– Hi David, i’m glad to ask you some questions for Differentgrooves.com
Last February you had the opportunity to play at Tag Club in Mestre, Venezia; how do you like the Italian crowd and what do you think about the Italian music scene?
The gig at TAG Club in Venezia was very very nice and one of my favourite ones of the first quarter of 2013! I had a whole lot of fun and therefore also a great show. However, at this moment it is still hard for me to give a definite answer to your question: I don’t know the Italian scene so well, but what I know from my friends there and my first experiences of gigs in Italy I can tell: I like it very much! I had the nicest hosts and I was taken care of excellently by my friends the Re-Up guys and by Ricky, my new friend from TAG. It was an honour to play for these guys and I loved their hospitality and way of dealing with both the music and the party! A big compliment and thanks to them from me! But I don’t know if the Italian scene is always like that. I need to find out more about it….
I hear that things are changing a bit in Italy and that the scene is opening itself up to different kinds of music. I also had that feeling when I went and played in Italy. There must still be the more commercial parties around, but I also experienced a nice, open, after-hour-crowd who would follow your musical journeys. We played long, horizontal tracks (a bit Romanian style) and the people loved it, followed it, and were very into it. So, I feel that depending on where you are in Italy you get a very different kind of crowd. I loved it in Venezia anyway…
-What do you think are the major differences between the Italian and your German underground scene?
Same here: I need to get to know the Italian scene a bit better in order to give a more precise answer, but I have the feeling that the Italian scene has a lot of potential that might come out in the future. I know the German / Berlin-scene very well, because I moved here as a kid and have been experiencing the techno scene here for more than 10 years (ok I am still a young artist, but have been around for a bit). I know how it goes here in Berlin and I have seen things coming and going. I have seen the Canadians or Americans (Visionquest-guys like Seth Troxler and Ryan Crosson, Lee Curtis etc) move to Berlin and move away again. We hung out in their early Berlin days. We have played in clubs that don’t exist anymore. I have been a resident at the “Club der Visionaere” for 5 years now and have been organizing our label parties in Berlin. Also our Label Meander is now 6 years old, even though it all feels like yesterday. On the other hand, the Italian scene is new to me and I cant and don’t really want to compare and point out differences of something I don’t really know so well. However, I feel there is a lot to come in future…
– In the last year you did a tour in Japan. Did you enjoy that experience? Also, how would you describe the Japanese electronic music movement?
I love Japan! I love the scene there and have been having a close relationship with the Japanese scene. DeWalta seems to be more famous in Japan than in other countries so I regularly tour in Japan and Korea. I am a huge fan of the electronic music scene there. The dedication and precision with how parties are organized is especially amazing. The crowd is geeky, very interested and open, and completely dedicated to music. They follow everything and are very open to listen to something completely different than they may expect to hear. At the same time the record shops are filled with amazing old and new and very rare records, that only Japanese record dealers have sticking around for such long time. Also they know a lot about music – a lot!! Japanese electronic artists are very interesting and there are so many DJ´s we don’t know in Europe that are playing amazing music with very good mixing-skills. They love to party, drink sake, oolong-hai; the food culture is my personal favourite–simply mindblowing and simply the best in the world (ok, Italian food is my second favourite… hehe… 😉
– Being a Berliner can you tell us how you perceive Berlin’s techno scene and why it has become one of the most inspiring city for underground artists and musicians?
Hmmm…. Well, I think Berlin has many advantages that play a role in the past and present of a vital scene…. Not only the electronic music scene but also the contemporary dance, theatre or art scene have benefitted from the following: Berlin is still fairly affordable for living, it is big in size, a European metropolis, but not overfilled with people–so there is space. Open and vacant places are common, rents are low and many little venues or project places can pop-up and do their thing pretty uncomplicatedly. Berlin is slow paced compared to other big metropolitan cities and especially Berlin is not yet over-watched, controlled and regulated by authorities. This is a good ground for a healthy scene! Also Berlin has a long history of electronic music and artists seem to support their city. We have more record stores in Berlin than in several other counties all put together. Places like the “Club der Visionaere” or the “Berghain” make a huge difference. The fact that the city tolerates, wants, and maybe even supports venues like those makes for a vital and inspiring scene!
– Can you imagine your artistic identity without Berlin and your label Meander?
I am happy that I am part of the Berlin scene and it is for sure engraved in my artistic identity. However it is hard to ask what would have happened if this or that would not be. The “What if” question is always tricky… I am an artist and have had a thing with music for as long as I can remember. I studied music in high-school, went to the conservatory of music, and studied jazz music so I am sure my artistic identity would’ve come out somehow anyway, even without Berlin. I am convinced that your environment always influences you, so of course Berlin has had a huge impact on me. For example I am very happy I could hold a monthly residency at the CDV for many years! For this residency we have invited great artists like Guillaume Coutu Dumonts, Shonky, Dyed Syndorom, Xandru, Mike Shannon, Dinky, Sonja Moonear, Dandy Jack, Pikaya, Ion Ludwig, Binh, Cabanne and even the Perlon Crew… and sometimes even as a very special guest Ricardo Villalobos or Zip for example… Our next party will be with Dyed Syndorom and Seuil next weekend. Berlin feels like a family – that’s most important!
– Your productions have been featured many times on Vakant. How has this label been influencing your career. Will you release again on it?
Yes, I guess I have become one of the core artists of Vakant. I did my first record there in 2008 and many more after that. It has influenced me like everything, but not more than other aspects of my career. I like the label and we are planning on doing another release together soon!
– You are known both for your DJ sets and your Live sets. What is the setup of your Live sets? Could you briefly describe how you manage the entire work?
Yes, I also play LIVE for special occasions and special gigs, although I strongly prefer to DJ these days.
In my LIVE-sets I use some analogue gear as well as a computer. I use drum-machines, some effect-machines, my UAD plugins, 3 different controllers and a laptop. My studio is packed with machines, but I can’t and don’t want to bring them all. My favourite these days is my Modular system! I make a lot of work with this endlessly interesting and growing machine!
When I play live it is important to limit myself. I can’t bring too much gear because it’s too much work and not so much fun anymore. Playing a show is also about having fun and sharing that with the crowd so these four machines, and a bunch of controllers, are enough for a one-man LIVE show.
– You are going to release some tracks on hello:repeat and some remixes for labels such as Kina, Sleep Is Commercial, Cosmo Records. Can you tell us more about these projects?
I have been in contact with Jan Krüger from hello:repeat for many years and we always wanted to do something together. He has been asking for new music for a while so I sent him some new tracks that came out of a session from New-Years-Eve with Claus Voigtmann. Claus is a friend of mine and he runs the great Toi Toi parties in London, at which I have played many times (actually for the very first one a couple years back). Claus Voigtmann is an upcoming, young and very gifted DJ and producer and we have hung out in the studio a few times. He was also in contact with hello:repeat and will further work with them in future. So we had these strong tracks and Jan Krüger and Daze Maxim loved them and signed them straight to hello:repeat. It’s great because a circle is closing this way. Jan, Daze, Claus and I are all connected and especially those tracks had to come out there.
The remix for KINA actually came because the guys asked me to do one for them after the gig at TAG in Venezia. I liked the original and started working right away. The Sleep Is Commercial Remix was always an idea they had. I like them and we hang out in Berlin sometimes. They do their thing at CDV as I do mine and it made sense to remix Topper. It was nice to be working with his music too. The last mentioned remix is for Dandy Jack. Through his sister Chica Paula, Martin is one of my oldest friends in the Berlin scene and I love his energy and his music. We are good buddies so when Cosmo Records asked me to remix him I instantly said yes! This is a great label and they have constantly been putting out great records with very strong names and remixes. I am happy I can be part of it!
– Thank you for having spent the time to let our readers know more about your music and thoughts!
Interview by Matteo Pitton