Recently I found myself on my way from Mitte to Charlottenburg right to the deli DUDU31 on Bleibtreustraße to have lunch with the one and only Till von Sein. I was very much looking forward to meeting the full time working booking agent, DJ and talented producer to chat about food, music, party and other life occasions.
As I arrived, Till has already ordered some water for us – how obliging! His handshake was welcoming and determining, I like that. First impression of the location and its interior was a warm feeling: nice colored walls in purple mixed with wooden tables and chairs, discreet light spots and the Asian flair in the background.
Actually I wanted to do a Cookerview with Till, but as a matter of fact…he never cooks as he is out of town 200 days a year – he doesn’t even own a pan. But that doesn’t matter, his sense for good food is quite sharp and he tries to be aware of what he eats. For him it’s essential to go out for eating around his district in Kreuzberg – at his place you’re only gonna find some frozen berries and protein shakes in the fridge (we both laugh).
We were both pretty hungry and very curious about the food we were about to try. Till, who is friends with the vietnamese sibling owners Chi and Nam Cao Hanh, texted Chi asking her what to order – I conventionally asked the service guy for his recommendation.
FOODY PART I
Till’s precourse: GREEN PAPAYASALAD the traditional way with fresh mint, coriander, roasted peanuts, in spicy sesam oil-chili-lemon vinaigrette with chicken.
His main dish: THE CRUNCHY DUDU31 ROLE, filled with tuna, prawn, avocado, ocra, red pepper, sesam and cucumber in crispy tempura.
My order: OX NOODLES – medium grilled roastbeef on whole wheat noodles, with fresh ruccola, sesam and wild herbs salad with a soy-onion dressing.
CHATTING PART I
Quite fast we talk about Tills’ time management. How is he able to do that balance act between his work as a booking agent, producer, DJ and his private life with workout, friends and a long distance relationship? “Well, its all about good organization. My day starts quarter to 6, no alarm clock needed. Then working out, getting a good Cappuccino with a fresh juice and an energy bar. Work is easy when you don’t waste energy – when you don’t have to deal with another hangover from the night before. I quit drinking alcohol 3 years ago and it was the best decision in my life. Health got very important for me – in combination with a targeted focus on selective life topics, I also escaped from the facebook madness and erased my private profile. For Lunch I love having a Quinoa salad, on evenings I could die for seafood.”
As for most of the DJs, it’s hard to stay healthy when they are on their run to the next gig, I know DJs who turn from sunbathed, beefily wide cupboard backs to white faces with hamster cheeks and wobble bellies during a year with a regular rotation. Till gets bookings around the world, so he at least tries to live vegetarian during the week. By checking his instagram, he seems to be very proud of his steeled body (outstripped proves him right: hot!).
FOODY PART II
Nicely arranged food is being served quite fast and we both don’t hesitate to take pictures. Besides that, Till occasionally checks his phone several times during our lunch and chat. He apologizes: “I really need to stay updated with my emails. Even when I am on holidays, I check them many times a day, because I don’t want to come back to my desk and first thing work my ass off with tons of email correspondences.” It’s true, I never waited more than one hour for a response of Till since I got in touch with him, even when he recently was in Israel on holidays. For my part, the Ox noodles with the tender slices of medium cooked beef are damn delicious, maybe a bit too much of sauce, but never mind that. Till is also happy with his fresh salad and the crispy role.
Satisfied but still in the need to get more chances for more taste experiences, Till reads my eyes and orders a dessert:
COCO NOIR 31: black sticky rice with ginger, coco, added with thai mango and blueberries. We additional order vietnamese espresso, called MUI NE with condensed milk and roasted nuts.
CHATTING PART II
Till has just released his second album PRECIOUS – which stands out from the chilly, dark and monotonous sound from Berlin – this LP comes with groovy and sweet soul vibes.
“I love working together with friends, so no wonder you gonna find vocals of Meggy or Lazarusman, but I always like trying out new stuff as well! E.g. I got a message from Kid Enigma via Twitter like…’hey, I would love to do something with you’…and I was just flattered and directly sent him some beats I was just working on…few days later we got BOOTY ANGEL all wrapped up – sometimes it just slipps smoothly!”
While on his DJ gigs, Till plays often a different sound, much more house and electronic beats compare to his productions – as he said: “Yes, I don’t play my own tracks while DJing – being a DJ and a booker is my Job – making music is relaxing time for me though, I even listen to RnB in the mornings...”
My impression of Tills’ life is, that he has clearly set his borders and limits, has found his perfect mix of life for now, has put up his bases on his personal fields like home, his booking agency, the studio within SUOL and so on. He seems very relaxed but determined at his age of 38: “Clubbing is for cleaning out age problems – at least for the moment (laughs). But it’s important to realize to be situated at the wrong place. I don’t play in Germany that often anymore – It’s way more fun to play in Puerto Rico with beautiful girls moving their hips and guys that are actually dancing with them. There had been times when I left clubs in a very bad mood, since then I learned saying ‘NO’ more often.”
Till reveals the thought of moving to the US for some time. He loves Berlin, has his fixed network going on but once again the capitol gets criticized for its snotty behavior: “Business should never be personal. I am trying not to play that much in Berlin anymore…I don’t wanna tread on someone’s foot since there is a hidden code of being debt and bond to the club you played before. On and off, I catch myself between two fronts: DJing on one, the agency business on the other side. I think, some of the attitudes that already passed my way are better to be kept in the sandbox.”
Yeah, I agree, the Germans and the native Berliners so to say have a weird and strict way of thinking but on the other hand I know almost none who really dared to leave Berlin behind. Everyone is in love with this city – and I am just glad to have been able to have that relaxed conversation with Till in the afternoon during the week, instead of rushing from job to job, running after money to be able to pay bills, having the privilege to have health insurance, good food, music, party, lots of free time for writing that kind of stuff and living an almost unrivaled life.
Btw.: The taste of the desert was very intense – make sure you still have some space left in the stomach.
Thanks Till! Thanks Dudu31!
01. One feat. Lazarusman
02. Booty Angel feat. Kid Enigma
03. It´s All In The Spirit feat. Russoul
04. No Luxury feat. The Black 80s
05. Young Again feat. Diamond Setter & Maria Leonard
06. Tilly´s Vibes
07. The Manifest feat. Mr. V
08. Like Air Feat. Meggy
09. Electric Love feat. Diamond Setter & Maria Leonard
10. Nothing More feat. Meggy