2013 promises to be a big year for Hamburg’s Kaiserdisco. They are on the verge of releasing their second artist album as well as expanding their record label, KD Music, as well as some other little ventures. Kaiserdisco took some time to unchain themselves from the studio for a quick chat with DT about what’s in store this coming year.
Hi chaps, how are you doing? How was the festive season for you guys? Ready for a big 2013?
We are doing fine, thanks. During the festive season we had a lot of good food and could spend some time with our families. So all in all it was a very relaxing time cause we had some days off between Christmas and New Year's Eve and now we are definitely ready for a great 2013.
You’re pushing ahead with KD music this year, what’s the plan for that? What image do you see the label portraying and how are you looking to develop the label?
The plan is quite simple. We want to make the label more successful, more famous and more established. So let's say we just want to let it grow. We are trying to reach this by releasing good music. We are always looking for good new tracks that we like to play in our sets and if we find one, we license it and release it. We see the label or the image of the label basically as an underground tech house label. But it is the same as in our DJ sets; there is definitely a lot of space for some good and groovy techno tracks as well as for a nice deep house tune. Most important for us though, is that we like and play the music otherwise we would not sign or release it on KD Music.
I understand you’re looking to focus on your retouch series which saw you previously work with the likes of Marc Romboy and Booka Shade - who else do you hope to work with in the future on this series? Will the retouch series remain on Systematic?
The retouch series will not remain on Systematic. Our idea was to pick tracks we like from artists we like from labels we like and give them a new treatment.
We just wanted to give those tracks a little retouch and make them playable again for current DJ sets. We will absolutely go on with this series and will do it with other artists and labels but at the moment it is a bit too early to give a concrete statement cause nothing is fixed so far. Furthermore our main focus at the moment is to finish our second album and after that we will push the retouch series a little bit more again.
You released your debut artist album, back in 2010, In No-One’s Shadow and you have another coming out in June. Can we expect a similarly diverse sound as your first? Some people billed the first as being quite minimalist though I’d say it was extremely varied and reflected yourselves in that respect.
We think that people who billed our first album as quite minimalistic probably did not really listen to it. We are definitely more on your side and think it was very varied. And that's what people can expect from our second album as well. As I said we are not completely done but there are only one or two songs to finish and we can say that we are already very proud of it and really looking forward to the release date. I think we can show our whole range again and it is going to be a very good album.
Many of your own releases and those by others on the label tend towards a very funky, groove-based sound... What factors influence your decision on who releases on KD music and the type of music? As on the other hand you’ve got tracks being released like Alex Costa’s Night Garden EP, which leans much more towards techno.
You are right, many of our own tracks as well as many of those we sign/release on KD Music are very groove and bass oriented, cause that's what we like. But that's not the only thing we like and so you can find tracks like Alex Costas Night Garden EP on our label as well. We have a very simple way to find out what we sign. We ask ourselves just two simple questions. 1) Would we buy it? and 2) Would we play it? If we can say yes twice, the track has got a very good chance to be signed by us. No matter if the artist is already known or not.
Do you try to have the label reflect your own open mindedness towards genres that is evident from your track selection when DJ'ing? You’re known for playing a variety of genres based on the moment and the crowd, would you say you’re quite liberal in what you release genre-wise?
As we said before, we are basically a tech house label but we are also open minded for many directions genre-wise. But at this point it would not make much sense to release for example a chill out EP or something like that. Nobody would expect something like that on our label and nobody would look for something like that on KD Music. So it would probably not be very successful and that's neither good for the artist nor for us. So EP wise I would say there has to be at least one danceable track on it, which means something in between deep house, tech house and techno.
I know that you both DJ’d individually before joining forces as Kaiserdisco. How did it come about? And what has changed for each of you in terms of the way you think in the booth since you’ve been DJ’ing together?
There was not really a big change for us. Both of us worked in duo projects before so we were already trained to play “ping pong” sets. Producing-wise we still prefer to work together cause it’s much more fun and we are much more focused to finish a track. Also it's very important for each of us to be 100% involved in every KD track.
How about now? It’s only natural to have the occasional disagreement when working with somebody and then often to look back on it and laugh afterwards. Can you remember one occasion when you have both disagreed on something and how did you resolve it?
As far as I can remember we have never had a disagreement. While sitting together in the studio and working on tracks we mostly have the same ideas. Sometimes we say the same things at the same time. Patrick is also very careful with decisions, he is thinking for days about it and sometimes it makes me crazy but at the end of the week he is right with his decision. That’s why I cannot remember ever having a disagreement in the past.
Did you both pretty much have the same setup before or did it take a period of arguing the advantages and disadvantages of vinyl Vs digital before coming to an agreement over the setup you now use?
Yes we nearly had the same setup when we met. We both played digital already. Patrick already played with a controller and I played with Traktor Scratch (Vinyl). 2 years later Native Instruments presented us the new S4 Controller and we fell in love with this beauty! It’s a big controller but it’s so easy to set up in the club and it takes you only 3 minutes. We are not synchronizing the controllers when we play together so it has a really ping pong feeling for us.
Have you any interesting/bizarre stories to tell from your time touring together?!
Once we played together in Colombia and while we were standing in line checking in we saw a beautiful thin Colombian woman with the fattest fake ass we have ever seen.
Any standout moments when you’ve been DJ’ing or any parties that have particularly stood out? How was the Cocoon party at Watergate in November of last year?
The bad side of our life is that we can’t remember all the gigs we played. Sometimes it’s very hard to tell you where we played last weekend. We are not alcoholics but when you play every weekend you lose your mind. Watergate in Berlin was really nice, and I can remember it cause we played some of our rare “duo” gigs. A lot of friends from the Netherlands, Berlin and Hamburg joined us and we had a fantastic night!
How does your DJ schedule look this year? Anything again that you’re super excited about??
We always focus on the next party and not on special dates somewhere in the future! To be honest with you we are still so focused to finish the album that we have not even checked all the upcoming gigs yet. Our management is taking care of it and we are sure there will be a lot of sleepless nights again this year
With the label, your own releases, the album, the retouch series, you’ve got a lot going on the production side of things. Will you be mostly focusing on this aspect in 2013 or do you plan to party pretty hard too this year?
During the week, we are always focused on the label and production side of things - as you can imagine it’s a lot of work! The weekend we still party hard and if we get a weekend off we go out, meet some friends and listen to some other DJ’s that are in town
Quick fire quiz
• Club or afterparty? (Frederic) Club (Patrick) Both
• Vinyl or digital? Digital
• Deep and groovy or Hard and dirty? Deep to Dirty
• 1am or 5am? 5am
• Festival or intimate club? Club
• Sunrise or sunset? Sunrise
• Kaiser roll or German Emperor? “Kaiserschmarn”