[Music & Interview]: Fiedel

 

Music & Interview
Fiedel

 

Introduction:
Fiedel – Berghain resident, Ostgut Ton artist, founder of FiedelOne & FiedelTwo …

Artwork for the feature and mix is based on a photo by Paul Krause

 

Interview:

Hi Fiedel. Great to have you for our “Music & Interview” series including an exclusive mix. We met each other at Berghain over 10 years ago. For me you were always the underrated Berghain resident – first the people asked “who is Fiedel”, later they focused on Ben Klock and the two Marcels. But let’s start at the very beginning of your music life. What kind of music did you like when you were a teenager and discovered music as a hobby? How did you start with djing and producing? Was there a special event that convinced you to start with it? Did you have bands or other projects before being Fiedel?
In my teenage years, which was in the mid and late 1980s, I was into Hip Hop (Mantronix, Egyptian Lover, Ice T, N.W.A.), Synth Pop (Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode, Off, Yello) and various kinds of Dance Music that were produced in the studio, using samples and loops (Bomb The Bass, MARRS, S-Express, Technotronic) and whatever Acid and House Music came to my ears ( Tyree, Farley Jackmaster Funk, Lil Louis, Phuture, Mr. Lee).

I grew up in Eastern Germany and I used to listen to the radio a lot (Monika Dietl’s Heartbeats Per Minute, Hey Music, Maxistunde, Duett – Musik für den Recorder) and I recorded tracks I liked on tape, because records weren’t available.

Eventually I started playing those tapes at school parties, sometimes together with friends. After the wall came down, I started buying and playing records. At Hard Wax I met DJ Niplz, who invited me to play at a the queer Monday night event at Subversiv he organized with some friends. This became my first public gig playing records. In my hometown we used to throw parties as a small collective and Shed was part of it back then.

The first proper gear I used when I met Erik „Errorsmith“ through Niplz. They were producing a track together for a Bunker compilation. That was 1994. I was impressed by the way Erik tuned his analog synthesizers. Cables came out of the devices and were connected to some electronic circuits hanging in the air. We started to jam with his stuff. I thought the music was good and I definitely wanted to play it out. We released our first record in February 1996.

 

Fiedel 1
(Fiedel Promo Pic 1 by Danny Croucher)

 
As mentioned above you are resident at Berlin’s most famous techno club Berghain. Please tell us how this happened. How did the situation/relationship change over these many years? What’s special for you when you play there?
I used towork at Hard Wax together with Cora S. She played at Ostgut already and she proposed me to them, because they were kind of looking for DJs. They liked it and that’s how it started. I play there regularly since Summer 2000. Marcel Dettmann, nd Baumecker, Boris and Nick Höppner were also playing there at that time.

When Ostgut had to close, everybody was kind of sad, but a new venue was found soon. I saw it a couple of times, way before it opened. I was asked for some technical solutions, for instance how to rig the light above the Berghain floor, because I have a degree in Theatre and Entertainment Engineering and could apply my expertise that way.

When the venue first opened in September 2004, there was only the new Panorama Bar, and all the regulars were playing there. My first gig at the actual Berghain floor was the incredible b2b closing with Marcel Dettmann at NYE the same year.

It was quite tough for the club in the beginning, I remember. But with excellent bookings and the rising interest of the younger crowd for Techno it became the famous place it is now. I saw one of my all-time heroes, Egyptian Lover, for the first time there, when he played at Panorama Bar in 2006, probably his first gig in Germany.

The whole DJ thing developed into a big business over the years and Berghain also became more complex and more professional. My gigs at Berghain are still very special to me. Taking the fact that I play there for about 14 years by now, I have to re-invent myself all the time to stay fresh. Part of it is to explore all the other floors the venue has to offer. Last year I played House at Panorama Bar, which I didn’t do for a long time, a Bass set at the new floor Säule and an Ambient closing for NYE at Halle, which is opened only for special occasions.

 

Fiedel 2
(Fiedel Promo Pic 2 by Paul Krause)

 
At the beginning of 2018 you also started a residency at Khidi in Tbilisi, one of the important clubs outside of Europe. Another one is Bassiani. A few weeks ago there were police razzias at Bassiani and another club, so both had to close temporarily. This led to demonstrations and protests in front of the Georgian parliament. Khidi supported the actions and took part in the demonstrations (read here and here on Resident Advisor). But back to you. Who had the idea for your residency and how did they/you get in contact? When did you travel to Georgia the first time? Many DJs going to Khidi and Bassiani were flashed and liked it very much. How was your first DJ experience there? What do you think about the situation in Georgia? What about the country?
My first gig at Khidi was in May last year. And yes, I was flashed. The venue is amazing and the energy on the dancefloor was the kind I felt back in the 1990s: raw and genuine. In Summer last year the promoters asked me, if would like to become a resident there. And of course I wanted to!

I like Georgia a lot. The people there are generally friendly and I enjoy their hospitality. The country itself is in the process of opening up towards the rest of the world, especially towards Europe. There are still traditional elements in culture and politics that will work against it, but I guess that is quite normal in such a process. I also link the recent events to this. Hence it was very important that the nightlife community in Tblissi presented unity and went on demonstrating for their future. Khidi even closed their doors to show solidarity with the otherclubs and took part in the protests with their artists.

End of August I will play on the Khidi stage at Echowaves Festival in Anakli on the Black Sea shore and also for Khidi season opening after the Summer break in September.

 

Fiedel 3
(Fiedel Khidi residency announcement)

 
You are responsible for the latest instalment of the famous mix series from Berghain. How did you select the tracks and work on it in general? Did you need a lot of time for preparation? What are the main differences when you prepare for a recorded mix and a club DJ set?
The preparation of the Berghain mix took a few months. There were many things that we needed to pay attention for, like the production plan for the 12“ that came out along with the mix, licensing issues and more general questions.

When collecting the music, I had a special vibe in mind that represents my very own Fiedel-style: a good portion of funkiness, a bit of roughness and the inclusion of various styles. So I approached artists I liked for their music. I chose older tracks that represented my musical history, new tracks that I played out recently and also unreleased material. Some of the artists had tracks that I wanted right away and some especially made tracks for that purpose. Step by step I had a nice selection to choose from. First task was to get the Berghain 08 E.P. together. On this 12″ I wanted to create a balance between female and male artists, and so I chose two female artists to be the first tracks on each side. Plus, all of the 4 tracks needed to be featured in the mix.

For the mix itself I realised my early idea: since it is a club related mix series, why not record it live at a Klubnacht? I wanted to take the audience on a little journey and try to give them a little taste of the dancefloor. Since the format has changed from a CD to a downloadable podcast that also could be streamed, the only limitation was the filesize. Given that information I knew, that the mix could be about 2 hours long. Enough time to tell a little story. That story was important to me, because people would listen to it everywhere but in the club. So I tried to keep it interesting for the listener and yet danceable.

 


(mix “Berghain 08” by Fiedel)

 
The mix was for sure not the first recording for the Berghain’s inhouse label Ostgut Ton. You released there the EP „Substance B“ and contributed to 4 samplers/compilations. Was it a natural step for you to release for the Berghain label being resident at their club or was it necessary to convince you? How did you work with label guys on a release? Did you produce on request or did you have a bunch of finished tracks and you just selected the ones best fitting?
In the past I did tracks and if I thought they might fit to the label, I sent them in, so they could decide wheater they take it or not. That was also the case with “Substance B”. They found it fitting to the label and so they released it.
 


(the29nov video of “Track 432”, taken from O-TON 102)

 
One of your latest releases is the track „Troll Bait” on the second Seelen compilation. Could you please tell us something about that track and the compilation? How did you get in touch with Janein, one of the guys behind the Seelen label? You also played at their record release party for Seelen.001 in Leipzig earlier this year. How was it?
I met Jan at Sation Endlos a couple of years ago. This was a nice litte world of it’s own like in a fairytale. We stayed in contact and he asked me if I would like to contribute a track to the first compilation, but I had no time for it, because I was preparing the Berghain mix back then. It worked out though for the second compilation. When I heard the tracks of the first edition I immediately liked it. A very diverse techno compilation, which incorporated a quite spooky touch. That mood gave me inspiration for my track “Troll Bait”. The party at IFZ was great. I liked the location and the flexibility of the crowd. I play in Leipzig for over 20 years every now and then, and is always nice to be back in that wonderful city.
 


(full stream of “Troll Bait” by Fiedel, taken from “SEELEN.002”)

 
Together with Errorsmith’s Erik Wiegand you release under the moniker „Messe der Meister von Morgen“. How do you work together? Who is responsible for which part? How looks the production process? What are main differences between working on your solo stuff and on tracks together with Erik? Which equipment do you use (solo & on collaborations)? You also contributed to the Kilekill „Megahits III“ with a MMM track. How did this happen? What is your connection to Killekill?
Me and Errorsmith do music together since 1995. As MMM we are selfreleasing artists to keep the most freedom and control about what and when to release. This is the first time we gave an original track to a another label. I know Nico from Killekill quite a while and he is a big MMM fan. He was looking for tracks for his new compilation which featured some really good and not necessarily mainstream artists in the past. Our track “Infinity Crash” with its rather dark mood fitted perfectly to this compilation. In production we don’t have a fixed set-up that we work with. Most of the times our tracks start with just a tiny piece of an idea, a melody, a sample, a beat, and we develop the track around it. Sometimes we have loops that we jam live and we do a studio version of it later on, like it happened with “Nous Sommes MMM”.
 


(stream of “Syncro” by MMM)

 
You also run the two labels FiedelOne and FiedelTwo. FiedelOne is for your solo stuff and FiedelTwo for collaborations in different ways – like the „Appendix“ release with many tracks you used for the Berghain mix. How do you decide if a solo track is more fitting on Ostgut Ton record or for FiedelOne? Or will you release on FiedelOne again (the last one was released in 2015)? What about the collaborations on FiedelTwo or the track selection for this label? How comes it to these gettogethers with other artists? o you just create something new and then decide to release it there or is it more a „let‘s make a new FiedelTwo record? What do you think about label work in general (organising a pressing, doing promotion etc)? Do you like being a „label boss“? Is it difficult for you to “survive“ nowadays when a record is out-of-fashion one month after his release?
Ostgut Ton released only one 12″ along with the Berghain mix and the tracks were already selected for that. So I released some of the new tracks on FiedelTwo. I think, we have kind of a collaboration here, in terms of creating together a special flavour for the mix.

You can imagine all different types of collaboration on FiedelTwo, doing remixes, working on a track together, or adding ideas to tracks. I am looking for music that I can relate to and don’t go for the big names. FiedelOne it is more my own little world, with the freedom to do what I want.

 

Fiedel 4
(Fiedel Promo Pic 4 by Danny Croucher)

 
As we know you are also involved in organising the event series „Wax Treament“ that is strongly connected with the record store Hardwax. Please tell us something about your involvement.
I am part of the small team that organizes Wax Treatment since 2009. I am also responsible for the Killasan sound system since it came to Berlin in 2001 and do the sound engineering at events. This sound system is the trade mark of our Wax Treatment series. It is a Jamaican style sound system which comes originally from Japan. It has a powerful bass section and we usually set it up as a wall of sound, because this is the way they do it in Jamaica ever since. It looks and feels best that way and our guests are facing the speakers rather than the DJ. Wax Treatment features bass heavy music like Reggae, Dancehall, UK Funky, Dubstep or Drum’n’Bass. Two years ago we found a new home base for our quarterly events at Grießmühle.
 

Fiedel 5
(Killasan sound system)

 
In your eyes you are a DJ with a diverse repertoire. Could you please name 10 records that are very important for you (and your musical development) and why they are?
Let’s take my alltime top ten here as featured in a mix on Soundcloud (see below).

01. Bug In A Bass Bin by Innerzone Orchestra
I love Jazz and this is a wonderful combination of loops and jazzy elements.

02. Blackout (Phase I) by Lil Louis
My favourite when I was a teenager. So powerful and ahead of time. I still play it.

03. Sonar 123 by Anthony “Shake” Shakir
One of the most beautiful spacey Techno tracks by my favourite electronic producer.

04. What’s On A Moog’s Mind? by Redshape
Pure analog synth power. The youngest entry into this list.

05. Altered States (Southside Terrace) by Ron Trent
Is it House or is it Techno? It doesn’t matter.

06. Un, Deux, Trois by Idol Making
A rough and funky track from early Detroit. Just like I love it.

07. Alleys Of Your Mind by Cybotron
I love the vibe of this superb mixture between Electro and Techno.

08. Mentok 1 by LFO
This reminds me on my rave experiences in the early 1990s.

09. High Energy (Instrumental Dub) by Evelyn Thomas
High Energy is Disco in beast mode. Very driving track from this genre.

10. Ghetto Blues by Ghetto Brothers
Funky breaks in fine Detroit style.

 


(Fiedel’s all time favourites in a mix)

 
Oh already 1 or 2 questions over the limit but for sure we have to ask you what’s coming next… What are your (near) future plans? an album on Ostgut Ton?
Right now I work on different projects, prepare events or develop ideas also for a live set and for DJing, but most of them are not ready yet to talk about.

Some music will come out later this year, so keep an eye and an ear open. For now I would leave you with my/our recent appearances on the following compilations, all released in June:
– MMM „Infinity Crash“ on Killekill Megahits III
– Fiedel „Doors To Manual“ on Night Slugs Allstars X
– Fiedel „Troll Bait“ on Seelen.002

In early 2019 there will be a new piece of comtemporary dance by Frederic Gies with a live performance by me. We work together for five years now and our last performance was at Malta Festival in Poznan in June:
http://www.artstationsfoundation5050.com/dance/wydarzenie/dance-is-ancient/3395

You can catch some sound here at the following events in the near future:
10.08. Ostgut Ton Nacht at S舫le/Berghain, Berlin, DE ・ Bass Set
19.08. Wax Treatment at Grie゚m・le, Berlin, DE ・ Killasan
25.08. Khidi Stage @ Echowaves Festival, Anakli, GE ・ Techno Set
31.08.-02.09. Killasan @ Carhartt booth at Bread & Butter, Berlin, DE
09.09. Dance Is Ancient ・ performance at the Museum of Contemporary Arts, Porto, PT
14.09. Season Opening, Khidi, Tbilisi, GE ・ Techno Set
22.09. Klubnacht at Berghain, Berlin, DE ・ Techno Set

 

Recommendations:
EP “Substance B” on Ostgut Ton
split EP “Distances” w/ Fiedel tracks on Pure Traxx
sampler “Appendix – Double Mixpack EP” on FiedelTwo
sampler “Berghain 08” on Ostgut Ton
Fiedel’s mix “Berghain 08” on Ostgut Ton
compilation “SEELEN.002” w/ Fiedel track on Seelen Records
compilation “Various” w/ Fiedel track on Ostgut Ton
compilation “Fünf” w/ Fiedel track on Ostgut Ton
compilation “Zehn” w/ Fiedel track on Ostgut Ton
compilation “Megahits III” w/ MMM track on Killekill

 

Exclusive Mix:

 

Tracklist of Exclusive Mix:
01. Velocette – Bell Du Jour
02. Forest Drive West – Show Them
03. Andy Mac – Asteroid Belts
04. DJ 3000 – Prawler. Motech 004
05. Rose & Ulysse – Mother Earth (Philippe Petit Remix)
06. Sugar Experiment Station – No Wonder She Hates You
07. Four Tet – Jupiters (Happa Remix)
08. Ennio – Giza
09. DBX – Losing Control (Ritchie Hawtin Remix)
10. DBX – Beat Phreak
11. Purveyors Of Fine Funk – This Is A Track
12. Bastien Carrara – The One (Drums Mix)
13. Gladkazuka – Futuro Caos
14. The Untouchables – Yeah C’mon
15. Gerd – Freedom
16. Mike Dunn – Set Me Free
17. Robert Hood – Untitled
18. Shake – Simpatico

 

Booking:
Ostgut Booking

 

Websites:
Fiedel
Fiedel @ Facebook

 

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