IN CONVERSATION WITH FUTURE.666
Numéro NL met Viktor Keller, the Berlin based DJ known as future.666, is renowned for his very own distinct futuristic, groovy, and sexy sound reminding us of the early 2000s. He seamlessly fuses old-school releases with new underground productions to create a sound a whole new generation can identify with.
The DJ has been immersed in the electronic underground scene for a while, ever since then the selector is on the hunt for new fresh gems, pushing the new and old generation of dancers with his trippy, groovy, and percussive techno.
Often seen in Amsterdam and Berlin, you can find him playing all over Europe, future.666 will take you on a journey everywhere you meet him. Usually, you can find him in leather pants with big chunky sneakers or boots, giving us his clean yet punk influenced look. Fashion is something he loves to play with and express himself through: “Exploring something new and making it your own is the fun part of it and what keeps creativity alive.”
He fell in love, not only with the music but with seeing Techno and the underground scene as an important pillar that brings our generation together, enhances unity, and provides the space to grow together. future.666 reminds us of what techno and the electronic scene brought him when he started on the dancefloor and digging music: “It was a feeling of both freedom and rebellion.”, he highlights.
Driven by the importance that this music has given us so much more than banging sounds, but rather safe spaces, freedom, and acceptance for each other. The open-minded and progressive personality he has reflects in his sounds and sets on our beloved dancefloors.
future.666 recorded an exclusive mix for Numéro’s Soundcloud. Check his mix and Q&A below.
Can you tell me about your journey into the Techno scene?
Being from a small German village, I always knew I wanted to look for something different, a more open environment with free-minded people, more love and acceptance of different cultures, beliefs, and sexualities. The will to explore and experiment without being judged. I found this at electronic music parties. Growing up, I chilled with friends who had the same mindset as me. Instead of getting drunk at village festivities or hip-hop clubs, we smoked weed and started listening to Techno. We also started to explore Techno parties in the Rhein-Main area. For Mainz that was Bouq Collective, an event series focused on Tech House. And for clubs in Frankfurt, it was Tanzhaus, MTW, Graf Kauz.
What is your first memory of the dance floor?
I definitely remember having my first experiences dancing to electronic music, from the very first second I remember just loving the vibe. It was a feeling of both freedom and rebellion. I loved that the focus was put on the music rather than getting fucked up and chasing girls like in “mainstream“ German clubs. Also, I found the spiritual aspect of dancing for hours and hours and becoming one with the music and the crowd extremely intriguing. The experience is so rich and beautiful. Techno parties definitely have an inherent counterculture aspect.
How did you become a DJ?
The short answer would be just loving music and following the passion. I really did not plan to become a DJ and live from that. But following the love for music in general and especially electronic music has led me to this point. I started DJing on a controller with one of my best friends Phil Berg. He is also a Techno DJ and producer playing a similar style like me and he’s also part of the same groovy Techno underground scene. He got me my first gig at Brückenkopf in Mainz. Then I moved to Berlin, I actually got my first opportunity to play for BCCO. That was around five years ago. I am super happy that I am now a resident with this collective, growing with them and pushing the scene.
I think my story is quite typical. Listening to music for hours, and collecting tracks of various genres on my hard drive. When I got into Techno I REALLY went for it. Digging all day, practicing at home, improving the skills and the collection. I just love Techno music. And this passion turned into a drive, so you just keep going. I was also partying a lot, exploring the Berlin culture and scene, and getting to know all the people. Playing a gig here and there, and also becoming hooked from those experiences. I would say around 2 1/2 years ago I made the conscious decision to push it to the next level and develop my skills as a DJ.
This is when I started investing more time and money and pushing my skills to the next level. It is beautiful to see how everything works out right now and what opportunities are arising. So just keep doing something you love, work hard for it, follow your vision and it will pay off. I think that is just a general rule in life and a beautiful pattern. The same goes for many friends I made since I live in Berlin, which are also growing, pushing the culture, and creating something new together. A big shoutout to all my friends and people I met on the way! Much much love. You are a big part of the inspiration and drive.
What or who are your biggest inspirations related to your sound? What have you been inspired by recently?
I started to dig and play old-school records from the early 2000s. Some also call it the golden era of Techno. This is really the foundation of my taste and style when it comes to Techno. Artists like Hardcell, Johan Bacto, Glenn Wilson, Stigmata, The Advent, Fanon Flowers, Luygi Van, Umek, and many more. It was maybe around five years ago when I started to dig into this style of Techno. Back then releases from artists like DaxJ, Emmanuel, Regal, Fjaak, SHDW & Obscure Shape, were popular. These were more industrial, with hard-hitting kicks, acid-influenced, more drop-focused, and way slower. So by playing old-school I was definitely sticking out from the ”mainstream“. Also, because a lot of old-school tracks are not available digitally, I started to collect and play vinyl. This is also a big inspiration, as it is just such an exciting medium that I can recommend to anyone starting out.
Additionally, throughout Covid my inspiration grew by viewing what was happening in the electronic music scene – Many people started to get really into electronic music and used their time to produce music. There are so many young, passionate, and talented new artists coming out with fresh, new music. It is an extremely exciting time right now, I would almost compare it to a revolution when it comes to all those different kinds of genres and sounds. Everyone is pushing it to the edge and envelope of what Techno is.
Do you have any specific names of the artists or collectives?
Because there are so many good ones, it is actually really hard for me to pin down a few newcomer artists. I also love how international Techno or electronic music is. There is a lot of real heat coming from many different countries. There is definitely coming a lot from the Netherlands, specifically Amsterdam! I definitely want to mention the Undivulged collective; also TWR72 and his two labels Float and Oom records are releasing next level music. Then of course Eerste Communie and Marron who were really the first to establish the stripped down groovy techno sound. Further big talents are JSPRV35, Beau Didier, Flits, Lasse, Isaiah.
For Berlin and Germany, I want to mention MZR, Warnung, Luap, Nobel Cortex, Rove Ranger, of course, my brother Phil Berg, Egotot, Brutalismus 3000, Slin, The Sixth Sense, and of course a big shoutout to all the talents repped by BCCO and Distinkt. In the states we got legends like Forum, Jacobworld, Jay York, Decoder/Cratan, Freeman713. For Spain there is e.g. Palma or Ikari, for South America we got people like Zisko or Nicolas Vogler. I could really continue like this but for the sake of the length of this interview I cut it short.
How would you describe your distinct style as a DJ?
I developed my signature style by fusing old-school releases with new underground productions and increasing the BPM. I utilize multi-deck layering to combine tooly tracks into an immersive ride. I prefer a pushy and stripped-down approach with trippy sounds rather than melodies. I don´t like big drops, I rather like to form sound structures with percussive elements that really catch you in the groove. The techno is sexy, it´s slippy, it´s intelligent. Most important it is all about high energy, pounding, and groovy basslines. It is a constant feeling of a high-energy frenzy that catches you on the floor and just makes you party hard. Keep it sexy and triple six, I want you to lose it on the dancefloor.
What’s the most memorable gig you’ve played recently?
Every gig is unique and special in its way: the people you meet, the impressions you get… Of course, you have the “big” gigs that you are especially excited about because you know it´s going to be a packed floor, an intense vibe, and a hyped crowd. Playing Radion in Amsterdam for Aura, our BCCO parties, Elysia in Basel, and Klangkuenstler´s Outworld party. A very recent gig I loved was the b2b with MZR at Syxt, as we played with two mixers and 6 decks which is something I tried for the first time and it was so much fun! Recently, I was in Biel for a super underground collective (the scene is not that big in Switzerland). The beautiful surroundings and people made it really special. People were going crazy, and in the morning after the club, we chilled at a lake where some gabber/hardcore punk kids would play hard music over their speakers and dance in front of the mountains and lakes with their crazy outfits; I will never forget this. I could continue mentioning gigs because each of them is such a unique experience you won’t forget.
When do you feel most inspired?
I get inspired all the time by the experiences I made, by music, music videos, social media, and art in general. I love that you can translate moods or feelings into different kinds of artistic media. Music and art are a big emotional vent for me. Another big source of inspiration are parties. Especially the Berghain floor (it´s the best!) or parties involving the queer community have majorly influenced me in my musical but also personal development. I also feel very energized after having played a gig.
Who’s your favorite fashion designer?
I love the ironic fashion from brands like Vetements or Balenciaga. I love abstract and thoughtful things and they are pushing it to the edge lately. Definitely a big shoutout to GmbH. It´s a Berlin-based design studio that I really appreciate and wear a lot of things from. Other inspiring artists and designers I really like to mention are Martine Rose, Bottega Veneta, Rick Owens, Raf Simons, JW Anderson, Loewe, A Cold Wall, and Marc Goehring. There is lots of fire stuff out there.
How would you describe your style, are there any pieces you’re particularly attracted to recently?
Definitely a hard one (laughs). As I don’t like to think in ultimates. I’m always changing and adapting. Exploring something new and making it your own is the fun part of it and what keeps creativity alive. I’d describe my style as intriguing, clean, and provocative. At the moment I love leather pants and big chunky sneakers or big leather boots. I rather keep it clean and often wear vested shirts/pullovers, or shirts. I feel like there is again a kind of punk and grunge influence in Berlin and I love it. Another trend I love right now are tight, cropped shirts and I also enjoy wearing ties lately – it has an interesting look and is provocative in its own way.
To what extent would you say that music and fashion fuse together and complement one another?
I think fashion and music have and always will be very connected. When you look at examples like Vivienne Westwood and the Sex Pistols. Genres like Punk, Grunge, or also Techno come with their own way to dress. Because music, as well as fashion, is about expression. It is about creating a vibe or mood with artistic methods and communicating that to your audience and environment. It has always been an important aspect and something subcultures and underground scenes can identify with. You can see it in the clubs how people love to be free and express themselves with their outfits and looks.
photography CRIS CERDEIRA
styling ESTEBAN POMAR
hair & makeup LAU PERREA
interview & text MAGDALENA ROE