For the tenth installment of our interview series, we introduce Dj YumYum.
DJ YumYum is an electronic musician from Leipzig. Besides cheap instant food and the world revolution he is mostly interested in modern, ravey, fast and experimental electronic sounds which he produces, digs and tries to spread within the Electronic music community. Having a background in Jazz music, he tries to push complex yet physical music to an effort reminding of the radical roots of Rave. He is mostly known for his releases on Defrostatica and his activism in the local Rave-scene.
He recently presented (October 2021) his latest EP ‘Decision’ in PH17, which was his first full-length release setting a high standard defining his own sound, read in this interview what he has to say about the process of creating the EP, and aspects about his career and vision of music.
Hello, thanks for taking this interview, for us it’s really appreciated. First of all, how are you and where in the world are you taking this interview?
Hey! I’m fine. I’m in Leipzig, Germany right now, where I live.
Just for curiosity, where does the pseudonym ‘DJ YumYum’ come from, does it mean something or have a history behind it?
It’s just that at times I am eating a lot YumYum noodles. In general I unfortunately don’t have a lot of time or energy for cooking, as I try to pursue music and also theory (critique of the capitalist mode of production) both on a pretty high level, which doesn’t leave that much room for many other things. This isn’t as bad as I love these two fields a lot, but of course it kind of affirms this problematic capitalist time regime and leaves out not only self-care but the social and caring character of cooking. If one were to say industrially produced instant food can bee seen as the overtaking of annoying work through machines – which would be an important element of a post-capitalist mode of production, too – one would I think uncritically affirm neoliberal self-optimization and technology-fetishism.
How do you manage to stay motivated to keep producing music, any tip?
I just listen to a lot of new music, which fascinates and inspires me to do something as good.
Speaking of your career and on a personal level, how’s this and last year been for you, all things considered?
It’s been good. Okay, there was shitty corona, but have I met great people, had some good raves, heard great music, produced good music, and am on my way to start working on my phd thesis.
What led you to start your career in the electronic music scene, and in what year?
This was probably around 2006, when I was 16 years old. I was a lot into jazz music at the time and growing up in Berlin, I soon got into raves. I was fascinated by electronic sounds and the rave culture so of course I wanted to make electronic music, too.
How would you call the genre or style of the music you produce as Dj YumYum?
I would name it modern electronic music or modern rave sound. The style I love the most right now, which is also the direction where I want to go more in the future, could probably best be described as UK future, or UK future bass or so.
Congratulations on your recent release ‘Decisions’ on PH17. Can you tell us about the production processes and inspiration behind each track of the EP?
I was at Unsound festival 2019 and heard Zuli there, which has totally blown me away and was a massive inspiration. After that I became a constant listener of his NTS show, started digging on a much more serious basis and discovered musicians like BFFT. Of course seeing the live show of one of my all-time favourites Lanark Artefax was important, too. Every track is influenced by many elements in electronic music culture (for example spring reverbs from dub, toms from ghetto-tech, detuned squarewaves from UK electronic music culture etc.) but also from a certain musician I love, which I always had in mind while producing. Track 1 is massively influenced by BFTT, but also Skee Mask and Lanark. Track 2 by Lanark, Track 3 by Zuli, Track 4 by Minor Science, Track 5 by Yre Den, Track 6 by False Witness and DJ Rashad.
Also can you tell us about some of the highs and lows in writing and producing it?
Highs I had when sounddesign ideas worked out and the creative flow was just going. Lows of course when this didn’t happen.
Tell us the story, how did your ‘Decisions’ EP end up being released on PH17?
I have been a friend of Solaris and Stanley before, though music- but also political circles. In the last years I think we moved a lot in a similar direction soundwise and that’s I think how it came that they approached me and pushed me to do the EP – which by the way helped a lot in the creative process, as I knew and loved their label before, so it motivated me a lot to have this goal in mind.
Is there a favorite track or do any of the tracks on the EP hold a particular special feeling for you?
Yeah I think I like ‘Decisions’ the most because it represents best the high-definition UK future sound which I am aiming for most at the moment.
Are there any other releases planned to come out this or next year that you can tell us a little about?
The process of the EP and release was really time and energy-consuming, so I have to settle myself production and sounddesign-wise again fist, but there is definitely more to come in the future.
What music do you listen to besides electronic music? Can you recommend some artists to follow?
I’ve always loved music which is modern, goes forward, breaks boundaries and discovers new grounds while of course honoring and knowing the tradition. I of course also listen to other music such as jazz, hiphop, classical etc. Obviously Miles Davis and Nina Simone must be named. But have to admit I’m concentrated a lot on the electronic game. Here I can recommend you warmly: Lanark Artefax, Zuli, BFTT, pq, of course Solaris, Stanley Schmidt, Tinkah, Shane Lizard, Bunny Tsukino and my other great music homies form Leipzig. Also the labels Timedance and All Centre and their affiliates are for me the most innovative at the moment. I am fascinated about the music scene in Bristol, too. I don’t know any city in the whole world with so much good music coming out of it.Dj YumYum