Biography of the operator and author of WELCOME TO THE ROBOTS
Raphael Krickow, born 1966 in Osnabrück (Germany). Grew up in Darmstadt (Germany).
As of 1983, a regular guest at ‘Dorian Gray’, the disco at Frankfurt Airport.
Krickow: „Even in the years before (‘Dorian Gray’) I made mixed tapes of early electronic dance music at home and ‘distributed’ them on school playgrounds throughout the city. I shared the takings with my partners, who were better off than I was, and so put up the cash to buy records.
On my very first visit to ‘Dorian Gray’ I was fascinated by the work of the DJs, even though I had no idea at the time how much their music differed from that played in ‘normal’ discos. For 50 Deutschmarks I could buy the much sought after 60-minute cassette recordings made by the likes of Michael Münzing or Ulli Brenner.“
As of 1986, freelance editor and the Rhine Main Area correspondent for the first German DJ and dance magazine 'Network Press', and later for the ‘voice of techno’ supplement 'Frontpage'. Mainly reported on the early pre-techno scene in Frankfurt.
Krickow: „Since I bought my records in hip record stores such as 'Eisele' in Offenbach, 'Knie' in Wiesbaden, or 'City Music' beneath Frankfurt’s central train station (where ‘Andreas Tomalla’ aka ‘Talla 2XLC’ worked as a salesman), I had good contacts in the Frankfurt scene and was always well informed. The publishers of ‘Network Press’ were in Munich and its editors in Hamburg but, as the Frankfurt DJ, music and club scene was increasingly developing a unique and interesting profile, it was decided to base editorial staff there too. And I had subscribed to ‘Network Press’ since the very first issue and previously been in touch with the chief editor…“
1987–89 freelance graphic designer at the advertising agency 'Art-Forum'.
Krickow: „In addition to music, graphic design – above all, typography and logos – was one my early passions. While waiting to begin a course in ‘Communication Design’ in Darmstadt, I took advantage of my early acquaintance with what was still the very elitist Apple Macintosh computer, and got to grips with all aspects of ‘DTP’ (‘Desk Top Publishing’). I taught myself how to use ‘Photoshop 1.0’, ‘Illustrator 1.0’ and ‘PageMaker 1.0’ in 1987.“
As of 1987, a DJ in the Frankfurt club ‘Vogue’.
The ‘Vogue’ was a living room for ‘Sven Väth’ and ‘Markus
Löffel’ (aka ‘Marc Spoon’) worked in the kitchen there as a cook. In 1988, the ‘Vogue’ became the ‘Omen’.
As of 1988, attended the annual ‘New Music Seminar’ in New York on behalf of ‘Network Press’.
Krickow: „At the time the ‘New Music Seminar’ was the most important trade fair for ‘new music’ and took place each July at the Marriott Marquis Hotel at Times Square in New York. Then as now, the inexhaustible and boring issue of ‘underground vs. commerce’ was always on the agenda. The city’s still thriving club scene and vinyl stores were much more interesting.“
1990–92 Art Director of ‘Network Press’ in Hamburg.
1991 Art Director of the 'Groove' magazine in Frankfurt.
Krickow: „Early 1990 I moved to Hamburg to take up the art director job, and simultaneously opened a small graphic design studio in Munich – so I had to commute between north and south for a while. The name of my studio, ‘Underground Graphics’ ('Untergrundgrafik’), was based on a brainwave of ‘Markus Löffel’, as he recalled when we were having a chat in 1988 about adding an alias to ‘Raphael Krickow’ on my limited edition metal ‘Omen’ membership card, for distribution of which he, as A&R manager for the Frankfurt label ‘Logic Records’, was responsible.“
1993–2002 Co-founder and Managing Partner of the Hamburg advertising agency ‘U-agency’ (reconfigured in 2005 as ‘Die Konkurrenz’), which was set up largely by the former ‘Network Press’ editorial and production team.
– Launch of the music magazine ‘CUT’
– Launch of the lifestyle and music magazine 'BOOM' (distributed by ‘Gruner & Jahr’)
– Launch of international music promotion campaigns (for radio, TV, print)
– Designed cover design concepts and compilations for all the major German music companies
– In 1993 represented various German music labels at the 'Winter Music Conference' in Miami Beach.
– From 1995–2001 took care of advertising and marketing for the product ‘Bravo Hits’
– Consultant to the German Federation of the Phonographic Industry
– 3D-animations for ‘The Dome’, ‘Bravo TV’, among others
– Below-the-line and guerrilla marketing, e.g. for the brands ‘Levis’, ‘Lee’, ‘Adidas’, ‘Reemtsma’, ‘Philip Morris’, ‘Virgin’
In 1994 co-founded the DJ duo ‘The Disco Boys’.
In 1997, after several years of organizing and conducting its own House events, ‘The Disco Boys' DJ duo began touring all over Germany.
As of 2000, regular DJ sets at major events such as 'Mayday', 'Love Parade', 'Sensation White', 'Nature One', 'Time Warp', 'Parookaville‘ and residencies in Ibiza.
In 2001 appeared on ‘TV Total’, ‘Top Of The Pops’ and various other TV shows.
As of 2001, periodic ‘Disco Boys’ mix-compilation series. To date, one of the most successful House duos in Germany.
As of 2003, many international appearances (including the UK, Russia, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Poland, Luxembourg, South Korea, Thailand, USA, France, Holland), plus a first short tour through China as early as 2005.
In 2005 winners of the Audience Award for ‘Best House Artist’ at the ‘Dance Music Awards’.
In 2006 winners of the ‘Best House Act’ Award at the ‘DJM Awards’.
In 2010 winners of the Platinum Award for the Disco Boys single ‘For You’.
Ex-punk and new wave fan Raphael Krickow became a passionate fan of electronic dance music in the 1980s. Through the vicinity to Frankfurt, a pioneering city for electronic club music in Germany, he developed early an affinity to the DJ myth and computer generated music. His vinyl collection encompasses several thousand maxi singles from the 'New Romantic', 'synth pop', 'Electro', 'New Wave', 'Italo Disco' genres, including many rarities. He is a collector of TV, DVD and print documents and biographies relating to club culture and electronic music.
Krickow taught himself pretty much everything he knows. After leaving school with A-levels in 1986 he neither went to college, nor benefited from vocational training, internships or the like, but has never had to apply for a job owing to his on-going success as a freelancer. He loves to travel, has already visited approximately 60 countries, including Nepal, Tibet and North Korea, and also spent time in the Antarctic.