Tel Aviv native Marina Rubinstein (aka Dr. Rubinstein) has seen her star rise steadily since moving to Berlin almost a decade ago. A classical pianist who spent eight years studying in a conservatory, Rubinstein discovered her love of nightlife, acid techno, and her natural affinity for club music when she took her first trip to Berlin in 2011, riding between open airs on a rented bike for nearly two weeks. When she decided to relocate permanently, she also took up DJing and started what’s now an intimidating collection of records. She hasn’t looked back since. In the years before COVID-19, Dr Rubinstein toured internationally, playing the world’s biggest stages and acquiring a reputation for her eclectic taste and technical finesse on turntables. In the last year, she’s developed new projects and strategies to navigate the uncertainty of the global pandemic, including her widely popular live stream and talk show, Quarantine FM. The DJ sat down with KEYI Magazine ( Chloe Lula ) to discuss the evolution of this new venture as well as how she’s learned to shift her priorities and manage her anxiety in the face of unprecedented uncertainty and stress.
特拉维夫本地人玛丽娜-鲁宾斯坦（又名鲁宾斯坦博士）自近十年前移居柏林以来，她的明星地位稳步上升。作为一名在音乐学院学习了八年的古典钢琴家，Rubinstein在2011年第一次到柏林旅行时发现了她对夜生活、酸性电子乐的热爱，以及她对俱乐部音乐的天然亲和力。当她决定永久定居时，她也开始做起了DJ，并开始了现在令人生畏的唱片收藏。从此，她再也没有回头。 在COVID-19之前的几年里，Rubinstein博士在国际上巡回演出，在世界最大的舞台上表演，并因其不拘一格的品味和在转盘上的技巧而赢得了声誉。在过去的一年里，她开发了新的项目和策略，以应对全球流行病的不确定性，包括她广受欢迎的直播和脱口秀Quarantine FM。这位DJ与KEYI杂志(Chloe Lula)坐下来讨论了这个新项目的发展，以及她如何学会在面对前所未有的不确定性和压力时转变她的优先事项和管理她的焦虑。
You’re an avid record collector. Has the down time over the last year enabled you to dig deeper or in more unexpected places?
I’ve always bought a lot of vinyl and have always been a digger. Even with my loss of income over the last year, any bit of money that I have been able to spend has gone to vinyl. I saw it as an investment to my show (Quarantine FM). I was doing the show every week last year, with a few short breaks here and there. And it’s been a lot of work (and a lot of vinyl). For me record shops with a used record section are the best places when it comes to digging. This is where I find super rare unknown things that normally are hard to come by. First, I’d always go through all the Acid Techno. Literally one by one. It can be overwhelming but I already have a lot of practice and skip through the tracks super fast. Then I’d check everything else with an “Acid” tag on it. I already know, if I come across a pink sleeve or a bunch of smileys on the cover; that’s the good stuff! My recent find is B.A.T. – (There’s A) Bat In My House EP which looks like a neon pink record with a pic of smiley on all of it. Picture-disks tend to have not the best sound quality but some older designs just melt my heart and I feel like I really need to have it. Another example is Ultrahigh – Primitive Love EP with a black burning heart and a cross on it. When I saw it in a shop I knew there would be some killers on it. There is something special about collecting and playing records. I remember almost every record in my collection – where and when I got it and a story behind it. They’d be like my life story. I remember coming to Berlin in 2011 for the first time, going to Hard Wax and buying three records: Wince Watson – Renaissance, V-Phorms – Illusions and Steffi – Reasons. I didn’t even know how to DJ back then and barely had the money. Last year I played all three of them in different episodes of QTFM. I love rediscovering records in my own collection and to give them second and third life and maybe finding a new way and context to play them. During the past year I got in touch with a lot of people running underground labels. I used to get messages every now and then of someone who wanted to give me a copy of their latest release but I would simply not find the time to meet for a coffee or chat and miss out on a lot of great music. This of course has changed and I feel more in touch with artists and being part of a scene again.
我一直都买了很多黑胶唱片，一直都是一个挖掘机。即使去年我失去了收入，但我能花的钱都花在了黑胶唱片上。我把它看作是对我的节目（Quarantine FM）的投资。去年我每周都在做节目，这里和那里有一些短暂的休息。而这也是很多工作（和很多黑胶唱片）。对我来说，有二手唱片区的唱片店是最好的地方，当它涉及到挖掘。在这里，我可以找到平时难得一见的超级稀有的未知事物。首先，我总是去通过所有的酸技术。从字面上看，一张一张地看。这可能是压倒性的，但我已经有了很多的实践，跳过的轨道超级快。然后我会检查其他所有带有“酸性“标签的音乐。我已经知道了，如果我遇到一个粉红色的袖子或者封面上有一堆笑脸，那就是好东西了。我最近的发现是B.A.T.–（有一个）蝙蝠在我家的EP，它看起来像一张霓虹粉色的唱片，上面都是笑脸的照片。Picture-disks的音质往往不是最好的，但一些老的设计就是融化了我的心，我觉得我真的需要它。另一个例子是Ultrahigh – Primitive Love EP，上面有一个黑色燃烧的心和一个十字架。当我在店里看到它的时候，我就知道上面会有一些杀手锏。 收集和播放唱片有一些特别的东西。我几乎记得我收藏的每一张唱片–我在何时何地得到它，还有它背后的故事。它们就像我的人生故事。我记得2011年第一次来柏林，去Hard Wax买了三张唱片。温斯-沃森的《文艺复兴》，V-Phorms的《幻觉》和Steffi的《原因》。那时候我连DJ都不懂，几乎没有钱。去年，我在《QTFM》的不同集数中播放了他们三个人的作品。我喜欢重新发现自己收藏的唱片，给它们第二次和第三次生命，也许能找到新的方式和背景来播放它们。 在过去的一年里，我接触了很多经营地下厂牌的人。以前我时常会收到一些人的信息，他们想给我一份他们最新发行的唱片，但我根本找不到时间去喝咖啡或聊天，从而错过了很多好音乐。当然现在这种情况已经发生了改变，我觉得自己又能更多地接触到艺术家，成为一个场景的一部分。
What other music have you been getting into over the last few months?
I have more time and space in my life right now to explore a wider variety of music. When I had a full-on touring schedule, it was hard to find time to explore new artists and music that was outside of techno. Most of the time I was quite exhausted and only had energy to do the work that was directly related to my job. My taste has always been really diverse and it’s been great to have the time now to listen to whatever I feel like. From UK hardcore to jazz music. My latest discovery is an Armenian jazz musician Tigran Hamasyan.
Can you describe the premise of Quarantine FM and how it started? Are you overseeing everything on the show production-wise?
I started this project when my work and only source of income were put entirely on hold. I was like OMG what am I gonna do and how am gonna pay my rent and stuff? Initially, there was no help from the government and you had to live off your savings if you had them. I was so scared, stressed and freaked out for a couple of weeks. It was a really hard time for me.
Pretty quickly into the shut-down I realized that I wasn’t someone who could just stop DJing. It was as if I realized that I had to keep playing and couldn’t let the pandemic stop me from doing it. From that moment, I spent a few days figuring out the technical side of streaming and how to set everything up. I couldn’t quite figure why most streams weren’t resonating with me. I wanted to do something super personal, something that could really involve the viewer, somehow. I had to figure out what that looked like and how to achieve it. I wanted the dynamic of the show to be a real two-way street with me (and my guest) and the viewer. I guess now that I think about it, I’m kind of trying to emulate my experience inside the club. But I really just wanted to offer people a warm feeling, as if they’re hanging out with me in my living room.
My setup was two decks and a Urei mixer on my coffee table with one CDJ laying on a couch next to me . I did the first five or six streams by myself. I opened the shows (and still do) with some chatting about pretty much anything and then would play my favorite records of the week. I’d share silly stuff and would give funny, unsolicited life advice or smth like that.
After the lock down in Berlin was over (around the beginning of June) I started inviting guest DJs. The format hasn’t changed since then – first it’s an interview and then a b2b set. For the first couple of months the production was such a work in progress thing. But slowly, slowly I worked things out ( learning mainly through my own mistakes ). After 30 episodes of the show I finally feel like I know what I’m doing.
The project put some structure back into my life. Preparing a show throughout the week and then doing it every Wednesday no matter what. It really helped me getting through the year in one piece. Having my mind occupied with something else than existential dread was pretty much what I needed at that moment. It helped me to forget for a couple of hours that the world around me is collapsing and I think the viewers felt kinda the same. The project is super DIY: filming with a phone camera and using my old mac book air- a computer that is really not suited for streaming. I couldn’t really invest money into the professional equipment. Also, my house has really old cables and the internet in the building is super slow. The whole thing is barely working and I have to make sure to not have some crazy moving visuals or a lot of neon lights in the frame. Also a lot of my friends are helping out. Which is pretty amazing. One friend helps with the camera during the stream, another one is a graphic and a web designer and is behind all the graphics that are projected on the wall, another friend is lending me his projector every time. I am super grateful to have such amazing friends. Their support meant everything during the last year.
我开始这个项目时，我的工作和唯一的收入来源完全被搁置。我当时就想OMG我该怎么办，怎么支付我的房租和其他东西？最初，政府没有提供任何帮助，如果你有存款的话，你必须靠自己的存款生活。我很害怕，紧张，吓坏了几个星期。这是一个非常困难的时间对我来说。 很快就进入了关机状态，我意识到我不是一个可以停止做DJ的人。我仿佛意识到我必须继续演出，不能让流行病阻止我演出。从那一刻起，我花了几天的时间来了解流媒体的技术层面以及如何设置一切。我不明白为什么大多数的流媒体都没有引起我的共鸣。我想做一些超级个人化的东西，一些能让观众真正参与进来的东西，以某种方式。我必须弄清楚那是什么样子的，以及如何实现它。 我希望节目的动态是我（和我的嘉宾）和观众之间真正的双向交流。我想现在我想起来了，我有点想模仿我在俱乐部里的经历。但我真的只是想给人们提供一种温暖的感觉，就像他们在我的客厅里和我一起玩一样。 我的设置是两块甲板和一个Urei调音台在我的咖啡桌上，一个CDJ躺在我旁边的沙发上。我自己做了前五或六个流。我打开的节目（现在仍然如此）与一些聊天几乎任何东西，然后会播放我最喜欢的记录的一周。我会分享一些愚蠢的东西，会给一些有趣的，不请自来的生活建议或类似的东西。 柏林的封锁结束后（大约在6月初），我开始邀请嘉宾DJ。从那时起，形式就没有变过–首先是采访，然后是b2b表演。在最初的几个月里，制作是这样一个正在进行中的事情。但慢慢地，慢慢地，我把事情解决了（主要是通过自己的错误学习）。经过30集的节目，我终于觉得自己知道自己在做什么了。 这个项目让我的生活恢复了一些结构。整周都在准备一个节目，然后每周三无论如何都要做。它真的帮助我完整地度过了这一年。让我的心思被其他事情所占据，而不是生存的恐惧，这正是我当时所需要的。它帮我忘记了几个小时，我周围的世界正在崩溃，我想观众们也有同样的感觉。 这个项目是超级DIY：用手机摄像头拍摄，用我的旧mac book air–一台实在不适合流媒体的电脑。我真的无法把钱投资到专业设备上。另外，我家的电缆真的很老旧，楼里的网速超级慢。整个过程勉强能用，我必须确保画面中不要有一些疯狂的移动视觉效果或大量的霓虹灯。 还有我的很多朋友都在帮忙。这是相当惊人的。一个朋友在直播的时候帮忙拿摄像机，另一个是图形和网页设计师，是所有投影在墙上的图形的幕后推手，还有一个朋友每次都把他的投影仪借给我。我非常感谢有这样了不起的朋友。在过去的一年里，他们的支持意味着一切。
What’s your experience been like hosting the show, and not just DJing?
My way of doing things is very real and honest and extremely personal. I try to bring the spirit of how I DJ in front of a real dancefloor to the streams. Because the streams are live and not pre-recorded, there is so much life in them. It feels very raw and unfiltered. If I say something stupid or make a mixing mistake it just stays there. This is my way to connect with the audience. Apart from when I DJ, I am very introverted. When I play, this shifts completely and I enjoy welcoming everyone. Something changes within me and I hope you can feel this through the camera.
What is it like interacting with guests live on-air?
Every show feels like an experiment, based on the pure fact that each guest brings something new to the show. Basically, no two shows are the same. Some guests are super close friends and some people I barely know. So interacting with this whole range of guests live makes this whole project fun and unpredictable. But in a good way. It is a huge goal of mine to make every guest feel extremely welcome and special. I really like the unexpected part of it. Of course, I had different experiences with different guests. Sometimes it flows naturally and sometimes I struggle with keeping up. That’s true for both the interview part and the b2b. Playing music is much easier for me, though, because it is my actual job to choose tracks in real time. Interviewing people was something completely new to me and doing it live on camera made it even harder. It’s become perfect practice for learning how to let go. I used to be such a control freak and I’d drive myself and everyone around me crazy if things weren’t going the way I envision it. The live interaction with a guest is smth you can’t fully control. Trying to do things perfectly all the time is so exhausting and sometimes I feel so tired.
I feel like that’s kind of a common thing with people who are very successful in their careers. They have a perfectionist streak.
I love being prepared. When I feel like I really know my shit and I’ve done all the prep that was possible, then I can let go and have fun with whatever I’m doing. It elevates the improv part so much and takes it to the next level. If I know my tracks then I can fuck with them, be spontaneous, and get messy. Sometimes I would do things on purpose that others would consider mistakes. I don’t love when everything is too polished and perfect. That is one of the reasons I love vinyl. To me it’s more human. I enjoy the crackles, I like the pressure of a record running out, I enjoy being surprised when I’ve mixed on the third beat instead of the first, and so on. And then sometimes I do that on purpose 🙂 There is something very human in all that. Life always has this background noise. Playing records reminds me of that. You can never play the exact same set with the same records, even when you play the same tracks in a row, the place where you mix one track into another would always be slightly different and tracks will interact with each other in a slightly different way. Also on parties, playing records is transforming the sound. You can sometimes hear the needle picking up the sound of people’s reactions. It creates this endless feedback loop of the interaction between music and the crowd.
我觉得这是一种常见的事情 与人谁是非常成功的 在他们的职业生涯。他们有一个完美主义的条纹。
我喜欢做好准备。当我觉得自己真的很了解自己的东西，而且我已经做了所有可能的准备工作，那么我就可以放开手脚，尽情享受我所做的一切。这让即兴表演的部分提升了很多，也让它更上一层楼。如果我知道我的曲目，那么我就可以操之在握，随性而为，乱七八糟。有时我会故意做一些别人会认为是错误的事情。 我不喜欢一切都太过光鲜完美的时候。这也是我喜欢黑胶唱片的原因之一。对我来说，它更人性化。我喜欢噼里啪啦的声音，我喜欢唱片耗尽的压力，我喜欢在第三拍而不是第一拍混录时感到惊讶，等等。有时候我也会故意这样做 🙂 在这一切中，有一些非常人性化的东西。生活中总是有这样的背景噪音。播放唱片让我想起了这一点。你永远不可能用同样的唱片来播放完全相同的一套音乐，即使你连续播放同样的曲目，你把一首曲目混入另一首曲目的地方总会略有不同，曲目之间的互动也会略有不同。另外在派对上，播放唱片也在转变声音。你有时可以听到针在拾取人们反应的声音。这就形成了这种音乐和人群之间互动的无尽反馈循环。
What else have you been doing with your time besides working on Quarantine FM?
I mean, that’s already really time-consuming! Buying records and coordinating music with the guest, then setting everything up, cleaning the apartment, prepping the interview. There are so many small details. Every time a guest comes in they’d be like oh wow it does look like a proper production. Besides that, I am trying to work on some side projects and organize my record collection. I have recently started to learn music production. Actually it is just acid lines piled one on top of another, not proper tracks. My friends laugh when I call them up to tell them “I’ve made another loop of only acid lines.” The sound of 303 is my biggest love. I guess it started with the track of Laurent Garnier – Acid Eiffel that is for me the ultimate classic. I remember listening to it and feeling completely mesmerized. I felt so much love inside. You know that feeling when you just fall in love with someone and it’s kinda overwhelming. I still have this feeling when I listen to acid tracks ( not all of them of course ). I feel it not just with my ears but with all of my body. When I DJ I love mixing acid tracks into one another and it almost sounds like a conversation, sometimes I’d make these frequencies even louder for a more intense experience. So it was just logical for me to start producing from learning how a 303 and its sequencer work. I still haven’t fully figured it out and each time it feels like I have a band member – there’d be a lot of surprises in the outcome. Besides that, I am planning on starting my own label but this is work in progress at the moment and I don’t even have any time frame for it. When I work on things I usually never rush them. Everything has to feel right before I release it to the world.
我的意思是，这已经是非常耗时的了! 买唱片，和客人协调音乐，然后布置一切，打扫公寓，准备采访。有这么多的小细节。每次客人来的时候，他们都会觉得哦哇，看起来确实是个正经制作。除此之外，我还在努力做一些副业，整理我的唱片收藏。最近我开始学习音乐制作。其实就是迷幻的音频线一条一条的堆在一起，不是正轨。当我给朋友打电话告诉他们 “我又做了一个只有迷幻的声音循环 “时，朋友们都笑了。 303的声音是我最大的爱。我想这是从Laurent Garnier的那首《Acid Eiffel》开始的，这首歌对我来说是终极经典。我还记得听这首歌的时候，感觉完全被迷住了。我觉得内心充满了爱。你知道那种感觉，当你刚刚爱上一个人的时候，它还挺让人受不了的。当我听酸音乐时，我仍然有这种感觉（当然不是所有的）。我不只是用耳朵，而是用我的身体去感受。当我做DJ的时候，我喜欢把酸性音乐混合在一起，听起来就像在对话，有时我会把这些频率做得更大，以获得更强烈的体验。所以对我来说，从学习303和它的音序器的工作方式开始制作是顺理成章的。我还是没有完全弄明白，每次都感觉自己有一个乐队成员—结果会有很多惊喜。除此以外，我还打算成立自己的厂牌，但目前这个工作还在进行中，我甚至没有任何时间框架。当我做事情的时候，我通常从来不会急于求成。在我向世界发布之前，一切都要有正确的感觉。
Have there been any other significant changes for you in the last year? Have your priorities or values shifted?
2020 taught me a lot about myself and how to overcome things. I’ve realised that anything can happen at any moment and life is too short to overthink or be afraid of things. I used to have a huge fear of public speech and could never say anything in the mic and look at me now! If I could put 2020 in one sentence it’d be “ Too much personal growth” lol.
2020年让我学会了很多关于自己的知识，以及如何克服一些事情。我意识到任何事情都可能在任何时刻发生，人生苦短，不能想太多，也不能怕事。我曾经非常害怕当众讲话，在话筒里永远说不出话来，看看现在的我! 如果可以用一句话来形容2020年，那就是” 太多的个人成长 “lol。
In past interviews, you’ve talked about being able to collect yourself in times of distress, like during a DJ set that isn’t going to plan, and re-focusing on the task at hand.
Lol. Before I bring my collected self to big situations, there has likely been a bunch of nervous breakdowns and anxiety attacks beforehand. Which you’d never see. But in the moment I can somehow let go and get the work done. That also comes with experience and practice. I’ve learned to forget everything when I DJ and try to spread positivity and uplift people with my music. I come to serve the party and I’ll always try to do my very best.
That must be challenging, especially if you’re not feeling the vibe and you’re dwelling on the mistakes you think you’re making.
Oh, I’m the master of being hard on myself and setting unrealistic expectations. I constantly feel like I could have done better. But then I experience that one set, which happens every now and then, where everything just works perfectly and I feel like I made all the right choices and played all the right tracks at the right time. This is my favourite feeling in the world and this is what makes me dig deeper and be better at what I do. I feel like the QTFM show is helping me to become a better DJ. With doing a b2b with such a broad range of guests, I’m forced outside of my comfort zone. Stylistically with the DJing itself as well as my music choices.
You’ve been known to describe nightlife as your “happy place.” How have you adapted to not being able to go out?
There is not one day that I am not dying to go party. The dancefloor is my home and my happy place and I can’t wait to go back. I miss clubs so much, I even had to build a little club at home and DJ on camera. I only did it because I can’t live without nightlife/ parties / clubs.
I was starting to become a little jaded with the nightlife in Berlin before the pandemic, but I miss it as well.
We were all spoiled with Berlin nightlife. Unlike a lot of people who come to Berlin, I haven’t gotten at all tired of the nightlife it has. Even after nine years of living here, it hasn’t gotten old. I guess you need to be the right kind of person for it. Club culture is my whole life, how could I ever get tired of it? On every stream I project text on the wall that says ‘Party Don’t Stop’ and I mean it. It really depends where your priorities stand. I think of nightlife, not just leisure or going out. For me it is about community, it is like a glimpse of a better world. Dancing to an amazing set in a safe environment brings me so much joy and absolute happiness. I don’t think I could ever be fed up with that.
我们都被柏林的夜生活惯坏了。和很多来柏林的人不同，我对它的夜生活一点也没有厌倦。即使在这里生活了9年，它也没有变老。我想你需要成为一个适合它的人。俱乐部文化是我生活的全部，我怎么会厌倦呢？在每一个流媒体上，我都会在墙上投射文字，写着 “Party Don’t Stop”，我是认真的。 这真的取决于你的优先级在哪里。我认为夜生活，不仅仅是休闲或外出。对我来说，它是关于社区，它就像一个更好的世界的一瞥。在一个安全的环境中，在一个令人惊异的布景下跳舞，给我带来了很多快乐和绝对的幸福。我想我永远也不会对此感到厌倦。
Do you have any other plans or goals for the future, aside from continuing your live show?
The main goal is to be at peace with myself, to focus on what’s important, and to cut out all the bullshit. All I want is to be present and do things now instead of waiting for everything to get back to normal (which might never happen). Instead of thinking of what’s good for my work, I am trying to think about what’s good for me. What makes me feel creative? What makes me feel like I’m doing something important? This is the most progress that I can do right now.
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Artist : Dr.Rubinstein
Interview 作者:Chloe Lula
Translation 翻译: Emi
Make up 化妆: Eva Hel