In Conversation with… Mathias Kaden
Likably undisguised, always surprising and full of verve – putting Mathias Kaden‘s charisma in a nutshell is one thing. Another is the feeling of hearing him live in a night club or open air – nothing feels like that. Very naturally he absorbs the audience‘s vibe and radiates his own energy into it – no matter whether it‘s for a warm-up, at prime time or whilst closing. Mathias Kaden has been a DJ for more than 15 years now. And after more than 1500 gigs he still hasn‘t lost his addictive enthusiasm which has given special moments to fans on dancefloors on almost all continents.
It all started far away from the big clubbing centers, in the green heart of Germany between the contemplative cities of Jena and Gera. Growing up there, Kaden was a passionate nightclubber and discovered DJing in the mid-90s. His sets then were dominated by the classic vocal house of his American heroes. Later, his sound preferences broadened from minimal house arrangements to a contemporary eclecticism that Kaden has found a fitting trademark for, namely Power House. Instead of strict limits in genre, Power House describes his very own way of fast mixing whilst keeping a certain groove and yet continually surprising his audiences with his music. None of his sets are like another.
Ahead of jetting in to London this weekend to play at EGG London we chatted to him about festivals, production, house music and more.
Firstly thank you for joining us Mathias and you recently played the Awakenings and Time Warp Festivals and can you tell us what they were like and what were your highlights?
Playing at Time Warp is always a big highlight for me. The festival’s whole setting and the audience are just amazing. I love how you meet many of your DJ friends from all over the world – it’s like one big get-together.
I also really enjoyed Awakenings and its ambience. It’s always a pleasure to play there! so far for 2017, these festivals are my two personal highlights!
How would you compare these parties to other big events you’ve played at in the past?
Time Warp and Awakenings are huge productions and are held by very experienced and skilled crews. Both festivals are well-known and highly respected and while the audience ranges from 18-86 y/o, it becomes obvious that it’s really all about the music and having fun. It’s incredible to see all those different people enjoying themselves together.
Your sound has a distinctive U.S Jackin’ house style and is driven by lots of percussive elements and what drew you to this style of music and what do you like about it?
I started making music in the middle of the 90’s and since then I’ve kept up a big interest in US House music and rhythms from South America. Percussion and rhythms are just real and natural and those are my musical roots. The groove is what’s most important for me.
Can you tell us a little bit about where you came from and what DJ/Producers inspired you to get behind the decks?
I’m from a small town in Germany called Gera. I started making music when I was 15 years old and one of the first clubs in my area, Biox Ultra had just opened. They attracted a great mix of people… from ravers to punks and other freaks. I enjoyed that first clubbing experience so much that I went to every party. At that time, not everybody was a DJ. You really needed to have some skills, some vinyl and the special know how. Unlike today! We listened and danced to all kind of House music at that time from Strictly Rhythm, Stickman, Nervous Records, Henry Street and all that great shit from Masters At Work, Ron Trent, Sneak, Kerri Chandler, Todd Terry, and for sure a bit of German techno from the likes of Sven Väth, Anthony Rother and most of the Frankfurt trance/techno!
Any other pivotal moments in your career that changed the game for you?
The birth of my son Mateo in 2014!
How did you become involved with Thomas Sperling’s Freude Am Tanzen record label?
Thomas Sperling & Gabor Schablitzki (Robag Wruhme) founded label the label in Jena in 1998. I already knew them for a while and when I presented the first Hemmann & Kaden demo in 2002 to Robag and Freude am Tanzen, they took it right away :-).
Resident DJ at Club Muna in Bad Klosterlaunitz, how do you feel about being a long term resident and really part of a club movement?
This year I am celebrating my personal 20th anniversary at our Club Muna and in November Muna turns 23. I’m more than happy to have my resident club close to where I live and we’re proud to be one of the old clubs that are still open.
What was your first experience playing there like and what makes it so special to play at?
I first played there around the beginning of 1998 – I had an opening slot on the smaller floor. I was already working there as a bartender but their booker wanted to keep me working as a bartender and not as a DJ.I was there when techno was that typical ’family thing’ every older DJ talks about. I felt those special vibes back then and I still do when I walk inside my Muna!
Can you also tell us about the DJs you put together for ‘Paracou’ and can you tell us how you came up with the original concept and what’s a typical night like with Paracou?
Paracou is a booking agency but also a kind of an event agency founded by my friend Oliver and I. We came up with the idea a long time ago and 2 years ago we finally started to build our own company. I was always working for companies and all of the decisions were not mine to make
which was something I really wanted to change. We signed five great young artists from my area and now we’re entering the scene step by step.
Thomas Stieler, Lydia Eisenblätter, Jamy Wing, Franz and Max Nippert are our newest acts and they are working really hard. They’ve already signed some releases and remixes and their coverage is growing.
Since the beginning of the year, we’ve added our new booker Karsten to the team whose already worked with names like DOP, Wareika, Marek Hemmann and labels such as Freude am Tanzen. In a couple of years, we’ll see if everything worked out just as we planned 🙂
Paracou took over one of the floors of Familia last year and how did the crowd react?
We had a great night, especially because it was our artists’ first gig ever in London. It really strengthened us as a team and it also made me think about my first gig outside of Germany 13 years ago, which was actually in London, too.
This is your fourth time playing at Familia and what’s so special about playing this event – best experience to date?
I really like the Familia crew and the audience…it just always works for me! My best experience there was 2 years ago on my Energetic Tour and it was such a great show! A golden memory that still gives me goose bumps.
You’re playing a four hour set for Familia on July 8th at Egg LDN and what can we expect on the night and what’s your current DJ setup like?
A mix between House, Techno, classic and some new tracks. Everything with a strong sense of energy.
Desolat- Souls House and Polyphonic EP – PETS Recordings are pretty major on the party scene, and how do you craft that element of surprise into a really good track?
My tracks may sound very simple, but it takes a lot of work and time to create the perfect loop with many different arcs of suspense. The variations can go from techno to house. I never tie myself down to one genre.
Josh Wink has just signed your new track NOVA EP for September, and what other new releases have you got coming up that we should look out for?
My new EP will be released at the end of September and I am more than happy to be a part of Ovum. Definitely one of my top 5 labels of all time and it’s like a dream come true. Also, I will be releasing a Remix for Mihalis Safras on Hot Creations at the end of July, another remix for Jaden Thompson on Material, one for Superflu on Monaberry and one for my favourite Dub project Pulshar.
Mathias Kaden headlines the July 8th edition of Familia flanked by Egbert Live, Lydia Eisenblätter (Paracou) with Fabio Florido, Fabio Ferro and Kyle E on the Terrace of Egg London. In The Loft Latzaro from Razzmatazz Barcelona takes over and all info at www.egglondon.co.uk