By Nikki Kilpatrick
Photo Credit: Nikki Kilpatrick for the BPM Festival
It was the last day of BPM while hopping between beach clubs like Goldielocks, looking for vibes that were just right, that "super house" duo, Andhim, caught both my eye and ear. Their sunny tunes had the poolside cabanas rocking right, and snapping pics while they danced the robot was one of many joyful moments in the set.
So when they their fourth US tour came to a close with a Los Angeles debut at Sound nightclub’s Monday Social last week, I made sure to arrange an interview. We chatted about BPM’s epic party scene (think: Tulum rager), their home town of Berlin being the "capital of techno", having mad robot love for Daft Punk, and what's up next for them on the renowned label, Get Physical.
LET’S START AT BPM: YOU PLAYED THE LAST DAY OF THE FESTIVAL. I HAD A LOT OF FUN SHOOTING YOUR SET AND THE VIBES WERE GREAT! HOW WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE DOWN THERE?
We had just come off a very exhausting, but exciting year, so we chilled quite a bit. We spent the time mostly hanging out on the beach, but we played one show, Sharam invited us to play with him at Kool Beach.
We also went to a private party in Tulum with many friends: Solomun and H.O.S.H. were there, some Innervisions guys, like Marcus Worgull and Âme played. We met all our colleagues and got wasted - it was great fun!
IN TODAY’S INTERNET ERA, I SEE A LOT OF ARTISTS CREATING THEIR OWN GENRES, AND FROM WHAT I CAN TELL YOU’RE VERY FUNNY GUYS WHICH MADE ME THINK THAT CALLING YOUR MUSIC “SUPER HOUSE” HAD A SENSE OF HUMOR TO IT. THE OTHER DAY I WAS DEBATING GENRE WITH MY FRIEND, AND WE WERE ADAMANT THAT SOMETHING WAS “MEGA POP,” WHICH I’M PRETTY SURE WE MADE UP. SO TELL ME: WHAT WAS THE BIRTH OF SUPER HOUSE?
To be honest, because every time we tell a different story, what you said is the perfect example. When we started producing music, we really didn’t know - is it tech house? Is it house? Back in the day deep house was something different than it is today.
For us, all this genre is so unnecessary. It’s kind of stupid, you know? I’m doing latin, salsa, beach, suck-my-ass-house. Who cares? Do whatever you want guys, we’re doing super house. This is what we do!
The cool thing is that super house became a brand name and we were just fooling around. It’s funny.
THERE’S A LOT OF DRAW TO THE PARTY SCENE AND THE MUSIC SCENE IN BERLIN. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE IT TO SOMEONE WHO’S NEVER BEEN THERE?
Yeah, actually, I would call Berlin the capital of techno because we have so many good clubs. On the one hand it’s mainstream because people from all over the world come to see what it’s all about, but on the other end it’s super underground.
One weekend you’ll have twenty big names and besides the big clubs you have all the secret parties. Plus, you have the open air season where there are 3, 4, 5 big open airs on one weekend. It’s very special.
Also you have this kind of [mentality where] the party starts on Friday and ends Monday night. It’s very unique. If you’re into it, it’s great!
Photo Credit: Nikki Kilpatrick for the BPM Festival
TOBI, YOU WERE ORIGINALLY PART OF THE TURNTABLIST CREW, NOISY STYLUS. HOW DOES THAT INFLUENCE WHAT YOU PLAY TODAY?
We were four people just scratching. It’s hard to describe - it’s really nerdy, technical stuff. We didn’t use very many already produced beats. We used a lot of samples, so you have a sense for listening to specific music and knowing what to do with it.
THAT LEADS TO MY SECOND QUESTION. I READ THAT YOU GUYS WORK A LOT WITH SAMPLES WHICH IS “OLD SCHOOL”. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
It’s the traditional way of producing, or reproducing, music. When you’re coming from hip hop especially, but also from house, it was the regular way to produce songs: pick music from the 70s and add a bass drum to it.
Nowadays people don’t give sampling that much respect. They just pick out whatever they want: 80s song, hip hop … hip hop was very popular to use the last couple years.
We try to use samples in a more respectful way. In every remix and production we’ve done we used samples, but it’s very hard for the audience to recognize what song it’s from. It’s not obvious.
YOUR LAST EP, THE WIZARD OF US, WAS RELEASED ON THE WIDELY ESTEEMED LABEL, GET PHYSICAL. HOW DID YOU GET HOOKED UP WITH THEM?
We knew a lot of people from Get Physical before, like DJ T, the M.A.N.D.Y. guys, and also the owners - behind the scenes people. They always told us, “We really like what you’re doing, if you have some tracks we would love to release it.” Then we had these two tracks, which were “Hausch” and “The Wizard of Us”. They really liked it, so we had our first Get Physical release! Now in March we’ll have the “Hausch” remixes coming out and in April we’re gonna do the Body Language mix.
THIS WEEKEND DAFT PUNK WON THE GRAMMY FOR ALBUM OF THE YEAR, AND I READ THAT THEIR IDEA OF DANCE MUSIC OPENED YOUR MINDS AS PRODUCERS. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF RANDOM ACCESS MEMORIES TAKING THE WIN AND GARNERING MAINSTREAM ACCEPTANCE?
I think they deserved it and I really love “Get Lucky,” but I can’t hear it any more. I like they’re old stuff when they used samples a little more, instead of just playing live instruments, like studio funk. But I will love them forever and I love the image. I love robots!
They’ve had such an influence on so many dance acts. I have to say: I watched the YouTube video of their performance today and I was deeply impressed. There were these two robots on stage performing their own style of music and all the people in the audience stood up: The Beatles, Rolling Stones, everyone was dancing! If you can make those heroes and great artists dance to your music, you have to respect it. Whether it’s commercial nowadays or not, it’s music that touches people.
Actually, when you know where they came from, when you hear old records, it’s just some loops, typical French house stuff, very hard sometimes. Now they’re on top - it’s crazy! - and not doing this shitty EDM stuff.
So if you read this Daft Punk … we would love to work with you. Are you still in LA?
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