Profiles | Antonia Matschnig

Matschnig’s approach to DJing has been called everything from “experimental,” “post-club,” “hybrid,” to “deconstructed.”

When Antonia Matschnig goes on road trips, friends often ask her to be car DJ. After all, it is her stock in trade. Still, she’s not so keen on it. Her friends are reluctant to step in, for fear of being judged. But, the 23-year-old Wienerin confessed, she would be more than happy to hear “some refreshing non-club music for a change.”

Matschnig’s approach to DJing has been called everything from “experimental,” “post-club,” “hybrid,” to “deconstructed,” but basically what it involves is teasing out elements from a broad range of musical genres, then reconstructing them in an entirely different context. “In a sense, I only play guilty pleasures. When I listen to a track, I just focus on the one element I like about it, like the synthesizer, the melody, or the vocal. In that way, any kind of music can be interesting, whether it’s super heavy, drum-based music or a really cheesy Britney Spears melody.” She even likens the process to that of classical music, which is also about the “composition of different elements and instruments”.

Matschnig, whose DJ moniker is “Antonia XM,” is considered one of the most interesting and “impressive” up-and-coming DJs in Vienna, according to Katharina Seidler, FM4’s resident expert on local club culture. Perhaps one reason is that she always comes to her sets extremely well-prepared, right down to the timing of “highs” and “lows.” “I like to tell a story with my set. People come to dance, of course, but they also come to listen,” she said. Matschnig’s intimate knowledge of the club setting first started by tagging along to her brother’s (Maximilian, aka Kidcut) gigs as a teenager. She never felt that she fit in at school, but somehow, she’s always felt oddly at home in the liberating environment of clubs. But this freedom is not a given.

According to a comprehensive 2019 report on club culture sponsored by the City of Vienna, clubs are struggling, due to regulations on noise limits and opening hours. It added: “In a city that is considered a cosmopolitan city of music, and once an international hub of electronic music, club culture is lagging behind.Vienna needs to be younger, more attractive, and even more livable.”

Janima Nam
Janima Nam
Janima Nam is a freelance journalist, translator, and editor living in Vienna. She has a BFA in film from New York University and a Masters degree (MA) from the London Consortium in Interdisciplinary Studies.

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