Meet Minou Oram, Austria's Genre-Defying DJ

© Franziska Ayoka
© Franziska Ayoka
Photo of Culture Trip
29 May 2018

Originally from Germany, Hannah Christ, also known as Minou Oram, combines Ambient, Electro, Wave, EBM, and other genres to create a unique and dynamic sound. A resident of Vienna for nine years, she developed recognition as a DJ by playing at some of the city’s most iconic venues. Here, she discusses her musical inspirations, most memorable gigs and what she’s currently listening to.

Culture Trip: What sparked your passion for music?

Minou Oram: Music has always been a pretty steady and important part of my life. Since I can remember, I had a very strong connection to it—it shaped my feelings, thoughts, and fantasies. I remember when we used to drive for 10 hours to our holiday residence every Whitsun holiday—I always looked forward to the journey because it was a chance to listen to all my new cassettes/CDs unhurriedly while watching the landscape passing by.

Later as a teenager, I would dance to Hip Hop, shoot little music videos, sing in musicals, and enjoyed putting CD mixes together for my friends. But the biggest influential turning point for me was attending my first electronic music event in my early twenties. After hearing this kind of music—and discovering how it made me move and feel—I immediately knew I had to do something in this area.

© Maria Ritsch

CT: Which DJs do you personally take inspiration from?

MO: I guess any DJs who don’t give a **** about genre coherence, who just play good music that will take you on a coherent journey. Also, those who are willing to take risks and who are not too concerned about being cool or playing the rarest records.

I’ve always struggled to find my place as a DJ, but I later realised that I actually don’t have to conform to one genre because there are no real boundaries in music. It’s basically an artificial creation and I find it more interesting to break through this demarcation instead of being just another ‘genre DJ’. My inspirations are not generally personalised but come from places, feelings, or songs. However, I definitely admire DJs such as Aleksa Alaska, DJWARZONE, Inga Mauer, OKO DJ, and Ulrich Rois—to name a few.

DJ decks | © Pixabay

CT: Current favourites in your playlist?

MO: Andréa Daltro’s ‘Kiuá’, Black Merlin’s ‘Proto World’, CHRIS 214’s ‘The Curves Neck’, Grebenstein’s ‘Gloss’, Marie Davidson’s ‘Denial’, and Yanka Dyagilvea’s ‘My Sorrow Is Luminous’.

CT: What’s your favourite spot in Vienna to hear Techno music?

MO: I don’t really have a favourite spot, to be honest. I think it depends first and foremost on the promoters, DJs, and the crowd that can shape the location for the better. Also, unfortunately, I think that Vienna lacks a club where really everything is just right. This said, a place that I do love is EKH, although this is much, much more than just a club.

CT: You’ve played in many of Vienna’s best techno clubs. What’s your most memorable gig that you’ve played in Austria?

MO: One memorable gig was my first ‘big’ show three years ago at the old Pratersauna—RIP [the club recently underwent a transformative renovation]—hosted by my crew Pomeranze—also RIP. I was so nervous and almost cried when everything went well, and I knew the hard work had paid off. A more recent example is this summer at my own event ‘Utopia 3000’ at EKH, which had a very unique and magical atmosphere. The most fun ones I had were when I was playing back to back with my girl Anna Leiser. Although we are rather different as independent DJs, we happen to share a special connection.

On the decks | © Pixabay

CT: Anything from you this year we should be looking out for?

MO: Well, this year will be a huge turning point in my life: right now I am sitting between removal boxes. I recently finished my studies and will soon leave Vienna after nine years of living here, with plans to travel the world. However, I will have a proper farewell gig at SCHEITERN in October before I leave for good.

After this, I will definitely enjoy a break from regular gigs in Europe and will finally focus on producing as well as having some vague label plans. This is something I wanted to do anyway very long ago but never really had my mind and time free for that. I will also have a monthly radio show on LYL Radio where I try to process sounds and thoughts from my journey. Furthermore, I will host a podcast and interview series via Femdex [a project formed with aims to encourage female DJs] and PW-Magazine together with Elisabeth Falkensteiner (AKA Misonica).

Listen to Minou Oram here.

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