Their sound, which they self describe as “Super House” has become its very own genre built from their soul and passion. Andhim’s unique sound, party proven and of reduced nature, is organic with an emphasis in the finer detail. The boys grassroots flow from Hip-Hop, and they work mainly with samples which makes their tracks one of a kind. This individuality has earned them a home with Labels such as Monaberry, Terminal M, Sunset Handjob or Get Physical. When performing live one can really feel the full commitment and passion of the boys.Energetic, creative and always entertaining, they present their very own interpretation of electronic dance music that makes dads cheer and mums scream. The boys see the record player as their instrument, which they use to create new sound worlds, which separates them from the standard reproductive character of a DJ.
Simon, before the project andhim they knew you as Simon2 from the Cologne club Bootshaus and Triple A. Dich, Tobi, as a member of Noisy Stylus. How did you come to music?
Simon: When I was 13, I happened to get a couple of DMC videos in my hands. I had heard hip-hop at the time, due to my older brother, but that was just from another planet. When I saw Cutmaster Swift spinning around behind the turntables on a huge stage in the shape of a turntable, it was all about me. A month later, I bought my first (belt-driven) turntables and began to emulate all these legends like Roc Raida, Q-Bert or Rectangle. Through them, I have learned to be a DJ with passion and dedication.
Tobi: When I was about 16 years old, my mother gave me a DJ course in Cologne. At that time under the direction of DJ Lifeforce, a DJ legend in early German hip-hop. From the first day I was thrilled by Turntablism. Shortly thereafter, a few other participants and I have teamed up to a “DJ band” and brought it to the runner-up. With “Noisy Stylus” we also released some records and even a scratch album. At the same time I started sampling a lot of music and building my own beats. From hip-hop to drum & bass everything was there.
So you both have a decent scratch and hip hop past. How did you meet?
Simon: Funnily enough, we got to know each other where everything musically started for us: at a DMC contest. That was back then in Studio 672 in Cologne for the German DMC Championship. Where years before Turntablism has filled entire halls, now came only about 50 people. I knew Tobi through Noisy Stylus and had some of her sample / scratch records. In addition, we had mutual acquaintances, so that from the outset a common basis was there. I then simply approached him and made an appointment with him.
How romantic …
Simon: Indeed. At that time in his nursery with him in Bensberg. After a few sessions, we became friends pretty quickly and hung out more and more often together. At the time I had already released a few tracks as Simon2 and was traveling a lot as a DJ in Germany. At the same time, Tobias did a record under the pseudonym “Drnkn Mnky”, which was strongly influenced by the New Rave sound of that time, and together with friends organizes the regular Cologne party series “Banana Split”.
Tobi: At some point we started making songs together. But not purposeful, but just for fun. A wild mix somewhere between synth-pop and electro, in which Simon also likes to use the microphone. At some point we will release one of those songs from the time as a Hidden Track – we now have our own label (laughs).
Simon: Over time, however, the tracks became more and more housy until the day we finished the song “Squeezebox”. It was very different from the previous stuff and somehow made us realize that maybe you could get a bit more accomplished. I then sent this to Andreas Henneberg, on whose label I had already released my own stuff at the time. He liked it right away and he really wanted to get the number out – we just had to finish one more track. Without further ado, we produced two more tracks and finished our first record. At the time we had neither a name nor had we ever played together. After much jostling of the label, which eventually had something to write on the plate, and countless idiotic name ideas, we called ourselves andhim and were born.
A great moment for humanity. When did you realize that the project has potential or future?
Simon: We’ve never really worked for a career or seen ourselves on the big stages. All this happened naturally. We just let our creativity run wild and did not know what could happen. When Super Flu wanted to release our “Patty Sue” and their remix became a small hit, it dawned on us slowly. I mean, that was all in our first year, 2010, and we were huge fans of the guys. That already blew us away. I’ll never forget how I sat in the university and suddenly got a call from Mathias. An amazing moment. You have to say that we did not have any contact with the guys and just sent them an e-mail to their homepage address.
Tobi: Half a year later we released our record “Like A Wirsing” at Monika Kruse on Terminal M. A label that otherwise stood for straight techno in the scene or still stands.
Simon; Yes, at the time, musically speaking, it was utter madness. The title, the music and also the cover radiated exactly the opposite of techno. But she loved the record and even told me that our promotion to her and the resulting release motivated her to believe in her label and work on the label. We also had Monika blindly sent an e-mail, after I had dusted her mail address on a Sunday afternoon in the bar 25th She also introduced us to her former booker, with whom we have been.
With your remix for “Wine & Chocolate” you became almost pop stars. Your gage is probably shot up after this title, first fans got their heads or your logo tattooed. How do you recap this publication?
Tobi: That was such an absolute coincidence hit again. At that time we heard the album of Theophilus up and down and especially loved this one track. We just did an edit on a whim and uploaded it to SoundCloud as a “Free Download”. The fact that this edit should receive such attention was simply unbelievable. After we officially released the track, we met him twice and were disappointed.
Simon: Maybe he depends too much on Kanye, but in terms of arrogance and arrogance he was hard to beat. We then rejected requests for further cooperation with him. He should never sell as many albums as we did – despite Kanye West being the producer.
In the same year “All That Matters” was released and the title “Remix-gods” was sure. How does andhim generally approach remixes? What is important to you and how does this process differ from self-production?
Simon: That is always different. First of all we must like the original and of course have elements that inspire us to make another version. We have already canceled many remixes of really big names because we just could not do anything with the original. For us, it’s not about making a remix for the next superstar, it’s about solving our musical demands. One also has a responsibility towards the client. Often people ask us if it is even possible to get a remix from us, but we always decide on feeling. When we received the request from Elderbrook, he had just published 300 likes on Facebook and not a single song yet. But we found his song so beautiful that we immediately agreed. And that is exactly what the remixing is all about, to inspire each other. This is how a creative exchange takes place, which always broadens its own musical boundaries.
Tobi: In contrast to the remix, which already gives you many elements, in your own production, like a writer, you stand in front of a blank piece of paper that has to be filled. There can be very different approaches. Sometimes you have a melody in your head and spend hours trying to turn it into real sounds. Finding and modeling the right sound is sometimes the hardest part. Sometimes you start with a beat, another time you start the break. There is no formula here. But what we have never done or done is to produce something with intent. But that also makes the magic of producing. You sit in the studio and the sounds and the rhythm choose you. You never know what happened.
That sounds almost poetic. Let’s come to the end of 2016 – u. a. heavily influenced by Simon’s injury. How did it affect you and how was the year otherwise for you?
Simon: The injury was really a prime example of stupidity. I still do not know how to manage to break the splint and fibula on a straight stretch at 3 km / h. However, I started working again the first day in the hospital. Many say that I am the Steve Housemusic.
Tobi then had to tour alone for the first time after six years and hang up. The whole thing happened a day before our tour of America, in the middle of summer, during the festival season. It’s not about being able to hang up alone, but about a completely different situation. As a couple, Freud is shared like sorrow. Even pressure and responsibilities can be passed on to the partner as a duo. But even as Justhim, we’ve done well for two months, I think. Here, the sympathy from the scene, from fans, promoters and DJ colleagues, especially touched us. My entire apartment consisted only of flowers, chocolate and “get well soon” cards. It has once again made our place within this small parallel world clear and made us very happy.
A giant is now the start of your label Superfriends Records. Overdue, how many find. Which philosophy does the new brand follow?
Tobi: First and foremost we founded the label so that Simon can finally release his erotic audiobook, which he has been working on for some time. Even his musical alter ego “Rex Dildo” will surely find a home here!
Simon: But seriously, fortunately, we are in the luxurious situation of being able to run the label only for creative and artistic reasons. With the music we make, you deserve next to nothing. Despite millions of clicks on YouTube or the existence of ever-larger festivals remains electronic music in the supposed “underground” and, as far as sales, a niche genre. Since we are initially focused only on ourselves and our music, you really can not go wrong, as we invest every cent we invest in the label into ourselves and our art. So we do nothing else than the last six years before.
Tobi: We have always done everything ourselves and above all paid for ourselves. From cover design to video conception to promotion. Everything from us. Only that the music really belongs to us now. We never had a problem with spending money on our careers. But what has become increasingly unbearable for us in recent years is the surrender of the rights to our own art. At some point you can not even use your own song because it just does not belong to you anymore. Of course, this will not happen to your own label.
Catalog number 001 is a 4-track EP. How hard have you done with this release, especially since it is the first product on its own label?
Simon: Actually we made the songs just like that after a little longer creative blockade without thinking too much about it. Without release idea or external pressure. When the four songs were finished, it somehow clicked and we decided to get the record out pretty quickly. The idea of our own label has been growing in us for years. We just kept pushing them around. The decision to release only our own music took a lot of pressure. In addition, it has never been easy to find the right place for our music. Somehow, our songs were always too idiosyncratic to fit into the often very narrow drawers of the labels. At some point you start to think about how to make music in order to release on Label XY, or even worse, which label makes sense for a good Ibiza season or to be booked on potential label showcases. This career-driven idea of optimization is like a disease in the scene and sooner or later leads to the downfall of one’s own musical integrity and credibility.
What does the release plan look like for the next weeks and months?
Tobi: First of all we concentrate completely on the current Tosch-EP. We put a lot of work and passion in the four songs and we want to give them all the necessary space. But we can probably tell you that there will be a remix record for the EP, which should be released sometime in the spring. What happens after that is not yet ripe. But we do not want to rush there either.
Plate is a good cue. How do you feel about being a label boss on “vinyl or digital” and what will the graphic concept of the label look like? Are you still a DIY duo here?
Simon: In the arrogance of a label re-founder, we naturally take full advantage of the possibilities. In the “Tosch-EP” there will be a color individually marbled vinyl. We will always have a different custom vinyl made for each release.
The graphic concept of the cover is something special at our label. We will have each cover designed by someone else, and without the name and title on the front. This is how the design and the artist should be in focus. We give the respective artist absolute freedom in terms of design, which adds a further artistic level to the music. Over time, we try to involve all sorts of people in this process: from artist friends, family members, DJ colleagues to fans everything can happen here – so we can involve our “superfriends” in our artistic process, so that the Circle closes again. The current cover was designed by deedeekid, a good friend and fantastic artist from Berlin, who has already worked on many of our visual projects.
The cover of him will also give it as a limited sticker when buying the record to do so.
You prove yourself – again – as true marketing and merchandise professionals. In an interview with us a year ago, when asked how and how it has evolved over the last few months and years, you answered, “The bank keeps calling because the accounts are full. This is of course very annoying and time consuming. So almost every week a new account has to be set up. The airlines are also forced to design new frequent flyer tickets. Especially for us. The usual HONs or Emeralds no longer live up to our aviation. Therefore, the ANDHIM was introduced without further ado. “How do you view the development of andhim to this day?
Simon: We have become much richer!
Very good. To what extent will the label affect the duo andhim and his artistic existence musically and stylistically?
Tobi: I think we will become even more experimental and uncompromising. We regard our own label as a kind of musical playground on which we can let off steam – regardless of any trends or sales expectations. Ultimately, it should be a home for our vision of electronic music, in whatever form it comes to light. For example, I could imagine making an ambient record once.
Simon: Our aim is to live up to our own expectations and express ourselves artistically. The fact that we – as the only act of the label – are accountable only to ourselves, motivates immensely and brings back an ease in making music, which has increasingly been lost with increasing success and the associated expectations in recent years. We have always produced very multifaceted. Whether playful, deep, housy or hittig – one will always find the certain andhim DNA in our music. We want to take this freedom to the next level with our own label. I think it’s a great way for us to show people our full spectrum.
Also crowned with great success and full of your DNA are your Superfriends parties that you have already hosted in various countries. Which moments have you been particularly remembered?
Simon: These nights or even days are really great fun for us, as we again have full control over the artistic and musical design. We invite artist friends and have a lot of fun together. The idea of shared experience plays a major role here. We just want to have a good time with everyone involved and shape it together. Since the party follows the principle of the label: It’s not about us alone, but about the collective. That sounds very pathetic now, but that’s what Housemusik is all about. You just have to make it clear again. This “we are all a family” thought is completely lost through the fast pace and commercialization of music. But this thought makes a big difference to other scenes and genres.
Tobi: In the last twelve months alone, we have been hosting fantastic Superfriends parties in cities like New York, Los Angeles, London, Barcelona or Playa. Of course, our party at the ADE in Amsterdam this year is especially fresh. We had a variety of guests with & Me, Gabriel Ananda, Super Flu and Rodriguez Jr., all of whom are such amazingly good artists that the night turned into a wonderful experience.
Also in Cologne there was a daily open-air in Waldbad Dünnwald this year …
Simon: The Superfriends “Swimming Pool Edition” was one of our absolute highlights this year. We are in the middle of planning for 2017 and we hope that we will experience a day as beautiful as this summer.
Tobi: The year is almost over, but we will make two more Superfriends parties. On New Year’s Eve, we host a new floor at Ritter Butzke in Berlin and a day later in London at Tobacco Docks. Planning for 2017 is just starting, but hopefully there will be some nice events. Certainly several in Germany.
After the brilliant Label-Release-Party, which will take place on December 1st in the Kölner Gewölbe – how to celebrate andhim Christmas?
Simon: Christmas, we celebrate very good at home with the family. Tobias still has to play the recorder, otherwise there is nothing to eat.
What are the giggest plans, goals, intentions and good intentions for last year?
Simon: Let’s try to take a bit back next year. This is an intent we have every year, but unfortunately we never manage to implement it. After four years of intense travel around the world without a real break, you just have to switch back down a gear. By that I do not mean that we take a break, but that we consciously want to make breaks.
So it’s about time to spend all the money?
Tobi: Right. You do not have to hang up in a week in Sydney, London and Ibiza. Someday you will go crazy. It’s about taking off weekends, rejecting bookings, and returning to private life. That remains with all this namely namely on the track. We have noticed that this intense tour, as gigantic and gorgeous as it all is, can take you in the long run the fire and the energy. In between you should take a deep breath. This in turn has a positive effect on our creativity. Especially in terms of musical output. And musically we want to convince in the coming year with our own label, of course.