Malugi, Nils Hoffmann, & Session Victim Threw A German Electronic Music Rave At SXSW

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Malugi, Nils Hoffmann, & Session Victim Threw A German Electronic Music Rave At SXSW


The final energy-drink boost of electricity came from Berlin-based artist Malugi. He was beaming — and I mean grinning and bouncing — under the disco ball galaxy. While shifting levels, his headphone band covered the middle of his forehead like a thin visor. His charisma was so earnest and pure, his energy alone could persuade the crowd into euphoria. But Malugi’s mash of pop, trance, and house is infectiously fun. He was constantly jumping up in the air with both hands held high. A woman in a gold dress and shimmering birthday sash joyously rang in another year; someone at the front of the crowd held up their iPhone with a strobe light effect, asking “Who’s got the molly?!?”; And, a couple times within the first 30 minutes of his set, the crowd gave a hearty ‘Ooh-ah, Ooh-ah’ chant. It was a hit. 

It’s not a surprise that Malugi’s charming aura kept the energy vibrant as the night carried on into the morning. Chatting with him before his set, I asked about his mindset going into an event like this. “That’s a big question, honestly,” he said, grinning. “But I even feel confident to answer it. The mindset is the most important thing. Coming from Berlin, techno is very introverted, strict, and grown-up and I always was looking for more joyful takes on club music that I didn’t find in the city too much. When I started, blending in pop remixes or a pop appeal into my music, this is when I realized people were starting to react to my music. I felt like I was on to something and got much bolder in my vision.”

Malugi explained he was excited to see the crowd’s reaction and match his set to the physical energy in the room. “The music I play is very physical and I hope to see that feedback today,” he said. For German Music Import and Initiative Musik’s second night, the feedback was glowing. 

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