For about the past decade or so, German duo, Nayan Soukie & Fritz Windish have been churning out their own brand of idiosyncratic dance music with releases on forward-thinking Labels like Liebe Detail, Time Has Changed, and of course on their very own URSL imprint.
Many significant tunes have been released on the label but most notably, the pair made their full length debut on the label back in 2013 with the critically-acclaimed, A Forest which saw two very spectacular remix packages later that year.
Almost four years later, the guys are still doing their thing and pushing the envelope by refusing to go with the flow and also by mastering the art of restraint by only putting out and playing music they absolutely love.
So in the spirit of this philosophy, they've not only put together an exclusive ninety minute mix. The guys also sat down with us and gave us some insight into their musical ideologies.
What were you doing before the time of the internet?
Fritz: We started as Party-DJs. One could say: without an individual style. It takes a long time to find your own sound, however, it feels good now we have it. Nayan coined our signature bass-line with his great ear for sounds.
Nayan: What are you saying now?
Fritz: Our ‘special touch’ is owed to your ear for sounds.
Fritz: We’ve learned to eliminate certain things that are superfluous. If you are not excited to play your own tracks, you’ve done something wrong.
Nayan: One tends to overload a track with sounds, if one is not quite satisfied.
Fritz: We haven’t slammed any rattling High Hats on the tracks for example.
Nayan: They drive me nuts…
Fritz: Almost all demos we receive at URSL records sound like Life and Death and Innervisions at the moment. Dramatic synthesizers, cinematic techno. It sounds great, of course — but they just copy a success story not their own. In which direction can electronic music go? This is an interesting idea for us.
Fritz: Beatport goes bust maybe, the EDM-bubble bursts and what will survive is again: good underground parties and its music. Techno will experience another push then. The slightly reduced sound is coming back.
Nayan: Yeah, minimal would be the logical consequence. Tender techno.
Fritz: Techno has become softer. It will surely stay like this for a while. Taking a look at the U.S., in fact, we see that the slowmo-hype, which is around in Europe for a while already just has started there. Acid Pauli, Chris Schwarzwälder, NU, Wide Awake.
Can one reinvent techno?
Fritz: We’ve been having this discussion. There are always new combinations.
Nayan: It was important to us to stop searching for the hit. It is almost impossible to produce a hit without a singer, white noise and chumming up commercially. That’s not us.
Back to your past: your ‘Stops along the way’ in key words?
Nayan: On our first gig we put on radio plays and tinkered with the sound. Nobody was dancing, but it was an artistic context anyway. Then siren-techno. Bodzin and Huntemann originate from our former party crew; that was a strong influence.
Nayan: Antifa-raves in Bremen. The former Hypnorex. Illegal warehouse raves. Bachstelzen.
Fritz: Then came the phase of house. Confetti, shalala, cheerfulness.
Nayan: Yes cheerfulness. But now comes the seriousness!
Would you say the difference between Berghain-music and the confetti tribe is the fact that the confetti guys experience music out of social reasons and the Berghain guys are rather nerdy? They do not perceive sound via people but via machines.
Fritz: Our origin lies in events, festival organization. And you cannot play hard techno on after hour parties. The sound is more social, and therefore hanging out together with this sound is more fun.
Nayan: And there are more social interactions on those parties than on big hard room raves.
So your social preferences have influenced your sound?
Nayan: We did not receive support from the experimental, dressed-in-black techno industry, but rather by labels from the Fusion environment and others. But I plan to move into the direction of nerdiness. Party becomes less important. One becomes more domesticated.
Why are confetti-musicians taken less seriously — is this only owing to drugs and hedonism?
Fritz: This kind of music often wishes to please. It rarely polarizes; everyone is cool with it. Hedonist music from the environment of Bar25 is the soundtrack of party; it is present and takes you through the night, the day and the night again. Of course, we are part of this bubble. People associate us with it and we feel very comfortable in it. But many think that we are still in confetti land, but ignore that we as well as other artists from the Kater-environment have moved on. The album is another step to define our independent sound.
Nayan: I always considered Bar25 as cool, as they were the underdogs, the ones who stuck out, who do not take everything seriously. Although one may also have the opinion that techno cannot be taken seriously enough.
Fritz: We are not rocket scientists. We do not do anything that is incredibly necessary for the survival of society. Therefore, I sometimes have trouble understanding why some artists take themselves so seriously.
Apropos taking things seriously. You are well-educated, so why is it that you are still doing techno?
Nayan: Well, Fritz is well-educated, while I am only a humanist, in fact. You do not have chances on the job market as a humanist.
Fritz: I could do a consultant job of any kind. I also did that, but I have no motivation for that. Doesn’t work. I prefer the techno business. It all depends on who supports you. The scientific industry just works the same way: some kind of Harvard professor needs to praise or quote your research papers and you’ll receive research grants. If a DJ is supported by the A-league and is charted, they sell records and play in the coolest clubs.
Nayan: We are living a privileged life. We also do not want to play for 30,000 people but rather for 500 who are motivated. These are the people we want to make music for.
Fritz: We also prefer to rather sleep in nice private hostels than in super posh hotels. Rather smell people than shampooed carpets. And not taking pictures while lying in bed and watching the ocean.
Nayan: We‘ve just had a counseling interview, where we were also given hints how to do promotion and keep in touch with fans. Airport-selfies and stuff like that. Replies to stupid comments. I think I cannot do this.
Fritz: Meanwhile, the artist as a self-promoter has become a matter of course in the creative business. But then, there are only 20 percent left to do art, which brings the level of skill down overall.
Nayan: The business-part is strange and it plays a larger role than I wish it would. You check out the performances of the respective people and wonder: Why her? What, him? Why?
Fritz: Techno is not sport, you cannot measure the success. I believe in Karma, even if this sounds esoteric. That’s why I give some loose change to any street musician. You’ve got to remain true to yourself, and you’ll meet the right people and play on the right parties. Which brings us back to the social factor, again: The people, who shape your character and your sound.