Music & Interview
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.
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?
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, press pic 2016)
What are your musical backgrounds? What kind of music do you listen to in your “spare time”?
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, 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?
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)
(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)?
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?
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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
Rebar’s EP “Hansaprohlis” on MOC
Kaiser’s EP “Sottotono” on MOC
Myles Serge’s EP “Walking Through Concrete” on MOC
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.
made of Concrete