'It's just not possible' is not a phrase that's familiar with this particular 'Akshun' hero: just ask anyone who's ever been at the Academy, with him being one of the original yadastar triumvirate breathing life into this shindig, season after season. From cycling up the hill to listening to the radio because 'the reception wasn't so good in the living room ', to swapping pirate mixes with foreign exchange students, this man's can-do attitude has stood the test of time! It wasn't long until Tor was asked to edit Frankfurt's Groove magazine, and Cologne's Spex magazine soon after. Tor's has always been keen to bust a move on the dance floor so expect a lot of flair and panache from him rather than technical perfection. What you will hear is a beat that you will hear no where else, most definitely not those crazy hyped tracks being played on loop at all the other clubs.
We caught up with the man for a candid chat about his role with the Red Bull Music Academy & his upcoming visit to India for the Academy's satellite event in Mumbai, the New Sound of Bollywood. Read on...
1. What was your first impressions of India when you travelled for the earlier Red Bull Music Academy satellite event in India?
How could one possibly sum up the first impressions of a people of a billion. Especially when at least a billion more impressions hit your senses at once? Movies and books can only prepare you so much for what India really has to offer.
2. They say some people are born dedicated to the world of music. Were you one of them or was music something you enjoyed & just became a career?
Even though a certain young kid was frantically listening to "video killed the radiostar", his ears were still glued to the radio. When his dad returned from america with a magical box full of vinyl records, a whole new universe opened. Trying to figure out, how those guys with the robots (who, he only later learned, were called kraftwerk) got all those noises further fueled the curiosity, swallowing magazines and books on music were next, and yes, in that respect, it was rather naturally, that it turned into a profession on various levels of the musical game.
3. Care to share a few words on the Red Bull Music Academy and what started it all?
As editor of Europe's largest magazine on electronic music at the time, people, brands and institutions were manically trying to get involved with the movement. Nevertheless, there still wasnt a place where one could REALLY learn about everything that really mattered, ideally from the best in the field. So when Red Bull strongly made the point that they really wanted to make a difference in the long-run, we sat down and mapped out a rather daring and unheard of program at the time when the first edition opened in Berlin 1998.
4. From its inception, with the changes the Academy has seen so far, where do you see it going in the future?
Just got off the phone with someone at the HQs in the mountains, and we agreed, that despite its 15yr-history, we barely scratched the surface so far. Yes, despite annual workshops in more than 100 countries, despite all these festival stages and all the special projects around the globe, despite a huge on-demand-internet-archive on rbmaradio.com that delivers you curated experiences of the highest quality in cutting edge music throughout the ages whereever you are.
5. Have you heard of any Bollywood songs? Watched any movies?
As kids, movies that featured e.g, Amitabh Bachchan were always a caleidscope of wonder, compared to the usual western European/American diet of films. After quite some detective work, the last we had the pleasure to visit Mumbai, we finally found a shop that sold us a lot of the Bappi Lahiri classics that we were frantically researching throughout the vinyl fairs of the world. Some crazy psychedelic disco they had, too! (interesting pics of a young Anil Kapoor, too). Our weekly diet of modern Bollywood usually gets delivered via the inflight entertainment at British Airways - when you fly quite a bit, you tend to know most of the mainstream movies rather quickly, so their well curated Bollywood section always delivers a breath of fresh air but of course, I'm always curious about suggestions.
6. What are your views on Bollywood music becoming popular worldwide. Is this a phase or do you see this as a continuing pattern?
Obviously, there will be ups and downs in public fashions - but one thing always prevails, quality will always shine through.
7. One person who stands out in the music scene today is?
Jay-Z. Our guest Just Blaze, who produced a lot of his better works would be the better person to explain why though, I reckon.
8. A song you never get tired of hearing?
Seeing that both office and living rooms are lined with records, thats a really, really tough one but if I had to pick one single album, I guess it would be Terry Callier's "What Colour is Love". The entire thing!
9. What's on your iPod currently?
Depends on whether we're talking the one that sits in the car, while going for a run or at night to unwind? On wheels, one can't get past "wocka floka flame". Jogging, their German equivalent, Celo & Abdi.
10. The one food you're dying to try out on your visit to India?
Last time I was treated with a rather fantastic lobster tandoori. gosh, that marinade alone called me to the other side of the world! But yes, always up for a rather basic papadum. The world is not eating enough lentils!
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