Redefining Perfection

Planet Perfecto falls to the Germans as ATB begins a monthlong takeover

Paul Oakenfold takes a break from his Saturday night residency at Rain and hands the reins to André Tanneberger, a.k.a. ATB, on Aug. 7.

The German sensation plays four consecutive weeks of Perfecto as its legendary English headliner takes a hiatus.

ATB’s most recent record, Sunset Beach DJ Session, recently achieved Gold status. Now he talks to Vegas Seven about his plans for the Palms, Las Vegas and global DJ domination.

As you prepare for Perfecto, what’s your goal for the four-week stint?

To entertain the people and take the people on a journey.

Would you ever consider doing a long-term residency in Las Vegas?

[Only if] it’s possible to have a residency [while] also playing in other countries, or other cities. I would never just play in one residency or one city; I need the different experiences. I need different clubs. If [Oakenfold] would do [Perfecto] weekly, then it wouldn’t be special anymore. I think once a month is really good. [So] I will see what happens in August; I think we’ll go on from there. I don’t like to look too far in the future.

For several years, whenever you’ve come to Las Vegas, you’ve only performed at the Palms. Why are you so loyal to one property?

I like these guys. I’ve had really good experiences with them in the past. … I never thought about working with other people.

How do you think your version of Perfecto will differ from Oakenfold’s?

The music is different. He has his own style, he has his own unique way of playing his music, and I have [that] as well.

What do you think of Oakie’s live show?

I’ve never had the opportunity to see him [perform]. … I see him when we play in festivals, [but] it’s always a meet-and-greet—“Hey, how are you?” and some small talk.

What do you think the main differences of a Las Vegas crowd are, compared with a crowd in, say, Miami or London?

If [there’s any place that attracts] an international crowd, it’s Las Vegas. They are a bit more excited to be going out, and I think they are not the same as when they are at home. … You see all these shows, and all these lights and I think you get infected.

ATB limited residency at Rain

  • Aug. 7, 14, 21 and 28.
  • Doors at 11 p.m.
  • $30 cover, local ladies free.

Is Las Vegas a difficult city to play in, compared with other cities?

It’s not that easy for a DJ to play in Vegas because when you’re here, everyone wants to have the biggest party of the year. … I love this challenge; I love it to try to get 100 percent of these people.

DJ Magazine last year ranked you as the No. 11 DJ in the world, and The DJ List has you in the No. 4 spot. What do you think about these DJ rankings? Do they matter?

I would lie if I say I don’t care about that. Anybody who says that it’s not [important] is not telling the truth. Of course it’s kind of an indicator—the question is what indicator is it? I don’t think it’s an indicator [that] you’re a good DJ, or have a good technique or something like that. I think it’s a good indicator [that] you’ve done something right.

What’s the difference between the DJ in the top spot compared with the DJ in the 10th spot, or 50th spot, or 100th spot?

I don’t want to judge the DJs [and suggest that] if you’re not [in the] top 100, you’re not a good DJ. That’s not the way. I’m sure there are a lot of really good DJs on this planet who are not in the top 1,000 because they do not have the opportunity.

You use the Pioneer CDJ-2000 exclusively. What’s so special about that turntable?

I hate to play with CDs. … I don’t bring any CDs with me; [I have] my whole library on small USB sticks. The good thing about it [the CDJ-2000] is you don’t have to turn around, so when you’re searching for your music, you always can face the crowd. … and I think the interaction between the DJ and crowd is really important.

Tanneberger will get back in the studio by the end of the year.

How is the new album coming along?

I start to work in the studio at the end of this year, but right now I’m collecting ideas and searching for artists, for good voices to present. It’s a long-term process, but right now I’m starting with writing some melodies. … [The new record] is coming out the beginning of next year.

Are you doing any production work on other artists’ forthcoming albums?

I’m producing some different artists, [but] I can’t talk about that right now because I don’t want to give the artists’ names.

Oh, come on! Give us a hint about one of them—please?!

It just developed this year. I’ve known him for a couple of years, but we just started to work together.

Last question: Another well-known German DJ, Paul van Dyk, recently renewed his wedding vows in Las Vegas. What are the chances of you and your wife walking down the aisle again while you’re here?

I’ve done it—three years ago! It was a funny experience. We have it on tape. It was one of the small chapels outside of the city—I think it was a really famous one, but I don’t remember the name anymore. It was cute and … a bit romantic.