Tobi Wodarz, better known to the music community as 959er has been experimenting with sound since as early as he can remember. Born and raised in Munich, this DJ/Producer/Drummer and Wannda Musik Curator’s intrinsic sense for music is profound. Listen as he seamlessly mixes from one track to another, experimenting with diverse sounds and moods, always keeping listeners on their toes. Today we had the honour of catching up with 959er. Not only was it a great pleasure to receive an outstanding mix for our Godzilla Disco Podcast series, but also to catch a glimpse in the story of Tobi’s childhood, growing up with music and nature in the village of Inning, Munich. Thank-you 959er!
First off, thank-you very much for participating in our interview + podcast series. Can you tell us a bit about the mix you’ve created for us here today?
The podcast is bit more experimental, many different styles and a lot of new promos are in the set. I like it, when you can not predict what is coming next.
It is not only about the music, it is a whole adventure for your ears, eyes and hopefully also for your heart.
We first came across your work when a friend of our’s showed us your set from Wannda Circus Open Air and we fell in love! Can you tell us a bit about the Wannda crew. How are you involved?
The name “Wannda” is from the German proverb “Wenn nicht jetzt, wann dann” in English “If not now, when than.” It is a registered association which started in fall 2012. Five guys put all the money they had together, and bought an old circus tent to host another kind of party for the people in Munich. Wannda is also a big cultural thing for Munich, there is an alternative Christmas market in winter, a really awesome art exhibition in spring, also there are fashion shows, theatres, food markets, flea markets, events for kids and lots of other stuff. At the Open Airs, there are also many different artists, magicians, dancers, stilt walkers and so many things to explore, for example the stunning decoration. It is not only about the music, it is a whole adventure for your ears, eyes and hopefully also for your heart.
My part in this big Wannda-World is the new label called “Wannda Musik”. In the end, I am the decision maker for the future releases on the label and also I am one of the resident DJ´s.
You recently played the event in May — which other artists were you looking forward to hearing from?
The bookings are always great. At the party in May, my good friends Kuriose Naturale and Dave Dinger played, also Tummetott and lots of other friends, and of course my resident friends like Pech & Schwefel, Tiefgeist, Moritz Butschek and Machina Nera. In June I don’t take part of the party, because I’m playing in Berlin, but there is also a quite nice line-up with Nico Stojan, Heimlich Knüller, Canson, Leon Kostner, Zebra Centauri, F.I.E.L.D.Y and many other great artists!
Five guys put all the money they had together, and bought an old circus tent to host another kind of party for the people in Munich.
You’re from Munich. Germany has been a hot-bed for electronic music artists for many years, and many artists from around the world re-locate to cities such as Berlin to pursue their music careers. What do you think it is about your country that breaths such a supportive environment for the industry?
I think there are many reasons, one is that some of the pioneers of electronic music are from Germany, they have built a great infrastructure for artists, labels and distributions. A Berlin special is that you can party the whole weekend in one club, most of the clubs are opened from Friday till Sunday or even longer. This is a lot of time, where a lot of artists can perform and of course can make a living out of it. The prices are not too high, so many people can afford it. There is a big party-tourism going on in Berlin, which brings a lot of money and helps the growth of great projects.
We’re fascinated by your Instagram page, which features many woodland photos. You obviously find yourself very drawn towards nature — is this a great source of musical inspiration for you?
Thank you ☺ I´m not a big Instagramer or photographer, but when I see something beautiful, I try to catch the moment with some pictures and sometimes I share them on Instagram. For me, it is the same with music — I hear something interesting, try to record it and make it my own with a track. So everything is inspiring for me, it just has to be a little bit special. The photos of the woodland were all taken at a really special place for me, where I for example learned to ride the bicycle when I was a young, little boy and also I spent nearly all my weekends out there. By now, this place has some kind of a healing power to me, where I try to regenerate and also try to stay in contact with our beautiful mother earth.
Speaking of inspiration, who are some of the most influential artists whom you listened to growing up?
There are so many great artists! Bands I listened a lot to, when I was a kid: Primus, Rolling Stones, Bob Marley, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Frank Zappa, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Santana and many others. By now, the most inspirational artists for me are Acid Pauli, Chris Schwarzwälder, Nu, Frankey & Sandrino, Nico Stojan, DJ Tennis, Dapayk Solo, DkA, Wide Awake, Nicolas Jaar, Stavros, Sascha Cawa…
Do you play any instruments yourself?
I’m a learned drummer, I played the drums for nearly 16 years in different bands and also in an orchestra. I played many different styles like Heavy Metal, Punk, Rock, Funk, Jazz, Blues and also percussions and kettledrum in an orchestra.
Can you tell us the significance behind your name ‘ 959er’? What does that mean?
I grew up in a small village called Inning in the south-west of Munich. At some time most of my friends got own telephone numbers, including me. At this time I was 13-14 years old (long before mobile phones belonged to the everyday life). Nearly all phone numbers started with 959, so we decided to call ourselves “959er”. None of us are living out there anymore, but I thought the name was pretty good, short and concise so I decided to call myself 959er.
When can we get you to Toronto? Any plans to visit North America?
I would love to come to Toronto and North America, but at the moment there are no plans ☹ I will try to do my best to make it happen anytime!
Special thanks to Tobi for taking the time to chat and gifting us with this remarkable mix!