UN006: Unrushed by Sirko Mueller

15 August 2016
In order to illuminate the future we must first embrace the past. As one half of the Tokomak Records company, Sirko Mueller has managed to funnel one into the other by crafting throwbacks to Dub influenced sounds that resonate as positively futuristic. He has been releasing a consistent stream of high quality techno and house music since 1999, and with this edition of UNRUSH he takes us under his wing for a history lesson by a truly seasoned artist. We couldn’t ask for a more deeply engaging listen, and we hope you enjoy it.
Around a year ago, I discovered you with your superb release called the „Urban Fear“ EP on Tokomak, but your release schedule reaches back into the late 90´s. What have you been up to in the past decade?

Due to problems with our distribution „Integrale“ - who went bankrupt - we had to stop Tokomak in 2002. Around this time Thomas (Don Williams) and me were releasing two split Ep´s on Mark Broom´s label „Rewired“, a few tracks on „Styrax“ and „Milnor Modern“ followed. Re-starting Tokomak was constantly in the back of our mind (back in the days we were even five people) and the „Urban Fear“ EP who was just released recently was supposed to come out in 2004 but at the at time I wanted to focus on my studies and went straight into my job, married and became a father. And suddenly 13 years were gone… After the success of the two „Wandering“ - sublabel of Mojuba - releases turned out very strong we finally restarted Tokomak in 2015. Until 2010 I was very active as a DJ and Live Act but it became really quiet and I lost the contact to the Berlin music scene. The sound changed a lot and I could not identify myself with modern tech - house and electro.

What was the initial idea to re-start the label and what can we expect in the future?

As said, the plan was constantly there and I´m happy that Thomas pushed me to get active and to re-start my carrier. The next two releases are pretty much underway. Thomas tested them just recently in Berghain but I don’t wanna reveal too much. I really hope we will have them ready by end of the year and better not to wait 13 years again…

Tell me one track that you wish you’ve signed on Tokomak?

The 90´s sound is a huge influence for me. I´m really digging the old Synewave, Advent, Hood, Mills or the British techno sound. But yeah there´s one artist from Berlin who gave us an unreleased track but I rather keep that as a secret and hope to hear some positive feedback from that person soon…

What does Tokomak mean actually? Does it have something to do with your daily routine?

For me it´s more a hobby than a business. Also I´m happy that I don’t have to live from music only. Back in the days it was different but right now I have a very demanding full time job. Music is kind of a balance to my daily routine and I´m happy to share this with a very good friend. 

Would you like to share with us any captivating experience / moment / phenomenon that you encountered recently?

One of the highlights recently was my first gig in Panorama Bar at the Mojuba label night in June this year. Also it was my 37th birthday and all old and new friends came to support me even a friend from Frankfurt / Main. Funnily enough someone came and said : „Nice warm up set“ and I said: „Thanks after 20 years of Djing…“ 

People have different explanations about the term “HOME“, what is the broader meaning of the word „Home“ from your own perspective ?

Ah „Home“ is an amazing track be Depeche Mode… Joking… To be honst I never really thought about this. Home for me is Berlin since 13 years and of course my family. I spent the whole last weekend with my son, my parents and my parents-in-law in the countryside. I found some old toys of mine in the attic and then we visited friends and more family. But after having this questions all weekend in the back of my mind, HOME to me means memories from my childhood, my family, old friends and all feelings that come with them. It brings a whole new dimension when you show your child the world. But maybe I just get old and these are the thoughts of an old man….

What book or film would you recommend to us that you’ve read or watched?

Last year, I saw a Scandinavian movie called: „Eine Taube sitzt auf einem Zweig und denkt über das Leben nach“. I love Scandinavian movies, this one was especially awesome and absurd at the same time. Right up my alley…

Your dub mix was actually recorded in 2009 and I´m honored to feature it on the UNRUSH channel. Which feelings do you have when you wind the clock back to this time? What was the idea behind this journey?

This mix was actually meant as a present for a friend. My collection contains 95% techno and house. The rest is like Joy Division, Depeche Mode, DAF, Einstürzende Neubauten, Dub, Hip-Hop and other stuff. Highly influenced by Basic Channel or Rhythm and Sound I found myself collecting dub music directly at the source called Hardwax since the 90´s.
The idea behind the mix is simple: Every once in a while I record mixes and give them away as a present or simply listen to it in the car. I love the idea of creating mixes that are not meant to be for any dance floor. All Vinyl!

Where can we find you in your leisure time if we wanna have a beer with you?

Like always I meet my friends around Ostkreuz, there are a few nice bars where you can get stuck, mostly my autopilot brings me home safely afterwards…

What would you have liked to have been asked for in this questionnaire?

I don´t have a Facebook account and people try to convince me to do one, maybe I might join the virtual community at one point but if people want to contact me, they can always write on my Soundcloud messenger…

More info about Sirko Mueller:

SoundcloudDiscogs | RA

Cover picture taken by Sarah Kindermann

Cover artwork by Leonard Posso