HMWL Podcast 113 – Piemont (Lapsus Music, Toolroom, Exploited)

We decided it’s time once again to catch up with Piemont – our favorite DJ duo in Hamburg. Frederic and Christian are preparing a new To The Point EP on Lapsus music as well as new material for Glasgow Underground. Their guest mix contains some top new tracks from Dario D’Attis, Sidney Charles, Eats Everything, Hot Since 82, Mat.Joe, Butch, Robert Owens and Doctor Dru. In the interview we discussed the connection between the artist’s reputation and his label, why Hamburg is cool and the general approach to patience in the studio.

HMWL: So, nice to hear from you guys again. How have the things been since our last chat? Your own record label Plumbum didn’t get reactivated after all, but it seems you’ve been more than busy signing some very fine releases of yours to other very fine labels?

Piemont: We have spent a lot of time in the studio. But we also had a few summer weeks off to recharge our batteries. We are very motivated and have just finished an EP for Material and Glasgow Underground. In terms of our label: Yes, that‘s right. We have decided to postpone the relaunch of our record label as we think it wasn‘t the right time yet. Especially as we we think we first of all need to increase the publicity of our music and to get slightly better known. An imprint‘s success often depends on the artist‘s reputation, that founded it. That is a reason why we kept releasing on other labels only. Though, all other requirements for setting up a label are still met!

Hamburg – good indie club scene and lots of studio facilities. Sounds like a great spot for creative work like music production. What is the Hamburg approach to staying creative despite the Berlin getting all the hype? From the musical perspective and in general?

We heard people saying Hamburg is some kind of a ‘Little-Berlin‘ or even a suburb of Berlin, just because both cities have so much in common. It‘s the indie club scene and creative vibes and the fact, that lots of people from all across Europe keep moving to these places, that are unique for these cities. After all, Berlin is the capital and has always been a special metropolis with a population of 3,5 million with an incredible amount of tourists. That makes the difference and is the reason why the scene‘s focus will remain on Berlin. However, looks like Hamburg‘s scene is not affected by this. In fact, the spot benefits from Berlin‘s growth as both metropolitan areas are located quite close to each other and the capital‘s vibrations seem to affect Hamburg in general.

When telling us about your inspiration in 2014 I remember you mentioned Hot Since 82 & a fellow Hamburg based producer Sidney Charles. Which two or three new young gun producers are creating some extraordinary stuff right now and are about to go as big as Hot Since 82?

Recently, we have become huge fans of few artists like Dario D’Attis, &Me and the Keinemusik-crew in general, whose music keeps inspiring us since a couple of month. Also, we really enjoyed what Kolsch and the boys of Andhim have been doing lately, even though they are not young newcomers ;)

You mention your music being “Organic Techno”. What musical influences are currently affecting your production the most?

Our latest productions have become slightly more melodious and calm-sounding. There is no particular reason for this – just a result of a our creative evolvement which is sometimes just ending up like that. We feel that it‘s still “Organic Techno“ what we are doing. Although, this isn‘t supposed to describe the genre we are producing. It is rather the feeling of how we choose and create our sounds and what we want to achieve with our music.

Most research shows that it takes quite a little talent, but mostly persistence, specifically some 10,000 hours spent to get really good at something. For example producing electronic music. How many hours do you think you guys have been going so far?

Difficult to say! Looks like this rule is not made for technical processes that require musicality and an understanding for sound and song aesthetics. as we for example have spent more than 10K of hours to get results that are just alright. ;) When finishing a production we are always satisfied but we always think we could do it better next time. It‘s like an endless and never ending journey to what we define “good“. We know many talented artists whose skills could be defined as “close to perfection“… but I reckon these producers spent more than 10k hours to become that good.

Also, being a bit self critic, what would you like to improve in your own music during the next 2 years and how would you like it to sound in 2017?

We‘ll soon completely re-built our studio set-up to get better mixdown results. That‘s our main goal for the next two years. Also, we just noticed that we were producing with quite the same sound sources for a while now, so we definitely want to get ourself some new synths and stuff.

Touring vs producing. Most musicians need focus and discipline to finish a track. What are you everyday routines for spending enough time in the studio without getting too bored? What’s your best approach to getting “back into the production mode” after spending a weekend traveling and staying up all nights behind the decks?

For us the production mode could not be enabled like an on-off switch. So it happens that we come to the studio and have completely no inspiration and no idea of what to do. Then we leave the studio immediately and have a coffee somewhere and read some newspapers. Usually we are more inspired when returning to the studio later on. If this doesn‘t work we just listen to music or do some other stuff like Beatport charts or Interviews… ;) We feel it‘s extremely important not to get frustrated because this typically kills the creativity!

Can you please share one (or two or three) production techniques or tricks that you discovered recently that made you go “Aha! – why didn’t I found this early?!” – it may be a new plugin for your DAW or a different way of EQing the final track or anything else…

We work a lot with some quality spring and plate reverb emulations as we think these do sound warmer and have a rather analog charm compared to regular reverb plug-ins. Moreover we have re-discovered the ‘Korg Legacy Collection‘ which contains some of Korg‘s legendary old school synths. Especially the M1 contains a lot of great vintage organ‘s and piano samples.

About Alex Esser:

DJ, surfer and entrepreneur residing in Malmö, Sweden. I've been DJing since 2004 and started the HMWL blog back in 2007. My music network is always open. Holler @alex_Esser on twitter.


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