[Music & Interview]: Rebar

 

Music & Interview

Rebar

 

Introduction:

In the physical world, “Rebar” is an object, often used to reinforce concrete. In the world of music, though, Rebar is the joint venture of Andreas Pionty & fumée grise, the label-heads of “made of CONCRETE”. Next to the label they are the driving force behind “Körper” a sex-positive party series which starts in April 2017.
 

Interview:

hi Jens, hi Andreas. You are Rebar, a duo coming from Dresden + Berlin. When did you meet each other for the first time? Do you still live in two cities? How do you work together regarding the operation of your label “made of concrete”, as production team etc? Who is responsible for what task?
Rebar: Hello Jürgen, first we want to say thanks for having us.

We met each other around 2010 at a gig we were both booked for in Dresden. The funny thing was that we had to play a “back 2 back“ even though we didn’t know each other. One of the turntables was not working and Jens (fumée grise) didn’t know how to use the CDJs at this time, so Andreas (Pionty) was helping out and played on the one CDJ. It was working quite well even when Jens was playing at this time mainly house and Andreas techno. But since this experience we have stayed in contact and now we also have a name together. Incredible.

But yes, we still live in different cities. Jens lives in Berlin and Andreas in Dresden. At the end of the day this is no handicap for our work, as in our business the most important thing is to have a good telephone and internet connection. The cities are also not far apart from each other so we can always arrange to see each other easily.

The decision on how we share the tasks was quite simple for us to decide, as we both have quite different skills. Andreas is more the communicative character of us two, so he takes care of the dialogue between the clubs, booker, artists and so on. Jens is more the man in the background who takes care of the administration and coordinates all final procedures with the label and releases.

At the studio Andreas is the prime mover. Jens mostly brings field recordings which are key elements of our work but after this he sits idle, drinks coffee or non-alcoholic beer. Actually, the only place where we are one is behind the decks. (Haha)

 
Rebar Pic 1
(Rebar, press pic 2016)
 
What are your musical backgrounds? What kind of music do you listen to in your “spare time”?
Rebar: Our musical background on the DJ side is Techno music. It’s actually the first music we both listened to freely. It’s kind of the foundation of everything. But in our free time we also listen music more diverse.

Jens: I like actually everything based on electronic music no matter which genre: ambient, disco, house, experimental…next to this I love modern classic and from time to time world music which you can hear on ‘Radio Comeme’.

Andreas: I also like various genres of electronic based music but also old Hip Hop stuff and when there is a Future Island concert around you will find me for sure in the crowd.

 
Did you have any former projects that lead to Rebar and MOC?
Rebar: Besides our solo DJ projects, we don’t. Sorry for this boring answer. (haha)
 
Rebar Pic 2
(Rebar, press pic 2016)
 
Who are your favourite producers? What’s your general inspiration?
Rebar: Think this question is for the most people not so easy to answer. We would say that Prince Of Denmark/Traumprinz/DJ Metatron could be our candidates for favourite. Not all of the productions are for our sets but everything which comes from this artist is on the point, they are ‘simple’ but always with depth. This is really something we have big respect for. If this artist also has an inspirational impact we can’t say for us it’s like a flow how we create a track. We record some field recordings, listen to some tracks which we currently like, talking about random things, eat, drink and at the end we have a finished track. Maybe this sounds stupid but our biggest inspiration is that we don’t put pressure on ourselves as we don’t have the feeling that we need to deliver. Our focus is on the label and our DJ gigs we have together. But if in-between we manage to release some music then we are happy, if not then this is also ok. It’s all about the time we spend together as Rebar and with our artists.
 
Life besides the label and artist thing: do you have a normal/daily job?
Rebar: Booth yes.

Andreas: I’m an outside sales person and have a classical 9 to 5 job.

Jens: I have my own music consulting and PR agency so I don’t really have a 9 to 5 job. (Haha)

 
Rebar Pic 3
(made of Concrete logo, framed at a wall)
 
Talking again about your label MOC: how do you select the artists and the tracks for it? Do you get a lot of demos (you consider for a release)?
Rebar: As a rule, at least on vinyl we release only music from artists we know personally (only the remixers can be “external“). Our new digital concept is a bit more open, via this we release music from artists who send us demos or friends from our artists. The tracks we choose at the end for a release we select in dialogue with the artist. Specially for an EP it’s important for us that the artist present his signature sound and uses the release to show a multifaced side of hisself. or in other words we love the classical A and B side concept.

We also receive quite a lot of demos, like most labels we guess, but from this we only find a rational amount is interesting. But because of the concept written above we also don’t release everything, even when it’s good. Sometimes this hurts a bit especially when you receive demos from artists you like and even those you have some records of but we need to say no at the end because of our release policy.

 
Who creates the artwork/visual concept? Which image do you want to create for your label? Ever thought about including some video art?
Rebar: The visual concept comes directly from both of us. We developed the concept together and Jens makes, as far him his Photoshop skills take, the graphics for all the channels.

The concept has different layers. We build a bridge to the label name itself by showing buildings as the core element. In general, the buildings also have a connection to the artist on the release. Whoever buys our vinyl and can riddle the connection between picture and artist then the lucky winner of our prize draw wins a candlelit dinner with a label artist of your choice. (Haha)

But the buildings are only a part of the artwork the actual concept is the production process. The idea is that the artwork needs to speak the same language as the final product. For this reason, we have different processes for vinyl & digital. As vinyl is a physical product which comes into being with the help of machines and handwork, the artwork deals with this fact. We cut pictures out of old architecture books and glue them into our artwork pad, writing by hand the release information next to it, scan everything and bring it all together in Photoshop. The final part is the stamp of the building which we stamp on the cover.

On the digital only releases, nothing is physical. Here we work with overlaying technical drawings which are in front of a black background. It’s the counterpart of the vinyl release. A professional graphic artist could do this job better but it’s important for us that’s the artwork come from us. At the end of the day the label is a matter of the heart and not a business model…and we all know the things you love you do better by yourself.

Regarding the video art we have some videos online. We have 8 music videos and the last projects came all from the talented video artist Patrick Hauler. At the moment, he is quite busy but we hope to present something new from him soon.

 
Rebar Pic 4
(Jens with MOC release at Newtone / Osaka)
 
You had a small tour to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of MOC including your first visit in Japan. How was the tour especially the time in Asia? Any nice anecdotes?
It was our first label tour which made it a lot of fun also when it was a bit stressful. Everybody has a normal daytime job, to do something like that next to this is not so easy, especially as we also take care of the bookings by our self. But at the end it was all worth it. It was somehow like the good old school trip.

The two Japan bookings for Rebar where directly after the tour and it was something really special. To play with Contact in a venue where in the same month they had artists such as Marcel Dettmann, ND Baumecker, Levon Vincent, Green Velvet and Prosumer is remarkable. As you said it was the first time in Japan (also private) and needless to say that Tokyo is really something else. If this city would be in Europe we would fly every second weekend or better move directly. In this city, every character can find his place and area where he/she would like to live. Next to it the people are really chilled and friendly which is not usual for a city with this amount of people. Europe is for sure a lot rougher.

Next to the gig another highlight was to discover our release at Newton Records in Osaka next to 2-3 other “made of CONCRETE“ releases. One day before you fly home was this a really great leaving present.

Thanks here again to DJ Saimura for his trust and booking in Contact & Ruby Room. Hope we see you soon in Germany.

 
You are also the promoters of “Körper”, a queer party in Dresden, the capital of Saxony, a federal state in Germany which is often linked with Pegida and other nazi scum. How came the idea up to organise such a party there? How was it? Which experience did you make? Any homophobic trouble?
First of all we need to protect our homeland a bit. It’s true, that especially in Dresden it is known for these kinds of things. We have in this city a lot to deal with, like the things written above but you can also find a lot of people and initiatives which fight against it and work on a tolerant and open society. Unfortunately, the media prefer to put the focus on the negative things. If they would support more the positive examples then it would be more complicated for groups like Pegida or Nazis to feel “big“ and “important“.

We don’t want to play this issues down for this reason we also organize in collaboration with the TBA club this “Körper” event to contribute something to support a tolerant, open and interested society. Therefore, you can say that if a city in Germany needs a party like “Körper” then it is Dresden.

The first edition was a surprise in a lot of points already like we imagined. We were especially happy about that fact that we really got the attention from the people who we wanted to see at this party. For this reason, it was really nice to party which is at the and only possible with good people at the door which explained to everybody the concept of the night and had a good hand with the selection. We as the promoters were often on the dance floor more than we usually can do. Also, the guest DJs seemed to be happy as they changed the time for the return trip to dance a bit more. A better feedback was nearly not possible. Also, the feedback after the event motivated us to go on with this project. So, we’re happy to say that after the “Summerbreak“ we are back with the second edition on 15th September. With Cem from Herrensauna and fr.JPLA from IFZ / No Show, we have some nice guests for this party. Next to this we have playing Szentendre, Toni Dextor and us again. After the line-up is complete, we work now on the planning for the decoration with the great deco-team to let the venue look special like the last time.

 
Rebar Pic 5
(Poster for the 1. “Körper” party)
 
Let’s talk about the techno scene in Dresden and Saxony. Could you please tell us something about it and the club TBA where your party took place? Compared with the scene in Berlin: are there similarities and what are the big differences?
The scene is more local as the kind of party tourism does not exist like in Berlin. Everything is a bit smaller, which doesn’t mean that the scene is not active. There is a lot of cool promoter and crews, also good clubs with great vibes. Next to it there are some great and innovative labels like Uncanny Valley, Lockertmatik or Etui to name just a few… (ah and us for sure). 😉 This all are influences and important parts of an active scene. For our parties the TBA with its rough atmosphere and the great sound system is the perfect venue for us. The size is perfect and it’s located directly under the translation of Dresden Neustadt so on a perfect spot for a good connection and central position of the nightlife.

 
Rebar Pic 6
(MOC releases at Newtone / Osaka)
 
Already coming to the end of our small interview: what are your future plans for “made of concrete” and Rebar? Some solo stuff in the pipeline?
We would love to have an interview with the “Bunte“, as soon we reach this we quit with everything, promise! (Haha)

Apart from this we have just had a little summer break, as well as parties and releases.

This slowly is over and we’re currently working on new releases from Matt Nowak, Francesco Belfiore and from our good friend Alek S. Furthermore, we are planning the next events at TBA in Dresden. From September on we’re back with full energy on all “made of CONCRETE“ channels. With Rebar we have just finished a remix for Luke Black which is part of our “Batch Plant” mini-compilation series. Our second EP for “made of CONCRETE“ is basically almost done and comes out latest on the third label birthday in the first quarter 2018. Maybe we sign some material somewhere else before but let’s see what the future brings. No pressure.

 

Recommendations:
Rebar’s EP “Hansaprohlis” on MOC
Kaiser’s EP “Sottotono” on MOC
Myles Serge’s EP “Walking Through Concrete” on MOC

 

Exclusive Mix:

 

Tracklist of Exclusive Set:
sorry no tracklist available because this is a live recording of Rebar’s first hour of their set played at the In][Between night at Suicide Circus on 2nd July 2017.

 

Websites:
Rebar
made of Concrete

 

[Music & Interview]: Kaczorek

 

Music & Interview

Kaczorek

 

Interview:

Hi Dennis, we met the first time at Arena Club in Berlin. You was working as bouncer and I was there for the Escapism event (guest and helping a little bit at the cash desk). So we have to talk about working at a club door. Arena Club has a lot of very nice parties organised by different crew. How long do you already work as doorman in general and especially for the Arena Club?. Is it sometimes difficult to decide which people are right for the party at a certain night? Do you speak with the promoters about which kind of people they want for their party?
I’am working as a bouncer at the arena club since about two years. I haven’t been working as a bouncer before, actually i became one throuht true happenstance as a friend of us became to work in the management of arena club and asked me if I would be into working there at the door- and of course I sayed yes. In the meantime I got to know the people running parties there and naturally also the clientele. Mostly the first impression is significant enough to decide if someone fits into the club and if I let them pass the door or not. The audience of the different parties is actually not so much varying. I think for a bouncer it’s most importand to contribute to make the guest’s evening as well as possible. Part of this is to keep people away, that are not fitting into a technoclub as they are not coming to enjoy the music but to pick up a fight. That’s why it is so important in this job to have a good knowledge of human nature, as you don’t have much time to decide if you let someone in or not. To be fair and give everybody a chance, we mostly have a short chat with them before we make our decision. We for example want to know if they have an idea who’s playing at the club tonight.
 
You are also a DJ. You already released two mixes for the mix series of Ismus – one of these parties mentioned earlier. How did you get in touch with them and when did they ask you for the first mix? Are you part of the promoter crew?
Yes, fortunately I had the honor to release two mixes for Ismus. And I was really happy as they asked me for another podcast shortly after.

I made the contact to Ismus during their parties at Arena. In the course of the evening i got into conversation with Josh, the promoter of Ismus. I told him that I am djing and asked him if he would like to hear a set of mine. A view days later he wrote and asked me if i could record a podcast for them. Shortly after the first podcast had been released, he asked me for another one. That’s how our collaboration began.

 
Kaczorek 01
 
A few weeks ago you played in Hanover. How was it playing outside of the party city Berlin? Who organised the booking?
As I grew up in Hannover and have already played there in the past, I know city pretty well. I also knew the host of HTD for a while. Eventough I have to say that my gig at the HTD Klubnacht was special to me. The party was very well organized, I have experienced this differently over the years. The soundsystem was one of the best I ever played on and the crowd also enjoyed it a lot over the three hours of the set. It simply was a great gig.
 
Kaczorek 4
 
Where did you already play in general?
As I am working with Ismus only since a short time and it is not easy in Berlin to get offers for gigs, as there are so many people making music, I have no gigs in the next weeks. I also had to reject offers for gigs at the Suicide Circus and Griessmühle in August for privat reasons. The next time that i will be playing is in october at Griessmühle and again in Hannover.
 
Is there any DJ (or are there some DJs) who inspired you and their skills convinced you that you also want to be one?
Yes there are a lot of artists that have been inspriering me over the years, but it’s hard to get concrete about that as there are so producers and DJs releasing great techno music. Only to drop a view names: Keith Carnal, Rraph, MTD. They gave me good impulses in the last time and I admire their last releases a lot

 
Kaczorek 3
 
While doing your bouncer job you hear a lot of music. Do you listen to some tracks with more intense than others because you like them (known or not)? Do you get some inspiration from the sets and DJs at the events taking place while you are doing the security job?
Yes I definitily get inspired by the sets of the djs, but unfortunately you don’t really have the time to focus on music during the work at the club. At the door, you hear the music only partially, what makes it quite impossible to listen to it truthfully. But still it’s awsome have the possibility to listen to good techno music during the work.
 
For sure you saw many different club nights and party concepts. Was there something that really impressed and inspired you? Any situation that kept in your mind?
Every night brings new astonishments and pleasant surpises, it never gets boring. Of course you experience alot during the 12 hours you are working at the door. For example guests who overshoot their borders and go to far. There have been a fiew risky moments in the past, but over all the most people are peacefull and just want to have a nice evening. And there are some really special events were you can see things you don’t get to see in a “normal” club, but that’s what makes working at Arena so special.
 
Did you ever think about running your own party (series)?
About five years ago, I have hosted two parties in Hannover. It was a good experience, but I have perceived quickly that I am not really into it and that I want to focus on the music.
 
Kaczorek 2
 
Many DJs are also producers. Did you already create some own tracks? Any plans for making some and to release it?
Yes I know it’s a advantage to produce if you want to raise your level of awarness. But to be honest I just don’t have the time to really become acquainted with that by now, as I am married and have another full-time job. If I do it, I’ll try to do it right.
 
What are your plan for the future?
Actually I have no concrete plans, as it is difficult to plan for a longterm in the scene. I’ll just get it for me. I am just hoping that it is continuing as good as it is now and that the next gigs will be as mind blowing as the last ones.
 
Kaczorek 5
 

Exclusive Set:

 

Tracklist of Exclusive Set:
01. Joachim Spieth – Aidan (Arnaud Le Texier Beatless Remix)
02. Repart – Enigmas
03. Audiocell & Thimo Müller – Oriental Flash
04. Massa – Interference (Ness Remix)
05. Fresh Otis – WalkingONaciD (Dkult Remix Dub 1)
06. Drop-E – Collapse
07. Dorian Knox – Kepler (Rraph Remix)
08. Onassis – Pulse (Dkult Remix)
09. Cardao – U2
10. Atlaxsys – Crop
11. Dkult , Stevie Rose – D3
12. Re: Axis – Fluid
13. Rraph – Tuna Canyan Park
14. Dorian Gray – Nyctophilism (Rraph Remix)
15. Raul Alvarez – Lazaro’s Behaviour
16. Ledd – While I’m Not There
17. Shawn Moses – Origin (Joshua Calleja & Bold Remix)
18. Monosaccharide – Cymatics (MTD Exploration Mix)

 

Websites:
Kaczorek

 

[Music & Interview]: Mark Groot

 

Music & Interview

Mark Groot

 

Introduction:

Mark Groot is a producer and artist from the Netherlands. This young and talented man quit law school and dedicated his life to only one thing; his Music.

He followed a course on SAE (Audio Engineering school) and graduated with honors. Besides his work as a producer and DJ he works at Delsin Records, where he takes care of the vinyl shop.

His music is flowy; sometimes even sort of hypnotizing but direct hitting. In his tracks as well as his sets you can hear that Mark likes to play with different moods. Catch people with dynamic and tense music and after that get them back on the ground. This skill together with his open minded and friendly personality makes him Mark Groot.

Mark Groot in short is a positive, passionate and very driven person with a clear goal in his head.

 

Interview:

Hi Mark. We met virtually the first time at the end of 2015. If I remember right, you sent me some tracks. How did you find the NovaFuture Blog and why did you have the idea of sending tracks to the “guys” running it?
Yes that’s true. I actually used NovaFuture Blog for some time to dig new music. Of course Hardwax and Decks are great ways to find new music, but what I like about blogs is that you can also find unofficial releases from talented producers. 

At the time I sent my tracks over I was in an audio engineering school. It was that time where I decided to fully focus on my music and step up the game. 

So I thought let’s try NovaFuture Blog. 

 
Actually we fell in love with your stuff immediately and wanted to support you so we published the first feature about you, the self-released EP “Never Try Never Know”. When did you produce it and what was your inspiration for it?
I remember making those tracks in the studio at my school. It was the very first EP I made where I felt like it was good enough to send out. I wouldn’t say there was a specific inspiration for it. I always see it like this, you have inspiration versus processing. Inspiration would be the part where a specific creative idea pop ups in your head after some sort of stimulus. 

This EP was more a processing type of workflow. This means you just start working and while you create, you come up with new elements that fit. It’s more playful I would say. 

Of course I’m influenced by a lot of things I hear and see, but that’s more like an unconscious process. 

 
Mark Groot 6
 
Who are your favourite producers & DJs? What inspires you in general?
At the moment my favorite DJs would be Ben Klock and Marcel Dettmann.

I think no matter where in the world those guys play, they always succeed in creating the vibe that’s needed. True Techno gurus. 

The same question for producers would be harder to answer. I don’t have one specific person whose productions I all dig. 

But it would be names like, Jeroen Search, Kobosil, Z.I.P.P.O, Nthng, Altinbas, Dold, Jonas Friedlich, Sterac, FJAAK, DVS1, Prince of Denmark, Robert Hood and also Klock and Dettmann. Let’s stop there because there is almost no end to this list. 

 
Mark Groot 4
 
You also work at Delsin Records in your home town Amsterdam. Is that a source for inspiration too? What are you doing there and how did you get the job?
Lots of music is being played at the office of Delsin so of course in a way it affects me and influences me, but I think more in a subconscious way. I wouldn’t say after work I feel the most inspired. 

To get the job, I actually just sent the guys of Delsin a mail asking if they needed someone. Luckily, they could use some help at the vinyl section. So I take care of that now. 

 
After the first feature and another one, your EP “YWIMC” on Naught Music, we started a closer co-operation by releasing together the EPs “Matter Of Time”, “DE.LETE” and “Influence”. We released each of them step by step, track by track. How did you come up with that idea?
True. I remember having lots of tracks done. Some very different from each other, so I thought it would be better to give all the tracks a chance to be properly heard. 

One every week seemed like a good concept to me and it worked out well. 

 
Mark Groot 2
 
But you are not only a producer but also a DJ. You released 2 mixes on your own soundcloud and one podcast for Upperberry. How did the guy behind Upperberry get in contact with you and do you know why/how you got hisattention?
About a year ago the guys of Upperberry contacted me asking if I wanted to do a feature on their blog. They offered to have me participate in their podcast series. 

I’m not sure how they found me, but I think they heard some of my productions. Maybe through NovaFuture since they are also from Berlin.

 
You also played a few gigs. Tell us about them. Who arranged them? How is it for you to play in front of an audience?
For now I arrange all of my gigs myself. When I was younger, I played a lot at local clubs in my hometown and even on the radio. So I already experienced some of that.

But of course it’s great to take people on a journey with your music selection. It really doesn’t matter if there are 500 people enjoying the music or just 10, seeing people enjoy what you do is already a great feeling. 

 
Mark Groot 1
 
Did you also play your own tracks? How was the audience’s reaction?
I haven’t played my own tracks yet. I’m always very critical and precise about my own tracks and selecting tracks for gigs, but I’m sure I will soon. 
 
You are from the Netherlands. Do you like the techno scene there? Did you ever visit a club in Berlin or Germany? Do you see any differences and/or similarities?
I have lived in Amsterdam for 5 years now and at the moment the techno scene here is quite alright. After the closing of club ‘Trouw’ there was a year where Amsterdam really missed a good techno club. But pretty recently two new clubs opened, ‘De School’ and ‘Shelter,’ and those clubs fill the void pretty well. 

Besides the clubs, Amsterdam is almost famous for its amount of festivals that take place. Festivals like ‘Dekmantel Festival’ are a real addition to the techno scene here in my opinion. 

I did visit some clubs in Germany and also specifically in Berlin, but I have not experienced enough in the Berlin techno scene to really give my opinion about it.

A big difference between Amsterdam and Berlin though would be the opening hours of the club.

In Berlin the Saturday til Monday culture is way more integrated than in Amsterdam. There are some clubs here that can be open for 24 hours but it’s just not yet integrated enough in the culture. To me, that’s a big miss. 

 
Mark Groot 5
 
What are your plans regarding DJing?
To do as many shows as possible. This summer I already got some nice bookings scheduled  such as the closing act on a festival and playing in a big church outside of Amsterdam. 

There are also some more exiting things coming up where I can’t say too much about, yet. 

I also hope to play in Berlin soon. 

 
Do you have some new productions in the pipeline? What’s coming in that area?
Yes yes yes, you can expect a new EP of mine including remixes, which I’m very excited about. 
 

Recommendations:
EP “Never Try Never Know”
EP “DE.LETE”
EP “Influence”
EP “YWIMC” on Naught Music
EP “Matter Of Time”

 

Exclusive Set:

 

Tracklist of Exclusive Set:
1. Monadh – Calanque
2. ADMX 71 – Mystical Ascent
3. Christopher Ledger – Metonimia (Ambient Version)
4. SYS – Radius
5. Sven Weisemann – Maori Octopus
6. Feral – Brahma
7. Doyeq – Frame
8. Orion – Afterlife
9. Par Grindvik – London Marble
10. Alex Do – Dolorous
11. Exium – Trashflow (Jeroen Search 39s Machine Mix)
12. Z.I.P.P.O. – Tempo
13. Marco Carola – Untitled ( 4th Question – B2 )
14. Planetary Assault Systems – Radiance
15. Tim Wolff – Backstage Fridge Jeroen Search Remix
16. 3KZ – Distant Land
17. Museum – Pole
18. Crossing Avenue – Malandra
19. Mark Groot – IC149
20. Z.I.P.P.O. – Inconstant Universe

 

Websites:
Mark Groot

 

[Interview]: Dennis Burmeister, co-author of “Monument” … May 2017 (English)

 

Interview

Dennis Burmeister

 

Introduction:
4 years ago we had an interview with co-author Dennis Burmeister on the occasion of the publishing of the book “Monument” ein kleines Interview (read here). Now there is an updated limited edition of the book (released Mid May) – so it’s time to have another chat with Dennis (Interview is also available in German).

Details about the extended edition can be found here

 

Interview:

Dennis, it’s been 4 years since our last interview. Exactly the time that Depeche Mode needed to produce “Spirit” after “Delta Machine”. How did you like the Delta Machine tour and what were your highlights?
4 years? That’s crazy. Time’s running. It seems to me like Depeche Mode never took a break at all.

The album works well with me, although it took a while to get used to it. I liked the tour as well, I still listen to the Soundboard recording of the “City Limits Festival” in Austin/Texas now and again. One of the highlights was Martin’s interpretation of “But Not Tonight” and “Shake The Disease”, though I would have preferred this one by Dave. It’s one of those songs that always brings back nice memories.

 

(Live Video of Depeche Mode’s “Should Be Higher”, recorded during the Delta Machine Tour)
 
Their latest album “Spirit” has been out for some weeks now. How do you like it?
It needs to grow on me. ‘Cover Me’ is still my favourite. But with ‘Fail’ Martin Gore delivers one of those songs with parallels to the old Depeche Mode albums. Godlike, because it’s a typical Gore song. I think it’d work well live …
 
Is the new album the only reason for an update of the book “Monument”? Which new content is in the new limited edited?
If I remember rightly, it was mostly about releasing the Daniel Miller interview in Germany. German fans have been asking for it for a while now. Daniel is like a father figure to Depeche Mode fans, he’s very popular. He’s my hero too. And if I had a tattoo, then it’d be one of him or at least the MUTE logo on my bum cheek …

The release of Spirit and the tour dates fitted in nicely with our own plans for a re-release. Of course we were debating if and when there’d be a new Depeche Mode album or tour. But I think a limited edition would’ve been released anyway. When the publishers decide that there’ll be a limited edition, then that’s a great compliment to us as authors. And no, I don’t think there’ll be more limited editions. That’d be absurd.

 

(Video of “Where’s The Revolution” by Depeche Mode, “Spirit”, Columbia 2017)
 
The reprint isn’t the only edition that has been released since our last interview – there are many international editions out now (including an English one – view here). How did that come about after the initial German edition? Which ones are available? Do they all have the same content? Are there any special stories behind any of them?
Our publisher has a department that deals with international licenses. Our dear colleague Inka, who works for the publisher AUFBAU, usually informs us about enquiries from abroad. We’re always looking forward to getting a phone call from her. It’s then up to the publishers from abroad how they use our content – if they decide not to publish certain chapters, maybe because Götz Alsmann isn’t as popular in Poland as he is in Germany, or simply to keep the cost of the production low. We get to know those changes very late in the process. Sascha and I are rather relaxed there though.
 
Is the limited edition going to be available in different languages as well?
Good question. I’ve no idea. Sascha? Hello?
 
Your publishing house Aufbau/Blumenbar is going to release a book about the legendary music label MUTE, which was co-written by founder Daniel Miller. Miller discovered Depeche Mode and MUTE has been their label for a long time. Have you contributed in any way to this book, with your extensive collection for example? It’ll be out in November. What do you expect from it?
To be honest, this book has been long overdue. Right? I mean, look at the artists that have grown with MUTE. Neubauten, Fad Gadget, Nick Cave, Depeche Mode, Erasure, D.A.F., NON, Throbbing Gristle, Holger Hiller, Moby, Goldfrapp … and now even New Order and Lee Ranaldo from SONIC YOUTH. I mean … Hello? And to top it off, the incredibly nice Daniel Miller, who’s remained ever so grounded, even though he’s written pop history.

When I first found out that there’ll be a book release by our publishing house, I about wet myself.

There’s been an enquiry about some material that I’ve got in my collection, but I haven’t heard anything since. I haven’t contributed in any way, no.

 

(Video of “Memphis Tennessee” by Silicon Teens, “Music For Parties”, Mute 1980)
 
Have you got any plans for the near future? Any new books planned? Are you still working as a graphic designer?
Yes, Sascha and I are working on a second book, which will be published by VENTIL. The VENTIL publishing house mainly focuses on pop theory, pop history, society critics and analysis and cultural studies. The working title is “Behind the Wall – Depeche Mode fan culture in the GDR”. It’s a great thing, we’ve been collecting lots of visual and text material. It just HAS to be put into book form.
 
I’ve heard you’re into communal politics now. How did that come about?
I was asked if I wanted to be part of a voters association that had been founded just before the last communal elections in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. I started out by running the election campaign and was responsible for the PR of our association. We won the election with the first ballot, with an absolute majority in the local councils. We have replaced the local CDU after 25 years. That’s how it came about.
 
In terms of Depeche Mode, what do you hope for in the future? Do you think they’ll keep on releasing albums and touring every 4 years?
Well, I don’t think they can just stop doing what they’re doing. Artists that have been traveling to the metropolises of the world for decades can’t just sit at home and do nothing. The timeframe between albums may vary, tours might not be as long, but they’ll most probably keep on releasing albums.

Let’s be honest, apart from all artistic aspects, Depeche Mode is a huge money printing machine. And I don’t mean that in a nasty way.

 
Wishes for the future?
Loving life. Good health.

Thank you for your questions.

 

Websites:
Depeche Mode
Depeche Mode @ Facebook
Mute
Mute @ Facebook
Depeche Mode Monument
Aufbau/Blumenbar

 

[Interview]: Dennis Burmeister, co-author of “Monument” … May 2017 (German)

 

Interview

Dennis Burmeister

 

Einleitung:
Vor 4 Jahren führten wir anlässlich der Veröffentlichung des Buches “Monument” ein kleines Interview mit dem Co-Autor Dennis Burmeister (siehe hier). Nun gibt es ein kleines Update des Buches (erschien Mitte Mai) – Anlass für ein weiteres Interview (Interview is also available in English).

Details über die Extended Edition findest du hier.

 

Interview:

Dennis, es sind 4 Jahre nach unserem letzten Interview vergangen. Genau die Zeit die Depeche Mode für die Produktion von “Spirit” nach “Delta Machine” brauchten. Wie hat dir die Delta Machine Tour gefallen und was waren deine Highlights?
4 Jahre? Wahnsinn. Die Zeit rast. Mir kommt es gerade so vor, als hätten Depeche Mode nach „Delta Machine“ gar keine Pause gemacht. Das Album funktioniert eigentlich ganz gut bei mir, auch wenn es – wie so oft – mehrere Anläufe brauchte. Die Tour fand ich auch ganz gut, den Soundboard-Mitschnitt vom „City Limits Festival” in Austin/Texas höre ich recht oft. Absolute Höhepunkte waren seinerzeit natürlich Martins Interpretationen von “But not tonight” und “Shake the Disease”, obwohl ich letztere Nummer doch lieber von Dave gehört hätte. Mit diesem Song verbinde ich wundervolle Momente.
 

(Live-Video zu Depeche Mode’s “Should Be Higher”, aufgenommen auf der Delta Machine Tour)
 
Seit einigen Wochen ist nun das aktuelle Album “Spirit” im Handel. Wie gefällt es dir?
Wie sagt man so schön: das Album muss noch wachsen. „Cover me“ ist nach wie vor mein Favorit. Aber mit „Fail“ lieferte Gore eine der wenigen Parallelen zu früheren Depeche Mode-Alben. Göttliche, weil typische Gore-Nummer. Der Track würde auch live funktionieren …
 
Ist das neue Album der einzige Grund für ein Update des “Monument”-Buches? Welche neuen Inhalte finden sich denn jetzt in der limitierten Neuauflage?
Wenn ich mich recht erinnere ging es seinerzeit vor allem auch darum, das Interview mit Daniel Miller in Deutschland zu veröffentlichen. Da gab es von den deutschen Fans desöfteren mal Anfragen. Daniel ist bei Depeche Mode-Fans fast so etwas wie eine Vaterfigur und unglaublich beliebt. Er ist auch mein Held. Und hätte ich ein Tattoo, dann wohl von Daniel Miller. Oder zumindest das MUTE-Logo auf ´ner Po-Backe … Das Release von „Spirit“ und die Tour-Daten passten jedenfalls wunderbar zu unseren Veröffentlichungsplänen. Klar, haben wir immer auch spekuliert, ob und wann ein neues Depeche Mode-Album kommt oder ´ne Tour ansteht. Aber gekommen wäre die limited Edition wohl so oder so, denke ich. Wenn man beim Verlag entscheidet, ´ne limitierte Sonder-Auflage zu machen, dann klingt das für uns Autoren zunächst erstmal sehr schmeichelhaft. Und nein, ich denke nicht, dass es weitere Sonderauflagen geben wird. Das wäre absurd.
 

(Video zu “Where’s The Revolution” von Depeche Mode, “Spirit”, Columbia 2017)
 
Diese Neuauflage ist allerdings nicht die einzige Ausgabe, die seit unserem Interview erschienen ist – inzwischen gibt es etliche internationale Versionen (u.a. eine englischsprachige – siehe hier). Wie kam es nach der deutschen Erstausgabe zu diesen? Welche gibt es denn im Detail? Haben diese Ausgaben alle den selben Inhalt? Welche Story steckt hinter jeder dieser?
Es gibt bei unserem Verlag eine Abteilung die sich mit der Vermittlung von Auslandslizenzen beschäftigt. Und die liebe Kollegin Inka vom AUFBAU-Verlag – über deren Anrufe wir uns immer sehr freuen – informiert uns dann über Anfragen aus dem Ausland. Wie die jeweiligen Verlage den Inhalt dann gestalten, also ob sie z.B. auf das eine oder andere Kapitel verzichten, weil ein Götz Alsmann in Polen kaum bekannt ist oder weil man einfach Produktionskosten sparen möchte, das erfahren wir eigentlich recht spät. Sascha und ich sind da aber auch ziemlich gelassen.
 
Wird auch die erweiterte Ausgabe wieder in verschiedenen Sprachen erhältlich sein?
Gute Frage. Keine Ahnung. Sascha? Hallo?
 
Euer Verlag Aufbau/Blumenbar wird nun auch ein Buch über das legendäre Musiklabel Mute veröffentlichen welches u.a. von Gründer Daniel Miller erstellt worden ist. Miller war der Entdecker von Depeche Mode und Mute für lange Zeit ihre Labelheimat. Hast du an diesem Buch mitgewirkt z.B. durch deine zahlreichen Sammlerstücke? Was erwartest du von dem im November erscheinenden Werk?
Sind wir doch mal ehrlich: dieses Buch ist längst überfällig. Oder? Ich meine guck dir die Künstler an, die mit MUTE gewachsen sind. Neubauten, Fad Gadget, Nick Cave, Depeche Mode, Erasure, D.A.F., NON, Throbbing Gristle, Holger Hiller, Moby, Goldfrapp … zuletzt New Order und Lee Ranaldo von SONIC YOUTH. Ich meine … Hallo? Dazu diese unglaublich liebenswerte Figur Daniel Miller, welcher fast nebenbei Popgeschichte geschrieben hat und dabei so unglaublich bescheiden geblieben ist. Als ich erfahren habe, dass dieses Buch ausgerechnet bei unserem Verlag erscheint, hätte ich mir vor Freude fast in die Hose gemacht. Es gab zwischendurch mal eine kurze Anfrage in Bezug auf Material aus meiner Sammlung, aber das verlief sich dann irgendwann im Sande. Aktiv mitgewirkt habe ich nicht, nein.
 

(Video zu “Memphis Tennessee” von Silicon Teens, “Music For Parties”, Mute 1980)
 
Was steht bei dir sonst so an? Weitere Bücher in Planung? Arbeitest du weiterhin als Grafiker?
Ja, Sascha und ich arbeiten gerade an einem zweiten Buch, welches beim VENTIL-Verlag erscheinen wird. Die Schwerpunkte des VENTIL -Verlags liegen in den Bereichen Poptheorie, Popgeschichte, Gesellschaftskritik- und -analyse sowie Cultural Studies. Der Arbeitstitel lautet „Behind the Wall – Depeche Mode-Fankultur in der DDR“. Eine großartige Sache, zumal wir großartiges Bild- und Textmaterial gesammelt und bekommen haben, welches einfach in Buchform verewigt werden MUSS.
 
Wie man hört engagierst du dich in der Kommunalpolitik. Wie kam es dazu?
Ich wurde gefragt, ob ich nicht Teil einer Wählergemeinschaft werden möchte, die sich kurz vor den letzten Kommunalwahlen in MV gegründet hatte. Ich organisierte zunächst den Wahlkampf und war für die Öffentlichkeitsarbeit unserer Truppe verantwortlich. Wir gewannen die Wahl auch gleich im ersten Wahlgang, holten die absolute Mehrheit in der Gemeindevertretung und lösten die ortsansässige CDU ab, die nach mehr als 25 Jahren abgewählt wurde. So kam es dazu.
 
Was erhoffst du dir von Depeche Mode in den nächsten Jahren? Denkst du sie werden weiterhin im 4-Jahresrhythmus Alben veröffentlichen und touren?
Ach, ich glaube, die können gar nicht aufhören. Künstler, die seit Jahrzehnten die Metropolen der Welt bereisen, können nicht irgendwann zu Hause hocken und Däumchen drehen. Das Tempo der VÖs wird sich vielleicht ändern, die Touren werden kürzer, aber Platten werden sie wohl weiterhin machen. Und machen wir uns nichts vor: Depeche Mode ist – neben allen künstlerischen Aspekten – vor allem auch eine Gelddruckmaschine. Und das meine ich überhaupt nicht abwertend.
 
Wünsche für die Zukunft?
Freude am Leben. Gesundheit. Herzlichen Dank für deine Fragen 🙂
 

Websites:
Depeche Mode
Depeche Mode @ Facebook
Mute
Mute @ Facebook
Mute Deutschland @ Facebook
Depeche Mode Monument
Aufbau/Blumenbar