In preparation for the upcoming Two Hours of Krautrock II at the Knockout on Monday, we recently email chatted with DJs AC and Allan about the various ways they get the heavy, spaced out, and psychedelic rock out to the underground masses. AC is the brains behind the eclectic DONUTS, and Allan is one of the owners of the beloved Aquarius Records. Together their superpowers connect every third Wednesday on West Add Radio, where they spin records, blog about good music, and generally keep all things German, heavy, and heavy + German going for our listening pleasure.
How long have you been DJing on West Add Radio? And how did you first get involved with the station? In June of 2008 we proudly celebrated our 1 year anniversary on WAR! We started due to our involvement with Donuts and West Add Radio as supporters and champions of pirate radio in San Francisco.
What sort of bands/musical styles can we hear on your show? Krautrock, Prog, Heavy Psych and all things in between. We play music we like from those genres but also stuff that we find/discover that perhaps could use some cultural documenting in an exciting radio show format! A lot of it's from the '70s and '80s but we also play music by more recent bands that fit in with that sound too, whatever it is.
You're also bringing the Krautrock experience live for a big event at the Knockout this Monday, Sept. 29...what will that night out entail (beyond what folks can grasp from the title, Two Hours of Krautrock II, of course)? Super rare '70s era performances caught on tape - projected larger-than-life size and fed through the Knockout's sound system! Plus a live show by NY's WHITE HILLS, free popcorn, cheap beers and we'll be DJing before, after and in between. AC gained access to some great quality DVDs with this content so we're happy to present them to people especially those who need their minds blown.
What sort of rare video goodies have you collected to screen there? A very early and very German Scorpions, a rare track from an insanely psychedelic tripped-out band called Dies Irae, a punishing recorded-live-on-tv set by Klaus Schulze surrounded by giant synthesizers, a rare live performance by early Kraftwerk featuring Klaus Dinger (Neu! and La Dusseldorf) and Michael Rother (Neu! and Harmonia, who just played at ATP in New York!) which was pressed to vinyl and recently re-released. You'll also witness extensive use of costumes, amps, curly white guitar cable, massive synths, some fireworks, young German audiences, and really incredible music.
How does the band White Hills tie into the night? They're a great heavy psych, spacerock band from New York that's relatively new in comparison to the bands we usually play on our show. We're excited that they're making the kind of music they do and are happy to present them to an enthusiastic and appreciative audience.
This is the second time you've hosted a Krautrock night at the Knockout, correct? What happened during the first round? It was a smaller event with two hours of videos mostly around the same time period from German TV and we DJd before and after with Black Fjord. The videos we had then weren't as close to source material as the ones we have now.
AC, what's the idea behind DONUTS, and what's new with the night these days?Donuts was created to offer an all-inclusive space for musicians, DJs, designers and artists of all kinds so that we can all appreciate each other in a fun, festive, dance party environment while providing entertainment for the local community. We've been extending our local reach to include other cities such as LA, NY and Berlin while working with bands to create new and exciting concepts of "a tour".
Allan, what's in the works at Aquarius that's new and exciting? Well, we've been having a lot of exciting instore performances lately, bands like Cluster, Harvey Milk and - just this week - White Hills and hope to keep that up. Also, we've been working on some upgrades to our mailorder website (www.aquariusrecords.org), have just started a blog (www.aquariusrecordsblog.blogspot.com) and are hoping to get a regular podcast up and going as well.
Who are some of your favorite DJs, either in clubs or on the radio? We are fans of each other. You can probably tell that when you hear our show. And there's a lot of other cool WAR DJs, check out the WAR website and listen in!
For fans of the music you DJ and the Krautrock night coming up, what are some other good events/live shows coming up that you can recommend? (((folkyeah!)))s FESTIVAL IN THE FOREST happening down in Big Sur this weekend! Also, on Tuesday, September 30th, singer Peter Hammill from British '70 prog rock cult Van Der Graaf Generator will be performing at the Great American Music Hall. Opening for him is the psychedelic/improv/folk/experimental duo Blithe Sons, part of San Francisco's Jewelled Antler Collective. That should be a pretty special event.
Any other music-related projects you're working on coming up that people should know about?
Donuts has a ton of exciting shows and tours in the works in California and elsewhere! We've set up a mailing list for people who want to have exclusive info on all upcoming events.
Question we didn't ask you but that you often ask yourself?
AC: What did God mean when he made the government?
ALLAN: There's not space for that here...
AC: I don't know what Allan means by that. I know he is always asking himself how he can steal and wear Damo Suzuki's hair.