Alan D.Brown is an international music lover and DJ, known by many through his Cukipapa mails. Every other week I recieve a mail from Alan full anecdotes about his traveling, his dj-ing and the records he is into. And its not just me, several hundered heads around the globe have it in their mailboxes too. What sets his mailings apart from other DJs lists is that Cukipapa got by far the best stories and his love for the music is never overshadowed by self promotion. You got to "luv his boots" as he would put it.
The original Londoner moved to Vienna a few months ago and has become very familiar with Stefan Moerth aka Stereotyp. So there was no better choice than asking him for a little report on how Stereotyp has changed the cities soundscape. When Alan recieved my mail he was just working on a Stereotyp piece for our friends from Plastiks magazine. We decided that it would be stupid to tell the story twice so we asked Manu from Plastiks if we could use the text for grooveattack.com. So here we go with kind permisson from www.plastiks.be
24th May, 2001
I"ve been here for 5 days and this 11 day trip to Vienna is turning out to be a wonderful departure from the hustle and bustle of London life. Just 2 DJ gigs but something tells me to hang out in the coffee capitol of Europe and investigate more of this introvert and mostly misunderstood city. I dedicate one of these days to seek the man they call Stereotyp. I know of his music through a few releases and remixes but does he really exist? Is he a fictional character dreamt up by those wonderful wideboys at G Stone recordings? Is it all a game I ask myself, will I be met in the 18th district by a cardboard cut out of some space age android who belts out a "Ya know dat"?
I"m happy to know that Stereotyp does exist in human form and is in fact a sincere and courteous young man by the name of Stefan Moerth. We eat together in what has to be one of the finest Italian restaurants in Europe. Authentic Italian food from the region of Puglia. This is Stefans second home and only a few paces away from the family home. He then takes me to the den of the Stereotyp, a studio that has held many a good time for other famous Viennese producers too. In fact a large backcloth of the saviour still hangs on the facing wall from one of those producers. I realise very early on that this is a special place, a place that holds good memories and good vibes.
This place has so much to do with this too. A studio in the oldest house in his district. A wine growers home from a time gone by. A cellar that held many a good bottle and this why Stefan always having a nice bottle of red wine close at hand. A home offering sanctuary, a family home for over 15 years and where family is anyone who visits his home. A million miles away from the five and a half years of fast talking and even faster living he spent in New York city. A place to finally realise this "his" sound. Yes, New York taught him about Dancehall and Ragga, about life and attitude, his home in Vienna teaching him how to turn this sound into music for the new millenium.
I"m here to meet the man but also to listen to the music from the Stereotyp, Stefan plays me track after track that will feature on the album. I learn on this day that we will witness a full length Stereotyp album in the future. The word future is apt as what I hear is from a time ahead of me. Stefans music is far reaching and beyond boundaries, it defies categorisation simply because it sounds so different. This fascination that holds me is that the sound of the Stereotyp is unlike any other I have heard. Combinations of musical genres that I didn"t think possible, a melt down of UK two step and low frequency dubbyness, influences of ragga, dancehall, jazz and a few others. What is noticeable though, is that it is fresh, it is exciting and most of all, it banishes the myth that all Viennese music is downbeat, lo-fi and smoked out. I learn that something very special is happening here. A brand new sound has been created.
Itís apparent too that Tikiman also felt a certain vibe here. Tracks featuring the Basic Channel master vocalist sound warm and caring. It would be that his vocal teachings would be etched in my soul for months later. Simple messages of the time he had at the den of the Stereotyp. For sure, Tikiman came through big time at Stefanís.
In this space and time, I felt like a little Viennese secret was being passed on. As if it was time for the rest of the world to hear what Vienna has been hearing for some time already. Yes, the infamous "Dub club" sessions or the regular "G-Stone" parties just wouldn"t be represented, without out a typical Stereotyp workout at some stage in the evening, the sound of Stereotyp is the true sound of the Viennese underground! I wanted to know also about his mentors about his inspirations? How and when did he learn all this? I was told that Stefan"s studio and home was actually the place where those smoked out dubby duo, the Simon and Garfunkel look a likes recorded so much great music? Dubbed the Ďsummer campí by Dr Rich and Mr K, and for a whole summer their base for some serious Viennese musical excursions. Without doubt, a spirit still remaining at Stefans studio from Viennaís finest, a spirit and soulfulness now extended into the 21st century and beyond. Yes, the momentoís were still hanging from summer camp
sessions, feeding the protťgť the spirit needed to accomplish these far reaching tasks of creating new and original music. What a wonderful story I though, that they would want to do their work in Stefans space.
My time at the den is coming to an end, I have to leave and let Stefan continue with the work on the album and I have to return to my place of stay in Vienna. I have though 5 copies of his brand new twelve on G Stone called Jahman to give to the boys back in London. I know that my old buddy Patrick Forge will give it a bash on the Cosmic Jam radio show. I know too that the future sound of Vienna is arriving. Iím happy to leave as something very deep tells me I will be back.
24th May, 2002
Just days to go before the shops start selling the Stereotyp album. This particular day, Stefan is in Amsterdam playing live to a packed audience at the Drum Rhythm festival. I know now that the day of the Stereotyp has truly arrived. The underground scene of Vienna still hold Stefan close to their hearts but now his sound can be heard further a field too. Those wondrous wideboys of G Stone recordings are there too to witness the realisation of their new artist, more importantly the realisation of this, a brand new sound. The magazines are now constantly asking for interviews as are all those hungry DJís looking to get their sweaty hands on a very scarce vinyl promo copy. Forgemaster opens the ĎCosmic Jamí two weeks running with a Stereotyp track and Iím not even there to hear it. Yeah, on this day, this writer and DJ now lives in Vienna. Yes, back in October of last year I decided to follow my heart and move to the city I feel in love with back in the Spring.
In the six months I have learnt even more about the Stereotyp and his music. Hanging out with Stefan on a regular basis and I have realised he has no other musical distractions, just other passions, like art, design, painting. The outer and inner jackets from the forthcoming album all coming from the same house, all coming from the same man. The Stereotyp has many skills. Time spent with his Mac, his cameras, the manipulating software, his creative and adventurous methods being the true catalyst for his work. The music is futuristic, the art he seeks and delivers is likewise.
I have danced many a night away at the world famous Flex club to the fantastic and futuristic sounds of the ST. Since that time we have also heard the great remixes he has done for Microfish and Fauna Flash. Yes it has been exactly one year to the day that I first heard this album. Even one year on, its still sounds remarkable fresh, still full of surprises.
So then, what about the music, did we ever think to give it a name? Er, well, we didnít really think of giving a name for it to tell you the truth. Someone once called it music for third millennium future Raggastepperz! Yes you will hear traces of ragga for sure, futuristic indeed, dance hall is represented, it contains nu jazz and doses of phuture funk, it gets dark, deep and dubby, it has suspense and plenty of pace, it features spiritual and thoroughly uncompromising vocalists like Tikiman (Basic Channel), Hubert Tubbs (Tower of Power), Sugar B (Dub Club), Colee, Cesar, Trigger and Greenwood. Itís still amazing to me that this music is actually from Vienna and not one of those supposedly more supreme musical capitols. What you really expect is nothing to what you really experience with the music of the Stereotyp. The album will be called ĎMy Soundí and is a total representation of the sound of the Viennese underground. Dedicated to the night creatures at the Flex club.
Walking along Gonzagagasse Street on my way home from the office I get a SMS from Stefan. A message informing me that sound checks are completed and that they are ready for the gig. I reply with a message of good luck for tonightís party and of missing them all.
I look back on that day exactly one year ago and chuckle to myself. Who would have thought of me telling this story? Funny how things turn out!