Frankfurt’s‘s star has been on the rise for some time. Straddling the line between house and techno, he’s crafted choice cuts for labels including Desolat, Souvenir, Off, Get Physical Music and Robsoul while running a pair of well-regarded imprints, My Favourite Freaks and Weplayminimal. What’s important to note is that while he’s been specializing in two styles, his worldview encompasses everything from Afrobeat to Latin music. Having just released the Mixer EP on Lauter Unfug featuring remixes by Juliet Fox and Rich Wakely and co-remixed AFFKT’s “Mareny” with D-Lee, we asked (a.k.a. Markus Ferdinand) to look back on 10 tracks that have inspired him as both a DJ and producer.

1. Run-DMC – “It’s Like That”
As I started breakdancing, graffiti, rapping as a little kid, I watched every popular movie or documentatary I found to get more knowledge about hip-hop. Krush Groove and Wild Style were movies everybody knew. I loved those movies. Back then I also was in the yards spraying my pieces on the trains, and I visited all hip-hop jams around me. At 16 I organized my first hip-hop jam and it was a big success as all the important people from my hometown and around came to my party. A breakdancer I only heard about was at that party and it was the only time I ever saw this Mainzer breakdance legend. I also was a DJ at this party, did some moves on the floor and made the first rap to get the party started. For me it was totally crazy, because I was only 16 and it was a packed party. Run-DMC, for me, was the most important rap group in these days, besides the Beastie Boys, Fat Boys, Skinny Boys, LL Cool J, Sugarhill Gang, Grandmaster Flash, and all the other legends.

2. Naughty Naughty 004 (A Definition Of Love)
When I started to practice DJing I started with hardcore (the first records I bought was Draft Rec. 002 / Ruffneck’s “Put the Needle on the Record”) and jungle music. Labels like Naughty Naughty, Suburban Bass, Knight Force, Knite Force were my favorites. One of those was definitely Naughty Naughty 4 (A Definition Of Love). Still love this track when I listen it now.

3. MC Rene – “Spüre diesen Groove”
As I’m always listening and practicing hip-hop, I was touring from hip-hop jam to hip-hop jam together with some graffiti or breakdance friends from Mainz. With MC Rene I had a special experience in Wiesbaden when he had a concert there. My friend Julian and me were standing outside with some MCs I knew and Rene came outside to us. We had no tickets and it was sold-out. Rene couldn’t help us but he started a freestyle session with us outside. Later he squeezed his fresh stamp on Julian’s hand just to try if it works and so Julian pressed his hand on mine and so we got in. First row for sure. Rene also has always inspiring lyrics like “Spüre diesen Groove” (Feel This Groove) or “Nutze den Tag” (Carpe Diem). Definitely an inspiration for me!

4. DJ Tonka – “Old Skool”
Beside jungle and techno music I also played house music. Armand Van Helden, DJ Sneak, DJ Tonka and Ian Pooley were my heroes, and I bought almost every record I found
of theirs. One of the first DJ Tonka records I bought was “Old School.” As the label called Force Inc. U.S. Edition I always thought Tonka and Ian Pooley came from the US but they lived in my hometown of Mainz. I was surprised that friends knew him, and I also met him when I had a gig at Panama Bar in Mainz. After I played his new record, he came to me and introduce himself to me and invited me to play at another club at this night as he loved my style.

5. Armand Van Helden – “Witch Doktor”
As I already said, another producer I love is Armand Van Helden. I think this was the first track I heard from him and directly had to buy it. But also “The Funk Phenomena” or “You Don’t Know Me” are great tunes. I think he was the reason why I decided to put all my time into music.

6. Cristian Vogel – Never Too Late (Cari Lekebusch Remix)
Labels like Sativae (best label in this time), Tresor, Neue Heimat, Prime Evil, Semi Automatic filled my DJ bag from 1998–2002. A record I still play and was a big inspiration was this Cari Lekebusch Remix for Cristian Vogel on Prime Evil. What a great tune!

7. Neil Landstrumm – “Takks”
A little bit later I played a lot of Brighton techno tracks and my all-time favurite and biggest influence in this time came from Neil Landstrumm! I loved this music and started to playing this music also at my first party and club gigs.

8. Detroit Grand Pubahs – “Sandwiches”
Everybody love sandwiches, especially this sandwich was my big favorite and the beginning of a new music area. Poker Flat, and later Get Physical, brought that more techy house style to the German club scene. This track was one of the first (we called it) “tech-house” tracks I played a long time. Also, it was the time I played for the first time at techno and house parties from Tinnitus Liga, which I belonged to a short time later. It always reminds me of my first gigs.

9. Cari Lekebusch – “Återkommen”
Great tune, and I loved because of the message! Nothing more to say!

10. Thomas Schumacher – “Ficken?”
It was one of my first darker techno tracks I listened so many times on my Walkman. Such powerful, such an energy and what a message. Thomas was one of the first big artists (besides DJ Emerson) who supported me a lot. It was a big pleasure for me also because I did a remix for him on Get Physical too.

Darren Ressler

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