When we came across Dennis Allen who is self-described as a ‘spiritual being having a human experience, electronic sound creator, groove constructor, and music lover’ we knew instantly that we had to have a chat with him. Dennis makes enticing warm dance music which falls in between dub, house, and progressive. In addition to producing and remixing, he’s also known for his DJ sets and radioshows on Systematic, Lucidflow, Moodmusic, and BlaBla. Dennis lives in Mönchengladbach, Germany.
How would you describe your ‘sound’ to a stranger in five words?
Deep Warm Organic Dub Electronic (Music)
Are you more of a rule breaker or rule follower?
I tend to be a rule breaker. I mean, we all have to break rules to grow.
How do you select songs for your DJ sets? Is there a process or is it more spontaneous?
I receive a lot of promos every week and try to listen to every single tune that I get. When I feel it I play it.I also get lost on Beatport pretty often and find beautiful pieces in the depths of the digital music market. A lot of music is being released these days and it’s kinda hard to find real gems between the huge amount of tracks. But there are still a lot of great artists and labels dropping outstanding music.
What do you love about living in Mönchengladbach?
This city is a diamond in the rough and there’s a great cultural spirit that evolves more and more. A lot of creative and open minded people live here and it feels good to be somehow part of a new movement. Mönchengladbach isn’t really big so everything is kinda centralized within a small radius. It’s more familiar here with less anonymity compared to other big cities and that makes a good network of likeminded people. Other than that, part of my family and a lot of friends live here.
We’re a fan of your 'Rarely Wise’ release. If it could be played out anywhere in the world, which location would bring it to life?
I associate a different vision with each track. I’d like to hear ‘A61V3’ and ‘Rarely Wise’ in an abandoned industrial facility, late at night with a lot of sweat dripping from the walls, whereas ‘The Next Morning’ should be played in a more chilled and natural environment.
What influences have had the greatest impact on your music?
My emotions have always had the biggest influence on my music and they are a result of my experiences. So life itself is the leading source for my creativity I guess.
What’s a perfect day for you?
Waking up late, sunshine, 28 degrees, breakfast on the balcony, a dip in the lake, dinner with friends and then end the day behind the decks at a club.
If you were able to listen to only one music album ever again, what would it be?
Aaw man, really? 😀
There are too many good albums and if I’d take one I’d miss another…
What are you listening to right now non-stop?
World music, mostly west african ethno stuff, downtempo electronica, dub reggea and techno of course.
If you found an abandoned car with $100,000 in the back seat, what would you do?
I’d spend it all on pizza and ice cream.
Finish this sentence. Life is…
A weird mystery.
How do you heal a broken heart?
Acceptance is key and I allow that nothing is forever and hearts break during the process of self experience.
What do you think is needed to make the world a better place?
I think we have to comunicate better and be interested in each other because there’s something good you can learn from everyone. Every person is individual and we shouldn’t think in nations or seperated classes. In the end, we are all one and the same. It’s about time that we respect our planet earth and everything that lives on it. Forgive more, love more and throw your TVs out the window.
When you go out to see a DJ set, what elements do you think make an amazing set?
I like when there’s a plot with little twists and turns. A good DJ set has to make sense to me and of course has to trigger my personal taste in music.One of the most important aspects is the environment. The music has to fit the location and time. The same set in a club at night can have a total different effect on me when played outside during the day.
If you had an unlimited shopping spree at only one store, which one would you choose?
Music Store Cologne. Because of their instruments.
How would you describe the dance music scene in Mönchengladbach?
Although Mönchengladbach is one of the smaller cities compared to Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt etc. we have quite a few clubs with electronic parties on a regular basis. Definetely worth a visit is ‘die Nacht’. A microclub that exists for almost two decades and where the nights are always a trip into another dimension. I remember my first ever techno party there and almost 10 years later I became a resident DJ at this wonderful venue where you can still catch me playing every other weekend.
If you could look into the future to find out one thing, what would you want to know?
Are we ever gonna meet an intelligent extraterrestrial lifeform?
Where’s your favourite place to take out-of-town guests in Mönchengladbach?
I usually take them to the ‘Moshibar’ for dinner. A small and cosy restaurant where they serve real good sushi and fusion cuisine. They have a nice little patio where I’ve spent countless summer evenings with friends and family.
Where is the best place to grab a drink in Mönchengladbach?
That’s the ‘Bar Plastique’ for sure! Nice interior and cool people combined with easy music and the finest gin and whiskey selection east of London. The staff there have a passion for good drinks.
What can we expect from you for the rest of 2018?
I’ve produced tons of new tracks lately and am currently working on my first live set which I plan to play out in December. Then a few radioshows, one for ‘Lucidflow’ where I just released my ‘Rarely Wise’ EP, and a track for ‘Dreiton’ and their upcoming label artists compilation.