & resident ahead of his Berlin Berlin return to find out more about his history with Berlin’s club culture, his favourite spots in the city and more…
As Booker and resident DJ of Berlin’s much loved Kater Blau club, Peter Schumann has been prominent on the city’s house and techno scene since the early days of the infamous Bar25 afterparties back in 2004. With a history of managing labels, working at a record distributor and of course, running the Bar25 events calendar before he landed his role at Kater Blau, it’s no surprise that Schumann still holds an unyielding presence on the German capital’s soundscape.
Joining us for our Berlin Berlin Halloween Special on 20th October, the multitalented Schumann is billed to play a B2B set with Bo Irion so we caught up with him ahead of the night to find out more about his history with Berlin’s club culture, his favourite spots in the city and more…
You’ve been heavily involved in Berlin’s electronic scene for years now, why do you think Berlin is such a mecca for electronic music events?
I think there are several factors. In Berlin’s history, there is no significant industry and as the largest city in Germany, there was always a very large cultural scene.
Already in the 70s and 80s, it had a great attraction and influence on artists like David Bowie, Depeche Mode, U2 and many others, all of whom produced and lived from their music here. This, of course, was due to the special status of West Berlin which acted as a kind of alternative culture and art island behind the Iron Curtain.
In the 90s, the rave movement and the Love Parade were added, as well as clubs like E-Werk, Bunker, Tresor and later Maria, Berghain, Bar 25, Kater Blau & Sisyphos which were all unique at the time and lead the way to present club culture and scenes worldwide. Of course, all of these clubs have their own labels and have enhanced this effect with their releases.
How did your relationship with Kater Blau start and how has the venue evolved in the last number of years?
Between 2004-2007 I was managing Anthony Rother's Datapunk, Psi49net and Stahl labels featuring productions from DJ Hell, Sven Väth, Anthony Rother and Gregor Tresher and of course my own.
After that, I was working with Bo Irion at Neuton Record Distribution till 2009. In Winter 2009/10 after a morning at Panorama Bar/Berghain, a friend told me that Bar 25 is looking for a new Label Manager. Since a long time I was thinking to move to Berlin so I decided to send my CV and see what might happen. After a couple of days Britta Arnold called and invited me to an interview and since then, I have lived in Berlin. The rest is history.
It all started with Bar25 in 2004 which was just a small after-hours club but really fast it became an institution in Berlin’s nightlife with a restaurant, sauna, theatre and so on.
After a 6 day closing party in 2010, we moved in 2012 - 2014 to the opposite side of the river to the Kater Holzig which was a very huge and old abandoned building.
In 2014 we got the option to rent the old space of Bar25 so we moved back with the whole crew again to our old location of Bar 25. This time we called it Kater Blau. The Club is just one piece of the Holzmarkt project which contains a bakery, restaurant, theatre, event hall and a big studio to name a few.
There’s a mix on your Soundcloud which is described as ‘Elastic House’. Can you elaborate more on the sound of ‘Elastic House’?
To be honest, I was bored with all these terms like Tech House, Minimal, Deep House etc. So I decided to use the term Elastic for my kind of House music where I mixed all different genres as one.
Imagine you have to show the best restaurant, bar, club and record shop to a newcomer of Berlin. Where would you take them and why?
Katerschmaus Restaurant because I know the kitchen crew a long time and every time I am very impressed with their skills. They surprise me every time. I’m in the restaurant very often I have to say! Additionally, it’s such a beautiful spot located at river Spree in the heart of Berlin and walking distance to Kater Blau.
Tier Bar has the best old-fashioned drinks ever!!! My recommendation: Whiskey Sour!!!
Kater Blau has the best music in town because I make the programme. :)
Space Hall Record Store is the biggest record store I’ve been in so far and they have such a wide range of different music from classics to the newest stuff… also, it’s possible to smoke and they’re open till 10 pm - so not more to say except that I can pay my bills later!
Finally, what’s the most bizarre night you’ve ever experienced in Berlin?
Bar 25 closing Party in 2010… unfortunately, I just can’t remember heavily. It was 6 days of total madness. Everything happened in those 6 days. Everything!!! It was the days of our time!