Jenna Roberts, London - United Kingdom - on 14/9/12
Gabor Schablitzki - AKA Robag Wruhme - offers his latest compilation record ‘The Olgamikks’, as the debut release on Nachtdigital (Digital Night), the spin-off sister label of the boutique German festival of the same name based in the city of Dresden. Comprised completely of his own productions and re-workings, it captures the essence of the festival, whilst taking the listener on a trip through the mind of an eccentric and skilled artist who wants to make you think as well as dance. If you checked out his glorious, haunting and unique compilation album Wuppdeckmiscmampflow last year through Kompakt, then you’ll be more than aware of Gabor’s delicate and emotional touch, which is as arresting as it is beautiful, boosted by extra layers of warmth and depth in his ambient / techno template. Here, Gabor gives us a brief lowdown on his affiliation with the festival and which direction he'll be heading in next with his work...
Hi Gabor. Tell us about your recent performance at the NachtDigital festival…Unfortunately, this year it did not go as well as expected. The sound was not of its usual high quality, and that rubbed off on the audience as well as the Pampa and Nachtdigital crews. But we were all in the boat together and made it work. Next year, however, it will be better.
You’ve performed at almost every instalment of the Dresden festival since 2003, and are described as their ‘favourite uncle’. What makes the event so special for you? Over the course of the past decade Nachtdigital and I have become very close friends. This friendship goes far beyond the festival.
Your upcoming compilation record The Olgamikks, is to be the first release from the festivals new label arm. Taking its name from ‘Bungalowdorf Olganitz - the grounds on which the festival is held – it consists wholly of your own remixes and re-workings, as well as two original productions. Does the record serve as an ‘ode’ to the festival? How did you approach such an undertaking? The mix was actually supposed to be released on Pampa, but DJ Koze, Marcus Fink (Pampa’s label manager), and I realised that it didn’t really fit. When I played the opening at Nachtdigital last year, it was clear to me that a mix like ‘The Olgamikks’ would sum up the atmosphere of the festival perfectly, so we decided to make it happen. So yes: in a way, the record does serve as somewhat of an ‘ode’ to the festival and I am happy that I was able to do so with a CD exclusively comprised of my own original tracks and remixes.
Your previous compilation Wuppdeckmiscmampflow for Kompakt, was voted as one of Resident Advisor’s Top 20 compilations of 2011. You were quoted as saying ‘I don’t think there will be another Robag Wruhme mix CD’. Why did you change your mind? I said that as a bit of a joke. I’ve been reading a lot of older press material recently that makes me laugh.
Will there be anymore after The Olgamikks? Maybe.
People were surprised to see a more melancholic and sensitive side to your music with the album Thora Vukk, which appeared to be targeted more to the living room than the dancefloor. Was it a conscious decision to show off this different side, or was it simply a reflection of how you were feeling at that particular point in your life?
It was a conscious decision. Prior to Thora Vukk, I spent a lot of time focusing on the dancefloor, whether as Wighnomy Brothers, Robag Wruhme, or Rolf Oksen. It seemed appropriate at the time to represent the quieter moments of life.
Is this the direction you see your music taking in the future? No - I need both living room and dancefloor!
Will we ever see a Wighnomy Brothers reunion? Nope. Are you still a self-confessed ‘Party Hog’? Of course! Oink oink!
Make people think OR make people dance? Make people dance AND make people think. I want to make people dance, of course, but I also want them to think. In my sets in the past I’ve played excerpts from Barack Obama’s election speech and Charlie Chaplin’s final speech in The Great Dictator. For me it’s really important to share both components – thought and fun. When people go out, they have a right to leave their issues of the week behind them, meet up with friends, make new friends, drink, laugh, and dance. But at the same time, after 5-10 hours the party is over and they then have to return to the same world from which they have come. I’m not trying to convey some sort of political dogma by playing samples of Obama or Chaplin, but it’s more about introducing very basic issues of thought that function well in conjunction with the music. The two complement each other incredibly well, often creating moments of really high intensity. It’s in moments like this that I’ve often been brought to tears.
Performing Solo OR Double act? Performing Solo.
Remix OR Original production? Original production.
Berlin OR Jena? Jena.
Wine OR Vodka? Wine.
Robag OR Gabor? Robag.
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