News / / 01.07.13


After decades in the business, the ingenious beat selector still craves a hidden gem.

Listening to a Move D mix – be it his recent Crackcast, the Boiler Room set with Optimo, or nearly any of his flawless blends of lush deep house and streamlined techno that populate Soundcloud et al – can feel like listening in on the kind of conversation between friends that wants to be made public.

It’s not that David Moufang is a show off, or that he goes down the octopoid four-mixers-and-a-drum-machine route. Instead, there’s an inclusiveness, a sense of crafting a communique between himself and the records, between the records and the audience. Growing up in the south- west German city of Heidelberg, it was a love of funk, soul and hip-hop – with the occasional drop of acid house – which kickstarted a career that spans the celestial strangeness of his Deep Space Network project in the 90s to last year’s chunky analogue workouts as Magic Mountain High alongside Juju & Jordash.

From speaking to Moufang, however briefly, one manages to grasp the man’s sheer adoration for music – and his interest in the way it shapes our relationships to one another.


How easy was it to access early house records in a small German city?

All this digging was a lot harder in the 80s and 90s. It was much more likely back then that you’d get something, maybe something which was really big, like Larry Heard, that had enough copies produced to satisfy the market, but a lot of stuff was built on the idea of being really limited. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Sähkö Recordings? It’s a Finnish label who were really big in the early 90s; they put out experimental techno, super cool stuff, released in batches of 250 copies, hand-stamped, so pretty much only the record shop owner and his best mate would have a chance to get hold of their stuff. On the other hand, the fact that it was so much harder in those days meant you were a lot more proud of your record collection. You really treated your records like your babies. You’d walk miles for them. I’m nostalgic about it too, but ultimately I think it’s fairer that people actually have a chance to find the stuff they’re looking for.

Do you envy 18-year-olds who can listen to a mix online and then have the entire discography of every artist on it within minutes?

I kind of do, but not in a bad way. If the right people are interested in your setlist, and they go and look up the records – that’s all I can hope for. I think I play stuff that no one else really does – these are my records. Sometimes it’s hard to put them down and take them out of the case because I know people are asking for them, and I’m kind of fed-up with it, but it’s hard to disappoint people. They come because they expect you to play that record that nobody else plays, and I feel like, well, I might as well just do it. Be their servant. They are paying to have a good time, so I want to deliver. Sometimes I’ll buy a record not knowing it’s huge and that’s kind of a problem. Even if I love the record – it could be Julio Bashmore or something – when it becomes overground and everyone else plays it, there’s no point in me playing it anymore. There’s records I feel like I have to play, because not everybody plays them. Then there’s the stuff that I think is really amazing and is the kind of stuff I’d want to dance to and hear if I was out.

Going back, again, why do you think it was that Germany fell so hard for techno?

You could go back and look at how much someone like Juan Atkins relates to people like Kraftwerk. Kraftwerk was a phenomenon that was maybe better received internationally, because inside Germany people were still looking towards London or New York and the international scene. I was always into all kinds of music, but German music was nothing to be too fond of, in a way. It was always like, if you went into music, what are you going to do? Are you going to fake something that’s been done better by people in Chicago or London? You’d always be a lame Euro version of that. Techno gave people a lot of confidence. Maybe techno is a thing that matches the German mind – if you’re into generalising people or nations or people. Maybe we are a nation of engineers who know how to build certain things.

Does techno still hold a predominant sway over German clubs?

It certainly did, and in some respect it still does. Which is why I think Germany is hopelessly backdated. I don’t think it’s a dominant sound elsewhere. Techno was there for a long time, and that brings stagnation. I’m not saying there’s no good techno being made, I know there is, and I love techno. I prefer the UK or US version of it. I think there’s a lot of good German house music which goes underrepresented in Germany, sadly. Stuff which gets bigger press in the UK. It’s names you’re probably familiar with, but Germans aren’t necessarily, like Christopher Rau, Smallpeople, Benjamin Brunn. The whole Workshop thing. I think they have stuff that can compete internationally, but in Germany it’s just not happening.

What is it about collaborative work that you enjoy so much?

I think music always has been and always will be a form of communication – it’s there to communicate between the player and the audience, and if there’s more than one player then they communicate. If you make music solitarily you can still make great music, but you’re missing one essential element of it: the joy of interaction. Creating noise with a group of people is really inspiring. I think it’s the same even if you make electronic music in a studio, if you use instruments, different drum machines or synthesisers, and people are doing stuff to those machines simultaneously you get that same vibe. It’s easier to come to a result if you work collaboratively, because you usually work on a limited timeframe and you put stuff down, and whatever you’re left with after those few days – that’s the basic material that you use. If you work on that big, big concept of your own, you can work on it for years, just thinking about it, and then materialising it, refining it, taking-it-up from years ago. It’s a curse: you never find the moment where it’s done. I think it’s a lot easier and more natural to work collaboratively with all that feedback you get from different personalities. You can learn from everyone. It’s just great!

One of your most important collaborative relationships was with Pete Namlook, could you tell our readers a little about him and the work you produced together?

He passed away last November. He was only 51. I always took it for granted that he’d be there when we got old, and that he and I would do stuff when we were in our 70s. I always had him in mind for certain ideas. It was so cruel when I found out that he was dead; he won’t be that guy for me. We met in the early 90s through mutual friends and in the early years he was putting out albums in weeks, he was hyper- productive. With the stuff we did together he had this approach of ‘don’t mess with it, just work’ so that’s the way we did it, and that’s the way it is. He’s gone and I miss him so much, and I respected him so much and his different approach; he was a very different character from anyone I knew, especially very different from my own character. He was one of my best friends.


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Revisit Move D’s Crackcast here. Catch Move D at Hideout (Zrce Beach, Croatia, July 3rd), TYPE Festival (Birmingham, August 11th), Beacons Festival, Funkirk Estate, Skipton, August 16th) and Dimensions (Forta Punta Christo, Croatia, September 5th)

Words: Josh Baines