– Hi Martin, thanks a lot for getting interviews for Differentgrooves.com
How are you?
Hello Matteo! I’m fine thanks!
– Your sound is dub techno oriented with a deep house flavour. Back in the days, how has been your approach to music and to electronic music when you were young? Did it change during the years?
I grew up in a small village in Thuringia and when I was young everybody was listening to heavy metal or rock music but this was not my sound. The only chance to hear electronic music was to record the HR3 clubnight radio show. Sven Väth and Dj Pierre (R.I.P.) played there regular and I tried to record every set of them on tape. It was my biggest influence and I think I had good teachers to find my personal musical taste. During the years my interest in music did change for sure because I was always searching for inspirations in a lot of different styles from electronic, soul, funk, jazz or classic… It’s great to find new ideas in other styles of music outside house and techno.
– Is the city where you live, Berlin, a source of motivation and inspiration for you, or have you got other references or things that attract and stimulate your soul?
I think everything what surrounds you could stimulate your mind. Berlin is such a nice city with much art, good theaters, nice museums, great record shops and so many different cultures. I really like the vibe in the summer months but the dark and cold winters could be a little bit depressing sometimes. I`m not sure if the city was the main inspiration for “Behind” because I tried to reflect a wide array of my personal musical influences from dub techno, ambient, Detroit techno or house. The concept when writing the album was to use no samples and instead craft every sound himself with plenty of analogue hardware, field recordings and hidden messages.
– When did you meet Daniel and when you decide to found the youANDme project?
We met 15 years ago in our old hometown. I was a Dj and he had a groovebox and tried to produce the first tracks. So we taught each other and Daniel began to buy records and I started to buy my first analogue gear. When we moved to Berlin we shared a flat with 2 studios for more then 10 years. This was a really inspiring atmosphere and in 2008 the youANDme project was born.
– After years of collaboration you are going to release your personal album, a very nice final product with 13 tracks. Why it is called “Behind” and how much time it takes to be prepared?
I was working nearly 2 years on it with some small breaks for other projects. It was a really intense period and I’m happy that I have finished it now. There are 2 different meanings for the title “BEHIND”. The first one is that I want to produce a very personal album. I tried to save a lot of emotions from various situations of my life and if you listen carefully you could have a look behind my facade. I’m also a fan of songs which have veiled sounds and various background atmospheres. This is a reason why I placed many field recordings in the production. It creates a natural warm ambience and you could find many little stories behind the main themes of the music.
– What the moniker youAND:THEMACHINES means?
I did the album alone and I have generated nearly every sound with analogue machines. Thats why we have chosen a name which has a connection to youANDme and represents my solo project.
– How you can describe the necessity to take this adventure alone?
Daniel has another career as an architect and he is working 9 to 5 (or even longer) in his job now. So he has not that much time for studio work and we decided that I could do the album solo as the youAND:THEMACHINES project. We are still playing a lot of Dj gigs on the weekend together and we are really enjoying it because every time its an exciting journey.
– There’s also a track “Desire”, with a lot of classical music elements. Did you just play with the sounds or you recorded or played some live instruments?
At first there was just the ambience which I have created with the gesture software “Movoo” and a Roland Alpha Juno. I really liked the sad but also hopeful mood so I decide to play the piano and catch this mood. When the track was finished I had the really talented string player OLGA KHOLODNAIA in my studio to play the violin for the “Diamond” track. I played her “Desire” and she also wanted to play a string for it. Olga only needed one take and gave “Desire” the final touch which I really like.
– There are featured also many vocals and instrumental collaborations with other musicians. Can you say something more about them? For Example, when did you meet or why you choice them?
It was important for me that I had a personal connection to the collaborators. This could be an earlier work, a friendship or I was a fan of their works and asked if they want to contribute something for my album. I was a devotee of Bajka and I fell in love with the sound of her voice when I heard the first time Beanfield feat. Bajka: “Tides” (Carl Craig remix). I was really happy when I got a remix request from the Rebirth label for Pirupa feat. Bajka “Trust” in 2011. In this moment I knew that I also want to have her on my album.
2009 I did an edit of Mark Broom feat. the voice of Brothers’ Vibe which was released on the Platzhirsch label and also on the Ibiza mix cd of Sven Väth “The Sound Of The 10th Season” (Cocoon Recordings). It became a small underground hit and was the beginning of our career as youANDme. That’s why I’m happy that Tony contribute another vocal for my album.
Delhia De France has one of the best voices of Germany. You have to check out her live concert with the MDR Symphony Orchestra on Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqF62U8qJb4 . I listened to her the first time on the Robag Wruhme “Wuzzelbud” LP. This track is still one of my faves and that’s why I´m proud that she gave me her great voice for our album track “Uncover”.
Keter Darker is a good mate of Carlos Nilmmns and they did a track on the “Cupid and Psyche” EP (ORNAMENTS 025). I love the sound of his voice and the result of our track “The Veil” is amazing.
What should I say about Robert Owens what is not already said? He is the legend of House Music and it was a pleasure to work with his amazing voice and I’m thankful to have him on my album.
– The mood of the whole album is deep, sometimes dark and so mental many times. Do you ever thought about what the listeners could reach after listening to this?
I wanted to do a really personal album which is full of my emotions and different situations of my life which I tried to capture in the music. I’m not sure if you could really safe your moods and somebody else could feel the same way but if I could touch somebody with my music in any way it would be the biggest compliment.
– What “Behind” LP means for you?
I think it’s a dream of every producer to release at one point of your career an album where you could express your mind and personality. You could paint pictures of music and could tell an open story for the listener. For me, this dream has came true.
– On Friday June 28th you also played at Panorama Bar for the album launch. What have you expected from the party? Did you do a dj set or a live set?
It’s one of the best clubs for me because the people are open minded and you could dive into really deep sounds and atmospheres. I played a 4 hour dj set and I expected much fun and a great party because this place has a kind of magic to it.
– I’m little curious about a thing: why the vinyl releases on Ornaments are limited to specifically 333 copies?
It’s a simple reason. I wanted to do a special packaging where i could gave the vinyl album a unique touch. So i decided to paint each cover in a splash art way. I needed more then 2 months for it and this much time is the reason that the hand painted artwork edition is limited to 333 items.
– Is anything new forthcoming in the next months you wanna tell us about?
Yes there will be a youANDme remix for Timo Maas his new album “Lifer” which will be released soon on his Rockets & Ponies label. We are working on another remix for the new album of Brothers’ Vibe and there will be a nice collection of remixes of my album “BEHIND”.
– Thank you for having spent the time to let our readers know more about your music and thoughts!
I thank you for the possibility to talk about my album “BEHIND”.
Interview by Matteo Pitton