For his 24th birthday, in December of 2011, the Berlin DJ Wankelmut aka Jacob Dilssner added his sound-cloud touch to his bootleg remix of Asaf Avidan. Under the name „Reckoning Song / One day“, the title conquered the charts and, according to the Media Control Single Charts, reached 1st place, and the double platinum status in Germany. The legendary remix was placed number one of Single Charts in eight European countries. It was the most downloaded track of Beatport 2012 and an Airplay Hit all over Europe. Looking back, 1,5 million Singles were sold, and it was played 150+ million times on Youtube. At the end of 2012 the famous Electronic Music Magazine GROOVE distinguished him as the „Newcomer of the year“ and now the rest is history and just a small part of the Wankelmut success story that brings his path to Jenja on May 27
So who is Wankelmut?
Wankelmut is a Berlin based DJ/Producer who travels the world with a bag of techhouse and his big hit records like ‘One Day Remix’ or ‘My Head Is A Jungle’.
Can you tell us how you became a musician? Are you formally trained?
I started off by playing acoustic guitar and so knew all the basic chords. My musical background was mainly rock and indie stuff with some electronic artists here and there such as DJ Shadow or Massive Attack. It was not until I moved back to Berlin (where I was born) that I started getting more heavily involved in electronic music and bought two decks and a mixer – very basic set up.
Where does your name come from?
It is a phrase which is rather unknown outside of Germany, it is actually a way to describe Yin & Yang, black & white, up & down etc. Opposite alternatives that seem to fit my open minded character very well and also be found in the way that I DJ as I like to touch a lots of different kinds of electronic dance music.
Tell us about your hometown and how that influenced your musical tastes/direction?
I used to go to a lot of very small, underground parties and places in Berlin. Sometimes these places would stay open for a few days, the whole party vibe of freedom and letting loose influenced me heavily. Further on, a lot of underground DJs such as Acid Pauli, Nico Stojan or DJ Koze as well as clubs like Bar 25 and Kater Holzig really inspired me.
How did you get started with making electronic music?
As I mentioned before, I started off with a simple bedroom DJ setup. In 2011 I expanded it with Ableton Live to do edits and some other basic productions to beef up my DJ sets which I had started to play at small clubs in east Berlin. The legendary ‘One Day’ remix was created on that setup. After the big success of ‘One Day’ I started to involve engineers and proper studios to improve the quality of my music.
Tell us about your first release? Which label, what was it called, what inspired it and how did it feel to finally have your music released to the world?
My first official release was the ‘One Day/Reckoning Song’ remix for Asaf Avidan which has sold 1.5 Million copies so far. I was introduced to the original song by a friend and did the remix using samples from the original. I started and finished it in one night back in late 2011, I uploaded it to Soundcloud and was completely overwhelmed by the feedback and the requests I got for it. Asaf Avidan’s label Sony Music then released it scoring 8 No. 1 single chart spots worldwide.
Production is also vital part to being a DJ now, as without the tracks, it can be quite hard to get a gig. Would you say that the “art of DJing” has disappeared and it’s about the tracks that people play now?
Depends on your expectations. These days the “Art Of Djing” has a lot to do with having access to the right tracks. A track like “Mutter” by Konstantin Sibold gets hammered by all the big DJ’s without a release date in sight yet. I think to have early access to the future big tunes is a big part of it at the moment. But of course mixing and selection still stands out as being important.
What’s your opinion on the Deep House scene and its current situation where more and more people are becoming interested in the music. Do you see this trend continuing?
Since so many people jumped on the “Deep House” wagon I would call that phrase as not being relevant these days any more. Originally “Deep House” was done by people like Theo Parrish, Moodymann or Motor City Drum Ensemble.
What does the future hold for you, plans? Dreams? Ambitions?
I don’t really have any ambitions to make things bigger or more successful for myself and I honestly never ever dreamed that I would get as far as I have in electronic music by playing all over the world and releasing records. I will continue to work hard at being a good DJ and will endeavour to keep on entertaining people with good music, no matter if it’s 50 or 5000 people.
And finally, what can we expect from Wankelmut in 2016?
New singles, lots of DJ Gigs and a new Mix Compilation.