Born in 1970, music became an important part of Michael's life at an early stage. Unfortunately, r&b, soul, hip-hop (or black music in general) were not that important to Switzerland's national radio stations back then (which consisted of three national radio stations: one each for the German, French and Italian speaking parts of the country), the focus was on pop and rock. The situation got better when the first pirate radio stations were founded. They opened the way for dance music - first only in late evening and throughout the night, later also at other times throughout the day. The national radio station in the French speaking part of Switzerland then formed a very successful program covering all styles of dance music that was very important to Michael since they played mixes by international DJ’s like Tony Humphries, Louie Vega and David Morales to name a few.
In the early 90’s, there was one club in Zurich that had a big impact on Michael's understanding of music: the Flamingo club with resident DJ Roger. He was always upfront and played all the in demand records - House Music as well as other styles, it just needed to have that little something that moves the crowd - as well as the classics.
Michael started buying records at the music department of a big store in 1987 where the employees introduced him to the various shades of dance music. Shortly after, the store stopped selling vinyl and the employees introduced Michael to Panthera Records, a store specializing in importing dance music from all over the world (where Michael bought most of his records from). This is the place where Michael got introduced to House Music and met people that loved and supported this style of music.
As Michael started to explore the roots and influences of House Music, he began to add dance music records from the 70's and 80's to his collection, a task often challenging as some of these records are hard to find (especially in good to near mint condition). Michael had to get most of these records from abroad (such as from his trips to New York), especially when it comes to the more obscure Loft or Paradise Garage classics. While he never counted the records, Michael estimates he must own around 15'000 to 20'000 records (mostly 12" singles).
Michael has been asked many times why he never worked as a DJ (either as a hobby or professionally) , especially as people know about his love for the music, and they know that he has one of the most complete House Music collections in Switzerland. The simple answer is that working regularly as a DJ in a club or at a private party does not really attract him, he enjoys being a 'Bedroom DJ', and from February 2000 to May 2011 he published over 600 mixes on his SpiritOfHouse website (with further mixes provided to internet radio stations, other websites etc.). During a trip to New York in October 2000, Timmy Richardson gave Michael the opportunity to play at club 2I which marks his official debut as a club DJ, and then one week later, Michael played in Toronto at club Roxy Blu (the picture above was taken at club Roxy Blu). Michael returned to Toronto in the following years for further gigs, and he played a few times in Germany as well.
In March 2001, Michael attended the Winter Music Conference (WMC) in Miami for the first time. It was a great opportunity to promote his Spirit of House website and to meet House Music artists, DJ's, producers, labels etc. from around the world. In the following years, Michael attended the WMC a few more times.
In May 1996, Michael launched the SpiritOfHouse website which features weekly reviews of the latest in soulful house music, with the focus being on vocal productions. Michael created the website out of his love and passion for House Music which he wanted to share with people from around the world. Since then, Michael and his SpiritOfHouse website are well-respected across the house music community and industry, with many artists and labels sending him their upcoming releases for potential review on the website. To this day, Michael continues to provide weekly updates on his website, with many of his reviews shared by artists and record labels in social media and used in promotional material and write-ups.
Last updated :July 9, 2020.