A remarkable story of ups and downs. You just totally committed yourself and took the plunge. You worked at Phonica Records for a while whilst in London and then were part of the Mobilee family. How did you come into contact with Anja (Schneider) and Ralf (Kollmann)?
Phonica has been the beginning of everything for me. It gave me the chance to meet everybody from label managers to DJs to distribution companies. I used to sell records to Anja and Ralf was the label manager; they listened to the first track I ever released on Horizontal, Dinky’s label. That vinyl was sold out within a couple of days and subsequently they asked me if I had any more music… I sent it to them, they liked it and they signed it to their label. Before then I was with Crosstown Rebels at the very beginning when it was just Jamie (Jones), myself and a few others. After that they started to sign a few others to the agency like Dinky, Clive Henry etc. Unfortunately I wasn’t comfortable there and Mobilee approached me to be part of their agency and it felt like a family with them. At that time the rooftop parties at Sonar were the bomb. I remember at two o’clock there was a huge queue to get in, the music that Sebo K, Anja Schneider and Pan-Pot were playing was really good so I went with them and was very happy.
I had known Dice for a long time however, and at the very beginning Dice was doing the Artist Alife stuff and had suggested I work with them but I went with Mobilee instead! (laughs) Desolat grew really strong though and in the end, although I was happy with Mobilee, I just felt like I needed a change and wanted to head in a different direction. Dice gave me a chance and since joining Desolat I feel my career has gone in the direction that I had hoped. I feel as though I’ve been able to really develop as an individual artist rather than as a part of an agency. I still have a lot of love and respect for Mobilee and Anja of course.
So it wasn’t a case of wanting to change your sound when you switched agencies?
No. If you listen to my sound at Desolat it’s remained true to me. I spoke to the label manager at Desolat when I joined and said that I didn’t want to change my style to put a track out on the label, because then it wouldn’t have been me and wouldn’t have sounded right. If you look at the label right now there is the techno track from Traumer that’s very popular, but then they also release tINI’s and Guti’s music which tends to be a little deeper. So it’s not necessarily the kind of label where you have to fit a certain style. What I like about Desolat is that it sounds like it’s tough but it’s a variation of styles.
At the same time I don’t necessarily have to always release on Desolat, which is something else that I like about the label. For example I recently released on Tsuba records, In Motion that is the label from Brooklyn, I’m doing one on Overall with Javier (Carballo) and Hanfry (Martinez) and then I’m doing another one on Serkal, another New York label.
Your productions look to have very naturally progressed to take on more and more variety more than anything, as the quality has always been consistent. Has there been a part of the job that you’ve had to consciously work on?
Well, I think everyday you learn something new. I’ve been very lucky because since I started to work with Artist Alife I’ve had opportunities to play with the ‘big boys’ such as Richie Hawtin, Dubfire, etc. Every time I played with these guys I would either receive advice or I would ask questions.
I remember in the beginning when I would go to Fabric I would always go up to the DJ and ask for a track ID. Some people will find it annoying but I think that’s sad. You know, I’m never that person that when someone comes and asks me for a track ID that I don’t tell them. Music is for sharing and that’s what I’m doing; I’m not going to tell you it’s an unreleased track!
Going back to your question though, I’d say that I learnt how to approach my sets and how to approach promoters from these guys. It’s a job after all and I have to treat it with professionalism. Even if I’m tired I can’t go to work lacking enthusiasm because people have paid to see me DJ and it’s my responsibility to be professional. There is more to the job than meets the eye, we travel a lot… this summer I’ve travelled so much and my back is completely destroyed. I go for physiotherapy whenever I can. You know you’re sleeping on a different mattress everyday, your body clock is all over the place, you wake up in a different time zone, you’re constantly jumping from plane to car to hotel and then standing up for 8-10 hours. So in view of all of these things I am constantly being tested and challenged, even when I’m not DJing or producing, and so everyday my professionalism is being tested more and more.
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