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Jonty Skrufff & the Berlin Konnektion: Mauritius C’est La Folie (interview)

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Berlin DJs Jonty Skrufff and Fidelity Kastrow performed at Buddah Club in Grand Baie last weekend and delivered exhilarating sets of Berlin style electro and techno, the likes of which have never been experienced in Mauritius before.

As well as DJing at many of the world’s biggest superclubs, Jonty is an acclaimed producer and founder of press agency/ blog and also works as a moderator/ consultant for leading music conference the Amsterdam Dance Event. An expert on all aspects of international club culture, we chatted to him after Berlin Konnektion to find out his thoughts on both Mauritius and club culture in general.

For more information on Berlin Konnektion (including details of future parties) click here;

Berlin Konnektion (Benjamin Bolton): What did you think of Mauritius?

Jonty Skrufff: “I loved all the obvious attractions; the scenery, wildlife, natural beauty, ocean and climate; and also met loads of interesting people who made me feel immediately welcome. There’s also definitely a special energy that’s almost tangible on the island; I’m impressed.”

Berlin Konnektion: How did you get involved with Berlin Konnektion?

Jonty Skrufff: “The Berlin Konnektion came about when Skrufff DJ Fidelity Kastrow ( )and I met Mauritian promoter Agathe last August at a festival in Sweden called Secret Island. The party is presented by a Berlin promoter who transports 200 or so Berliners and 300 Swedes to the island each year for four days and nights of nature and outdoors techno. Everybody sleeps in tents and swims or strolls around the island by day, dancing by night.

The island is in the North Sea and is totally deserted with no trees or buildings anywhere, so it’s a total back-to-nature experience. Agathe loved Fidelity’s set and they made friends afterwards, we  then spent the next two days sunbathing on the beach and that’s where the idea first popped up to do parties together in Mauritius. We all met again in Berlin after that (particularly at Panorama Bar) and the plan became solid fairly quickly.”

Berlin Konnektion: Who was the lady sprinkling stars and glitter on everybody’s faces?

Jonty Skrufff: “That was our good friend Kalina who is one of Berlin’s most colourful creative characters in the night-life scene. Kalina brought some of the magical vibe she always sprinkles round clubs such as Berghain and Salon Renate whenever she’s present and when I say ‘magic’, I mean magic literally. For this particular party, she added loads of glitter and silver stars to my face, specifically forming a band across my forehead, which looked lovely. However, when we saw some of the photos were uploaded afterwards on Facebook, all you can see is shining love hearts.  The camera mysteriously captured the invisible energy of the party and depicted it as glowing love hearts on, and around my head: c’est incroyable!”

Berlin Konnektion: What did you think of the Mauritius crowd?

Jonty Skrufff: “The Mauritian crowd? Wow, what can I say . . . Oh My God they were wonderful! To give you some contrast, I was playing in Russia a couple of weeks ago at the Sochi Winter Music Conference where I was struck by how crazy the Russians are. Everybody- male and female- were total party animals and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Mauritians are equally, if not even more crazy. Hearing everybody on the dance floor screaming was fantastic and totally euphoric. The Mauritian clubbers made the party truly special.”

Berlin Konnektion: How about Mauritian DJs?

Jonty Skrufff: “I met and heard a few and was struck by how knowledgeable and they all seemed, whether about London dubstep or the latest Berlin techno. The internet is having an ever bigger impact on global music and club culture and I was delighted to discover that you Mauritians are so up to date: I think it augers well for future developments on the island.”

Berlin Konnektion: On your blog you write many stories about drugs, why?

Jonty Skrufff: “My blog and press agency cover all aspects of international club culture and in some countries’ club scenes drugs are definitely a factor that need addressing. I always aim to communicate accurate unbiased information about drugs, in a responsible manner and in particular try to address some of the misunderstandings that often arise around drugs electronic music.

One of the biggest misconceptions is that drugs and clubs are by definition connected and in fact, this is untrue. Both myself and Fidelity don’t use drugs at all and in many countries we’ve played in, none of the crowd do either and in fact it makes absolutely no difference at all to how the parties are.

In Mauritius for example, nobody was on drugs at the weekend and it was one of the most euphoric parties I’ve experienced in a long time. People were absorbing the energy of the music and dancing and really that’s the key to what makes a good party- dancing. The lights, visuals, sound, ambience and music also combine to help everybody let go of their inhibitions and to relax and tune into the music’s rhythms and really that’s the essence and the power of electronic music. It’s the same processes that occur in traditional tribal dances and drugs are not necessary at all to enjoy the clubbing experience.”

Berlin Konnektion: Would you like to come back to Mauritius again soon?

Jonty Skrufff: “Both myself and Fidelity would LOVE to come back. The sooner, the better. We’re both excited by the people we met and of course by the sun, sea, beauty and splendour of the island. Merci Beaucoup. A tres, tres bientot.”

Benjamin Bolton

For more on Jonty click here: and here:

For more on Fidelity Kastrow, click here:

For more information on Berlin Konnektion (including details of future parties) click here;

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