Well, my taste in music is pretty wide. And my musical journey is quite long....I think one of the first songs I can remember from the Radio was Donovan - „Jennifer Juniper“, but it could have been Whistling Jack Smith – „I was Kaiser Bills Batman“ (By the way check the video of Whistling Jack Smith on U-Tube; I really think he was the role model for Kraftwerk, FatBoy Slim and Skrillex all rolled into one)..... I also was hearing Tom Jones on the radio and remember loving “It´s Not Unusual” - I still do - it´s an all time great no brainer.
The first record we had at home that caught my imagination, was a 45 of Brian Poole and the Tremeloes doing „Twist and Shout“. The sheer energy of the performance still blows my mind.
We also had a copy of Nancy Sinatra doing „Summer Time“, with „Sugar Town“ on the B-Side which, I remember, used to fascinate me. I think the disk I played the most as a child though was Billy Cotton and his orchestra doing „The Dambusters March“!
I think the first record first record I ever bought with my pocket money was was ABBA's „S.O.S.“ on 45. I think ABBA´s „Greatest Hits“ followed quite soon. What can I say; still amazing tracks with brilliant arrangements and wonderfull sounding production – and I also remember I had the hots for Agnetha......
That was about the time that Punk hit. Although having the word „bollocks“ in a record title certainly appealed to me I didn`t really get into the Pistols. What did get me going was the Stranglers “Heroes” and, although not "punk", Ian Durys´´”New Boots and Panties” Album. Around that time I was listening to John Peel´s BBC radio 1 show regularly with my cassette recorder primed to record... One night John spun an EP entitled “Short Circuit: Live at the Electric Circus” which was a debut for (among others) The Fall, who perform “Stepping Out” on the disk. My musical world was never the same – Mark E Smith was in the house.
Around the same time John played Magazine doing “The Light Pours Out Of Me”- a brilliant track that still gives me goose bumps. Magazine are way under rated – they´re amazing.
Sometime later Bauhaus hit the fan – and indeed I was a fan of them. I think this was the first band I saw live.
All the time I was tuning in to John Peel to hear new underground stuff, and I was getting a crash course musical education. John Played traditional Folk, Blues, Rock, Funk, Punk and Reggae all together. At first, the really long Dub tracks by Lee Perry and Co. got on my nerves – I used to try and tape over them on my cassettes. Eventually, by the time that I went to Art School I had fallen for Reggae in a big way – the harder and heavier the better.
Miss Grace Jones´tracks were also very “in” at Art School, and I still currently have a collection of her albums on my I-Phone. I was also discovering Jazz from the record library at the same time. One Jazz disk that I loved at the time and just recently purchased on CD was Ornette Coleman´s “My Music”.
Reggae remained the centre of my interest throughout studying Architecture and way beyond, which meant I missed out on the full force of Rave. However the Prodigy blipped on my radar screen and House / Rave tracks that made it into the Charts also caught my attention. Technotronic - “Pump Up The Jam”, Deee-Lite - “Groove Is In The Heart”, Beat Masters “Rock Da House”, Farley Jackmaster Funk “Love Can't Turn Around”, Black Box “Ride On Time”, Snap “The Power” and S'Express “Theme from S'Express” all got me up on the Floor and shakin. Of all those acts the Prodigy are still in there pumping out albums that just sound plain dangerous and tracks that are incredibly well arranged.
When I left college, I moved to London for a while where I got into Acid Jazz. I then moved to Hamburg where there was a very cool Acid Jazz / Retro scene going on around the now legendary Mojo Club on the Reperbahn that I used to love. At the same time it was impossible to go out without ending up in a club playing pretty hard core Techno – and that sound started to grow on me.
A few years on I moved to Berlin, where, obviously, Techno reigned supreme. I liked the sound a lot, but, to be truthful, I got pissed off of paying to get into clubs (like Tresor) where the PA was so loud, that it hurt my ears. I also found the stuff I was hearing a bit one dimensional. At the same time at private partys and smaller clubs Jungle was filtering through from the UK. Although I loved the collage production idea of Jungle, mostly, I found the tempo of the tracks way too frantic....
These days I´m a Dad, so I don´t get out to clubs in Berlin very often.....I keep a breast of things that are happening via the internet. My favorite hang-out is currently Rinse FM from London, just for the breadth of happening music they play.
Which Producers / Artists are you into right now?
Not surprisingly a lot of the guys who do Rinse FM shows, like Tom Shorterz, (being a reggae man myself) definitely Skream. I´m often a late starter, and I just started listening to Nightmares On Wax, Chinese Man and Benny Benassi. Going a bit more main stream some of the latest CD´s I got hold of were from Gorgon City and Kiesza.
What´s your studio set-up like?
Not very impressive! In fact we just moved flats in Berlin and I had to banish my mix desk to the cellar because of a lack of space. At the moment my “studio” fits in a modified Ikea creation in the corner of our living room. I run Logic on a MacBook with some very modest monitors and my beloved (and indispensable) Beyerdynamic head phones. Added to that I´ve got a processor for vocals with a built in interface, various bits of Korg outboard stuff and my old headless E-guitar.
Practically speaking, most of what I get up to is “in the box” because I don´t get enough time on my own to hook up exotic external chains of gadgets. I have just started experimenting with hooking up the Korg Volca Bass via midi. Thats quite doable and more like jamming.
How do you get your tracks together? Loops? Samples? Programming/ Sound Design?
A mixture of all of that. Usually I program some drums. Quite often on i-Electribe or DM-1 on the I-Pad. Sometimes I´ve built loops on the Korg Kaossilator. Recently I´ve worked out how to drive Ultrabeat in Logic. Once I´ve got some drums I like, I Jam around on top of that with the controller keyboard and see where it takes me. Sometimes I quantize a lot, sometimes I don´t depending on how it works. I don´t have time to mess around with sound design – thankfully theres a universe of presets out there waiting to be twiddled with a bit.
How would you categorize the music you produce?
Basically I wouldn´t bother. I´m not a category person. Some of my tracks are just plain strange mash-ups of loops and vocal snippets. Some tracks have their roots in Reggae. Recently I´ve been working on tracks that I guess are more “House” based. Thats it really.
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