Home Featured Feature: Einmusik [Interview + Premiere]

Feature: Einmusik [Interview + Premiere]

24 min read

Hi Samuel, thanks for talking to us today. What is your current mood and what was the last piece of music you listened to?

I just came back from my show in Washington DC, which was again a fantastic event and I’m always looking forward to spend time there. After long flights, I’m often a little exhausted, so I’m trying to take some days off to decompress. During my long flights i’m listening a lot of current ambient music and my last discover was the artist Earth Trax.

How has your summer been so far and what gigs have stood out for you these last few months?

The first half year was very intense with a lot of long distant travels to every side of the world, and so was my summer. Most of my current tour steps are very good, and some highlights have been my shows for LooLoo Mexico, Fluffy Clouds LA, Klein Phoenix Istanbul, La Feria Chile, Chocolate Festival Lausanne, Cairo Jazzclub, Afrika Club Buenos Aires, Sonorama Medellin.

Take us through a typical day when youre not travelling, what does a day in the life of Einmusik look like?

As a father, I’m up early during my weekdays. Usually, I’m latest at 10am in my office and studio place. After some team meetings to deal with weekly label work for example, I’m going in my lovely studio to work on current projects, produce new songs or record my latest mixes. In the early evening, I’m back home to have a little family bounding each day. If things need to be done, I’m also going sometimes back in the studio. And finally at the weekends I’m leaving for my ongoing tour.

Youve accomplished a lot across your career with releases via Bedrock and Stil Vor Talent highlighting your discography. What goals do you have going forward? Or a better question might be do you think about the future?

Yes, I’m owning a very big release catalog and sometimes it seems not to be easy to create something new, but the moment I’m sitting at my synths and start producing, everything is still flowing. This was always the way I created music, I was always trying to not plan things upfront and just let the music speak through me. It maybe sounds a little esoteric, but this is how it’s working the best for me. So to your question, I’m not so much having future goals, I just keep things running as I did over the last 25 years. Everything will be alright.

How important is it as an artist to try and follow along with current music trends? Is this something youre conscious of at all?

Everyone who is consistently working in the music industry is obviously kinda influenced but a current and seasonal sound. But for an artist it’s more important to work on the own vision of sound. This was a natural and unspoken guideline for my career. My most successful works were always done just in my very own universe. Just me tweaking my synths 'til the point I liked the sounds. A good guide is always to trust your ears.

You have a new collaboration with Jordan Arts entitled The Ones, which is out now via Nora En Pures Purified imprint, tell us a bit about the track and how this collaboration came to be, as I believe its your first time working with Jordan.

At that time I was working on several songs and projects, also some music for Nora and for a certain song i was missing a unique vocal. Jordan Arts was working already with Nora for some singles and his voice and signature was instantly touching me when I listened to his current music. As he was based at that season in Cape Town we easily connected through Insta and email and after a rough vocal guide from him for both of us it was clear to finish this great song asap. And so we did. Nora was also instantly convinced of ‘The Ones’ and for final touches we met a last time in my studio in Berlin.

This is your first project for Purified, what made the label the right home for ‘The Ones?

I’ve been a big fan of Nora for a long time and everything she is standing for. She already asked me several times for unreleased music as she consistently was playing my current output. I was flattered and so we focussed on making this happening.

Ive read some of your recent inspirations have come from Modern Classical music like Steve Reich and Nils Frahm, how has this changed your approach to writing music? Or has it all? And aside from Music for 18 Musicianswhat would be a favourite piece from Steve Reich for you?

Yes, I’m enjoying a lot of music that is deeply composed and ‘Music for 18 Musician’ is a fantastic piece of art with so many layers and different stories through the sections. For those who don’t know, Steve Reich ‘Electric Counterpoint: III’ and ‘Nagoya Marimba’ are very relevant for his work.

Your Einmusika imprint is now approaching its fifteenth year, now has your vision for the label and its sound changed over that time?

Exactly, we are celebrating this year a big milestone, 15 years with nearly 300 releases in our catalog. Looking back on this makes me feel very proud. During the years we always tried to give various new and also upcoming artists a platform for their vision of sound. This way a label naturally develops also with a more seasonal sound. So yes, our sound definitely changed over that time, but still having one component the same: me and my taste as an A & R.

Your high energy sets have become anticipated by many electronic music fans so lets look at DJing a bit deeper, its a unique discipline at the border between presenting great music and creating something new with it, between composition and improvisation to an extent. How would you describe your approach to it?

I started DJing with vinyl in the 90s so I truly learned it the hard way and was very happy when I was able to prepare my sets with a Traktor or since a very long time with Recordbox. I’m a big fan of new technologies and so one of my main approaches in mixing is using harmonies as an emphasis developer. I’m also a musician so I easily can work with the follow up harmonies of a harmony. Recordbox and the others are displaying it in their analyses, but you need to know how to use it. Of course, I’m using my intuition when selecting another song, but this skill is subtilely in my subconsciousness and fundamentally adding another dimension into my sets.

How has your work as a DJ influenced your view of music, your way of listening to tracks and perhaps also, your work as a producer?

For producing electronic dance music its kinda essential to have also experience as a DJ. Mixing wise in your studio, it makes a big difference to understand how music is working with 100db, so you will adapt. How to do your arrangement to make a DJ feel comfortable is another skill you learn, so you will adapt. And finally, in a loud surrounding, you will never take notice of minor adjustments and hidden elements so much, so you will adapt to not overthink and readjust your music too often. But this is just the technical and engineering part of producing music. For the songwriting part, I’m still using my taste and my ears only.

How much prep do you put into the tracks you choose to play?

Before every gig, I’m listen to my current favourites, checking some promos when I have the time, and prepare a loose set list for the show. This way, I’m aware of my current state of mind which is kinda essential for working with a crowd.

Current Top five tracks in your sets?

Einmusik & Jordan Arts - The Ones

Th;en - Gente

Rebuke - Along Came Polly (Zac & Carmee Remix)

Goom Gum - Set & Setting

Bolth - Fluttering (ID)

The subject of mental health is complex and nuanced, and it is an issue to which those working in electronic music are especially susceptible. It can be deeply rewarding but it is also competitive, fast-paced, unpredictable and hedonistic. Talk a bit about the pressures of what you do that fans may not be totally aware of, and as a prominent artist how important is it for you to raise awareness on subjects like mental health?

In the last few years, but especially since the pandemic, the scene became very competitive. This is truly an issue I’m facing every day. I have a strong mindset so I was able to keep up, but at a certain point everyone doing this is emptied. When this kinda vibe slowly came up me and my family did some days off, renting a place somewhere and trying to keep cellphones off. But it’s definitely not easy to handle the pressure especially when you touring so much you loosing your roots and the feeling for time and reality (means normal life). To be honest, I don’t have a pattern to compensate this pace, but I’m very grateful that I’m already so long in the scene and having a solid reputation which gives me some more freedom.

If you were not a DJ/Producer what do you think youd be doing with your life?

Actually, I’m very handy, so I’m pretty good working with wood, I’m a good chef, and I’m very interested in culturing wine. So maybe a wine farmer who is cooking decent food for his guests in a block house? :-)

Whats a book youve read or film you watched that has left an impact on you, and why?

I love watching Sci-Fi movies and the ones I have watched several times were Ghost In The Shell (I sucked in the Anime movie in my youth, so I really liked the new one with Scarlett Johansson) and the remake of Blade Runner 2049. Currently, I’m enjoying the series Foundation.

Aside from music, what makes you happiest?

I love cooking and having a decent drink. When I’m not drinking, I like driving my very fast electric car and I love spending time with my daughter and family. This is what decompresses and balances me.

What does the remainder of 2023 hold for you? Anything you can share with us?

My touring schedule is very busy, so I’m going to be constantly on tour. Release wise, I’m excited to bring out collabs with Diana Miro which is coming in October, another single with Richard Judge which I just finished, and a fantastic and big various artists compilation: 15 Years of Einmusika in December.

The One's by Einmusik & Jordan Arts is out on 08-09 via Purified

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