How are you? What’s good, what’s bad in your world?
Good is being able to spend more time with the family and more time for studio sessions, so my output this year was probably the biggest I ever had on a year without album release. Bad is that I am broke now 😛
Did you pick up any new skills with all the extra time at home or did you just enjoy that time with no touring?
Before the pandemic, every day was lacking about 5 hours, so now I can just squeeze in all I need to. Also for a long time I had to take care of our 3yr old daughter as the Kindergarten was closed. But I just started running this summer and also got into playing Chess as I couldn’t go to the casino for my regular poker sessions and I needed some brain stimulation.
Tell us about your new one on King Kong Records – how did you link with Steve Clash?
I met Steve about 6 years ago in Istanbul as we were booked by the same promoter. We stayed in contact and he recently started to produce his own music, so when I had the idea for ‚No Playing‘ I felt he would be a fun choice to work with.
Who did what – did you each have a set role on the track or did you do it all together?
I had the idea for the track and asked Steve if he wants to work with me on that, but he has to do most of the work as I was busy with other personal businesses. He agreed after I sent him my material. As I chose him for the collab, I knew he would bring the right sounds to the project. I am not a fan of being endless hours in the studio together while one person is going through all possible claps while the other one sits on the sofa and just saying ‚yes thats the one‘ or ‚ah no!‘.
Do you ever get stuck, or lack inspiration, or find you are repeating yourself? Or do you worry you might ever get to that stage? What would you do if you did? Just change directions again?
In general, I always get inspired for new tracks, but sometimes I just don’t manage to find the right sounds or melodies. Things are in my head, but I am not capable of getting it realized. I was once working on a remix for Paul McCartney and I was never happy with the result. I followed my flow, but in the end I always thought ‚that’s not what I was looking for – how did I get here?‘. So this one hurt and I decided not to offer it for getting released. And I did many approaches as I really wanted to do something amazing there. Sometimes you just have to move on to the next project.
What do you do away from music, to clear the mind, inspire, relax?
I usually play poker at the casino here in Berlin, now I added playing Chess since the Casino had to closed. I also love walking everywhere within a 4-5km range, so I easily get my 10km walking a day. Besides that, I meet my oldest friend 2-3 times a week after I am dropping my daughter at the Kindergarten and he dropped his son at school, for a good coffee always sitting outside and enjoying the fresh air.
Are you a painstaking producer who muses on every detail or more a spur of the moment, capture your feels at that precise moment, kinda guy?
I am really easy on my productions. If I like a hi hat, I don’t check all other 200 options as I am worried one of those might sound 5% better. I like to get the tracks done as soon as possible. If I am sitting on a track for more than 3 days I get really bored and feel like moving on.
Electronic music is a suitable vehicle for social and political messages do you think? Are people receptive to it nowadays?
I think if you are sending out another message other than ‚love is the message‘, people are not receptive to it. On most matters people already got their opinion. I watched several DJs the past year bashing Donald Trump on their profile and what do they change? People already love or hate him and that DJ won’t change that. So people who agree with the DJ like it and give their 2 cents and nothing changes anything for them. But Trump supporters, who were fans of that DJ before started to be offended now and commenting hate. Nothing changed, we just wasted our time. On other more subtle matters, you can probably help as a public figure with many followers. Things like raising awareness for xy (women’s rights, sustainability, Veganism etc), but you hardly do that in a music production, you do that on your social media.
What’s next for you, what’s on the horizon, what hopes and goals do you have for 2020?
I am working on an acoustic album for 2 years. Transforming my favourite Phonique tracks from the past 20 years into ‚unplugged‘ versions. Other than that, I hope to get back to play shows all over the world.
What would you get for xmas in an ideal world?
A Dremel tool box for crafting things at home.