Claus Voigtmann is feeling a little nostalgic. It’s an unseasonably warm and sunny October afternoon in East London’s Hackney Wick and, sitting on the canalside terrace of Number 90 Bar, he’s reminiscing about the early days of Toi.Toi, the party he co-founded nearby 13 years ago. “We had free choice of all the warehouses here,” he remembers, taking a sip of his beer.
Toi.Toi, which Voigtmann co-ran with Isis Salvaterra, was one of the most prominent raves in the capital’s underground in the early 2010s, taking place in various off-locations across East London. Over the years, it built a strong community of like-minded dancers around it, who came in search of the hypnotic, minimal strains of house and techno that were percolating at the time. The parties and their spaces were exciting, lawless and unconventional; they nurtured a new energy that could be felt on the dancefloor well into the early hours of the morning, when daylight cracked through the crevices.
It was at these parties that Voigtmann earned his stripes as a DJ, mastering the art of the warm-up set, and sharing line-ups with artists he admired including Craig Richards, Jan Krueger and Zip. As Toi.Toi’s popularity grew, so did his, and before long he was getting booked to play at London clubbing institutions like fabric and further afield. By 2013, Toi.Toi had hosted events in Paris, Barcelona, Berlin and Moscow, and by 2014 Voigtmann himself was touring across North America and Japan.
Like his ever-expanding record collection, Voigtmann has consistently grown as a producer too. In 2013 he released his debut EP, developing a deep, stripped-back and groove-driven sound that echoed through his DJ sets at the time. A decade later, he’s been enjoying one of his busiest years to date and, on top of a non-stop gig calendar and the day-to-day operations of his Subsequent imprint, he’s about to drop his second full-length album, ‘Life Miles’, via Ralph Lawson’s longstanding 20/20 Vision label. “Slow and steady wins the race”, he smiles.