sutsche – process part 259


Sutsche is a polyvalent term. It is low german, an outmoded dialect – today only spoken by some of our grandmothers – where it means “slow, relaxed, unstrained” with a twist towards a generally mellow lifestyle.

We use it as a brand name for the music we play and the party culture it implicates, but also technically for the method we apply, the dj culture we promote. Finally we picked it as a name for our sound system.

Simply put, Sutsche is spinning techno/house records originally designed to play at 45 rpm at 33 rpm instead. That is the single rule we have set, and everything else stems from that: no cds, no mp3s, no laptops, only vinyl.

We are three guys from the broader Hamburg area. Each of us has been deejaying for more than 10 years now. Musically, we all come from the most diverse backgrounds each, covering virtually every style in the history of dance music. We got to know each other in Hamburg’s electronic music scene, teaming up for various coops in different constellations on different occasions. At the time we started Sutsche, we had each been committed to techno/house music.

It’s been a little more than 2 years since we started. It all began with a rather occasional meeting, a poly-toxic night of serendipity. We got together at my place, got zoned to a considerable degree and were listening to some of my house records. Since the pfl on my mixer was wrecked (= no headphones) we just started spinning all records on 33 rpm until dawn broke, and behold, it was very good.

To my understanding a dj/artist should always be something of a scientist, exploring musical forms & structures and pushing limits. One of the immediate rewards in Sutsche is that you get to listen to your own records in a whole new way. Playing them at three quarters of their intended speed completely alters their tonality, timbre, length, structural logic, atmosphere etc. In a way, it is record-collection-recycling (a secret rule seems to be: the crappier they are at 45, the greater they sound at 33).

Another benefit is, you get an absolutely fresh sound to work with. It’s the rare fortune of the clean slate, no differentiated style histories, pop-cultural ascriptions, DJ Charts (and hence no party geeks requesting hits!). Starting from scratch is the freedom of exploring the sound deeper, finding your own style of mixing it, and exciting a crowd with innovative music. To some degree playing music sutsche obliterates the original author and work, which I find has a very democratizing effect on its perception, but also on the party itself. To me, Sutsche is also a liberating social experience. It spurns unsurpassed enthusiasm in dancers and fellow artists and we have been receiving overwhelming resonance, support and inspiration. We encourage all dj’s to give it a try with your own platters on your own turf, add your inspiration and spread the vibe!

We agree we never “invented” music played at “wrong” speed, we just discovered a fragment of its possibilities. I actually fancy the idea Sutsche might only be a function of the boundlessness of musical expression rather than the other way around.

What is unique to Sutsche in my opinion is the central idea of “misappropriation” as aesthetic strategy. It’s at the heart of our ironical dogmatism and metaphysically our source of energy. It seems when you’re bending time, what used to be right vs wrong can turn into one right vs the other right.

sutsche – process part 259 by modyfier

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