Sweet-Headache feat. Starwin Marvin (Phono.fm, CologneMinimal, Cologne)

All of a piece. I received this impression when listening to Norman Knoche´s aka Starwin Marvin´s explanations about his career as a DJ.

To begin with the beginning.

Norman Knoche (*1977) was born and raised in Wernigerode (East Germany). He was 12 years old when he moved to Goettingen (Germany) in 1989. He´s been living there until 2007. He was young, not sure about what he´s going to do in the future. That´s why he learned a reliable trade. He´s cook by trade.

Fundamentally formative indeed have been his numerous tours across all continentents to gain an overview of what the world´s got to offer. Before the German reunification he was not allowed to travel due to the political situation, as he told me.

Everything else worthy of note concerning his career as a DJ will follow now. In the 90’s Norman was influenced by the sounds being played at very famous locations like “The Hanomag”, Hannover and the legendary location in Kassel, “Aufschwung Ost”, later on renamed into “Stammheim”. Certainly those artists who had been playing there had a grave impact on his own musical output. That´s why he is a Techno-DJ now, he insinuates.

Being a DJ necessitates a set of turntables at home, he thought, at least at that time. It was the year 1993 when he digged up his first 2 Technics-SL-1200-MK2s and a mixer. The DJ thing could start evolving. He started playing Goa, practicising his skills, followed by a smooth transition to Techno. DJing has never been intented to be a job, it was just a hobby, although he used to play at numerous underground-events under a different moniker.

A real turning point in his life has been the birth of his son in 2004. The family life caused a break. This break took 6 years until 2010. There we go now. He couldn´t refrain from DJing any longer. In 2010 he gave his career a successful kick-start, still not acting under duress, still not with the concrete aim to earn money or even to make a job out of it. But things developed, Norman was often in the right place at the right time.

It was still in 2010 when he set up an account at Soundcloud and uploaded his first dj-set since years – called “Schraubenexpress” – under his new moniker “Starwin Marvin” with no special expectations. The moniker is derived from a charakter from the popular TV series South Park, Starvin Marvin. It´s been the feedback that led him to the idea there might be a market for his preferred sound. 1000 plays within 2 weeks speak for themselves. From that point on he uploaded a dj-set every month to his soundcloud to check out whether or not he´s having a realistic perspective to take his career to another level. Yes, there was this realistic perspective he estimated. After practicising his dj-skills the chance was given to play out again – the first gig in august 2010 as Starwin Marvin, the first since 2004. It was a resounding success. One reason surely is his philosophy of defining his DJ-sets based on the creation of suspense, and track selection. It was this approach that moved him closer to the now well-known Klubsport Bonn-network, which has been responsible for hosting this event @ Club Pissrinne in Bonn.

The next gig was in prospect – Würburg, “Excessive Beats”, more than 500 ravers who completely flipped out during his darkish Techno-set.

It was the right time to strengthen his profile in the region. Back in octobre 2010 he started hosting a weekly live radio show called Grenzgänger at PHONO.FM which has been one of the most successful shows hosted at PHONO.FM. The show follows the styles and tunes established or even not established in the border area.. Big names like Superstrobe and Hardfloor have been his guests, but also young talented newcomers such as Bassador or Brina La Duracelle. Again and again he’s been using his show to play styles that do not fit his standard repertoire.

As already mentioned Norman has been in the right place at the right time for more than one time, as it was with the next big step in his career. Since February 2011, he is under contract with the cologne based booking agency “Cologne Minimal” which is headed by Daniel Gabler, one part of the popular duo Gabler & Rekorder again. He just sent in a promo-mix and signed a contract briefly after. It can be so simple if the quality is right and the philosophies fit together. Since then the number of bookings is rising continuously. This success is not only a result of the agency’s efforts, but a combination of the fact he has found a home base at Cologne Minimal and his persistent networking and planning strategies, and not at least, the implementation of his own 2-monthly party series in the well-known and very popular location “Odonien”, Cologne, the 2.0 Klub which he runs together with his boss at Phono.fm, Daniel Jotzo. The first isntallment had been very successful. They presented a line-up which offered big names as well as some interesting newcomers on 3 different floors.

Line Up:
DJ EMERSON (kiddaz.fm, Berlin)
Alexander Machts (U60311, Frankfurt)
Daniel Jotzo (yellow tail records, Köln)
Starwin Marwin (Grenzgänger, CologneMinimal)

Elektrolok – Live (KlubSportBonn)
Gabler & Rekorder (CologneMinimal)
Christoph Bone(phono.fm)
Michael Wiltzer(phono.fm)

DUBSTEP FLOOR : BonnBetterKnow Take Over

Bassrael (Basspräsidium / Biggerdubz)
Napalm Dread (Roots´n´Fruits)
Tourette (Dub Junkies / Subbass)
Bassador (Monkey Dub Rec)
Mentolog (Köln)

Summarizing this and getting back to the introduction: All of a piece!

Furthermore it should be mentioned that Norman is working on his own recordings scheduled for release 2012. So you should keep your eyes peeled and ears open if you´re up for techno. In the meantime you should give ear to a mix he´s exclusively done for Sweet Headache (for tracklisting see below).

Finally I´d like to let you know Norman´s answer to my question concerning his 5 top artists. In no particular order:

Alan Fitzpatrick

Virgil Enzinger

Blood & Tears

Blood & Tears

The Advent


Brina La Duracelle

Tracklisting Starwin Marvin goes sweet for Sweet Headache:

  • Chambre 23 – DAWAD
  • Detation (Brian Sanhaji Remix) – Monoloc
  • Miracle (Groove Mix) – The Tonica
  • Black Horse Down – Pan-Pot
  • Bubble Pulse – Lorenzo D’Ianni
  • Barricade – Axel Karakasis
  • Girl Form Afrika – Matt Minimal
  • Liftoff (Virgil Enzinger Remix) – Brian Sanhaji
  • Schizofrenia – Vladimir Acic
  • Stealth – Virgil Enzinger and Xavier Morel and VX
  • Ageha (Virgil Enzinger Remix) – DJ Hi-Shock
  • Ballon Park – Afonso Maia
  • Cofactor – Cortechs
  • Restore – A. Mochi
  • Creepy (Joseph Capriati Remix) – Alexi Delano, Tony Rohr
  • Deception – Alex Delia, Nihil Young
  • Zwang (Dub Mix ) – Pfirter
  • Orgasm – Chris Hope & Andre Walter
  • Subway – Dualtec Feat R.O.B.
  • Valkyre – Chris Hope & Andre Walter
  • Zero Punto Uno – Dyno
  • The Box – Glitter
  • Telesnake (Roland M.Dill Remix) – Gianni Pellecchia
  • 23 – Quantize
  • People – Sascha Braemer

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