Creative Chameleons

Marvin Schuhmann and Valentino Betz refuse to be pigeonholed.

As Public Possession, the pair supply Munich’s music scene with new sounds, act as label bosses, DJs, bookers, art directors, and publishers, and even turn their hands to catering during live gigs in their store. The down-to-earth duo from Munich were kind enough to walk COMPANION through the playlist of their home city.

These days, DJs are worshipped like the pop idols of our teens. Partygoers throng around the mixing-deck stage, a platform raised just above the crowd. Up to his headphone-clad ears in technical gear, the DJ stands a cut above the rest, always one step ahead of the masses dancing to the beat. His fans wolf whistle and applaud in adoration, looking up to their icon, forever just out of reach.

Marvin Schuhmann and Valentino Betz make for a very different DJ act: despite their success, the pair from Munich have kept their feet firmly on the ground. Music fans and curious tourists alike are welcome to drop by their record store at Klenzestraße 16 to get to know them — it’s just a stone’s throw from Gärtnerplatz. They adopted the name Public Possession in 2012 and have been running both their shop and an independent house, electronic, and ambient label ever since. The two projects go hand in hand. The record store is a physical meeting point, a cultural hub for music you won’t find anywhere else in the city.

The dream team first met at school and lost touch for a while until Valentino moved into Marvin’s shared apartment for three months. Since then, they’ve been inseparable. Under the name Tambien they DJ with Beni Brachtel, aka Bartellow. Necessity made them go freelance. Martin explains, “I studied philosophy, Valentino went to art school. Neither course of study leads to one set career path. Back then, Munich didn’t have a record store that sold contemporary music. So when we chanced upon the location, it was obvious that we were going to open one.” Financially ambitious and multitalented as they are, the pair were not content with just being Munich’s go-to place for records. “A music store on its own wasn’t a viable business model for us. We wanted to branch out and extend our brand to other things that interested us.” So they started making covers, flyers, and fan scarves and T-shirts advertising their label with ironic lettering in a bright fanzine style.

On weekends, the two regularly host in-store sessions by DJs from Germany and all over the world. The obligatory free beer to accompany the music is even provided by their own catering service, another side gig. So what’s next for these two talented guys? A book about sleep and a show for Radio 80000, which will stop at the much-hyped Container Collective at Munich’s Ostbahnhof. After all, the two are open for anything that they find fun — so of course they jumped at the chance to mix COMPANION a playlist full of their favorite songs from around Munich. And they even threw in a few treats from outside the world of electro: aside from two songs from the cabaret artists Karl Valentin and Gerhard Polte, the Bavarian folk act Kofelgschroa sings about drying laundry while Fredl Fesl tunes in for the closing notes.

Public Possession

Listen to Public Possessions playlist Beats from Bavaria

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