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Feature: Dole & Kom [Interview]

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Dole and Kom first met in 1993 while working at Berlin’s Delirium Record Store. complimentary tastes in music and an evolving friendship led them to play numerous DJ gigs together at the city’s major clubs including Tresor and E-Werk. This collaborative partnership also blossomed in the studio with duo recently landing releases on Akbal Music and 3000 Grad Records, while also remixing the likes of Monolink and Acid Pauli. Now on the cusp of a new single for Inspired By Trees, we catch up with the duo in this exclusive interview. Enjoy!

Hi Guys, thanks for joining us, how are you today, where in the world are you and what are you up to this week?

Quite good according of the circumstances. We spend most of the time in the studio working on new tracks and remixes.

Tell us a bit about yourself, how did you discover electronic music and what led you down the path of wanting to be producers and DJs?

Tilo played the drums in his High School band. Later he started deejaying rap & Hip Hop before got infected by the House virus while listening to Kevin Saunderson’s ‚Bounce Your Body To The Box‘ at Monika Dietl’s Radio Show.

Jens always was into Dance & Disco Music after seeing ‚Saturday Night Fever‘ at the movies. Actually, his first career choice was becoming a music producer. In the late 80s he discovered Chicago House and guys like Marshall Jefferson, Adonis and Chip E.

What music from your youth had the biggest effect on where you are today? Are there certain tracks or albums which profoundly influenced you?

Tilo has a Indie / Punk Rock background eg. Ramones, Pixies, The Fall plus early electronics like Cabaret Voltaire and Front 242.

Jens grew up with Disco/Dance and 80s Electro Pop and Old School Rap. He liked acts like Soft Cell, Art of Noise, Propaganda.

Are you musically trained? And do you think it’s necessary for success in writing electronic music?

No, definitely not. You hear this in our early productions, it was just learning by doing and exchanging with friends. Over the years we learned quite a bit about music theory and playing keyboard, programming synthesizers and drum- computers. Knowledge of music theory and harmonics is not necessary but it can help a lot.

How did you meet and eventually start collaborating? How was the Dole & Kom project born into the world?

We met while working in Delirium record store. We soon discovered that we have almost the same taste in House Music. So we had a lot of fun working together and became Buddies real quick. Then starting to deejay as a team was logical step.

A successful partnership is generally based around balance and compromise; how do you manage these things within the Dole & Kom dynamic? Do you have different roles in the production process? And if so elaborate please.

Usually Jens works on new projects and song ideas while Tilo takes care of social media, communication with booking agencies/promoters, DJ set preparation, checking promos and writing reviews for the deathbydisco.de blog.

Sitting together in the studio to pick the next projects can sometimes end in some discussion but we always arrange, mix and finalize them as a team to get the typical Dole & Kom sound.

How has living in Berlin shaped the music you make and your career path so to speak? You’ve played at some iconic clubs over the course of your career, namely E-Werk and Tresor, looking back what is a memory that stands out from that period?

The time in Berlin after the fall of the wall was an exciting one. Being part of developing a new Subculture, seeing all the clubs and places that came up and sometimes vanished in a blink of an eye, feeling the incredible energy of all the different people coming here together form east and west – this is something that is hard to imagine nowadays. Becoming residents at E-werk and Tresor was a blessing and the foundation of our career.

You have a new single out this week on Inspired By Trees, tell us a bit about the track and the production process behind it.

We already had a pumpin’ beat and came across this vocal sample that we really liked. All it needed then was that rolling Bassline, the squeaking hook and some reversed FX Sounds. Then we tested it in our live set before we finished the final version.

There are also two excellent remixes from Guzy and Paege, what was the thought process behind those choices?

We like Paege’s deep & groovy style a lot. He was the one who came up with the idea of asking Guzy to contribute a remix as well. An excellent choice, because we already had some of his tunes in our playlist.

How do you feel about your music being remixed in general?

It is always exciting to hear the outcome. And sometimes when listing to a Remix we think ‚damn, we could wave done a better job with our original‘.

Why did Inspired By Trees feel like the right home for ‘Around’?

We’ve known Paege for quite some time know. We did a couple of Remixes for IBT and always wanted to do a single. So we sent him a bunch of tracks and he picked ‘Around‘.

What’s a piece of gear that gets used on every track? And what are some of your favourite studio tools?

Always start programming beats with NI Battery and baselines with the Sub37. Our secret weapons for mixdown are Softube Console Fader and our TLA Fat Track Tube Summing Mixer.

Who do you show your music first before introducing it to a wider audience or sending it out to labels?

Nobody. But we usually test stuff in the club before sending it to labels.

What’s the thing most people think they understand about being an artist but don’t? And what are the biggest challenges you currently face as an artist?

Without complaining, being a full time DJ and/or producer isn’t always that glamorous as people may think. Beside all the fun being on tour can be, there are times without having 2 or 3 bookings on a weekend and then it is hard to make living. Additionally, since digital distribution and streaming the income from musical releases shrunk massively.

This is why we also work as coaches for electronic music production at noisy Academy in Berlin. So we don’t have too much pressure and can do what we want in our studio.

The industry and how fans discover new music has changed dramatically in the last 10 years or so. How do you discover new music nowadays?

We have our review blog deathbydisco.de that’s why we get tons of promos. We also check out other blogs for new stuff.

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?

Kitten videos on the internet.

What does the rest of 2020 hold for Dole & Kom? Anything you can tell us about?

We already had EPs and Remixes on Akbal Music, 3000Grad Rec. and Acker Rec this year. We just finished a remix for The Angels to be released in June on Swedish ‚House Music With Love‘ Label.

‘Around’ is out now on Inspired By Trees, you can purchase the release here: https://bit.ly/3dpPIDn

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