This Saturday, April 29th, NYC's dance music collective, Fiction teams up with LOSSLESS founders, Mathias Schober and Thomas Herb (who are known together as, SBTH) and Innervisions' upcoming star, Aera to take over the fairly new Analog BKNY in Brooklyn.
SBTH is an act as enigmatic as it is the two individuals who make it up, Mathias & Thomas, and their label, LOSSLESS. Since the label's conception, they have received attention from artists such as Adam Port, Adana Twins, Alex Niggemann, Andhim, Fur Coat, Ian Pooley and Matthias Meyer. For the last three years, the label has churned out distinctive and polished releases from artists such as Trikk, Love over Entropy, The Drifter, Neil Flynn and many others. SBTH themselves make frequent stops at Watergate (Berlin) and Strafwerk (Amsterdam) performing their own productions and remixes.
Magnetic Magazine had a moment to talk to the elusive duo about SBTH and as an added bonus, SBTH have given us a taste of what is to come this weekend in their exclusive mic for Magnetic Magzine's Soundcloud:
Magnetic: Who are SBTH? What does the name stand for?
Thomas Herb: SBTH is Mathias Schober and me, Thomas Herb. The meaning of the name is actually pretty simple. When we started producing together, we worked as SHOW-B & Thomas Herb, as Mathias used the moniker SHOW-B. With the birth of our label LOSSLESS, we chose new artist names for our own output – Mathias’ SB alias was born and our collaboration moniker was simply stripped back and we ended up with our initials, SBTH
MM: What are your backgrounds in music/electronic music? How did you two meet & start working together?
Mathias Schober: Music in all its aspects has always had a huge influence on us. We were both bitten by the bug in the early 90s when house and techno really took off – with raves, club nights and loads of fresh and interesting 12” vinyl releases happening week in and week out. Back then we didn’t know each other but we both started Djing around the same time in the mid/the late 90s as electronic music was really inspiring! This passion for music led us to work in the same industry focusing on label management or music production and as sound engineers. We met somewhere along the way in Munich’s nightlife in the early 00s’ and quickly became good friends and soon started DJing together. It was a natural progression that we eventually ended up working and producing music together and eventually founding our own label, LOSSLESS.
MM: When was Lossless found? What instigated the desire to launch the label?
TH: We founded Lossless in early 2014. Both of us had wanted to launch a label for a long time and had the idea stuck in our heads. We just felt the urge to start doing our own thing and build a label-family that would work as a platform to showcase our vision for dance music.
MM: What would you say is key to starting and running your label? What are some difficult moments?
MS: First and foremost a true and ongoing fascination and passion for music are key. The desire to share something unique with our listeners is crucial to us and our artists too. We are constantly exchanging ideas with our artists and the ability to grow together as a team is extremely important to us. Last but definitely not least it’s about the awareness that you’re fully responsible for anything and everything related to the label - the music, the artwork, the sound, the mastering and manufacturing process, and how we promote and make the most of what we put out there.
Difficult situations can be so diverse – and challenging. Technical problems that can occur in the manufacturing process can be something like a vinyl sleeve arriving that is different to what you originally ordered, which then has to be reprinted. Or a damaged vinyl cut which needs a re-cut then leads to a delay in your release plan. There are also A&R related situations – letting someone know that the latest demo is not what you’re actually looking for can be quite hard. But (as always) honesty is king – the same goes for the two of us when we are working together. In the end, the decision should always be for the music, not the hype or the fame.
MM: You had a track come out not too long ago, "RIBOLLA", how do you feel it has been received since the premiere?
MS + TH: 'Ribolla' was a big track for us. The messages we received and the feedback from other DJs have been positive and it has been really well received across the board. It’s great to see people like what we’re coming up with as it’s sometimes really hard to tell if you’re on the right path while you’re working on a track.
MM: What kind of thought/process goes into every track SBTH makes? Do you have a specific style or motif you aim for?
TH: We don’t want to think too much of what kind of track we’re going to make when we’re in the studio. Our process is not done in a conceptual manner. There is one routine that we always follow as most of the time we work in Mathias’ studio in Berlin. I live in Munich, so there’s a bit of travel involved and we need to always plan out days when we can work on music together. For us, it is helpful to have a schedule planned out for when we know we need something done before I have to leave Berlin and go back to Munich. Sometimes it’s just good to start with a sample or a basic idea. For example, a live percussion recording can take you many places. When the A-Side of an EP is ready, we then aim for a fitting track that would complete the EP, not another A-Side. Always let the music take you and don’t try to force it.
MM: What are your expectations for the Lossless Showcase @ Analog BKNY with Fiction this Saturday? What are you anticipating from the event?
MS: It’s really exciting that the Fiction crew invited us to host our label showcase in the US and we’re thankful to be able to represent our vision of a great night to partygoers in New York. We don’t have too many expectations as it’s always best to go with the flow on the night and just see where it can take you. What we saw and heard about the last Fiction parties and the venue, Analog BKNY in Brooklyn is looking very promising, especially the sound system! Of course, we do hope we can gather a good bunch of like-minded people and make this night a really fun journey, a journey for all of us."
Check out the show @ Analogy BKNY this Saturday, April 29th, buy your tickets here.
Full Line Up:
Gilles Wasserman (Fiction)
Joe Foxton (Fiction)
Steve Graham (Fiction)