INTRODUCINGOLIVER HAFENBAUER OF ROBERT JOHNSON
A loft, a garage, a bunker and then a loft again – if you were to write an architectural history of clubs, these would be a pattern soon to emerge. What is said to have begun with David Mancuso's famous The Loft in New York City, came full circle in 1999, when DJ Ata and Sebastian Kahrs decided to found their own club. Located in Offenbach, a town at the gates of Frankfurt am Main, Robert Johnson quickly grew to be one of the most groundbreaking and central locations for dance music in Germany. All that happened thanks to three simple ingredients: An astonishing location, right above the riverside of the Main, where even waiting for the sunrise is an event of pure beauty. A PA system perfectly matched to both the club and the music. And, of course, a booking beyond any doubt.
The club's current programmer, Oliver Hafenbauer, continues that success story by also managing the clubs own record label Live At Robert Johnson. We sat down with Oliver for a quick chat with some insights of his work – and four musical recommendations that we offer as a stream or free download.
Please describe to us what you strive for with your club and the label!
The club was founded by Ata and Sebastian Kahrs almost 15 years ago and I am the programmer, club- and label-manager for 5 years now. Basically we have the same ambition regarding both club and label. It has to be a high quality standard, simply good music and a platform for upcoming or established, national or international artists and friends.
A basement, a red light and a feeling are said to be enough for a successful night in a club. Would you second this or do you recommend another recipe?
Yes, sounds alright. I would agree, but it doesn't necessarily have to be happening downstairs in the basement. A room with a window and a lovely view can be so much nicer. But most importantly is a crowd of great people who enjoy the party. No matter where you are, even if it's in a dungeon.
Could you describe the music you release on your label in your own words?
How important is the visual side to your work, be it the label or the club?
It is very important to us. We focus a lot on our artwork and collaborate with many different artists and designers for a long period of time now, such as Pierre Vanni, Stefan Marx or Michael Satter. They have a big influence regarding the frequent redesign of the club, shirt artworks, posters or record covers.
Imagine you go to a party where you are only allowed to wear three pieces of clothing - which would these be?
Just a trenchcoat.
Please recommend 4 of your current favorite songs to our readers!
Julius Steinhoff – You Collect Secrets (Live At Robert Johnson)
TCB – Unchained (Die Orakel)
Orson Wells – Leaving (Live At Robert Johnson)
Credit 00 – Round N Round (Uncanny Valley)