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Interview with Solomun

The DJ, producer and label owner opens up to nss

Interview with Solomun The DJ, producer and label owner opens up to nss

DJ, label owner, party maker, producer, but also filmmaker. The curriculum that Solomun built, now that he has turned 40, is incredibly rich. Resident Advisor, the bible of electronic music, has defined him as one of the most influential people who helped make electronic music what it is today. 

He did it by producing hits, Kackvogel, remixing (these days a collection of his remixes from 2009 to 2015 comes out) and presenting a party in Ibiza, the Solomun +1 Night. And of course he does it through two labels, the Diynamic and 2DIY4. On the occasion of the birthday of the first, we reached the Hamburg producer to take stock of his career and future goals.


1. This year Diynamic turned 10. This is a big achievement for a label, which has a DIY ethos. Do you remember when it all started? What are your feelings about it now?

Of course I remember when we founded Diynamic Music back in the days. Those days were very different for us, we almost had no money, we did one party in Hamburg every month, this was pretty much it. And when I look back now it’s hard to believe everything that happened. In the first place I feel blessed. Because when we started Diynamic we wanted that the sound we like most has a platform to be released. And today I see at all the amazing talent which belongs to Diynamic family and can’t almost believe it. This makes me really happy.

2. Your party in Ibiza makes a firm statement on the Island's nightlife. What's the main concern in making such a huge party in a such competitive place? Are there any risks you still face?

You always have to take risks, that’s a fact. Even if it looks from the outside like an easy thing – there are always risks on the way. And when I decided to go to Pacha in 2013 this was a risk for sure. It’s a big club, and the image of the club is foremost a VIP-image. So it took us some time and effort to make sure, that we can do really great partys with an amazing vibe in this club. And it worked and still works. But it was a risk for sure.

3. You're now considered as one of the biggest things of the European dance music scene. What was the club scene like in Hamburg when you started to play records? Some time ago I talked with Tensnake, who told me that techno was pretty everywhere.

That’s true, when I started to produce music it was with lots of harmonies and melodies because during that time minimal techno was all over the place. Don’t get me wrong: there’s nothing bad about minimal techno. But for me it was too much and I had the strong feeling that electronic music could easily have a little bit more emotions. This was also one of the reasons we founded Diynamic – to give this sound a platform. In Hamburg there had always been lots of House music, but more this old school vocal- gay-house, and the rest was Techno.

4. You are a big fan of filmmaking, if I'm not mistaken this was one of your hobbies when you were younger. What are your favourite movies? Are you involved in the making of your record's video? I'm thinking for example of the masterpiece Kackvogel.

That’s true but it was more then a hobby at some point. I founded a production company with some friends and we produced and directed short-movies. Yes, I am a big film fan. My favorite movies? The celebration- thomas vinterberg, Children of heaven - Majid Majidi and Black cat, white cat - Emir Kosturica. But of course there are many more. 
Talking about the Kackvogel-video: this was very easy for me because a good friend of mine, Jakob Grunert, had the idea and just did the video with lots of improvization on site. I think the result is really good.

5. How did you manage the transition from underground scenes to the big stages? It's quite amazing that you were able to keep your performing style, even when you faced a different audience. Do you think you have well devoted fans?

Actually I am always the same no matter in what environment I play, I don’t act differently. And talking about my fans: oh yes they are great. I meet some of them like really often during the year at different places in the world.

6. I know there is an upcoming album in your future, and that is gonna be pretty huge. Is there a concept behind it? Do you think the career of a DJ needs to go necessarily through an album?

I am not planning an album at the moment, I just released my first remix Compilation a week ago, which was big fun to compile my favorite remixes from the last seven years for 2 CDs. I hope that next year I can spend more time in the studio to work maybe on an album. To answer your last question: my last and only album is 7 years old, but this obviously didn’t jeopardize my carreer as a DJ.

7. I'm really curious to know what such a cross-sectorial mind like you wants to do after retiring from music?

Great question, can’t answer it! Because I have no idea. I always need something to do, but in what category this will be, I can’t tell.

8. Kind of a personal question: what's the best part of a DJ's life?

When you are free and don’t need to travel it’s great. But seriously: when you play in a club or on a festival and all the people are smiling and dancing and enjoying themselves because of the night and the mood and also your music: then being a DJ is the best job in the world. Because you make people dance.

9. Could you give us some new names of producers you're monitoring who are ready for public listening?

That’s always a tough question because there is so many talent out there in the world. In almost all places of the world there are young producers, this is an amazing development from the last years. From our camp you can check out the newest members of Diynamic family, two Italian acts: Lehar and Undercatt.