You have an upcoming album release ‘Atacama LP’ on your own imprint Etui which comes out on 12th October 2018 (vinyl & digital) where and when did you record/produce?
When I traveled to the Atacama Desert in late 2014 my path took me up to 4.500m above sea level. I was surrounded by volcanoes. At this strange place I begun to think about what I want to achieve as an artist, after releasing several EPs and remixes. So the idea came in mind to start working on an album. Back home I started to record track ideas at my studio in Dresden. I recorded 30 or 40 ideas and selected 10 for final track listing. From end 2017 to mid 2018 I worked on the final mixdowns.
What influenced the sound and songwriting for this album?
Every year in November I go on a trip to discover some places around the world. At the studio I try to create musically memories about my journeys. I call it music for traveling. But as I´m mostly but not only love dub techno, I also wanted to create some more variation from ambient to spheric dub to hypnotic techno.
I also wanted to work with different synthesizer techniques and sound sources. In “Forest Of The Monkeys” you can hear the monkeys walking in the backround and at the end of “New Dawn” you hear the birds singing outside my studio window. The field recordings I used are snippets of video recordings I took on my travels.
Around 2016 I started building a small modular synthesizer. I was totally fascinated by the wavetable sounds of Mutable Instruments Braids. You can hear it in a lot of tracks on the album. Basicly the modular setup gave me much more freedom to experiment. It automatically influenced the sound of the album. It is also great source of inspiration, for “Pan de Azùcar” for example.
How do you usually go about writing music?
That is different from time to time. Mostly I start with jamming around and not recording anything. When I feel it sounds good, I start multitrack recording a live jam with my synthesizers and drum machines like the Elektron Analog Four and Elektron Analog Rytm into Logic Pro X. Then I adjust the final arrangement. Sometimes I swap certain elements or adding more elements from software or hardware. “Wanderlust” was one of the first recordings with my modular setup. The voices I added way later when I felt there was still something missing.
Did you work with anybody else on this album?
I have done the work all by myself. When I started the final mixdown sessions I had a listening session with my friend and studio neighbour Jacob Korn. He gave me some good advise. The voices in “Wanderlust” are outtakes of some video recordings of my travels by Soraia Esteves and Loyd Under.
Do you have a favourite track on the album? If so, which and why?
This is hard to say! Every track captures a moment in my life or a place where I have been. I get goosebumps when I listen to the first track but also especially at the end of “Ghosts In Space” when the synths and shimmer verb open up.
How did you first start playing music?
First time I was playing music was in my school time. I just played some tapes that I’ve recorded from the radio. In 1991 I met Fabian Leuchtmann, who runs together with DNZ the Fat Fenders recordstore in Dresden. We started a weekly party for school friends on Mondays. Through listening to East German radio station DT64 I finally came in contact with house and techno in the early 90thies. I bought a C64 computer and my first vinyl records shortly after.
It’s the 20th anniversary for the label, how did the label start and how has the label changed since the beginning?
From 1996 until 1998 me and some friends were running a club called Flugzeugwerft in Dresden. It was a crazy time in East Germany. We invited a lot of international artists like Derrick May or Phuture 303. I had the opportunity to play live and as dj in front of 500 people for the first time. In 1998 we had to close the club due authority restrictions. I wanted to keep the raging spirit of that time and founded the label to release my music.
From 2006 to 2010 I ran the label with Soren Matschiste. We discovered new talented artists from Dresden like Alec Tronic or Alex Carbo and we worked with established acts like Gunjah or Stachy.dj. The sound was getting more and more modern (melodic and tech housey).
But around 2010 there was a moment when we were not sure anymore about the musically direction of the label. Soren Matschiste found a new home with Uncanny Valley and I met Monomood. He gave me the demo of Oktrosis. It marks the starting point for the new colored vinyl edition. Musically it goes back to the roots, trying to interpret dub techno in an uptodate audio frame. “ltd” stands for Low Tech Dub.
What do you find most rewarding and challenging with running your own label?
Even it´s origin goes back to the 90ties it is amazing to see how many people still love dub techno sound. Young people just discovering that sound. New artists evolving new ideas with those elements.
But with Etui I experienced also the up and downs of the vinyl market and the change of how people listening to music. Those were the most challenging things. Bandcamp plays an important role and with decks records / I play vinyl we have a good vinyl distributor nowadays. With streaming and download Internet brings the music to nearly every corner of the planet. Also people that can not afford vinyl or even turntables or that simply don’t have space for a record shelf can discover music. That is really great.
How do you choose which artists to work with?
I’m looking for that special sound that catches me. It’s mostly due the sound design and the mood of the track. With Etui Winter Camp compilations I want also create something that you just can listen to when chilling. Beside having a special idea about their sound, I want to feel a personal connection to the artist. Some artists like Echo Inspectors I met on my travels and we become friends. I don’t see the label as a strict business thing. It’s a passion to support and release good music.
What do you like to do outside of music?
I love to take my camera on my travels and doing video filming. So there will be also some videos for the album. Beside all the music stuff I have a normal 9 to 5 job.
What do you have planned for the remainder of 2018 going into 2019?
Currently I have to move into my new studio. Since 2014 we are running DAVE Festival in Dresden. It takes place at the end of October and runs for 10 days. together with my colleague Michael I´m organizing workshops about music production. DAVE will also host 20 Years Etui Records at Club Paula on October 24th 2018. After that I`m looking forward to a little break from the music and getting some new inspirations for 2019.
Favourite food and place to hangout?
I totally love Asian food! For the last 4 years my favourite place to hang out was ofcourse my studio. But on my trips I love to be in the nature and see all the wildlife. Last year I went to Kruger National Park in South Africa. There was big elephant walking towards our car. Five meters in front of us he stepped aside and let us pass on the road that we have build into his natural habitat. Reminded me that we all are home to this planet called Earth.