The very first Crate Diggers Berlin will take place this weekend, September 24th, 2016 at Prince Charles! Featuring a Record Fair during the day, followed by an all night After Party, Crate Diggers is the ultimate event for record collectors! Leading up the the Berlin debut, we spoke with Torsten Dirk, AKA DJ Torso, owner of Berlin-based record Subspace Records, who will be selling records at the event.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My DJ Name is Torso. I have been a record collector since my childhood days. I organized my first event back in 1993 and played jungle and breakbeat records which I had bought during my first own holiday. I had been to Scotland for walking in the highlands but it was raining all day, so after 3 days I decided to spend all my money in London’s record stores and went home with a lot of fresh stuff. I am resident DJ at bang in Oberhausen, a monthly event since 1997. We had a lot of international guests like Edit Select, DJ Pete, Shed, Mike Dehnert and so on and we still keep it underground. The venue is an independent location with Punk concerts and has a lot of interesting social aspects.
How did you get into selling records?
I was working a lot in publishing houses and made a career. It was not my dream job, but it paid well. The publishing houses missed the digital revolution and finally they shut down the magazine I was working for. My decision was clear: I wanted to do something that fitted me on a more personal level. The idea to open my own record shop was born and I am still working on it.
Since when has Subspace Records been open?
There is still no physical shop open yet. I have started in my living room which started to look more and more like a record shop in the meantime. My plan is to build up a stock of timeless records for sale. I will open a shop when I find an affordable store location.
On your Discogs page you state “The only requirements for the offered vinyl is that the music has to be psychedelic in any way to its listener and has to touch deeply. If the tune is right I don’t care about a genre.” Can you explain the philosophy behind that?
It’s that simple: Since I had my first experiences with psychedelic drugs like LS, DMT, mushrooms and so on (don’t do drugs! they are bad) I am only able to enjoy listening to music which touches me deeply. I am not bound to a genre because each genre offers bad and also quality stuff. Of course it is also a question of taste. I am convinced that only selling records I personally can recommend is the way to go. I love Kraut-, Space- and Psychedelic rock and all kinds of electronic music like House, Techno, Industrial… the only exception is Psy trance and its subgenres.
What does the record scene in Berlin look like at the moment, and how does Subspace Records fit in?
There are a lot of good record stores, they all have their niche and I hope to get mine with my plan. One record shop I would like to mention, because this one is damn cool, is Staalplaat in Neukölln. If you want to buy strange and rare records go there. It’s an adventure, you will be surprised.
What is your favorite record in your shop right now, and why?
I am not able to name that special record, I like all my records I have in stock, it depends what the customer is looking for. A tape I would like to recommend is Spectrum Control’s “Hunters At Cyber Dawn”, space rock by Dewey Mahood known from Eternal Tapestry which was released in March only on 100 limited tapes – and I still have 4 in stock.
What does your personal collection look like?
My personal collection varies from Space rock, Psychedelic rock, Electro, Techno, Industrial and mid-90s House music, some Hip Hop and Experimental stuff.
How do you use Discogs?
I use it as a seller, and I still buy specific records via Discogs which are not in stock of shops anymore.
This will be the first edition of Crate Diggers Berlin. What are your expectations, and what can we expect to find at your table?
I am participating because Subspace Records is still quite unknown. From time to time people ring my bell and are looking for the shop because they found something on the web or heard about it from friends. You will find some Psychedelic rock music, Electro, Techno and some House stuff and I will also offer some records from my personal collection which might be interesting, and some tapes.
Crate Diggers Berlin, presented by Discogs and Grimy!, takes place on September 24th, 2016 at Prince Charles. The epic FREE event begins with a Record Fair at 12:00, featuring 30+ vendors and 7 local DJs. The After Party goes from 22:00 until 8:00(!) and features headlining DJs Theo Parrish, Marcellus Pittman, and Zernell, with special opening sets by Jamie 3:26 and Lakuti.