Interview: Viktor Talking Machine – For the love of house music

The following quote from Quentin Tarantino might well illustrate the importance of music and vinyl in particular: “I’m a big collector of vinyl – I have a record room in my house – and I’ve always had a huge collection. So what I do, as I’m writing a movie, is go through all those songs…”  But music is not only an important source of inspiration for many, and vinyl is not only a special medium for lovers and enthusiasts, but is also key to our hearts.

The two gentlemen called “Viktor Talking Machine” are without doubt pure vinyl lovers and transport their very own understanding of house music through the speakers of the clubs of the world. Preferably in Germany, but also in countries like the Netherlands and Italy, they deliver a breathtaking atmosphere and sweaty moments at clubs and festivals.

Their rare but extraordinary releases take place on labels such as Monaberry, the Imprint of Super Flu, and always go quickly into the record bags of renowned acts such as Kollektiv Turmstrasse. At the same time they deliver official remixes for acts like Acid Pauli. But before all this, their mixing sessions of several hours fascinate and captivate equally. We took the time to talk a little bit with them and hope to see them soon in Sweden, too.

Let’s take off easy. If you’re not hanging out in Tibet, where do you spend most of your time?

That’s really an easy take off. At the moment we are moving our studio and building a complete new home for our music and gear. Last week a friend from Leipzig was with us and did all the sound measuring. Now we build all the sound optimizer and absorber. We have a big sofa in the studio, so this will definitely be the place, where we spend most of our time.

What does House Music mean to you, where does it start for you and where does it end?

House music is definitely a feeling and it became our life.

It is defined by the music, the people and the place you listen to it together with those people. House music touches us in so many ways. It makes us happy, sad, let us smile or cry. It is the reason, why we are DJs. It all starts with Daft Punk and Thomas Bangalter. That was a real hit in the face and so far away from the mainstream music we listened to back in the days. At the moment we can’t see an end. We discover so many great artists every day and want to spend a lot more time with people who love what we do. We would call it an endless love story.

You’re vinyl DJs. Are there moments when you discover tracks that are not yet or no longer available on vinyl? What do you do then?

Being a vinyl DJ is always a limitation for us and a great filter, because we are forced to dig and to think carefully what record we buy and how it fits in our record bags.

Of course we have those moments where we hear a track, search for it a week to discover that it is just a digital release. Than we discuss, if we really want to have the track. If the answer is yes we produce a dubplate or in a really urgent case we put it in our folder, where we play our new tunes that are not released yet.

Your podcasts can last up to 7 hours. How many starts does it take to record the sets? And how can one imagine the recording process?

In this special 7hour case it took us a week of preparation and two days of mixing. But normally it took us not more than three starts to record a 1 or 2 hour set. The selection process is very democratic. We have a dropbox list and everybody puts his favorite records on the list. After that we sort them in a record bag and play them record after record to check, if they really fit. Than we hit the record button and hope that we have a good day for mixing. Sometimes if it is really hard, we skip the recording to the next day and start with fresh energy.

Are there tracks that have accompanied you for several years or is your record bag always freshly sorted?

We would say it is a 1 to 9 ratio. 90 percent of the records are freshly sorted during the week and the other 10 are records we really love and are kind of a signature track for us. And sometimes it is just a record we never play, but with a big story behind it.

You guys seem very selective about releasing. The latest single came on Monaberry with remixes of mighty Lauer and Italo Brutalo. How did it come to the remix selection?

In the past years we discover, that we are really slow while producing and are super selective what we want to release.

The selection was purely musical. We didn’t know the artists personal, just the music they produce. And that music always blew our mind, so we asked them to give the tracks a special touch and an extra idea. The result proves us right.

Which parties did you especially remember from this year?

Always a mean question, because every party is super special in its own way. But to name two we would say MIT DIR FESTIVAL and our last gig in Sisyphos Berlin. We never heard of the festival and drove there with our camper. We slept the night before in the woods and woke up at a field and kissed by the first sun. When we arrived we were blown by the love and the energy of the festival and the people. This is a festival we will join longer next year. And the Sisyphos gig was just mind blowing, because from the start was a connection to the crowd. The floor was always full with half naked jumping and screaming people. At some points they were so loud, that we couldn’t hear the mixing.

And what do you look forward to the most?

We let everything come to us because we have learned that there is no point in stiffening, we simply always give our best and think that this will guide us. We can look in the near future and there will be a finished studio, a new EP, some remixes and hopefully more people we get connected to.

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