Techno flows through YENI, influencing her from an early age, and driving her life to become a global force as a DJ, producer, and label owner.
Her story began in the illegal rave scene of East Germany, which founded her unique perspective on the music, building into a unyielding passion for the deep, dark, and hard sounds of Techno. With words such as “dedication” and “craziness” often used to describe YENI, her work as a DJ and producer features a distinctive energy and power that can be heard through all she touches.
Her latest project, the recently formed Cyborgs in Love, represents YENI’s musical vision, and has already been grabbing the attention of the Techno world through its first release: John Haden’s “Different World” EP featuring remixes from YENI and DJ Emerson. Cyborgs in Love’s huge newly released “Hang On” EP comes directly from the mind of YENI, and features remixes from Wigbert and Andres Campo.
Through DJing, producing, and running Cyborgs in Love, YENI is continuing to influence the Techno scene with her passion, persistence, and perspective. She gives us a deeper insight into what makes the music still such a powerful part of her life and what she’ll be taking on next:
What first drew you into Techno at the age of 15?
I think being a 13-15 year old girl is the most dramatic time of your life. You have so many emotions that want to break out and somehow they all turn into melancholia at that age. I talked to my sister (she is 15 years older than me) and she had the same experience where she was able to channel all her emotions into the music of “The Cure” and “Depeche Mode” when she was teeny. So since we didn’t really have these kinds of cool bands anymore, I quickly ran into darker and harder electronic music.
I remember that we were sitting in a construction trailer in a neighboring village that we turned into a place where we all met in the evenings or weekends and where we smoked weed and listened to music. So there I got my very first tape which was from DJ Rush and I just loved what I heard. I started collecting tapes with live cuts from Techno sets recorded at clubs just like Strasse E in Dresden, Lohrmannstrasse Dresden, 10/40 in Leipzig, Tresor in Berlin and when I listened to them I imagined how I could go there and dance all night. And actually not that much later, I was already a core visitor of these clubs…
Here’s an example:
How has your perspective on the music changed since you began?
I grew up in a so called “FREE TEKKNO” scene that claims that Techno should be free for all people. We had these illegal festivals that were free for everyone and commercial purposes of DJs were kind of notorious. I now get paid for my music, but it’s actually not the reason why I am doing it. I think I love to perform since it reminds me of those precious teenage moments I had that went by much too fast. I think I just don’t want to grow up at some point and want to keep the inner child with my music. Also when I started to visit raves, the DJ was never in the spotlight, they were even mostly hidden behind huge sound walls. That has changed a lot. When I play music, I don’t really want to get filmed or photographed since I am enjoying what I am doing in these moments and let myself go a lot.
What are you most excited about with the music these days?
That music connects you nowadays with so many like-minded people around the globe. It’s incredible that social media and music now connects you with music lovers from Bulgaria, Moscow, the US and so on.
What are your goals for Cyborgs In Love?
To do something differently then other labels, to showcase music that is not a repetition of a certain track that got famous. I actually avoid releasing stuff that is similar to “chart breakers”. It should be a more artistic label that is open for new styles of Techno and interpretations.
What have been some of the greatest challenges and rewards of running your own label?
The challenges are that you have to get well organized and you are kind of managing a little company which consumes a lot of time and energy. However did I understand the needs of the scene much better and now also understood why certain labels acted in a certain way in my past. I got a completely different view on the scene.
How does the “Hang On” EP represent who you are as an artist?
So when you listen to old sets of DJ Rush, Jeff Mills, Carl Cox etc. you can hear that there was a more faster, hectic, driving Techno. I prefer to produce this kind of music as you can hear in “AXON”. Also I want to add a futuristic touch to my tracks but also I try to tell a story. Hang On for example is the story of everyone having a bad day, experience, having troubles and having this “mind monkey” in your head that prevents you from just relaxing and letting yourself go. So when you then go to the club and put yourself on the floor and you hear the music you like it will tell you to “HANG ON on your troubles. Dance on and the feeling comes (it’s true) (…)”. It’s just about letting bad thoughts go to enjoy the moment with the help of music.
What’s coming up in 2018 for yourself and the label?
I am happy that I can say that I signed to Unknown Territory, a brother-label of Sleaze Records, also to Andres Campos’ Florida Music. I also finished a lot more tracks I’m trying to find a new label for or that I can showcase on my label. However the next release on CYBORGS IN LOVE is a V/A (Various Artists compilation) where I have signed Drumcomplex, Gabriela Penn, Roland M. Dill and more to come as well. Also I got some festivals confirmed and I play quite a lot of shows in Germany which makes me happy since I am German. Looking forward to the new year.
YENI’s Hang On EP (ft. remixes by Wigbert & Andres Campo) is out now from Cyborgs of Love on beatport.