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SHDW & Obscure Shape: Techno is a feeling of peace, love and freedom

Interview by @amoexuba
Jul 11, 2021
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Hi guys, nice to meet you. How are you?

Hi. Pleased to meet you, too. The sun is shining and some clubs are reopening, you can't feel anything but great! We hope that you are also doing well under the current circumstances.

Thanks, I’m doing fine. In 2014 you started DJ, and produce electronic music as a duo. What was happening around that period, and how did you guys meet each other?

We have known each other for over 10 years. As the saying goes "music connects", so it was with us. Through the common love for electronic dance music and a similar circle of friends, we met many years ago at a party and have since maintained a nice contact through the social networks. However, we started making music together only in 2014. This was not planned at first, we had met for a jam session and one of our first tracks was created directly. We noticed that we complement each other very well in many things and pursue the same dream. We went to the studio together more and more often after that and put together a demo package. It was a very exciting time, as we built up a great community and network with our event series From Another Mind in Stuttgart and Munich, in addition to the studio work.

In 2015 you founded the label From Another Mind.” Why did you decide to launch your record label, and how did it happen?

With our label "From Another Mind", we founded a platform in 2014 that was initially intended to serve as an event series and later as a music label. The fact that we would release our first record in the following year was not planned at first. We had put together a demo package with some tracks that formed a nice package for us and also worked very well on the dance floor. Having said that, we sent the package to a few labels, which we liked very much at that time and it would have fit musically. After two rejections, a mail actually followed from one of the labels that was interested in our demo. They asked us to send more music, which we did immediately for sure. After we had sent a couple of new tracks, we already talked about the final track selection and about the release date of the EP. Unfortunately, the communication became more and more one-sided, for reasons we couldn't explain. After many unanswered mails and no clear statements from the label for several weeks, we decided to release the tracks ourselves. We didn't want to send demos out anymore. We wanted to be independent and free. We wanted to realise ourselves. We wanted to finally release our music. No one can tell you how to release your music. No deadlines or long waiting times. It felt pretty damn good and right, because for us it was a sign to take things into our own hands. That was the birth of From Another Mind Records!

What does techno mean to both of you personally?

For us techno is a feeling of peace, love and freedom. Here we can completely express ourselves. Everyone is welcome. Age, gender, sexuality, wealth, origin and much more doesn't matter: you are part of a big, beautiful community and movement.

In 2017 Rekids boss Radio Slave released your magnificent Himmel und Erde” EP. What was happening around that time in your studio and career?

First of all, thank you very much for the kind words. We are very happy that you like this record. It was a very exciting time around our 'Himmel & Erde’ EP. We had already released three records on our own imprint before which were all supported by many well-known DJs and sold out immediately. But we had almost no shows, maybe one or two per month. We really wanted to show the world our vision of techno, but without gigs, it wasn't possible. Besides that, we got countless messages from fans asking when we were finally going to play in their city, saying it was long overdue. Whether the record was responsible for that, we don't know, but this time was a real game changer for us. We suddenly had a full calendar and great shows were confirmed, like our debut at Awakenings Festival.

We had less time to produce music in the studio and were touring all over the world. Our sound also evolved, which was certainly influenced by touring.

How do you get prepared for a DJ set at small venues and festivals?

The preparation is not really different from each other, but rather the music selection. We always think about what we want to play before the shows. The music selection depends on the location, the line up and our time slot. We are usually a bit more excited before a big festival gig in a huge tent, which will be additionally live streamed, than before an intimate club show. The preparation for these kinds of shows is a little bit more intense.

On March, 2020 you released your “Der Weg Des Kriegers” EP. What message stands behind these powerful four tracks?

We dedicated this record to one of our favourite musicians or rappers from Germany named Bushido. He has been an idol since our childhood and with this record we wanted to pay homage to him because his music has accompanied us for years. Bushido is a philosophy of life of the Sumarai: “Der Weg Des Kriegers” – in English “The Way Of The Warrior”. We wanted to implement his vibes into our music: fat drums, catchy melodies, diverse, aggressive but also loving.

On May 21, you released the powerful Versionen 008” compilation with remixes from Héctor Oaks, Ø [Phase], Hadone, MRD, Stigmata, DJ Boss. This compilation sounds remarkable. What is the backstory of the Versionen 008” production?

For our 5th label anniversary we wanted to put together a remix package - as we did for FAM004 - to celebrate the occasion. For this we asked artists for a remix, whose music we like very much or who influence us. The artists could all choose a track from FAM005 to FAM007. Fortunately, there was no overlap in the selection. It was important to us that we not only ask big names or established artists, but also invite artists from "our generation". It’s always very exciting to hear our tracks in a new version. We would have liked to release the album earlier, but due to Covid-19 we had to deal with a lot of problems, such as cancellations of confirmed remixers, because they understandably felt uninspired by the pandemic and cancelled at the last minute. The pressing plant had stoppages and there were numerous delays. It took us a lot of nerves to put this record together but the happier we are now with the result.

What gear are you using during the production process?

We rethought a lot during the pandemic and restructured our setup so that we could work creatively again and produce the sound that we have in our heads. We switched from a mainly digital setup to an analog one. We’re currently using the Elektron Analog Rhythm, Roland TR-909, Arturia Polybrute, Roland Juno 106, Roland JV1080, Novation Peak, Novation Bass Station II, Access Virus TI2 and some more gear. Processing is in the box with some high-quality sounding tools from PlugIn Alliance, Native Instruments, Soundtoys, D16 etc.

Can you outline releases that impressed you recently?

The Portuguese VIL, Cravo & Temudo are on fire at the moment. We really like their output!

Also, the latest Force Reaction release, a collaboration between Kaiser & Kwartz, is amazing.

What are your favourite books?

Mark Manson – The Subtle Art of not Giving a F*ck, Harry Potter 1-7, Patrick Süskind – Perfume, John Strelecky – The Café on the Edge of the World. 

What are your favourite movies?

The Shawshank Redemption, Se7en, City of God, Star Wars, The Usual Suspects, The Departed, Joker, The Wolf of Wall Street, 1917… and many more! In general, we are big fans of movies that are based on a true story or deal with crimes.

What are you planning for the nearest future?

As already mentioned, we redefined ourselves during the lockdown. We have been working a lot on new music and are currently putting together our live set. Besides all the music we've been producing, we've also been working on a new label concept and getting some great artists to join us. We will launch the label this autumn! We don't want to reveal too much yet, but it's going to be GREAT. We also wanted to take on a new challenge and pursue another passion of ours: fashion.

For more than a year now, we have been working hard on a small collection, our various products and the story behind it. We've created our own sewing patterns, developed some amazing designs, chosen very high quality and sustainable fabrics, added a lot of cool details and experimented with different textile finishing processes. We are very proud of what we have developed over the last few months and can't wait to share it soon. Furthermore, the first gigs are now coming in again and we are finally happy to be back on the road. There are also great shows coming up, like our debut in Colombia.

Thanks ♥️




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