More and more these days, it seems as if the world is full of DJs. So when Boris Brejcha began his career behind the decks, he searched for a way to stand out from the crowd. In his case, he says, the answer came "by accident."
"I’m from Germany, and where I had my first gig in my life, I was playing in Brazil," he recalls, reached from a gig in Ibiza. "I was just searching around to make something different because there are so many other DJs on this planet... I was thinking about the Carnival in Rio, so I decided to take the mask."
Inspired by his stay in Brazil, Brejcha began wearing a jester's mask during sets, something that started "like a joke" but eventually became a serious costume. He became enticed by the atmosphere the mask creates, which contrasts with the often dark music he produces for labels such as his own imprint, Fcking Serious, which he founded in 2015.
Brejcha calls his own music "high-tech minimal," a description he invented as another method of standing out from the dance music crowd while being able to pull from different styles. His latest, "Happinezz," combining a menacing bassline with a dreamy, robotic vocal, could work at a swanky pool party or a basement club.
"For me, it was just a little bit important to have this kind of genre for people to recognize me and recognize my music," he says. "And as I started to produce minimal in the past, this 'high-tech' is just like the upper top of the music, because I’m going to combine it with a lot of trance music, and of course a lot of techno music, and of course a lot of minimal music."
Luckily for Brechja, his efforts to become more recognizable have paid off. His stop in Miami at Club Space on Saturday, August 31, is part of his first-ever North American tour. In other, slightly amusing ways, however, his tactics have backfired.
"Four years ago I tried to remove the mask and play without it," he says. "Of course, it became a shitstorm."
Finding himself not nearly as committed to his disguise as other masked DJs, the easygoing Brechja came up with a compromise that allows him to give the fans what they want without becoming consumed by his brand. He simply takes the mask off midway through the set.
"In the beginning, it’s the joker, it’s the Boris Brejcha mask," he says. "It’s creating a special atmosphere, and after one hour I take the mask off and the people see the real Boris Brejcha behind the mask, performing onstage."
Whether it's mask on or mask off, however, Brechja is always dedicated to making sure the people at his sets have a good time.
"Usually I don't have any expectations," he says. "I just go there and try to make the people happy, make the people dance, and just have a good party."
Boris Brejcha. 11 p.m. at Club Space, 34 NE 11th St., Miami; 786-357-6456; clubspace.com. Tickets cost $10 to $60 via eventbrite.com.
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Douglas Markowitz is a former music and arts editorial intern for Miami New Times. Born and raised in South Florida, he studied at Sophia University in Tokyo before earning a bachelor's in communications from University of North Florida. He writes freelance about music, art, film, and other subjects.