Berlin, the central hub for techno in Europe, is home to many of the world's finest artists and clubs in the genre, one of which being Subjected. From his first days as a hip-hop producer to a techno icon, we caught up with the producer to talk about his new label, Subjected Systems. Check out our exclusive interview and stream below.
First off, thanks for taking the time to answer some questions. To get things going, let's talk about your musical upbringing. What were some important lessons you learned in the early days that you still carry with you today? What are some of the more significant changes you've made in your production process since then?
Thank you too.
At first, there’s nothing I still carry music wise. I learned a lot since I started producing. You will never stop learning when you are making music. A mean, it's a process, where I’m always trying to find my limits and I have to work on this.
In my early days, I neglected the mixdowns. I thought the mastering engineer is doing magic with your tracks, but when I compared it to other mastered tracks my tracks lacked in the brilliance. So I improved my mixdowns, equalized a lot more and gave the elements the right place and the right volume. Now, most of my mixdowns sound perfect, but sometimes I'm unhappy with it. So I have to work on it again.
Another significant change is that I use more outboard equipment like a synthesizer, a modular system, different stomp boxes and a mixing desk.
You started Vault Series in 2010 as a platform for yourself and a couple friends, the latest release coming out next month. How much has it expanded since it started? How has that journey been?
Yeah, that's right. Vault Series 23.0 by Mistake Made will come at the beginning of April.
Vault Series doesn't expand so much. I don't want to make it too big. For me, it's a Berlin underground thing. Nothing changed. I'm still stamping every release all by myself in my living room. And I still have only a few selected artists, which I will work with. The relationship for me is also important. After the leaving of the Mørbeck and recently Sawlin there was a hole which I had to fix. They wanted to go their own way and I'm okay with it. That’s the circle of life. Things are going and coming. Now I'm really happy with my actual artists like Escape to Mars, Mistake Made, and Andrejko. All of them are very talented and I can rely on them.
Speaking of which, the big news is that you're launching a new label, Subjected Systems, at the end of April. There's an argument to be made about there being too many record labels around. Why launch this new one now? What lead you to the decision that it was time for a new musical outlet?
That's very simple. The idea of Subjected Systems I have since 2 years in mind and now I think it's time to unleash it. Like I said before. Releasing music on Vault Series was very limited. Subjected Systems will fill this gap.
What are some overlapping characteristics both labels share, and some of the distinct differences between the two? What is the end goal for Subjected Systems? What is the key defining element that will separate this new label from all the rest?
When I founded Vault Series it was a label for “dark, industrial techno” in 2010. And I will keep this theme. Subjected Systems is more open. When I'm traveling around I meet so many good producers and nice persons and when they giving me their demos I have no possibilities to release their music because Vault is too limited due to my own visions of underground. Subjected Systems will go a step further. I'm focusing on timeless techno from my friends all over the globe. I'm doing now the artwork for it with Jonathan, he is a true genius in graphic design. In general, Subjected Systems will be another piece of art.
Finally, in all your years of experience, what would you say is the single most important piece of advice you could give to an up and coming producer in this era?
Never give up and do your own thing.