Q&A: Henning Baer Launches New Label

MANHIGH Recordings' first release, 'Fighting The Dogs,' is due out April 18.
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Henning Baer has shared details of an imprint he is setting up, called MANHIGH Recordings.

Baer is the Berlin-based techno DJ and producer known for his Grounded Theory parties around the city (and booking agency of the same name), as well as for setting up the K209 imprint alongside Milton Bradley. He has announced that this year he is launching a label called MANHIGH Recordings. Its debutant release is a six-tracker called Fighting The Dogs by Baer himself, which includes a remix by Blawan.

Fighting The Dogs is due out on vinyl and digitally from April 18. We caught up with Baer ahead of the release.



After establishing Grounded Theory, as well as the K209 label with Milton Bradley, it seems like a rational progression to break away and seek your own artistic freedom by starting your own label. What is the concept behind MANHIGH? Where do you wish to take its artistic direction?

With MANHIGH I want to build a foundation for my own musical output, as well as artists both undiscovered and established, independent from Grounded Theory and K209. I want to have full control over what the label represents. Working together with people is great, but it also means compromising. With MANHIGH, I want to break out of that, and be able to do whatever I feel is right to do. It is a big step for me emotionally. I feel very light and free with this new imprint, looking at some exciting times!

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When did you start getting into electronic music? What was it that sparked your interest in DJing and producing?
I got into electronic music when I was around 14 or 15 because of my Sister (who is 8 years older than me). I can remember even earlier, when I was 12, that she was going to the 1995 May Day, and I found that pretty cool. She had all kind of rave magazines in her room, as well as tapes and vinyl. Also, at that time she had a boyfriend who was DJing and producing music. He was the coolest guy to me. The biggest impact on my desire to produce music myself, was when I went to visit him and his friend in the studio where we actually produced a track together. Since then I have been in love with hardware, producing music and DJing.

How do you think Berlin has influenced your musical career? You DJ a lot around the world, so what is your perspective of Berlin from the outside?
Moving to Berlin 11 years ago changed a lot for me. I left the area around Frankfurt when I was 21, but for years prior to that I had already had some intense clubbing experiences, as it was a big Techno city. Moving to Berlin brought me into a different scene. The city was very different to everywhere I had been before. I experienced a different pace, a different way of going out. It was more relaxed as there was not so much driving involved. More time, no curfew, less restrictions, and more freedom. I am extremely happy that I made the move here. I owe the city and scene a lot.

As a traveling DJ I see many different clubs around the world, which allows me to put things in context. I can compare where I grew up, where I live now, and where I go to on the weekends. Very often cities I visit remind me of my time before I moved to Berlin. I understand why there is such a hype about moving to Berlin, as I know what it means not to be born here. There is not really anything comparable to Berlin for me. I realize that very often. All these parts of my identity determine what I am doing. I try to reflect that in my music, my DJ sets, and now also in my own imprint.