Sitting at the very forefront of the contemporary dance music scene is Steffi. A stalwart name who has been at the top of her game since the mid 90’s, Steffi doesn’t do things by halves evidenced by her extensive discography and formidable DJ sets, always incorporating a range of sounds from broken beat and IDM to electro and classic house. Her experience and unwavering determination to be the best in her craft has translated into regular appearances at some of the finest clubbing establishments in the world, including a residency at Berlin’s Berghain / Panorama Bar and appearances at London’s own Fabric where she has provided milestone mixes and compilations for both.
As a producer, Steffi boasts a long and fertile relationship with esteemed German label Ostgut Ton, home to the likes of her debut album Yours & Mine and further releases Power Of Anonymity and World Of The Waking State. As well as nurturing two long-running labels Klarkson, founded in 2000 and Dolly in 2010, both renowned for releasing a blend of electro, breaks and Chicago from the likes of Dexter, Stingray, Shed and John Daly, Steffi continues to release her trademark sounds, exemplified in her highly-anticipated forthcoming LP The Red Hunter. Recorded from her new studio set up, the Dutch mainstay brings complex, modulating grooves and textures to the foreground while intentianlly preserving the song-like arrangements that have always made her work so relatable.
Ahead of release, we caught up with Steffi to get her five inspirations behind The Red Hunter.
My partner and I bought a house in portugal in 2017 to spend our time between Berlin and the Portuguese countryside. In 2020 we wrapped up our live in berlin ended up moving everything to Portugal permanently. In general the countryside has been such a good influence on my daily mindset and my production flow. Being in nature on a daily basis and working on music has had a really positive outcome one my mental health. It’s great to ground myself in these beautiful surroundings after coming back from the weekend being on the road and working in nightlife.
Candy Mountain is a label, studio space and creative hub Virginia and I created here after we moved away from berlin. This artist-driven platform is based here in the countryside of Portugal but operates on a global level. The studio sits in the middle of nature with access to many national hiking routes, just a stone’s throw from Tapada da Mafra national park. The Candy Mountain headquarters is remote but only 1 hour away from Lisbon City, 15 mins car drive to the ocean and 45 mins from the airport. At the Candy Mountain studio, artists can live and work under the same roof with zero distractions in a tranquil environment, and enjoy locally produced food from the neighbouring organic farm.
This super pragmatic meditation app has really made difference over the last years in my life. Its a really easy hands on app that does guided meditations but also have really good features on every day life and how to overcome a busy mind or stress for example. Its great to use on the plane or in the hotel when I am on the road.
Signs – the secret language of the universe
I dedicated my new album to my mother who passed away in 2018. It of course is a very personal process, losing a parent and how to deal with grief. Specially in hectic times traveling a lot and dealing with a heavy workflow. One of the most important things I got passed on from my mother is a great amount of powerful energy and it all started to resonate more and more after her passing, I found a way to channel that into the work on my latest album and it was so powerful to dedicate this album to her as a part of my process of dealing with the loss. This book really helps me connecting to her.
I am a big fan of mindfulness and it helps me a lot to be able to live in the here and now. Its pretty hard finding the right balance with a racing mind and a lot of ambitions but I learned a lot about the principle of mindfulness and how to incorporate this in making choices and sometimes realizing how we think about the past and the future and forget about what is right in front of us and to live in the now.