What are your backgrounds?
I grew up in Templin, which is really close to Berlin (about 50 miles North East). There has not really been any music in my life other than Techno. I have this one experience when I was maybe 10 years old and went to a Polish market in Templin with my grandmother. There were a lot of music tapes and one of them was Dutch Hardcore. My grandma bought this one for me because I liked the cover, and since then Techno has been part of my life. Drum’n’Bass is also one of those styles that I really love!
My hometown is a small little village in Bavaria close to the Alps. I guess I wasn’t that much up to date with movies, TV or music until the age of 14, but I started snowboarding and skateboarding when I was 13, discovered Hip-Hop and digged really deep into it. For me there was no other music genre existing besides Hip-Hop until the age of 18. Luckily I got a bit smarter and started loving electronic dance music.
When do you both begin working together?
In 2003, we met at the SAE institute in Berlin, both with the same idea – learning how to produce music. We both liked each other immediately and had the same kind of interest in Techno and House. During the first course we had to absolve MIDI sessions, meaning we had to build a MIDI setup with some analogue gear and integrate it in Logic. With this setup we had to produce tracks or track parts. The studio where we did the session was a little sweatbox and we drove the speakers to the max. Everybody was complaining about us being too loud. I think that made us stick together even more.
Yo, and also our first track from our first MIDI lesson sounded like Ricardo Villalobos (or at least this is what we were thinking). I had this song on tape for a long time but now I’ve lost it! But Tassilo is right, all these MIDI lessons and the laughing cramps that we had at school stuck us more together.
Did the technique of DJing come easily to you or require a lot of practice?
I started playing CDs with an old Denon CD player, which didn’t have a jog wheel so you had to pitch with pitchfader and + and -. That was pretty easy for me; also the beatmatching itself was no problem. When I started buying and playing vinyl I totally fell in love with it and decided to never play CDs again. Today we play with Traktor systems and controllers, which is a very different way of DJing but also a very inspiring and creative way. At the beginning, I played a lot in hometown bars and small clubs. When I moved to Berlin and started working with Thomas we didn’t really play a lot of parties, so we decided to run our own events – bad idea!
I still like vinyl but it’s hard to play because most tracks are not released on vinyl anymore, and also vinyl can’t match up with the loudness of digital. That does not mean it doesn’t sound good but it is not loud enough and, in my opinion, you cannot play mixed digital/analogue sets. “Schade” (what a shame) is what we say in German.
Were you inspired by any other DJs in particular?
Daniel Bell has been my hero for ages! He was/is the only DJ that can produce such deep and interesting tracks with so few sounds. I also like his DJ sets and how he builds them.
I was a huge fan of Richie Hawtin, Plastikman these days, with all his influence on the Minimal hype. But also artists like Miss Kittin, Ricardo Villalobos, Zip, Whignomy Brothers, and many more.
What can you tell us about your plans for music in the
Lots of new music I would say. We have been very productive and working hard
in the studio lately so there is a lot coming up.
Actually a new album might be on it’s way, finally. 🙂 and with the music we
produced lately we tried to not only stick to one genre, quite exciting. We’re
focusing a lot on our artist on Second State and try to exchange as much
as possible with them to strengthen the label sound and the profiles of our
artists. Some really good stuff is coming up 🙂
You both live in Berlin. How would you compare the clubbing culture in
Germany to that of Asia?
Well we don’t know the Asian scene in the detail but so far we can say it’s different in
every place, where we have been so far. Japan is super well educated in the genre we
serve and has lot of history.
Other countries like Bali just seems to discover this kind of music but people
really love it and that’s so nice to see. Hong Kong has big nightlife but Techno is
really rare, still lot of people come out to special venue parties.
Asia is full of variety in the scene, Germany is very spoiled with all that music, so
hard to compare.
It’s just that the Berlin one is very underground and experimental compare to
other ones, that we see, not only in Asia. That’s nothing good or bad, it’s just how
it is and why many clubbing-tourist come to the city to experiment it. But we need
to spend more time in Asia for sure to get some more experience here and be
able to compare.
Is there anything special or that you have not previously done before that you
have put together for this tour?
Each tour is something special for us and when we go to a foreign country,
where we have not been for a while, we give it an extra effort and time to prepare
our sets. The sets are the most important things for us so we try to do the best
job possible to prepare them and be able to create a great vibe.
Is there any club on the tour in particular that you are very excited to play? if
so, then why?
All of them are exciting to play. We have not been in Tokyo for a long time so
really looking forward to Womb. But in general it’s always great to see new
cultures and meet interesting people.
Last time in Bali we had a great time so really looking forward to return.
Looking back over the years, what would you say has been the most
memorable moment of being on tour?
I had a great experience in Chile this year where I went to the Atacama Desert
and I have to say that was stunning. For me as a German boy it was so surreal
and fascinating. I’m still flashed from this trip.
Too many to choose. But in this tour now, we met Martin a good friend of ours
in Bali and we took a scooter ride to the South. And riding a scooter on Bali as a
European…. well this feels like you wanna commit suicide, but in a fun way 🙂