K / D Keep It Deep returns for podcast 009 with a mix and interview coming from London local Bruno Schmidt. Bruno has been a long time friend of K / D and over the years we’ve seen this artist grow and develop at a natural pace with the raw power of dedication to the fundamentals of the game; buy nice records, that you love. But look a little bit closer! Bruno has been djing for a number of years and his highlight to date will include being resident for the illustrious Leeds-based music brand, Louche. Bruno is also resident & programmer for Meadows In The Mountains festival based in Bulgaria. Over the last few months Bruno supplied a podcast for Berlin-based Lize Records, which most certainly caught lots of attention for its more experimental and conceptual edge. Bruno also co runs the hifi party with Andrew James Gustav and Gwenan which will be a new longer term project we are looking forward to supporting and seeing grow. Bruno is a character, a train spotter, a lover of all art forms & most importantly some one who believes in the sense of community and sharing. When it comes to music and records, he is a digger, a person who cares dearly and also someone who pays attention to the detail, he has charm, humour and style when he djs. If you really want to catch an underground vibe, a groove, a very unique individual with style and witness the emergence of one of tomorrow’s, then read on. In a game riddled with politics, opinion, hierarchy and bureaucracy, this artist cuts through the fodder and keeps to the fundamentals, be true to your art and your art will be true to you. K / D try to nurture and expose electronic music and with Bruno the revolution will not be televised. As it becomes more and more apparent that dance music flirts with popularity and pop culture, it is very refreshing to see the other side of this spectrum from some young eyes, inspired, motivated and acting with a sense of respect and good taste. Enjoy. K / D proudly present podcast 009 which is an 1 hour and 22 minute mix of records from an older era, a sound that has been carefully researched with a hint of something less obvious less tangible and definitely more refined and honest.
K / D: What are your earliest musical experiences from when you were a kid?
Bruno Schmidt: Earliest musical experience was running around my front room in circles aged 3-ish to “Buddy Holly – 25 Golden Hits”. After revisiting this again recently, it seems like lovely music to play really young kids. Second earliest musical experience was being played Ultramarine – United Kingdoms album in the car on my dad’s Sony cassette walkman on camping trips to keep me occupied. My favourite track was called “Dizzy Fox”. Upon revisiting this recently it seems as though this track has a massive acid bassline, a housey piano hook, and one of the most killer snares I ever heard. Maybe subconsciously the reason I got so into house music eventually. Also mad to think I’m still listening to it now.
K / D: How did you discover music & sounds did your parents purchase music, play instruments or go to concerts?
Bruno Schmidt: No they never played any instruments. But yeah they bought a lot of music and went to gigs etc. I’d hope that everyone’s parents purchased music at some point. I guess I got weened onto to appropriate music at the appropriate age by my parents. Buddy Holly came first, along with the Beatles following second and this weird Ultramarine album that got listened to till the tape chewed itself up. Then when I was a little older The Smiths, maybe aged 8, as Morrissey is a bit serious and depressing to be playing to a 3 year old. When I was 8 I reckon I was just old enough to get the irony of Morrissey, and I found a lot of Johnny Marr’s guitar riffs super catchy, dancey and quite repetitive/hypnotic.
K / D: Where did you call home growing up, and how has the education system treated you on the way?
Bruno Schmidt: Home was a town called Huntingdon, just outside of Cambridge. The education system treated me ok I guess. I never got abused by any RE teachers…
K / D: Nice a varied background, can you remember the first bits of music you purchased, like cassettes or CDs?
Bruno Schmidt: First music I purchased myself was probably Ultra Nate – Free single on cassette. Hanson – Mmmbop single on cassette. Madness – Divine Madness. Then Puff Daddy & The Family – No Way Out, bearing in mind I was around 9 years old. Then came Hip hop from the UK & East/West coast, the more poetic and melancholy side of things. When I was a skater I was proper into punk. Loved 80′s cheese a lot at one stage, when me and my friend Josh had our 80’s B-movie phase. Folk, Neil Young Joni Mitchell etc. Rolling stones upon watching fear and loathing and becoming mildly obsessed with famous people who took drugs. A shit tonne of stuff man.
K / D: Some nice youthful chives there, what scenes did you start to discover as you become a bit older, and what was your first house party slash club experience?
Bruno Schmidt :My first club experience was a fully underwhelming night the only place open past 2am in our little town. I had to wear a collar and smart shoes to get in. Then pretty sure I snogged a girl and vomited, not sure which order. I was 16.
K / D: Where did the intrigue into famous folk who got high come from?
Bruno Schmidt: Haha I really don’t know. I guess I just think it’s interesting how a lot of the more interesting artists, usually have a darker side to them, or have experienced some type of suffering or hardship.
K /D: I understand that feeling about these falling stars, caught doing bad things. Back to the sort of less exciting club experiences, how did this develop especially alongside your music musings and discoveries?
Bruno Schmidt: You mean how did my club experiences develop?
K / D: Yeah.
Bruno Schmidt: When I was 18 I got a job in a clothes shop in Cambridge. My manager Sam ran a techno party in Cambridge (the only one at the time) and would have Derrick May, Carl Craig, Weatherall, Ivan Smagghe, Luke Slater & Kevin Saunderson in a 250 capacity Moroccan-themed club. Fucking insane to think back. But that’s where the partying started. Cambridge is baron now as far as I know but back then there was a small army of ravers. I would come back from uni in Leeds on the train to come to these nights. It was a beautiful time, and the place where I met most of my long time friends.
K / D: These new djs, sounds, nightlife experiences how did they affect you and any memorable stories you can pick out?
Bruno Schmidt: A lot of very blurry memories, that was the honeymoon period. A lot of memorable stories but none I can tell you on record. I remember when I was 18 watching Carl Craig sit on a curb in the rain outside Fez club, eating a tray of shitty doner kebab meat and chips with a wooden fork, utterly miserable. Surreal but hilarious!
K / D: What captured your passion, what was it that underpinned more than just a night out filled with smart shirts, shoes, shit drinks, and silly girls, like for so many up and down the country most weekends?
Bruno Schmidt: The Priory was the thing that captured my passion initially, ultimately, I noticed that people at these nights, were a lot more fun, more likeminded and having a lot more fun on drugs, listening to louder, better music, than all the small town people were in their shirts and smart shoes, getting off on shit chart music and vodka Red Bull.
K / D: Is this when the inquisition towards Djs / decks and record shops began?
Bruno Schmidt: Nope not ‘til a lot later. I played using CDs for a long while as I was a poor student, and my flat mate owned some cdjs. Took me a fair few years to figure out what music I liked, and that most of it was on wax, not mp3. initially my biggest aspiration in djing was just to play at new years to a bunch of my mates. I didn’t really see it going a lot further than that.
K / D: And so it begins how did this journey develop into discovering and learning?
Bruno Schmidt: I think its just natural progression really, for someone who is into music, no?
K / D: Were there any certain significant heads, figures or characters that showed you way in some respect, for instance djing, introducing you to record shops etc. I just wondered if there are feelings or experiences from the past of people who helped you on your journey?
Bruno Schmidt: Maybe there will be some significant times in the future, but I’m still very much at the start of my journey. Priory was first thing that got me into the music. Louche, a brand from Leeds who also happened to be from around Cambridge too was a transition from liking the music solely as a consumer, into playing the music and caring more about the music than just partying. In order to really take yourself seriously when you are trying to move forward, tunes have to become number one I guess, haha.
K / D: You are a Louche resident can you explain how this came to be?
Bruno Schmidt: I went to see Seth Troxler and Maayan Nidam like in 2008. Fully buzzed off it, and Mint Club. I asked if I could sell tickets, and gradually became mates with Tom, Brinsley, Matt and Josh. I think it was a case of being in the right place at the right time. But I was thoroughly bored by university at this point, so it was nice to actually be part of something that I enjoyed.
K / D: Can you remember your first gig, at which point did they ask you to become resident?
Bruno Schmidt: Basically I sold loads of tickets and then they gave me a bunch of 10-12 slots for a year or so, or let me warm up at after parties. The story is the same with pretty much every kid who starts to play music in clubs, mine is really no different. I mean the first gig stuff etc its the same for everybody I think, no, you’ve got to do your hard time.
K / D: What switched you up the most to get you to where you’re at musically now?
Bruno Schmidt: On my second trip to Meadows In The Mountains ( this super cool festival in Bulgaria, I am very lucky to be a part of) , I met my friends Andrew and Gwenan on the bus on the way there for the first time, and got chatting. After I got back to London Andrew sent me a mix he made, full of tracks with a sound I never knew existed before. Slowely I started going to parties like Toi Toi, and Undersound in London among others, where I could hear music like this. Some of the other residents at MITM festival that were playing that year too influenced me massively! Guys from Sofia, called Bosha, Laylla Dane and Garo. The first time I saw them play, it influenced my sound so massively. So I started “digging” and spending a lot of time looking for records, rather than buying mp3s. Then a few trips to Berlin for Get Perlonized influenced me further. Became mildly obsessed with the music Zip was playing. Now there are a lot of smaller parties emerging in London that are inspiring, Get Well, House of Sound to name a few, and also, notably, a little living room in Camden where many hours have been lost mixing in the past year, many friends have been made, and perhaps a few to many glasses of vino have been consumed ; ). And that about brings us up to speed I think.
K / D: The search for this sound, mixes, partys, djs, and of course records, records, digging and more records, can you describe to us what this looks like for you today and what it means?
Bruno Schmidt: Putting emphasis on the DJs with amazing records, rather than say massive producers that are making a lot of releases I think in London at the moment, this attitude is on the rise, record sales are rising for the first time in over 10 years, the scene for this seems to be healthy, and there are a lot of people I met recently that seem to care a lot about the music, which is great to be a part of I guess. Parties like Sud Electronic that you mentioned were a bit before my time, but they were doing something very cool too! You actually told me about these parties.
K / D: Sud was awesome, lots of nice memories from that time. Can you share as little or alot of how your record purchasing process looks like, do you track id in clubs? search through Discogs? hunt record fairs or 2nd hand shops?
Bruno Schmidt: I’m a massive trainspotter, and never had a problem with asking a DJ for a track either. Then more recently Discogs took a lot of my time and money haha! And obviously mixing and sharing with friends is a great way to learn. I most recently went to a friend’s house in London who is an massive digger/Discogs seller, and came away with a shitload of vinyl. Best record shopping experience I ever had actually. Came away with a very big smile and very empty wallet haha. He even made me a smoothie! That’s the dream.
K / D: What was your last purchase? The one record in your want list you cannot find anywhere?
Bruno Schmidt: Last new tracks I purchased were the new Redshape on Running back, Bonuz Beatz, and a new thing by this French guy Vadim Svoboda. There are so many records I would love to own that I cant find anywhere haha! I found a really lovely Herbert remix in record loft Berlin last weekend that I wanted for years.
K / D: From your sets I distinctly hear some older 2 step garage, US deep house and UK tech house/breakbeat from around 1996 to 2004 ish, can you describe these sounds and what they mean to you?
Bruno Schmidt: When I was 14 or so I bought all the DJ EZ pure garage compilations. Then at Backtobasics in Leeds I’d hear a lot of Mood2swing, Kerri Chandler, Masters at work. Definite similarity in the drum patterns and swing. On the whole, it makes the majority of people lose their shit in a club. I guess I figured a lot of UK garage would do the same to a house/techno crowd.
K / D: Fancy opening the can of worms on the whole vinyl dj debate?
Bruno Schmidt: I don’t care much for the vinyl DJ debate. After all, the main thing is having fun, playing records (or CDs or whatever) and for the people who come to your night to have fun dancing. If David Guetta is playing a mix CD (or whatever, for example) and 20,000 in a stadium are losing their shit. Then fair play. You won’t find me at any of those parties, but I’m not waste energy on letting it piss me off. People are having fun and getting their monies worth. In a different scenario, you have people playing records, through a really sharp system, on a rotary, in a really intimate environment. You aren’t going to find any Swedish House Mafia fans at those parties either, just people who care a lot more about the fundamentals. I don’t think either is necessarily right or wrong, I just know which I prefer. It depends how much music means to you, and how big a part of your life it is. Lets not forget all the other music genres, and lovers of music out there in the world who think that the music we like is the most boring repetitive shit they ever heard, who wouldn’t dare come to any of the parties we like.. People are different, diversity is what makes the world beautiful. After all this is part of the entertainment industry. Do what makes your happy and don’t condemn people who are different to you. Life is hard enough as it is, try not to be a cunt. And don’t forget to have fun.
K / D: Nicely put, you have played a few more parties lately, published a podcast for Lize which is impressive to consider you have been studying also, was it easy to manage the extra curricular activities?
Bruno Schmidt: Well I was studying music production and business, so making music tied in nicely with university. The podcast I made for some friends from Berlin. I didn’t even get asked to do it, but been pretty lazy on the press front and doing a mix was well overdue. So I sent them it to se if they liked it, and they did!
K / D: You have now graduated, what would you like to crack on with in London?
Bruno Schmidt: buying some nice bits and bobs for my studio, learning more about sound, because its pretty much endless. Making music. Enjoying the summer And also working on a project I have with Andrew and Gwenan
K / D: Can you describe the project more?
Bruno Schmidt: its called hifi; at the moment we are using a tiny venue, which is super cool. 150 capacity, just the three of us really, playing records we love. Its small, ticket only etc, but want to try and lose the “exclusivity” tag anyone can come, no pretence, and I am sure to be honest, we are all pretty unknown in the grand scheme of things, so the only people who will come are people who care enough to know about what we’re doing maybe later there will be a larger venue with some bookings, maybe a label, but lets see. Right now it’s such a pleasure to work with these two. I want things to happen naturally, as I am sure they will.
K / D Keep It Deep are proud to announce our 8th podcast from Berlin based busy guy, Finn Johannsen who originally was born in Kiel a small town just outside of Hamburg. A very commonly known saying ‘love what you do and do what you love’ is a statement we feel Finn truly bestows quite simply from his actions, and also his words, but that’s because Finn also scribes for De:bug, Sounds Like Me, Groove Magazine and of course not forgetting Resident Advisor. Finn is also a highly regarding and in demand DJ (a true purist that respects the acetate) playing internationally at various underground spots worldwide & finally is a buyer at internationally acclaimed record store Hard Wax check link here. Check the mix for an unfiltered 2hr house exploration into a dedicated and inspiring mind with ounces of swag. Check Finn’s website for more links on mixes, interesting features on vinyl culture, sharing track names, djing and also club culture in Germany here & here.
Finn also co-runs the Macro Recordings label with Stefan Goldmann which is run very democratically as both minds have very differing tastes and ideas which is unusual and quite unique for label heads, the usual idea is that both parters have this 6th sense to agree on and have exactly the same taste in music. these two cats run things a big different and have released material from artists including Stefan Goldmann himself, Raudive, Santiago Salazar, Peter Kruder & next up a Kink longplayer in May full Juno link here.
Finn has worked at Hard Wax record shop in Berlin for a number of years and continues to as one of the main buyers. Hardwax has been open well over 20 years and going very strong, the modest Berlin record store is owned by Mark Ernestus of Basic Channel, Maurizio & Rhythm & Sound fame.A few noted staff members to have put in a few hours working at Hard Wax include Dj Hell Modeselektor, Marcel Dettman, Sleeparchive, Prosumer & Cassy to name a few. This record still carry’s huge cache and with the city enriched with an overwhelming amount of artists and producers the buyers at Hard Wax are most certainly influential in music exploration from Detroit, Chicago, New York, London and of course a heavy selection of dub reggae. Hard Wax link here and here.
Finn has a very well reasoned and researched opinion or observation on music consumption the club scene in Germany since the 80s and also all the other in between facets and veins that make up the underground dance community which you can check for yourself in his feature pieces you can find on his own web site here.
Finn started his record collection and voyage into something special begin at the youthful age of 6 in the 70s and Finn sneakily tasted his first clubbing experience in the 80s. Since then there has been a fair bit of time for music to grow and express the social and political times of many different faces, feelings and emotions across the globe. Finn still buys records and frequents clubs so naturally patterns, repetition or seasonality in music and record buying can be observed and noted which Finn has expressed in interview or through his own published work. Enjoy the music as it stretches out so eloquently over 2 hours exploring the finest deep house.
Travis Nelson ñ Travis’ Theme (Attitude Mix)
Freedom Authority ñ Expressions (Rub-A-Groove)
Foremost Poets ñ Reasons To Be Dismal? (City College Mixes)
Paris Grey ñ Don’t Lead Me (2001 Version)
Robot D.J.’s ñ Remote Control
Lovechild ñ Sweet Ambience (Club Mix)
Mystique ñ Passion (Extended Instrumental)
The Sound Vandals ñ On Your Way (Deep Mix)
Doctor Mixx ñ The Spirit In Me
Incog-Needle ñ Can U Feel It (DJ Bonus Beats Mix)
Matt Warren ñ Bang The Box (Bang The House Mix)
New-Ro ñ Music Trance
Keith, Kat & Blondie ñ Gotta Get Some Money (Eerie Instrumental)
Vincent Floyd ñ I’m So Deep
Infra-Red ñ The Verge
4th Measure Men ñ The Need (Henry Street Dreams Mix)
Johnick – Tales Of Jerry Morbid
Unknown Artist ñ Untitled
North Avenue ñ Solutions (Instrumental)
Tommye – I Need To Go Away (Principle Theory Version)
Dark Side Rhythm Tracks Vol. 1 ñ The Real Garage
Voices ñ You And Me
MondeÈ Oliver ñ Make Me Want You (Club Mix)
GallifrÈ ñ House Rhythm
Mark rogers ñ Twilight For Some
2nd podcast of the year for K / D P – Keep It Deep Podcast 007 by Rubin who co runs the underground party in London Make Me with Rupes and Nic Baird. Rubin and the Make Me brand have slowly and quietly been doing there thing crafting there sound and booking names they believe in past the hype for over 5 years. Past guests include Soundstream, Prosumer, Steffi, Ben UFO, Dj Qu, Tevo Howard, Kassem Mosse, DVS1, Dj Deep, Madteo Trus’Me, Bodycode and a handful more. Rubin supplies 120 minutes of quote ‘it’s deep, dubby, moody tunes for a cold rainy day in London’ as the city flexes between seasons, changing moods and demeanor and disruptions of one kind and another, forms of escape, reality and wonders become precious, seeked out and treasured. Find your space, find your mood and seek out what makes you feel good inside. This all vinyl mix exploits long transitions and creates a certain dialogue which we hope you can interpet and enjoy over time and space. Keep It Make Me.
K/D: Where and when did you record the mix?
Rubin: I did the mix on New Year’s Eve during the day while I was hanging out at home. It’s one of those weird periods where days just roll into each other and you lose track of time.
It was raining and cold outside and I was feeling pretty chilled and full of food and booze after Christmas.
K/D: What equipment did you use?
Rubin: I recorded the mix on two Vestax PDX-2000 turntables that I bought about 12 years ago when they first came out and an Allen and Heath Xone 62 mixer which has seen better days. All but two of the channels are blown, the filters don’t work – it’s been battered, but it’s mine and I like it and it still sounds good. I also used a Samson power amp and Tannoy Reveal monitors that I’ve had forever.
K/D: Describe the mood and break down some of the tracks for us?
Rubin: Well I was told to Keep it Deep so it’s deep, dubby, moody tunes for a cold rainy day in London. It’s not really a dance floor set, although under the right circumstances I would definitely drop all of these tracks in a club.
It’s a pure vinyl mix, not for any aesthetic reason but mainly because I’d been sorting through my records with this mix in mind and thought these would fit well together. It was recorded in a single take and I was definitely winging it with some of the transitions but overall I think it comes together well. I tried to blend and work the tunes for as long as I could and, wherever possible, to use the full track from end to end. When I play in a club I’m usually far too impatient to do this but it’s definitely a technique I use more at home when I’m just mixing to listen to tunes rather than move a crowd.
In terms of the tracks, it’s a really broad cross section of producers who I think have really pushed the boundaries in electronic music over the past few years – Shed, Pearson Sound, Ricardo Villalobos, Levon Vincent, Shackleton, Moritz Von Oswald, Peverelist. There is a big emphasis on sub bass and there are quite a few breakbeats – something that I still reach for a lot in the right circumstances.
K/D: Rubin you DJ and also run a party can you detail how this journey began and detail any key highlights and low lights?
Rubin: I’ve been promoting parties for 12 years, DJing for 15, and clubbing for a bit longer than that so the journey has been quite a long one. Underpinning all of it is the fact that I just love club music and club culture. There is something genuinely amazing about what can happen when you get the right crowd in the right room, with a proper sound system and a DJ who knows how to work a dance floor. I still get the same buzz today that I did when I went out to my first ever club when I was 16.
When I was a kid I was obsessed with Jungle, so when I got my first decks on my 17th birthday I completely disappeared into that scene for about 6 or 7 years. I still went out quite a bit to house and techno nights and was seeing people like Richie Hawtin (v1,0, no hair), Laurent Garnier, Dave Clarke, Surgeon, Craig Richards and many others but from a DJing and promotions perspective I was a total purist. I could go on about Jungle for hours, but I’ll spare you ;)
In about 2004, like a lot of people, I started to lose faith in that scene, the music became incredibly formulaic; quite the opposite of what it was supposed to be, and the parties were attracting a lot of attitude. At that point I ended up heading in two directions musically – into house and techno in a big way, and also into dubstep, which was starting to emerge from South London and make an impact at a national level. As well as going to Technique in Leeds (where I was living) and traveling down to London to go to Fabric and The End, I was also going to DMZ in Leeds and London and listening to Rinse sets by Youngsta, N-Type, Hatcha, Loefah, Skream and all those guys who were completely redefining UK urban music at the time.
In 2006 I moved down to London and kind of carried on in that vein – I went to FWD>> every Friday for 2 years between 2006 and 2008, but at the same time was going out to the Minus parties at The End, going to Ibiza most Summers, Sonar festival and getting my minimal kicks at the same time. All of which leads us to Make Me, because it was at this point that I had started buying lots of house music and decided that I wanted somewhere to play it.
Long story short, here we are 6 years later and we’ve gone from a small illegal rave in a pub basement to a relatively well known club night having the absolute honour of being able to book and play with people that we genuinely think are the best DJs in the world. As far as low lights go, as with any promoter there have been some parties that just didn’t work – whether that’s financially, musically or in terms of the vibe in the venue. Luckily that hasn’t happened for quite a while now and actually the last 2 years have been pretty much amazing from start to finish. The loft parties are always a highlight – it’s such a unique space – and the warehouse sessions we did at the end of last year were incredible too as we got to work on a much larger scale than we ever have before. Musically there are too many highlights to mention – Ben UFO, Fred P, Ewan Pearson, Prosumer b2b Soundstream, all blew me away in their own way in 2013 alone. As well as having the opportunity to develop our own sound through the Make Me residency, as eel as playing as resident for Bloc since April last year on a more straight up techno, bass driven tip.
K/D: Make Me is the party you run and last year saw some significant presence built, can you outline and describe its success and motivation?
Rubin: The motivation today is the same as it ever was – to put on proper parties with the best crowds, venues, sound and music that we can lay our hands on. Our ‘success’ is little bit harder to put my finger on to be honest. We’ve had a wicked couple of years and definitely feel like we’re doing the right things, but I genuinely feel like we’ve only just scratched the surface of what’s possible – particularly when I look at people like Fabric, the guys who used to run The End, the big labels in London like Hessle Audio, Metalheadz and especially the people who’ve walked this particular deep house path before us like Sud Electronic and Electric Minds. If we get anywhere near what they’ve achieved then I’ll start to think in terms of ‘success’. In the meantime we’ll be focused on the next run of parties and making plans for the back end of the year and hoping that it all doesn’t go to shit!
K/D: London is a seriously competitive location for Djs and parties to breath, exist and grow how is the scene evolving and how do you see it moving forward?
Rubin: You know what, I try not to pay too much attention to what other people are doing. We are focused on our own parties and making sure they work for us, our DJs and our crowd. The only evolution I’m interested in is where the music takes us next – that’s what it’s all about for me.
1. Sebbo – Watamu Beach (Moritz Von Oswald Rework) – Desolat
2. Asusu – Too Much Time Has Passed – Livity Sound
3. Simian Mobile Disco – Hustler (Shackleton Remix) – Wichita Recordings
4. Ricardo Villalobos – Dexter – Playhouse
5. Pearson Sound – Crimson (Beat Ritual Mix) – Pearson Sound
6. WK7 – Higher Power (Hardcore PCK Mix) – Power House
7. Peverelist – Salt Water – Livity Sound
8. Shackleton – Death Is Not Final – Skull Disco
9. Levon Vincent – Revs/Cost – Novel Sound
10. Innerspace Halflife – Dogstarr – Skudge White
11. Ricardo Villalobos – Sieso – Cadenza
We have slightly eased into the new year and are ready to kick off the podcast series which launched in 2013 with 5 strong K / D Keep It Deep Interpretations from artists including Dj Qu, Nick Craddock, Amir Alexander, Afrikan Sciences & lastly Mike Huckaby. For the 1st podcast of 2014 we are more than proud to present a London local with German links, Claus Voigtmann of Toi Toi Musik fame. Cluas has had the privilege of playing at esteemed spots including Fabric in London, Rex Paris and also Club Der Visionaere in Berlin. Claus is a vinyl collector and has all the trademarks that go with it, seeking searching and pursuing that life long quest to find that name of that track and then to find it on wax. This podcast is an excursion of seamless deep house, crafted and carefully selected records that represent Claus an emerging artist still doing it old school style. His productions are also carefully constructed like his dj sets and are slowly arriving on the shelfs from labels including Hello?Repeat & Assemble Music. Check the short interview to give an insight in the agency Toi Toi he co runs with his partner Isis.
K / D: Music where did it all start for you to get you to this point?
Claus Voigmann: It all started in this kind of music for me as soon as I touched down in London and met Isis who has been into this music for many years. I owe this beautiful city and her a lot – although my roots are in acoustic guitar/Singer/Songwriter so I guess my style is part English part German techno part musical bits.
K / D: Toi Toi when what and how does it exist and grow?
Claus Voigtmann:The name origin Toi Toi Toi is a term used to opera singers before they enter the stage often accompanied by knocking on wood as a sign of ‘Good Luck’. The project: Toi Toi is the consequence of mine and Isis’ passion for electronic music and the exchange with others, our community. It is our baby. It takes different forms each month, mostly it is a closed party as we feel it is important to keep the feeling of why we started this in the first place, the passion, the music and the community exchange as mentioned. We do open events too but we judge whether suitable as we go along, there are no set rules, as long as the aspects mentioned are not gone it is all good, open or closed events. Our focus is on the ‘humanity’ aspect of the party, we just want the people to be able to loose themselves in the music and for that they do not need to be knowledgeable about music, or know the artists, but have respect for those there, from artist to crowd to venue and be curious to go a little deeper on exploration beyond ‘a night out’.
K / D: Your partner Isis how important and integral is she to you as a person and artist?
Claus Voigtmann: Behind every man there is a strong woman.” Although we exist as 2 individuals we are as ‘one’, a lot of our friends tell us that. As a person- she is the woman of my life, I am going to marry her. As an artist- I could not be in better hands. Isis is a born promoter/artist manager/agent. She lifted up the Toi.Toi.Agency alone and very successfully, her achievements in one year are very impressive. Apart from being extremely professional she has this innate motherly care feel, she is known by artists as the ‘big mama’so it is a good balance between professionalism and humanity.
Mike Huckaby is a multi talented artist hailing from The Motor City Detroit and his output span’s producing electronic music, djing internationally at key spots and festivals, sound design, running a record label or two including Synth & Deep Transportation & also teaching Native Instruments & Ableton workshops for kids at Youthville in Detroit, to name a few key highlights. Check the link here at Juno to hear Mike on acetate.
Mike has produced some seminal pieces of work that have lasted the test of the times and trends that quickly arrive and then promptly catch that cab. Having a slightly deeper interpretation and sub level understanding is evident in the sound produced by Mike Huckaby which come from his inquisitive and open mind to learn and move forward and also some of the experiences gained from living in Detroit.
Mike holds that unique position of producing & djing both critically acclaimed house and techno and likewise playing at those types of parties internationally and at venues including Berghain / Panorama Bar, Tresor, Rex, Fuse, Sub Club & various other highly acclaimed spaces, places and festivals.
He is one of those guys who knows all the roots and culture of electronic dance music. He is a person who can see beyond the hype and divisions within the scene. Mike knows exactly what the music is and this would come down to his stint working at the Detroit vinyl spot Record Time and also his pursuit for the truth, the new, the raw, the underdog, the slept on hits.
K / D Keep It Deep again proudly present the 5th podcast crafted by Mike Huckaby bringing true distinct Detroit flavour to to our series, this is super deep, emotive and effervescent, there are tracks that sound of now but released years ago, vintage in a sense, full of character and colour, representing the times, the strifes and challenges. The vocals within the podcast on a specific track say it all, so we wont spoil the fun, but please enjoy this piece of work from Mike Huckaby who will go down in history for all the right reasons and not the so obvious tick list attributes most acclaimed artists will be remembered for, making hits, running a label etc, Mike’s unstoppable energy to teach and help the Detroit disadvantaged kids move into better worlds and better places is something that makes this artist standout amongst the many. Music has the power to move and change in more ways than one and not just on the dance floor, for some this is the only thing they have to progress and better themselves and Mike facilitates that.
K/D: Teaching the kids in Detroit, what does there future look like?
Mike Huckaby: The future looks good. Even if its reaching one kid at a time. There is always a small amount of kids within each class that “get it” When you see this, it strongly resonates with you. You cannot turn your back on a kid concerning his or her needs. Thats just the way i see it. This reminds me of one kid at the Detroit Public Library. I did workshops there, and he was really into it. He was the last person that stayed there. I went back there to donate him some software and possibly a computer, and he was never to be found again. That really haunts me. Because i may never see this kid again.
K/D: You have accomplished a lot what more would you like to achieve?
Mike Huckaby: As far as musical goes, I have always said it, id like to get a lot deeper in Reaktor, and build up my piano playing as well. Thats the curse of midi. It steals the possibility of developing yourself as an exercised piano player that could actually play and execute the chord progressions, and melodies that come to mind. The only thing that a house music producer wants to do is just get the groove into the sequencer, and quantize it. In certain respects, technology is making us become lazy. Its embedded in every product we use. Most people don’t even know the phone numbers of the people in the address books of their cell phones. Its just a matter of realizing who is calling, and who’s name is attached to what number. We are well underway of seeing the features and requirements of certain programs replace the the users creativity all together. One has to remember, the tool is just the tool, not your source of creativity. There is a fine line to be drawn.
K/D: Are you happy with life in and out of music?
Mike Huckaby: Yes, but musically in house, i don’t like how a lot of these producers today set up their tracks or do edits. It almost seems that a reference of some sort is missing. Breaks that come too soon, breaks that don’t come soon enough, breaks that don’t happened at all, or breaks that last for 6-8 bars or much more. When I’m shopping for vinyl, i listen to a pile of 80 releases, and only like maybe 3 or 4 of them, if that. it gets depressing.
K/D: What does life look like these days for you with music and out of music?
Mike Huckaby: Honestly, I’m pretty consumed with music, so it takes up a lot of my time.
K/D: how much are you pushing yourself to challenge your ability?
Mike Huckaby: I am constantly learning new synthesis methods, and practicing new chord progressions. this is always pushing the envelope for me. i have always said that if you want to get ahead, always do what your peers cannot do, and will not do. Learning reaktor, and more importantly playing the piano, in these times is something that everyone will not, and cannot adhere to doing. Furthermore, i am always challenging my self NOT to let technology make me lazy. Thats really the number one reason how I’m pushing, and challenging myself. I do everything pound for pound. Its really easy to get sucked in to all the features, and technology available today. I’m so glad i studied music theory for 10 years, and decided to learn how to play the piano. Soon, i believe that all the human spirit and creativity the an individual possesses will diminish and fade away. Thats the way we are heading if people don’t wise up to the way technology has invented, or reinvented, i should say, how we should interact with making music.
K/D: The mix can you describe the mood and feeling?
Mike Huckaby: This mix? Well you said Keep it deep, so i did just that.
Mike Huckaby: Ill get around to the track list in a few days….
K/D: Anything you would like to add?
Mike Huckaby: KEEP IT DEEP.