Moonbootica’s Oliver Kowalski Recalls Last DJ Gig Before COVID-19 Lockdown


Next up in our Last DJ Set series, where we’re talking to a wide range of artists about their final gig before government-ordered lockdowns and travel bans went into effect in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is Moonbootica.

Comprised of Oliver Kowalski (KoweSix) and Tobias Schmidt (Tobitob), the Hamburg-based duo has been decimating dance floors all over the world and pumping out brilliant productions and remixes for more than 20 years. All the while, they’ve been running Moonbootique, a label for the pair’s releases as well as tracks from up-and-coming talent.

We caught up with Oliver to find out the details of his last DJ set before lockdown. He also shared details about Moonbootica’s latest releases and how he’s been keeping busy during the pandemic.

When and where was your last DJ gig/show?

Oliver Kowalski: Early morning on 1st March at the infamous Ritter Butzke in Berlin.

How did it go?

My set time was from 6 am till 8 am after Andhim, but I played until 1:30 in the afternoon … what else can I say?! It was madness, especially now knowing how everything has changed since then …. It was definitely a worthy last show!

What was your mindset going into it? Where had you played previously?

I had just returned from my ten-week winter break in California and things already started to get weird. I was tired and not too happy about the late set time. When I entered the room I was just really happy about some of my life choices!

Did any tracks, in particular, go down especially well during that gig?

I honestly can’t remember a lot of the tracks I played in my set, but all of our own stuff worked really well which is always a great feeling.

What is your best memory from that gig?

The first two or three hours were similar to your usual really good gigs — some good friends came to visit, there was lots of vodka consumed, the usual!

But from a certain point in the morning, I think everybody realized that we were on borrowed time, and people were going mental with every new track that I played. That went on and on for the next four hours or so and the vibe was fantastic.

Everyone can’t wait for clubs and festivals to begin again. What do you miss most about DJing /performing? How are you keeping your skills sharp?

I miss pretty much everything about it, and with every day that we can’t do what we want to do I’ve even started missing the shit I shouldn’t be missing. It’s all really frustrating. But I’ve accepted the situation and have used the time to recharge my batteries and to get inspired by everything that isn’t club related. There’s a lot of stuff that slips through your attention or goes unnoticed when you’re traveling constantly but now feels like a good time to check all of that out. Hopefully, that keeps my skills sharp, too.

A lot of DJs have been doing live streams and working on tracks. What have you been working on during the lockdown? How can fans support you right now?

To be honest, we’d rather spend a lot of time in the studio than doing streams. We also just released “Get Closer” with Nathan Nicholson from The Boxer Rebellion. People can check that out on Spotify, or via one of the other platforms.

Our new single “Say The Word” will also be released on our label Moonbootique soon, and we just released a label compilation with some really great tunes so make sure to check what’s going on via the label’s socials.

Any last words on your last gig?

It just all feels so unreal when I think about 2020 and how it’s played out so far. I really miss the vibe and the energy of people enjoying life and getting lost in the music when we play. You know, one of those running gags, when you’re playing all the time, is after the party is before the next party! I really hope that the next party will happen sooner than later!

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Darren Ressler

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