Q&A: Pär Grindvik Talks Life in Berlin, his Berghain Routine and more

Author : Marco Sgalbazzini
January 26, 2017

Q&A: Pär Grindvik Talks Life in Berlin, his Berghain Routine and more


One of Berghain’s more frequent acts is a Swedish producer, DJ, label-head and father of three children named Pär Grindvik. Now a resident of Berlin, Pär has been a pivotal figure of his home country’s electronic and techno scene since the mid-’90s, with acclaimed releases on a string of widely-popular labels such as Drumcode, Semantica, Marbacka, Sinister, Dystopian and of course his very own Stockholm LTD.

Pär launched the label in 2002, originally intended as an outlet for Swedish artists to release singles and EPs. While the imprint’s repertoire has since expanded, the focus has remained on quality and timeless electronic productions. 2016 saw the producer release his first LP on the label, Isle of Real, to great reception from industry peers and fans alike, while so far this year he has already played gigs in Germany, South Korea and China, with a visit to Stereo Montreal in the cards for the 24th of February.

We talked with Pär to discuss his life in Berlin, routine for Berghain gigs and more.

Altinell_2015_PärGrindvik - 2 - WEBHello Pär, it’s a pleasure to get to talk to you at the beginning of what is surely bound to be an exciting year. What was your highlight gig of 2016?

Hi Marco, I hope all is well! 2016 was a shaky one in so many ways. Although personally, it did have some amazing highlights. Like the arrival of our third child, Onni.

You released your first full-length album last year, Isle of Real. How was the reaction for that?
Beyond all of my expectations. I’ve never received that much love for any recording before. It is lovely to see so many making the album their own. And if writing and recording Isle of Real was a chapter in itself it also resulted in a new way for me to write and record my music.
What software and hardware do you use to produce your music?

Do you have a favorite piece of hardware?

It changes from track to track really, I mostly use Ableton as my DAW now, and for VST synths and EFX my favorites come from Soundtoys and U-he. On the hardware side I’m currently very much in love with my Korg M1, Dave Smiths Pro2 and for EFX and processing a bunch of old pedals and pretty much anything from TK-audio. I just got the new 0-Coast from Make Noise and I’ve done a few tracks with it already.

You’re an adopted Berliner. Is there a club in the city you still want to play that you haven’t played at?

This city is full of great clubs and new ones popping up all the time. Something that I’ve been curious about is to play a proper one-off warehouse party, I’ve never done that in Berlin.

You’ve made quite a few appearances at Berghain. Do you have a preferred day/time to play there? Why?

In that place it has to be the ending, something magic happens when playing for that many hours and when the weekend turns into Monday morning.
How long do you stay inside Berghain before and/or after your set?

Most of the times I arrive 30-15 min pre set time, starting off with a coffee. Nowadays I don’t stay that long, as weekends in Berlin aren’t that common for me and hanging with the family is a luxury. But some years ago I could easily spend another 5-10 hours there after my set.

Do you have a routine to ready yourself for the club before you head there for a gig?

My routine is to lay down for an hour or two, strong coffee and four drops of clear eyes. I get into the mood for playing quite quickly and kind of like how it feels when you force yourself up in the middle of the night to play. All your senses are on top!

Altinell_2015_PärGrindvik - 5 - WEBWhat’s your favorite food spot in Berlin?

Berlin is finally becoming a place for food. It’s taken years but now you can get so much good food. I love having ramen at Cocolo, a burger at Kumpel & Keule or a smoothie at The Juicery. The list of places that I want to check out is growing steadily.

You made it back to Sweden in 2016, a country with deep love for techno. Of course the world is familiar with the Drumcode family, with which you’ve also released. Are there any up-and-coming producers and DJs from back home we should be keeping an eye on?

Not sure how deeply rooted that love really is haha, but the scene right now is healthier than ever, thats for sure. Some names that I follow closely, that have their own thing are Sissel Wincent, Klara Lewis and Acronym and of course my mate Peder Mannerfelt.

You played a gig in New York City in ’16, your only one in the States. How was the crowd reaction to your sound?

That was great! The day before thanksgiving and all. New York has a pretty dedicated audience and I don’t see much difference to the reactions one gets in the EU or any other part of the world.

Are you looking to visit us in the US any time soon?

I love touring stateside, so let’s see!


Connect with Pär Grindvik: Online | Facebook | Twitter | Discogs | SoundCloud 

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