by Nhan Solo
1. Do you think/consider the digital technology in the music business more like a mercy or a curse?
Well, I believe one has to go with the flow because we live in times of constant change. Everything is in a state of flux and that of course also encompasses progress in the areas of technology and music. In today’s modern, digital world a lot of work-flows have been simplified following the principle „faster, higher, further“ ... I personally embrace this, and I also like the generation Facebook. Of course there are always two sides to the coin. As far as illegal downloading is concerned, what happened to the music industry by switching to digital formats can only be described as a disaster. I’m sorry for these guys but I’m part of a different generation that is building a new foundation on the rubbles of the old industry standards and the only way we can do this is by embracing what’s coming our way and by adapting constantly to the new challenges that come along with it. Having said that, the genie’s out of the bottle anyway and the downfall for mayor and indie labels has been so massive these last years that I believe the worst part is over. Of course it might feel like crawling out of a cellar after the hurricane has passed over your house. The roof might be gone and also the landscape might have changed but at least it gives you the chance to start build something new. And let’s be honest, not everything that died with the old system was worth saving.
2. How did the dj‘ing change through the digital technology?
For me the biggest shift came with the switch from vinyl to CD. These days I mostly play my music with CD players from a USB stick, so that’s not a new change of format but rather of carrier. I personally love the fact that I don’t have to carry around tons of vinyl anymore – no more pack pains and no more excess luggage fees at the airport. Having said all of that – for me it’s primarily about the music and not the media. I also love vinyl - not only because of it’s distinctive sound but also because if you treat it right it’s the longest lasting storage media for music we have. So for the tracks I really like I’m going to continue buying them on vinyl.
3. Where did you have your greatest performance?
That’s hard to say. It can be incredibly inspiring and elevating to play for a small crowd because you can feel the intensity of the connection between dancers and the DJ so much more. But it’s also amazing to perform in front a 1000 screaming punters. Both situations create totally different levels of energy and I like and need them both. But to name a club or performance – the first Mother Recordings Labelnight at Katerholzig this year has been of the roof.
4. What are the fundamentals of good electronic music and what you think is the most important thing of creating electronic music?
When we’re talking electronic music we’re talking electronic dance music, right? To name an old cliché, it’s like preparing a good dish. You have to get the best ingredients and then find the right balance when using them. A dirty kick drum, a crispy snare, whipping claps, a dash of funk and a good sample to ad some salt to the soup. But the most important thing is the inspiration and that igniting spark of an idea to get things going. The rest comes to a flow during the work process.
5. Please try to explain the relationship to the label you‘re working with?
I try to release my music on imprints that I feel connected to, not only because of the sound but also because of the people that are standing behind. The human factor is very important to me. That’s why I feel close to OFF recordings, the DIY posse and the Stranjjur imprint in NYC. Of course I also release on my own label Mother Recordings. We’re a motley crew of friends and creatives that can rely on each other.
6. Who is the artist who always inspired you and enjoys your respect?
Difficult. There’s definitely not THE one artist. For various reasons I’d say Falco, Prince, Bob Marley, Dr. Dre, Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis just to name a few geniuses.
7. Where do you see yourself in the world of electronic music in a few years?
That’s a tough one to answer because on the one hand things are in constant state of change and on the other it’s difficult to name a goal you can focus on in this situation. In general I believe it’s always good to aim high so whatever you come up with in the end might just be a little bit better than you expected. So I’m going to say: I see my music and me playing for the leading dance floors of the world. That should at least secure me a bar-gig once in a while if things should turn sour, haha.
8. What are the things you‘re doing besides producing and dj‘ing?
I love good food, the ocean, saltwater on my skin, surfing and travelling. Oh yes, and soccer of course. I’m so glad that the Bundesliga is starting again this week. For that matter, thank god the summer’s over. But we didn’t get much of that anyway this year here in Berlin.
9. Are you fine with the schedule of sceen.fm and what is
your opinion about sceen.fm?
I believe that sceen.fm is probably the best web radio out of Germany. I’ve known it since the day it started broadcasting and I am a huge fan of your work. The amount of energy you put into this as well as the way the radio station has grown over time is most impressive. So many amazing new labels, so many great shows and it still seems like it’s just the beginning – yeeeah!
10. What is your ambition in life? Do you have a special goal you‘re pursuing?
I would be glad and grateful if I could continue to earn my daily bread by making music. Staying true to myself and not having to bend like a pretzel to achieve my goals is also very important to me. To always have enough time for my family and friends because they really are my backbone in these crazy times we live in. And of course to stay in good health so I can continue to surf the oceans of this world.
Thanks a lot for the interview.