The English are quite good at a number of things. One of them
is making sure that just about everything is recorded. We know almost
down to the exact date, for instance, when "house" first hit English
shores, and how well those songs did in their initial airings at places
like Manchester's Hacienda. And it's why we can say with pretty strong
certainty that Front, Hamburg's premiere nightclub throughout the
'80s and '90s, beat them all to it.
The man responsible for the forward-thinking musical attitude of the club
was a DJ named Klaus Stockhausen. Like any legend, he quit the game long
ago--once almost making a return appearance courtesy of Dixon a few years
back--and hasn't returned behind the decks since. Like any legend, the stories
are legion. The sound effect that he cued up for one moment, never to be heard
again. The first time "Jack Your Body" was dropped in the club. The last time
that "Thinking of You" was played out to a group of hardcore clubbers
unwilling to go home.
You couldn't see very easily into the DJ booth at Hamburg's Front Club.
And, according to reports, you couldn't see very well out of it. But Klaus
Stockhausen and his protege Boris Dlugosch didn't much need to see much.
The duo were true resident DJs, playing nearly every weekend to clubbers for hours
upon hours, shaping tastes. The door policy was tough--if you were gay, it'd
help--but once you got in, you knew that were going to be in for a very good time,
whether it was Stockhausen, Dlugosch or the infrequent guest DJs that
included the likes of Frankie Knuckles, Derrick May and DJ Pierre.
This month's promo mix is from Finn Johannsen, who has put together a tape that
he'd want to slip to the owners of Front Club in 1990. He's chosen
this particular year musically because it reflects the moment before the
Wall came down, techno took over, Dlugosch became more dogmatic in his
tastes and everything became a little bit less...something.
Special thanks to Finn Johannsen and Gerd Janson. For more information, including mixes from
Klaus Stockhausen and Boris Dlugosch, be sure to visit the exhaustive Front MySpace.