There are a handful of techno DJs who’ve helped push electronic music into the mainstream over the years. And one of them, for sure, is Moguai. One of Germany’s first techno DJs, Andre Tegeler began his career shaping the country’s nightlife scene in the 1990s, hosting parties and running nightclubs before he went on to international fame. Since his start he has also expanded his repertoire to electro house, prog house and other big room genres, leading to his signing with mainstream EDM institution Spinnin’ Records. He released his hottest single to date, Mammoth, with Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike and the Spinnin’ team. In 2014, it stayed at number one on the Beatport chart for an eternity.
So Moguai, what were your first few parties and sets like?
I remember those early rave parties well. Sometimes they were illegal and we only had electricity for the music. Instead of using electric lights, we used candles. You sometimes joined a big party with many people and the only light came from the candles. Those parties were awesome! It wasn’t only about the music. It was a lifestyle!
Who was your biggest influence back then?
Sven Väth from Frankfurt influenced me a lot at that time because I recorded every radio show he did and I loved his versatile style. That helped me to find my own style and encouraged me to be open to all kinds of electronic music. I still live and play with that vibe.
And where did you get the name Moguai from?
My sister is an architect and she had to build a club in the early 90s in Barcelona. She named the whole project Moguai and, at that exact same time, I started my career as a DJ. I loved the name so much that I picked it as my artist name.
In the beginning, you pursued a career in law before deciding to get into music. Why the change?
I grew up in Germany and my parents had a butcher’s shop for more than 35 years. Everyone my age in my area did something ‘serious’, so I decided to study law and, in my free time, I produced tracks and played at parties. As I had my first official Top 10 single in the late 90s, my own lawyer recommended I stop studying law and live the ‘unserious’ way as a DJ and producer. I’m happy he gave me this advice. Otherwise I wouldn’t being doing what I really love now.
With the explosion of EDM over the past few years, how has your music changed?
I started with techno but today I play something I like to call ‘entertainment techno’, which means all kinds of electronic music that fits the Moguai sound. I think the most important thing is authenticity. You need to live your style and your music. Everything you do then becomes so much more credible and people will see that.
There are many DJs out there who are making it that some say don’t have the basic skills to, well, be a DJ. How do you feel about that?
Nowadays everyone wants to be a superstar DJ without any knowledge or history. Social media makes it so easy for these guys, because everyone can present themselves as a great artist. Most people believe what they see and what other people tell them. Luckily, the crowd has become more critical, though, so that all the ‘fake DJs’ won’t survive for long. They will slowly disappear, hopefully…
What does a DJ need to become great, then?
The best quality a DJ can possess is to read the crowd and tell musical stories while switching into all kinds of electronic music so that the party people don’t even realise that the DJ has switched the style. This means everyone ends up dancing to different styles they may have never listened to before. To achieve that makes a DJ truly great.