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.