Foto-© Birgit Kaulfuss & WMG
„We’ve lost dancing, This year we’ve had to lose, Our Space, we’ve lost, We’ve lost dancing, All these Things that, We Took for granted“, heißt es im Song Marea (We’ve Lost Dancing) des britischen Produzenten Fred again… (arbeitete schon mit Ed Sheeran, Clean Bandit, Stormzy, George Ezra, Eminem zusammen, Gewinner des Brit-Awards in der Kategorie „Producer of the Year“ 2020), der mit Actual Life (April 14 – December 17 2020) im April sein Debütalbum veröffentlichte – genau eine Woche nachdem sich das hiesige Techno-Duo Modeselektor den Traum erfüllte und mit Extended ein Mixtape nur basierend auf eigenen Sounds veröffentlichte. Grund genug die drei Herren mal auf einen Plausch zur Lage der Dancefloor-Nationen und auch über ihre neuen Alben-Werke zu bitten – gedacht, gesagt, getan via WhatsApp-Chat. Unser besonderes Interview mit Gernot und Sebastian von Modeselektor und Fred…
Sebastian: Hello, good morning
Gernot: Hey ho
Sebastian: Szary is here
Sebastian: Hi Fred
Fred: Yo man! How are you guys? Lovely lil WhatsApp group this
Gernot: Good n weird
Sebastian: It’s Friday, it’s very good
Gernot: WhatsApp is so 2017
Fred: Haahahaahahaaaa, beautiful put
Fred: 2017 is so now
Sebastian: Hey Fred…congrats to your album!!!
Fred: Thank you mannnn, appreciate for real
Gernot: My son is pumping the new Busta Rhymes album so hard right now…fuck
Fred: Oh mate, the poison sampling song is so fire, big ups your son
Bedroomdisco: Maybe we could start of with how everyone felt during the last year?
Fred: For sure, yeah, I mean a mad one for me, and all of us of course. I found it a weird but beautiful year – at least in a bit of hindsight I see it that way. How about you guys?
Sebastian: A situation hat never happened before
Gernot: Our year was weird…we had a great and nasty time
Fred: Great and nasty – what a beautiful pair of words, rarely put next to each other. How so?
Gernot: Never had so much „quality“ time in the studio since a looooong time
Fred: Yeah, word. So that’s the great bit?
Bedroomdisco: In the studio it got nasty then?
Gernot: Lol. We have quite a lot of employees in our company, a business going, studio office, costs, no touring, no money.
Fred: Ok, I hear you, yes, very hard.
Gernot: And we haven’t really received some help – BUT: fuck it!
Fred: I saw a very sweet interview with a man running a small business the other day and he said “this year i learned that making people redundant is not something i was put on this planet to do”
Sebastian: We helped each other
Fred: That’s lovely, how long have you guys been mates for?
Sebastian: Ohhhh, since the 80s
Gernot: We know each other since 3rd grade, that’s a long time.
Fred: Oh it’s wonderful!!! I have a few friends like that, a real blessing
Gernot: We had luck to make some cool shit together. And you? How old are you?
Fred: I’m 27
Gernot: Cute, haha
Sebastian: My son
Fred: Lol. I have a group of pals I’ve known since I was at nursery. So you guys are kinda like brothers in a way?
Gernot: We are all brothers and sisters
Fred: That’s also true, sorry for implying otherwise. In many ways Gernot and I are closer than anyone else.
Gernot: 😀 ok
Fred: Did you guys write a lot last year?
Gernot: So so much…like we never did before…it was so refreshing.
Bedroomdisco: I can imagine, this year was hard on so many levels, but the cultur scene – and most of it clubbing was hit the hardest I feel…did you feel that the importance of culture/music/clubbing was hurt during that time or did you feel like the government did try to support the scene and understood what’s at risk?
Fred: Yes, I think not enough here at all BUT with these kind of things I always feel very much like the people will make what they want and so I feel it will work out. Like it will be hard, but it will always be ok when it’s something as fundamental as like dancing! You know what i mean?
Sebastian: People want to celebrate and poison themselves pleasantly.
Gernot: We felt neglected compared to the car industry for example..
Bedroomdisco: Completly – I felt it very upsetting, when Markus Söder (for Fred, Bavarian prime minister) said, that we wouldn’t need concerts or clubs, as you could also dance at home with your wife…
Gernot: This made me so angry
Sebastian: Söder is from another planet of conservative aliens
Gernot: You guys know this trash movie where the nazis survived on the dark side of the moon? That’s where he is from…
Bedroomdisco: Iron Sky!
Gernot: That’s the one!
Bedroomdisco: Did you talk to others, who are having problems keeping up / their music business running?
Gernot: Sure. Our studio is above the Kit Kat Club and we share the studio with Dettmann, the scene in Berlin is very small in a way
Sebastian: It was interesting to see how everyone had to deal with the situation. She took the time to pull plan B out of the drawer.
Fred: Oh, Jayda told me about Kit Kat! Quite a place by the sounds of things – is it fun?
Sebastian: Yes it’s fun.
Fred: She said you had to announce your fetish on the way in, is that right? I was like: can I just say „a good hug“? 😀
Gernot: It’s not my cup of tea but if you see sex a bit more in a „sporty“ way, it’s your spot 😀
Sebastian: Kit Kat Club is now a testing station
Fred: It was always a testing station, just testing different things
Gernot: Haha, that’s so true
Bedroomdisco: But besides everyone having problems in the moment – would you think that the scene in Berlin / London will look the same after this?
Gernot: No, nothing will be like before – BUT…we also have to try to see the whole covid crisis positively. Maybe the scene got a long needed reset…
Fred: Yes, I think different and I don’t think in a bad way, because there is renewed appreciation. And to me that is like an enormous positive, not to diminish all of the hard things. Like I cannot WAIT to be having a warm red stripe and smoking too many ciggarettes in a shitty warehouse and I think I’m not alone to be craving things we took for granted
Sebastian: I’m curious how people deal with the issue of distance
Fred: Yeah I think once it starts it’ll be about 15 minutes before it’s totally back to normal
Gernot: But we are in a privileged situation as an artist. We can transform all the so called „negative“ effects of the crisis into art.
Bedroomdisco: Did you feel that your records were influenced by the pandemic, besides that you got more time?
Gernot: I think what our both records have in common is that they both have a concept behind
Sebastian: Influenced by — time
Gernot: That is our big „covid“ influence
Sebastian: It was always our dream to make an album like we did
Fred: How so? Which aspect was always a dream?
Gernot: Making a mixtape with our own music
Fred: I love the pacing of your record, like I really love how urgent it feels
Bedroomdisco: Why did you decide against sampling other artists on this? just as it was always the dream to have it all by yourself? And I know Fred had some issues on sampling others before, right?
Sebastian: Sampling is dangerous and essential
Fred: Yes I think its DANGEROUSLY ESSENTIAL! To me it still feels like the most exciting new frontier of music, even though it’s been around for decades. I still feel like we’re only at the tip, like because increasingly to me things will just become about taste and curation, and where you gather your creation from will be like where you buy your guitar from, I think! And to me that’s really exciting.
Sebastian: Hey Fred, on your album there is a lot of voice recorder messages, right? It’s sampling.
Fred: Yeah totally
Fred: A hundred percent
Gernot: I work 85% with samples even I recorded the samples myself – I’m just not too much into midi and synthesis
Fred: Yeah agreed, I like starting from a place of like earth and life and going from there, trying to insert life into a dry midi piano has always felt like a pointless battle to me
Gernot: So true
Sebastian: I think sampling is one of the most important innovation for contemporary music, it’s sampled, you can feel it sound real — echt
Gernot: We call it the artificial saturation battle
Gernot: In German: KÜNSTLICH
Sebastian: 2020 is saturated , 2021 is artificial
Gernot: 2022 is going to be so distorted, in a good way
Sebastian: sat art dis – sounds like an exhibition
Bedroomdisco: Was using only own sounds for a record only an experiment or are you now trying to stick to it?
Sebastian: Yes, own sounds from old and new messed up hard drives, some unfinished ideas, field recordings, it goes back to 2006 or something like that
Bedroomdisco: I also like the idea of eps coming out now every month, although this must put you in a lot of pressure of producing (or are all already finished)?
Gernot: All finished
Bedroomdisco: Oh, you were really productive!
Fred: That’s great, lolllll
Sebastian: schaffe schaffe
Bedroomdisco: What was the idea behind the steady EP releases? To give the people some new dance music every few weeks, to keep them dancing?
Sebastian: To show the DNA
Gernot: The mixtape is supposed to be a creative pool
Fred: What do you mean by this?
Gernot: All the 27 tracks are existing in full lenght – and the eps consist of parts of the tracks from the album.
Fred: Do you remember when Kanye tweeted ‘imma fix wolves’ – I think about that often.
Gernot: We are going to release the album with another bunch of new tracks after the EP’s in fall.
Bedroomdisco: Fred – you also have a collaboration project with Headie One and FKA twigs – could you tell a bit about what’s the story behind that and what’s the plan for this?
Fred: Yeah totally, I mean I was just happy to be the link between those two people! I was making a project with Headie, which was so fun because he’s just so open minded and down to experiment and then I was playing it to twigs and she was like, „OMG, please can I sing on this“! And I was like: „Yes!“ So quite effortless really, I generally like following the things that happen like that.
Bedroomdisco: Is it then only the one song or are there plans to create more out of it?
Fred: I think we may well do more, Headie and I are always doing more. By the way LOVE the Flohio tune guys, succhhhh a riddim, what led to that?
Gernot: Naomi from Earth Booking Agency told me about her, the next ep is going to be again with her…I love Funmi – my dream is it to produce an album with her… Fred can I ask you for a beat then ? 🙂
Fred: Yeah, please! As in a whole EP together?
Gernot: It’s a whole EP with her based on one new tune with versions and remixes – She is the bomb
Bedroomdisco: When it comes to plans – what are your next plans at the moment?
Fred: My plan is to do two records a year, for three years, one summer, one winter, each year to keep the diary going, I like the clarity of that framing. And I make a lottttt of music, so I want to start really putting more out.
Sebastian: How many „leftover“ material do you have, Fred?
Fred: I have a little, but I generally want to keep just capturing the times, like what happens in those months is what happens and that comes out.
Fred: What about you guys?
Gernot: We finished a lot of Mdslktr music and are already working on some new other exciting stuff we can’t really talk about now…have you seen the WORK project?
Fred: No I haven’t yet!
Gernot: It’s a dance performance to the whole mixtape. We recorded it at the empty Columbia Halle here in Berlin…It’s one of the bigger venues here. The dance in the WORK movie is so good.
Sebastian: The dancer Corey Scott Gilbert is a piece of art – check it out!
Fred: Yeah this man is incredible, what a beautiful idea!
Bedroomdisco: Maybe as last question from my side – don’t want to steal too much time of yours, while you could work on secret stuff 😉 – do you miss djing and when do you expect us all to be back clubbing?
Gernot: Oh yes!
Fred: Yes enormously! I feel optimistic about the summer but that might be just wishful
Gernot: Too wishful. It will start to come back to normal this fall. It will be over soon. IT WILL BE OVER – when I’m back on stage may god mercy you
Sebastian: bass, smoke, damaged ears
Fred: Oh shit, Ive got an interview now, guys it was a real pleasure to meet you and I can’t wait to watch the rest of this film. Oh and I have to say! Thank you for a new error! Because the mashup I did of that with Frank Ocean. I literally get as many messages about that as I do about my own shit! 😀 Such a stunning piece man.
Gernot: I recorded it when my first born started walking – I think I channeled this moment into music.