Born and raised in Gera, Germany, Dana Ruh’s journey to the techno capitol happened a by chance. Relocating for work, her love of electronic music was quickly reignited and she began to steadily make a name for herself. She started her own record labelling 2007 and has had a string of underground hits ever since. Now a well respected international DJ and producer this easter she’s her once again in the UK at Egg London for a female only line up. Decoded got to chat to her about her career, her music and plans for the future.
Hi Dana, so glad you could join us. What have you been up to today?
Just had a nice breakfast and traveling… listen a bit to some music and try to relax and get ready for the night!
Tell us about your home town of Gera. Its in Thuringia isn’t it, in central Germany?
My Hometown… its more in the east of Germany next to Jena where the Freude am Tanzen Crew comes from. Mathias Kaden is also from Gera. We had a nice little scene a couple of years ago, but sadly a lot of people moved away because we haven’t got a big industry. Most of the business is retail business! But its lovely there as the nature is beautiful!
Your career really started in 2005, how did you get in to DJing? Who were your inspirations growing up?
Well I started to collect records in 1996 that I heard in the club. I started to go out and I was totally into the music! I wanted to have it at home and I’ve loved vinyl since I was 4 as my mother had a huge record collection! So I bought them, and at one point the guy from the shop came to me and asked if i have a mixer or turntable. He showed me the setup and I wanted to do it. But just for myself… after I finished school I went to university and i stopped it, but when I came to Berlin, for a job ( I was working full time) I got back to it. It was my way to chill out from work! And the rest is history… In the beginning my inspirations was the local DJs… especially Mathias Kaden. Later I discovered many more like Ricardo Villolobos, DJ Sneak, Moodyman … just to name a few!
Have you met any of your inspirations yet?
Yes luckily! I met all of them and it was super good. If you are connected for the love of music everything is easy! For me the music is all that matters, and for these guys too. So this is the perfect basis to meet.
Tell us about moving to Berlin.
Moving to Berlin was not really glamourous or something I did for music or a DJ career. I came to Berlin for a job. I loved the city, the energy and I was happy that i found the job! 2 years later I went more and more into the music scene!
With such a high concentration of techno talent in one city, do you find inspiring or frustrating?
I think sometimes it can be both, but mainly it is inspiring, and you are able to connect to music lovers. If I meet people that love what they do like I do its the most amazing and inspiring thing. You can exchange and learn from each other. I really enjoy that and luckily the last 2 years I found these people!
Your productions have gone from strength to strength. Where did you learn your studio craft?
I learned it by myself. I’m very curious and always wanna try things out, and I do it nearly every day. Its a passion and I guess thats why you become stronger and stronger.
We believe last year was your first year DJing in Ibiza. How did you find it, and what will you do differently this year?
Well, it was not really my first year DJing in ibiza. I’ve played there since 2010! Mostly for my friends at the Zoo Project. They brought me to ibiza. I love the island, the nature… the sea. I don’t agree on all party business things that going on there, but I pick the best ones for me to go and enjoy the music on this beautiful island! What happens this year I would like to leave open… but I will be back for sure!
Which were your favourite parties last year, and are there any new ones this year you wanted to get a slot for?
I really like underground. The sound system there is great and I like the small venue! Yes of course I have some wishes, but lets see how that all works out!
We understand that techno will feature big in Ibiza this year with Amnesia taking on 3 new shows. Who are your DJs to watch?
Really? Oh i didn’t know about that! I will definitely watch out for Ricardo Villalobos, Fred P, DJ Qu, Jus ED, Sven Väth, Dorian Paic, Marcus Fix, Cassy… I cant name all but my ears are open anyways!
WMC has just finished, and next up IMS and ADE in the autumn. How do you view conferences now? Are they business trips or holidays for you?
Hm… I think its a good platform for people to meet and do networking. For me personally I have all this all year in Berlin haha! Seriously though, its a platform to present artists, labels but also I find it difficult to get the attention for all the parties. A lot of competition, a lot of work and in the end maybe not the outcome you wish for. I have no trips planned yet and its not a must to go for me.
You’re playing Egg London again on Saturday, this time for Familia with Dinky and Camea on the same floor and Deborah De Luca too, an all female headliner cast. Are you looking forward to playing for a London crowd and how does it compare to other cities?
I always look forward to come back to London and play. I always have a very nice time here, and some friends that I love to see! I don’t like to compare, music is music and we wanna have a great night all together.
Lets talk about your label Brouqade. What was the vision and how is it going?
I founded my label Brouqade in 2007 with my friend Ann as an outlet for my music and for music that we like. We changed over the years a bit, new design, Anthea is on board since 2012. I do all the work from numbers to A&R to shipping … as everybody does it because its all about teamwork for me.
Does this leave you much time for producing your own tracks? How do you balance your time?
I’m all about music and its very natural for me to find time for music making whenever I can. I try to structure myself a bit. Monday is mainly for business administration and from Tuesday on i’m in the studio.
Busy lady! so outside of music, what keeps you busy?
Hahahaaa… well my friends, maybe sports, I like to watch a movie!
Well its been great to get to know you a little. Aside from conquering Ibiza in the summer, what else is in store for you this year?
Oh there is a lot but i usually just reveal the things when they happen!