Martin Soulstew -Foto: Jörn Vick

DJ Soulstew: “Sex Pistols’ Paul Cook gave me his signed drum stick”

If there is a meeting of ‘the scene’ in Hamburg, Germany, Soulstew (formerly known as The Elder Statesman) will be present. You would expect him at a networking night of the Association of Independent Music Firms (VUT) and also at UNERHÖRT! Music Film Festival. Given his Punk roots, no surprise there. However, one of the more memorable nights with him was at the Anchor Awards, a red carpet affair during the Reeperbahn Festival. He stood next to me after the ceremony, red wine in hand, when my brother called late at night announcing the birth of my niece. But that is another story. Listen to his mix, tune into his radio show and enjoy his answers to our questions, as he joins the holy group of “DJs You Should Know“.

Which style / genre do you mostly play:
Anything i consider to be soulful. Apart from the obvious (Northern, Modern, Disco, Funk, Hip Hop, Jazz) this also includes Gospel, some House, Pop, even Dub Step, UK Garage and Rock Steady (of course).

Residency (current or previous):
Soul Stew Radio Show plus regular stints at the Hafenklang, on the Hedi Boat and similar places in my hometown..

DJ gig farthest away from your home:

Most memorable DJ gig and why?
Playing support of Vic Godard’s Subway Sect at the Astra Stube. Vic was recapturing his “Northern Soul” Phase so I played the decks on both nights. As a former punk (1977-79) I was thrilled to meet Sex Pistols’ Paul Cook (who was on Drums) and he gave me his autographed drum stick.

Since when have you been a DJ?
I started with early private parties at the age of 11 – but my classmates always wanted to hear something else ;-). Did some gigs while studying in Frankfurt, later Mojo Club in Hamburg (1990s), Mandarin, Powerhouse, Indra, Hafenklang – and several Hamburg Clubs and Bars.

What was your first ever record?
My first record bought by myself was “Solid Gold Easy Action” by T. Rex. I nagged my English teacher to tell me what Marc Bolan was singing about. She couldn’t tell. Then I gave it to a girl I fancied – but she went with my former best friend.

Favourite record of all times and why:
The obvious one: What’s Going On by Marvin. Soulful, political – the sound of a better world pressed onto vinyl. Then again, there are many records that I hold dear to my heart.

Record you usually play at all your DJ gigs:
This changes now and then with my mood and the audience (or the place) I play for. But I probably play at least one of these “I just want to make Love to you” by Etta James, “Have you ever had the Blues” by Yaphet Kotto (Villain in “Live and let die”!) “She can’t love you” by Chemise, “Out To Lunch” by Drop Out Orchestra, “Doublin’ Down” by The Jack Moves, “Gonna Find a True Love” by Bottom & Company, something by Roisin Murphy or ”Happy” by Pharell with the Speedometer (DJ Snatch).

Vinyl or other media:
99.9 % Vinyl.

Your favourite DJ:
Norman Jay, Lars Bulnheim, Amerigo Gazaway

Band / Musician you strongly recommend everyone should listen to:
Nilüfer Yanya is a new British singer/songwriter that is unique and will go far.

(Photo credit: Jörn Vick)

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