Don Rogall is an integral part of Berlin’s music scene, with a career spanning three decades. Without a doubt, he became the most eclectic DJ of the city. From the deepest vintage roots of DJ culture to a new and pioneering approach – Don went on a journey and never stopped learning. He has played far over 1,500 DJ-sets throughout 18 countries and more than 200 venues and has been touring with various projects and bands.
He is self-taught and created his first DJ tapes in the 80s, becoming part of the first wave of a rising DJ culture in Germany. By the early 90s, Rogall had DJ residencies across the country and had begun working with live musicians during his sets to create a unique sound system / live p.a. . Between 1994-98, he shaped the sound of the Berlin club, Delicious Doughnuts (the legendary original, not the relaunch) , where he played every Saturday with his DJ partner, Vernon (R.I.P.). He was also hired as resident DJ at clubs such as WMF and Cookies. In 1996, Tip Magazine Berlin proclaimed, “He’s one of the best DJs in town.” Rogall began to produce music and launched the Sonar Kollektive record label with Jazzanova in 1997. He went on to curate a few music festivals for Volksbühne (under Castorf). Over the next few years, Rogall mostly played abroad while continuing to produce and release music:
3 albums with the band Micatone, several releases with the breakbeat Duo Atomhockey, 2 albums with his award-winning band Nylon (with german lyrics), and one-off collaborations like the first release of Eva Be, a few tracks with NY/African singer Wunmi , an exclusive production with the Allenko Brotherhood Ensemble with Tony Allen (Fela Kuti) and many more productions.
Don also hosted & produced circa 200 radio shows, most of them with his organization WE ARE… , for the Berlin based radio station Multicult on 88.4 fm. They curated countless events as well.
In 2005, Rogall left Sonar Kollektiv and his current projects to pursue a new direction. The following year, he created the band Rogall & The Electric Circus Sideshow, featuring an international cast. His music has always been referential, with influences from jazz to old and rare German Chanson (renewed with the award-winning band Nylon). His DJ sets, which began to consist of early rock ‘n’ roll, exotica, and 50’s R&B, became a new trademark and took the clubs by storm.
In 2008, Don Rogall introduced his sound to the Bassy Club, the figurehead of vintage music in Berlin. Over the following 10 years, he became the most consistent resident DJ at Bassy in addition to creating a compilation for the club and taking over DJ booking. Meanwhile, The Electric Circus Sideshow transformed from a band into a real freak show – The Electric Sideshow– featuring variety performances.
In 2015, Don launched a new monthly production, the Hoochie Koo – a vintage rocking night with bands, exotic dance and a unique live P.A. / DJ sound system. This same year, he released an album with vocalist Earl Zinger titled In the Backroom. In 2018, Stag-O-Lee records released the first Hoochie Koo Compilation (vinyl only).
Rogall’s band, Hoochie Krew, inspired by the Hoochie Koo nights, is now ready to break new ground in 2019.
Throughout his career, Don produced a wide range of music including recordings with:
Abdullah Ibrahim (a.k.a. Dollar Brand)
Earl Zinger (Galliano)
Farda P. (Rockers Hifi)
Henry Rollins (Black Flag)
Hugo Race (The Bad Seeds)
Steve Moss (Saccharine Trust)
Tony Allen (Fela Kuti)
As a DJ and performer, he shared the bill with hundreds of other artists of all kind of genres including:
Ray Collins Hot Club
Jonathan Toubin (NYC)
Lord Mouse and the Kalypso Katz
Jazzanova (reinforcing the Dj-team in 98-99)
Massive Attack Soundsystem
Lady Kier of Deeelite
Pressure Drop Soundsystem
Little Louie Vega
Motor City Drum Ensemble
Nightmares on Wax
Henry Storch (Unique)