Home Interviews Feature: Marc DePulse [Interview]

Feature: Marc DePulse [Interview]

33 min read

Based in Leipzig, Marc DePulse has become one of Germany's most widely regarded electronic music talents. His borderless approach to production has seen him find a home on some of the underground's most cutting edge imprints, most notably Eleatics Records, Einmusika Recordings and Parquet Recordings. Now on the cusp of a new single for the fast rising Swiss imprint Inspired By Trees, we catch up with Marc in this exclusive interview. Enjoy!

Hi Marc, thanks for sitting with us today! Tell us, what does a studio day look like for you?

Well, my studio is my home and my home is my studio. Currently I moved with my little family and don´t have an external studio yet – but looking for. That means my newborn daughter and my studio is in the same apartment. Actually not the perfect match but we all are doing our best that I can have quality time for music.

What’s been on your to-do list this week?

I´m working on a lot of things at the same time so this week I was taking care of future releases on my imprint JEAHMON! Records, the schedule for my storyteller series HOW I MET THE BASS, writing down some new topics for my blog (Faze Magazine) and producing some new tracks and one remix.

Tell us more about your story. How did you discover electronic music and what led you down the path of wanting to be a producer and Dj.

I´m already into business for about 20 years. So my youth time was around the 1990s and I started discovering electronic music at the age of 15/16 when we went out to local clubs here in Leipzig. I was starting to produce my own music in 1999, so this is 20 years now. In this time I used the Impulse Tracker, it was keyboard-only music production as there was no mouse-mode in MS-Dos. I loved to be a Tracker guy! I came into DJing a little later. To be honest I never was this nightlife guy, more a PC-nerd. My first DJ gig was in 2002 with some friends from my hometown. This time I started realizing how funny it is to mix my own tracks with music I love. So from this time on I called myself a DJ aswell.

At which club or event did you experience electronic music for the first time and what memories have stuck with you from that moment?

There´s not really a moment I have in mind, more a period. It all happened between the age of 16 and 20 and that was middle and end of the 1990s. In this time we had a lot of clubs, underground and commercial. It wasn´t the time of festivals yet.

Can you name three tracks that were influential in your musical development?

- Patrick Chardronnet - “Eve By Day”
- Dave Shokh - “Shokh N Roll”
- Fairmont - “Gazebo”

Before I was totally into Trance, Hardtrance, Hardstyle etc.... I loved Kai Tracid, Cosmic Gate, Blank and Jones and so on.

How has living in Germany shaped your sound and career?

Electronic music has its origins in Germany and especially Berlin always was a very important place where you could watch the music scene growing. It helped a lot in my early days as there was always a spot to listen to new music or play gigs yourself.

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?

It has changed since when I started to DJ myself. From Vinyl to CD to Mp3. From local stores to digital communitys. Honestly I stopped listening to so many promos as there is a huge mass of material coming every day. I love to discover music myself, listening to charts, playlist, other Djs recordings and of course always having an eye on my favorite artists and labels output.

Your productions carry intriguing design qualities; quite pristine and polished yet musical and cosmic sounding, while still having a great nose for rhythm, groove and ultimately the dance floor. Is this something you strive for in the studio and what do you want your music to convey to the listener?

Its actually nice to read how my music feels like (laughing). I don´t really think about what to do when I´m in a production process, thats also why I like to say “I don´t specify my music, I simply play and produce what I love.” First of all I´m doing music for myself but of course I´m always happy about the feedback people give me. That´s why we all spread our music. Recently I produced some kind of Soundtrack music so its not only for the dancefloor, sometimes its only for easy listening at home. Music for the heart.

I think for a lot of artists music allows you to write a sketch of your own personal universe in a way; your travels, life experiences etc. Is this something which is true for yourself? Where does inspiration come from?

I´m inspired a lot when travelling because you´re allowed to see much more as when you´re staying home. Inspiration comes from people, cultures, landscapes. When travelling I never read books or watch movies, I love to travel by train and even the trip is like 5 hours or more I only watch out of the window – that satisfies me a lot and helps me collecting all those puzzles in my head. I´m super relaxed after those trips and then its the perfect moment to write down your ideas. When I´m in stressful moments I never make something creative.

You have a new single out on Inspired By Trees ‘Arp & Down’. Tell us a bit about the track, how it showcases your individualities and walk us through the production process on it please.

I produced this track in early 2019 but it sounds like a journey into the past. “Arp & Down” is kind of an oldschool track, could be made around 5-10 years ago but I loved it a lot. Its a smart rave theme and as I´m always forward thinking I was thinking a lot about if I can release such an “old” sounding track so I played it loud on some gigs and realized: Yes! Why not? Very happy with the result.

What made Inspired By Trees the ideal home for this single?

Back in the days I already made a remix for Jay Phonic on Inspired By Trees. We kept the contact and the label was interested a lot in having me. So I realized they really want to have me onboard so it was not a hard decision to agree releasing a single later on. The label has a great philosophy, Paege – the guy behind – is very hard working to establish the label and make something special with it.

There is also an amazing selection of remixes from Khainz, Dole & Kom and Baime, how did you go about the selection process?

Label and me talked a lot about options and remixers. I´m usually not a big fan of releasing mass remixes as it always makes you feel like: “The Original isn´t strong enough, so we need more interpretations.” - BUT: we're happy with the contrasts the remixers made. They all gave a special touch to the outstanding Original Mix and all tracks fit in different genres, that´s special!

Tell us about your Jeahmon imprint and the vision you have for it.

It´s the vision every label owner has: you may decide yourself what to release and what not. You can totally express yourself with the selection, build your own empire around. I´m super selective and very picky to everything that comes to the label. Probably also the reason why it´s only 30 releases in 7 years. I started in 2012 and never had the idea to release music every 2 weeks. It all takes time to develop and I love giving every single release the time they need. And yet another funny fact: I really want to place a Marc DePulse single or EP on my own label again but with all my finished tracks I often think “they are not good enough for the label” or “they are not really fitting”. So I´m picky with myself too! I love to release music from friends and artists I love so thats it. Happy to have artists like Modeplex, blaktone or recently Lunar Plane with their summer anthem remix for “One In A Million”. Another big one is already finished: Matthias Schuell (ex BAAL) will do the next one on my imprint.

What advice would have for an artist hoping to sign their music to the label? Both in terms of presentation and stylistically, what are you looking for from a new artist?

Its all about quality and the right touch. I can´t really say what I´m looking for next but I listen carefully to every demo and if the right track is coming I feel it. Usually its all a bit darker and deeper what I love, thats also representing my own style.

When working on music is the dance floor always something that’s taken into consideration? Or does a certain vibe or flow sometimes transcend that?

Not really. I love to make “Music to remember” and it doesn't matter if that's fitting to the dancefloor. I stopped making music because it must fit anywhere. There is a period where I make some harder stuff and there is a period where I make Soundtrack music. Depending on my mood. I love the diversification.

Is there a movie you would have loved to have produced the soundtrack for? And if so why?

Never thought about to be honest. But some of my tracks really could fit to a movie. I love to produce these so called “off” tracks, for example my latest track on Einmusika: “A Better Place”.

Is there a side of yourself which you wish to explore more in your upcoming projects?

Recently I produced some tracks that takes you back to the 1980s. Old vintage synths, drums and percussions that are a bit more Disco. I loved the 80s because I grew up in this decade so I have a lot of fun producing these tracks. Besides Marc DePulse I´m still running the German band Westbalkonia and I'm also a ghost producer for some artists – so I already explored a lot of different sides and I´m always open for new. Lets see what comes next.

How much of an influence does music outside of the electronic spectrum have on you?

Not that much. I listened to electronic music when I was a child yet and it never stopped until now. Of course I love several other genres but they don't really influence me.

Most artists go through periods of creative blocks, what do you do to help break through these moments?

I stopped thinking about this. It always happens, sometimes more often. But I´m a business guy. When I´m not really creative I can do more office things and take care of my label, my podcast series, writing my blog, doing the taxes etc. - its never boring for me. And when creativity is back, I´m happy that I have already done all the office sh*t and can fully focus on music.

Describe one or some of the best sets you’ve played in your career. Where was the venue and how was the vibe? Do you often feel inspired to make music after being on the road?

You often have those 5 gigs a year that are special for you and that will stay in your mind for a while. By now I don't remember this super special gig or moment, there are toooo many. Usually it often happens when you don't expect it. Okay, 2 this year: Budapest and Milano. 2 outstanding partys!

What is the one piece of advice you give now that you wished you could have gotten five or ten years ago?

Take care of your handscript and your own style more, don´t be influenced by charts or trends. Work harder in developing your own music, focus on making music better every day, not trying to copy others. Don´t spend too much time on social media, spend more time in the studio. Keep learning every day.

There are a lot of factors which affect the perception of an artist other than his music these days, social media for one, how much emphasis do you put on stuff like this? and what are your thoughts on the current state of the industry?

It bores me. Its all about being fame and getting likes. Some promoters still book you because of your social media power and not because of your music. That's different to the years as I started Djing. Back in the days it was easy to just DJ, now you have to be a multitalent: producing, Djing, social media hero, marketing manager, label boss, blogger, etc.... social media is important but I learned to not post bullshit memes every day, being more selective, focus more on my music and my production instead of wasting time in the networks.

This may tie into the previous question in a way but what are the biggest challenges you face as an artist in the industry right now?

When I was a child everyone wanted to be a rockstar, a singer, a football player. Nowadays every kiddie still wants to be a football player but in most of the cases the kids want to become a DJ. The market is super full, more and more clubs are closing, so its the biggest challenge to still play every month if you want to make a living with music and also as I´m inside music for 20 years yet I still want to be on this point in 10 years or later. Its important to become an established artist. Its important to never loose the power and the motivation to make music. But I promised myself I will stop doing this one day when I´m loosing the fun.

Looking back over your discography, which one of your very first tracks still puts a smile on your face when you listen to it now, and why? And was there a track that really helped get you known or jump started your career in a way?

“P.S. You Rock” was an outstanding release, that is already 10 years old, also all my releases on Ostwind are still making me smiling. We released them all on 12” vinyl so sometimes I have those records in my hands and say to myself “Where has the time gone?”

Current five favorite tracks?

- Adana Twins, Glowal - “My Computer”
- &Me - “1995”
- 8Kays - “Heaven”
- Joris Voorn - “Antigone”
- Solee - “Impressed”

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?

My daughter, my lady and my friends. I love being at home and I love to spend time with my homies. That always brings me down to earth.

What can we expect from you for the rest of the year – any releases or special dates we should be looking out for?

After releasing 25 singles, Eps and remixes in 2018 I really slowed down this year also due to my newborn. I´m having a release on Sincopat and Katermukke the next few months, the next b2b release with Darin Epsilon on his imprint Perspectives Digital and I also finished another production with Betoko. And I´m working on my next EP on Einmusika so there is a lot of stuff cooking and coming. DJ´ing: I´m in Cyprus end of September for the first time, also having gigs in Switzerland, Russia, Ukraine, Israel and of course Germany soon.

'Arp & Down' is out now on Inspired By Trees, you can purchase the release here: https://bit.ly/2mkNrUV

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