The Mannheim wonder!
Forget about Steffi Graf or the Time Warp festival, what Mannheim is recognized for today is Pit Waldmann, most known under his artist name ”Gorge”. The flourishing producer is also co-owner of the celebrated record label 8-bit Records. There is no sufficient adjective to describe the story of success…
Gorge with friends in Mannheim has formed a creative roll sending waves all over the world with their very unique sound and it’s safe to equalize this movement with such as Warhol’s ”The Factory” or Fac 51 Hacienda. The Mannheim-sound has made an everlasting imprint on the sound of Deep and Tech house. And the flood of inspiration and geniality is still running. With a new, brilliant album release this summer, we just had to get hold of the man with the golden ears and with the most rare, delicate tastebuds for deep house music to have a chat…
You just came back from a tour in Brazil, how was it?
-Brazil is a really nice country. I played in 2 clubs in Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte.
The people were really into the music and enjoyed it.
You are governing a very well-reputed record label together with Nico Döringer (a.k.a. Nick Curly).
What strikes me the most is the continuously very high quality releases on 8bit records. How do you do pull it off?
-Well, we run the label for nearly 5 years now and always tried to develop with the music. Generally the sound changed the last 2 years and we always try to put out high quality stuff as we’re 2 dj’s as well always looking for the best tunes to play. So we take our time in listening carefully and select only the best stuff we although play.
Last time we met I hypothetically argued that 8bit must be receiving ceaseless floods of new promos.
While rolling your eyes and nod assent, you told me about the unbelievable quantities of music received daily.
I like to imagine the selection process as an impregnation, with nearly infinite numbers of sperms trying to penetrate the ovum.
Are there any specific music genes that appeals to the 8-bit ovum?
The series of 8-bit releases are impressed by a certain homogeneity, what is the selection process like?
-Haha :-) Yes we receive really a lot of stuff like sometimes around 200 demos a week.
Of course we can’t listen or download all the stuff and sometimes I feel a bit bad with this situation but on the other hand, there’s a lot of productions without love and soul. Many productions sound really bad and people don’t know the basics of producing music or even don’t have any plan of harmonies
or putting the right chords together. But we found really good artists with great productions as well downloading links or listening to cd’s.
Something else that makes your record label very special is that you have discovered many talented and up until their release on 8bit relatively unknown,
whereupon they’ve been brought to attention by the electronic music scene.
Are there any releases on 8-bit that are more memorable than others? One that stands out?
-As I told above we really listen carefully to the stuff and although look for the people behind it, their profile, did they send us the stuff exclusive or did they send it to 30 other labels to have a pokergame in the end…. All of these things are important to have a good labelfamily at the end.
One of the outstanding releases for me is Johnny D’s “Walkman”. I still love this tune!
When I listen to your own releases (under the artist name Gorge) I always get this immediate feeling of organic warmth and comfort.
It’s like my ears lie down on a wonderful meadow of sounds and layers, my mind runs with the deep river of flowing bass lines.
Meanwhile my body mechanics are involuntarily but lovely under the spellbinding percussion and beat.
In my opinion you have transformed deep tech-house towards something entirely new.
It is very, very danceable (you could take my word for it), yet insightful and contemplative, I might say almost inward looking.
Shortly summarized, your music is characterized by complexity. How are you as a person? How do you perceive your self as an artist?
-You have to know: I’m a fish born in march..:-) Normally I’ m a quiet person like the fish making bubbles all day. I really love soulful music with love and warmth. Bass and drums were always my favourite instruments and so I love playing my basslines and have a focus on drum.
Sometimes I consider myself to be unattached, undefined almost without identity. On the other hand I feel recipient, striving to fully embrace the surrounding.
Perhaps, I’m just a mixed up nihlist…
What is your life philosophy? What in life do you think has had the most impact on you?
-My life philosophy? Treat other people like you want to be treated. That’s my rule of life.
If you ignore other people or if you do not respect them you’ll feel the same someday!
I know this rule is really hard in this business with so many egoistic characters, but I always try to follow it.
I have read that you grew up listening to music by Torsten Fenslau (producer of the smash hit “Mr. Vain” performed by Culture Beat) and Alexander Abraham among others.
Do you remember your first encounter with electronic music?
-I grew up in the 80’s with depeche mode and front 242. The Frankfurt guys like Torsten did a completely different thing with electronic music. Their early works were not as commercial like “mr vain”. It was a new way in electronic music. This kind of music was really new and every dj played like or 6 different styles during a night. It seperated during the 90’s and the floors were splitted up in different styles.
Do you ever switch off, listen to something else than electronic music?
-Yes for sure. I played drums in a band for 10 years and learned piano in my childhood.
I’m really open for all kinds of music.
Your record label Katchuli is kinda new, what are your future visions?
-A lot of people ask this at the moment. Katchuli is more deep and listening stuff than 8bit. More melodies, song oriented and not so clubby like 8bit. I try to establish something that does not only happen in “prime time sets”. Giving new artists a chance beside the hype….
For a long time, Berlin has been the “Mecca” for all house/techno enthusiasts.
You’ve been all over the world playing dj-sets, is there a rising new comer city in sight?
-Hmm hard to say. Every country has it’s own music and special scene.
I really loved to play in Leeds /UK. People are very open minded and the partys are really outstanding. I think Sao Paulo in Brazil has a great scene open for new electronic music as well.
What about your residency, Mannheim? I just looked it up on Wiki and it doesn’t seem much for the world.
I’d like to think there’s some magic going on there, like a micro cosmos of creativity and playfulness, how is the scene there?
-Mannheim is a “small” city (360 000 people) and the scene is small as well.
There’s only 2 hands full of people working really creative like Johnny D, Nick, Nekes, Federico Molinari, Ray Okpara and me…. We all know each other for years and developed our sound.
The Timewarp is the most known party in Mannheim and became one of europes biggest indoor festivals the last 10 years but the clubscene is still in Berlin.
Being two label bosses at 8-bit, deciding and reasoning about things together is often rewarding and mind expanding,
but there is also the risk of clashes and different opinions.
Have you and Nico ever disagreed on something so much it resulted in a rock ‘n roll trashing of the studio room,
smashing whiskey bottles in the wall, breaking synthesizers in half and setting furniture on fire? Let me in on some juicy details…
No, we didn’t :-) This is the truth! We’re a really good team in producing our stuff and running the label.
Nearly everything is 100% the same decision.
Can you tell us, what we can be expecting from Gorge, 8bit and Katchuli in 2010 ?
I put my album “Mood” out on 8bit on the 11th of june on cd/vinyl and digital.
We’ll have a goodie on this cause it’s a double cd with the price of a single album.
CD 1 is the album, CD 2 is a bonusmix of my best remixes over the last 2 years.
The complete album will be remixed in autumn by some really well known artists/ friends.
On 8bit we’ll have as well a 5 years compilation in wintertime including only new exclusive stuff and some new amazing singles.
On Katchuli i’ll put out some nice deephouse stuff like Chris Lattner, David Durango and some other artists.
What do you expect the music of 2010 to be summarized by?
I think 2010 will be more melodies and vocals again and the loopy stuff will dissappear a bit. People get bored on this. I’m really looking forward to some open air parties with different sound during summer.
Finally, how did you pick your artist name? There are multiple definitions of the word gorge, what is your definition?
The name came out of “columbia river gorge”. I’m a windsurfer and was reallly into this for a long time and so I chose the word “gorge” with this background. It’s a strange name, but I really like the word
and the different spelling like spain: chorche :-)
Lots of appreciation for taking the time. We at HMWL.org are definitely gonna keep following you and your labels with excitement, let the good times roll!
Gorge was also kind enough to record a new mix for us that is availible here on HMWL inter alia.
House Music With Love Podcast #14 – Gorge
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1. Gorge – Erotic soul feat. the writer’s poet – 8bit
2. Jimpster – A love like this – freerange
3. Gorge – time flies – Systematic
4. Ripperton – Leonor’s lanugo (Radio slave rmx part 2) – Green
5. Guy Gerber – Hate love dawn – Supplement facts
6. Alex Niggemann – Jewels – Soulfooled
7. Rills – Everybody – all inn records
8. Cosmic Cowboys – Velvet (Boris Hotton rmx) – Kina music
9. Paolo Martini & Paul C. – Plug me (Johnny D rmx) – Ama
10. Gorge – houseflies – Systematic
11. JML – Into the wild (Peter Horrevorts Big five rmx) – Beef records