LABELS: Snuff Trax, Save The Black Beauty Records, Moodmusic, Jack The Box, Supa Dupa Records, Chicago Vinyl
Bobby Starrr is a Berlin-based House DJ/ Producer and co-resident of the House parties e·man·ci·pate, Jack The Box and Shades Of Midnight. Starrr’s DJ-sets are an energetic blend of emotional Acid House, melodic Deep House with Disco and contemporary tracks that he identifies as Future Classics. In 2007 he teamed up with Hip House founding father Tyree Cooper as the DJ duo Jack The Box, which has subsequently become one of Berlin’s most coveted underground House acts. Six years later, in 2013, the duo finally released their debut album „Side A“ on Moodmusic.
Born in Wolverhampton, UK, shortly after the release of Donna Summer’s and Giorgio Moroder’s seminal disco hit “I Feel Love”. Starrr got hooked to mixing as a result of his mother’s fondness for Motown and Disco love songs and his Big Band Jazz advocating father ‘negotiating’ a soundtrack for their weekend family road trips. Says Starrr: “I guess I was annoyed at the bickering when I ‚recorded‘ my first ‘mix-tape’ for my parents at the age of 7 as a compromise. I rediscovered the genres later as a teenager in Chicago House and Detroit Techno Soul and the likes of Derrick May, Colin Dale and Derrick Carter were my first idols that inspired me to try music… though initially I wanted to be a professional soccer player!” A chance meeting in 2007 in Berlin inspired Starrr’s career when he meet one of his all-time favorite artists and today respected mentor, business partner and friend: Tyree Cooper. The duo shares the residency e·man·ci·pate at Tresor which has been recognized as one of the top monthly House events in Berlin, with guest artists such as Lil Louis, Farley Jackmaster Funk and Tom Trago. Cooper signed Starrr to his record label Supa Dupa (now Chicago Vinyl Records) and encouraged Starrr to focus more on producing his own tracks. He then released “Bobby Starrr Productions – GoGo Sabatini E.P.” in 2008 and “Defender of the Faith” in 2010. Those EPs were soon followed by a remake of the classic Fleetwood Mac track “World Turning” for Terrence Parker’s label (Parker Musicworks, Detroit) and remix work for various artists. Whilst working with Bobby Starrr on the Supa Dupa releases, Tyree realised that though each artist owns a unique personality and style, they perfectly complement each other’s work and that this should be channeled under one brand. Jack The Box was born. Jack The Box combines Tyree’s long-term experience as an audience-engaging Chicago House MC, DJ and producer with Bobby Starrr’s fresh perspective and positive style. Their production forte are soulful vocal tracks and attracting surprise artists for their studio collaborations. As Jack The Box, the artists came up with the more underground party franchise „Lunar Phase“ which was held regularly at the now closed Kater Holzig (former Bar25) and previous to that at underground locations such as Loftus Hall and Kleine Reise. In 2012 Jack The Box was invited to join the family of Moodmusic, owned by Klas Lindblad, a.k.a. Sasse (Berlin) who released their first single collaboration: “Jack the Box presents: The Tyree Cooper and Bobby Starrr E.P.”, and finally their debut album “Jack the Box presents: Side A” in 2013. From 2009 until 2014 Starrr curated a weekly live radio show on Sweatlodge Radio to which he invited his DJ friends from around the world. Regular pan-European co-hosts of the show were Tyree Cooper, broadcasting in-house from Yuma Bar; Joost Dulac, broadcasting from Soundfreax in Amsterdam; and DJ Upi, broadcasting from various clubs, bars and even saunas in Helsinki. Featured in-house guests included Mandel Turner (New York, Paris), Red Rack’em (Nottingham), Joe Babylon (San Jose), DJ Toh (Tokyo), and Bryan Agent Pepper (Paris). Previous to Berlin, Bobby Starrr lived in Vienna, Austria, where he worked with two of the most influential Austrian artists: Umberto Gollini (Cheap Records, Vienna) and Jeremiah (Grow! Records, Vienna). A trip to Chicago in 2003 resulted in his debut releases under the project names The Starrrs and Mr. Bob Angel for the family of record labels owned by Jordan Fields (Headphoniq, Chicago). Back in Vienna, Bobby Starrr branded the monthly events “Royal Flush” and “Airdig” with his newly found musical family. He put his stamp on parties such as “Hustler” at its original location Piper’s Ballroom and “Wednesday Club” at Stein’s Diner. Before moving to Austria, Bobby Starrr acted as Head of Dance Department at Mike Lloyds Music, renowned as the spiritual home of indie music lovers in the West-Midlands, England. At the young age of 17 he made himself a name for discovering and supporting newcomer talents, genres and labels, applying the in-depth understanding of music history and evolution that he gained by learning the trade from scratch via student jobs in record stores and as a club promoter. In collaboration with his first mentor Leigh Toro, Starrr accomplished at 16 with “Meltdown” his first success as a forward-thinking freestyle DJ and party creator. “Meltdown” drew featured guests such as Andrea Parker (Mo’ Wax Records, London), Autechre (Warp Records, Manchester), DJ E.A.S.E. (Nightmares on Wax, Leeds), Jamie Hodge (Born Under A Rhyming Planet, New York), Luke Vibert (Ninja Tune, Cornwall) and in 1996 was voted into the Top 20 Clubs by N.M.E Magazine and recommended by Mixmaster Morris at Mixmag.
My Favourite Freaks Interview
Hey Bobby! How Are You? What do you have scheduled for today?
Today is about tweaking my tracks which i have recently been producing over the last month. Keeping them fresh with new mixing ideas while making them all to sound tight as a package with a message.
Please tell us a bit about your latest releases!
After my last years focus leaning more towards Disco tracks, such as the colabration I did with Berlin’s Mamasweed ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7uLBgr__Tg ) for Save The Black Beauty Records, I wanted to get back to my House so my next vinyl is going to be for Snuff Crew’s own Snuff Trax. ‚Jakko-Mämmi‘ is a tripped out Acid track, produced with my Helsinki Alliance pal DJ Looney after an afternoon of Finnish delights at the Leningrad Cowboy’s Zetor Restaurant.
Tell us a bit about your upcoming releases! Is there anything special planned in 2016?
There will be a Berlin party for the Snuff Trax release in mid January aswell as the return of our own Jack The Box and e·man·ci·pate parties. I’ve been working on live jam sessions with a new project called Shades Of Midnight, which is Niklas Mascher on Sax, Mehira Cruz on the mic and myself on desks and efx – more infos concerning that coming in early 2016, it is our take on Nu-House combined with a live performance touch.
Besides your single artist career you run a second project together w/ Tyree Cooper named “Jack the Box”. What are the differences between these two projects?
Although both are House projects, Jack The Box is a direct product from the vibes of our parties combined with the different emotions we aim to bring across as songs and my own tracks are a product of my own environment, directly felt and seen through my own soul.
What was your funniest or craziest experience while touring?
Travelling in Rock & Roll style by mini bus with the Helsinki Alliance & Pussy party crews, over Finland for a week while enjoying the good times feeling of the highest temperatures recorded for years there. The looks I got from my neighbours while leaving my Neukölln apartment were a funny picture, wearing in shorts to Tegal Flughaven in the cold unpredictable Berlin morning and to then landing a couple of hours later in 38 degrees centigrade on the first day with the passengers leaving the plane still in their big ass jackets. Good times indeed!!
What were your TOP 5 gigs so far?
Vega Kopenhagen in 2001
Sisyphos’s Winter Garden for a Sunday morning session in mid-summer 2015
Kater Holzig’s Heinz Room for our own Jack The Box parties 2012-2013
Atomic Jam at the Q Club Birmingham with the Babel Soundsystem 1996
In Globus at E-Man-Ci-Pate with Farley Jackmaster Funk and Ty. 2012
What are your top 5 tracks that are really working the dance floor in your sets at the moment?
Frankey & Sandrino – Cephei
Mystic Bill – U Won’t C Me
Honey Dijon – Thundah (Terrence Parker Detroit Thundah Forecast Dub)
St. Germain Real Blues (Atjazz Stay Tuned remix)
Lazaro Casanova – Pop Yo Pussy.
Thank you for your time and this interesting interview!
Interview by Lars
The Godson – City Bar Reopen Live Dancing – BBE
I-Rod – Thru You – Society 3.0
Josh Milan – Electro Dreams – Rush Hour Records
Sabb feat Forrest – One Of Us (Dennis Ferrer Remix) – Moon Harbour
K’Alexi Shelby – KA-Vs-AfroJax – Promo
Gene Farris – The Way U Like – Relief Records
Solitaire Gee – Slumberland (Mark Archer Nexus 21 Mx) – Originator Sound
Marques Wyatt – For Those Who Like To Get Down (Soul Clap Remix) – Om Records
Luar – Le Monde – Karmic Power Records
Frankey & Sandrino – Cephei – Moodmusic
Mystic Bill – U Won’t C Me – Snuff Trax
Benoit – En cours 84 – Promo
Lydia Rhodes – Ready For Your Love – KID Recordings