DJ number one, pioneer of DJ culture, “Practising Maniac at Work”, prophet of raving society, composer of hymns for millions, party maker for over 15 million guests over the last 30 years, philosopher of dance culture, author and media personality—Westbam is a living legend and one of the most vibrant personalities of the international music scene.
Westbam was often the first. DJing since 1983, he was the first DJ in Germany who didn’t just play record after record but instead mixed them together and thus turned mixing into a cult. He was the first and only German DJ who was invited to play the big stages in the heyday of acid house in the UK. With his mix of 2 Live Crews “We Want Some Pussy” he was the first German remixer who sold over 2 million vinyl records. As the founder of Low Spirit he was responsible for the first and for a long time most successful label for underground dance music in Berlin. He was the first and to date only DJ who, as part of the cultural programme in Seoul 1988, was booked to participate in the Olympic Games. He is also the founder of the first big rave event in Germany, the legendary Mayday, and the only DJ who DJed at every Loveparade and produced every Loveparade anthem since. Tracks like “Celebration Generation”, “Wizard of the Sonic” and many more became hymns for the new and emerging techno movement in the 90ies; later he went on to establish Technolectro with “Electric Kingdom”.
“Sonic Empire” became his first number one chart hit, being a pure Technolectro track without any vocals. Westbam has always been a philosopher and a pioneer of the scene and published the book “Mixes, Cuts & Scratches”, which he wrote together with Rainald Goetz, in 1997. For already 25 years now, he is the DJ-producer with the biggest and most continuous output in the scene, with an impressing oeuvre of more than 150 singles and 8 full lengths—this enabled him to reach a status where his works, while at the same time being diverse, can be identified as 100% Westbam. What is particularly remarkable in the often fast-paced world of electronic music, is the fact that Westbam—with dance tracks like “Beatbox Rocker”—managed to create songs which are not only popular for a moment but outlast decades and can be regarded as real classics.
2013 gelang ihm mit seinem Album Götterstrasse ein weiterer ganz großer Wurf. Er kombinierte den typischen Westbam Sound mit den Stimmen von Legenden aus 4 Jahrzehnten Musikgeschichte und schuf eine Hommage an die Nacht und das Nachtleben. Mitgewirkt haben so prominente Namen wie Iggy Pop, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Bernard Sumners (New Order) Brian Molko (Placebo), Inga Humpe (2raumwohnung) – die LP landete bis auf Platz 12 der deutschen Verkaufscharts, die bisher beste Westbam LP Platzierung aller Zeiten.
Another great success came with his Album Götterstraße in 2013. For this record he combined the typical Westbam sound with the voices of music legends from four decades of music history and created a tribute to the night and nightlife. Renowned artists like Iggy Pop, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Bernard Sumners (New Order), Brian Molko (Placebo) and Inga Humpe (2raumwohnung) participated in this project, helping that the LP made it to rank 12 of the German charts, which is Westbam’s highest position for an LP to date.
In 2015 Westbam is even more popular than ever before. The announcement of his withdrawal from Mayday, which he accused of lacking the will to be musically innovative, made it into national TV news and German news magazine Spiegel TV produced a half-hour special about his japan tour. Westbam is still playing the most important festivals in Germany, Eastern Europe, Russia and Japan and is still master of the big dance floors. Quite often, his club gigs are a promoter’s annual highlight.
To mark his 50th birthday he’s launching a whole new series of events: Maxrave. This move follows Mayday last year, when he cut ties with German promoter i-motion due to differences of opinion. His biography, “Die Macht der Nacht [The Power of Night]”, will be published in March 2015 – and summer will see the release of his new album, which he produces together with his new studio mate Hardy Hard. Again this year there are guest appearances in Japan, Russia, the Baltic states in the pipeline. Not to mention various festivals!