Since meeting at Berlin’s SAE institute more than ten years ago, German duo Pan-Pot have consistently exemplified a passion and ambition that has, in turn, allowed them to steadily build an enviable body of work. Consisting of Tassilo Ippenberger and Thomas Benedix, their partnership led to the conception of Second State, a label that is a driving force for new and high quality techno, showcasing a vast appreciation for all branches of the genre.
We caught up with the pair of artists to talk about the advantages of working together, the reliable label family they’ve built and how the music first hooked them in.
Pan-Pot have been going for over a decade now. What were your first routes into music? Can you dig deep and tell us one of your first musical memories?
Thomas: My parents lullaby probably.
Tassilo: Same here. Also the music my parents listened to of course, classical mostly, like Beethoven, Bach and Mozart.
What made you want to get into dance music? Any special memories that stick out?
Tassilo: With me it was my friends and the first raves we went to that got me hooked on Techno.
Thomas: It’s all my grandmas fault :) She bought me a hardcore-cassette at a polish flee market.
You were both at the SAE Institute in Berlin. When did you realize you could work together?
Thomas: Well we were the ones sharing the same interest in (Techno) music, so it was clear for us quite early that we wanted to share time in the studio together. And we also shared the same sense of humor.
What are the main advantages of working as a duo? Do you both bring different qualities or skills to the table?
Tassilo: Sometimes it can be a longer process because of compromises you have to make, but at the end two people feel good and secure about a track. And of course it’s two people sharing their skills and creative ideas.
Do you both take on specific roles when producing in the studio?
Thomas: I think it’s a healthy mix of workflow but Tassilo has the mouse more in his hands as we finish off the tracks in his studio.
And when working on a record, do you always produce everything together?
Tassilo: No, we also start our ideas separately. It always depends on our time and ideas. But, as Thomas said, at the end we always work on and finish the tracks together. Right now we spend a lot of time together in the studio because we really enjoy making music and so that time together is very important to us.
Tell us a bit about your process. Do you always go into the studio with a concept in mind or is it an impulsive and spontaneous approach?
Thomas: Both. Sometimes one of us has, or has already worked on an idea. Other times we sit there and come up with something completely new.
You started your own imprint, Second State, back in 2014. What was the impetus behind starting the label?
Thomas: Second State was created as a platform for us and artists around us to realize all of their creative ideas. We are happy to have built a nice family of great individuals now including Stephan Hinz, Clint Stewart, The Reason Y, BEC, Amelie Lens and Michael Klein. All of them are great artists and it is not limited to their music. We all share ideas in terms of visuals, events, merchandise, etc.
Tassilo: Sound-wise of course it is all focused on Techno but we don’t want to limit us too much on a specific sound, as Techno itself has such great varieties. We try to get the highest quality possible, of course.
Could you pin down one record you've released that holds a huge amount of significance for you?
Thomas: To the honest, not much. Every release has it’s function and meaning to us.
Are there any new artists you are championing, either through the label or simply by listening to and playing their records?
Tassilo: BEC just released her first EP on our label and we are really proud of her and the great release, which we play a lot. And we just started to work with Amelie Lens, a great new talent from Belgium.
Aside from the ton of festivals and shows you have in the pipeline this year, is there anything else on the horizon we should know about?
Catch Pan-Pot at Junction 2 Festival on 4th June at Boston Manor Park. For more information and tickets, visit their website.