A favourite on the Berlin scene, Oliver Deutschmann has been releasing a steady string of dancefloor aimed club tracks that have appeared on labels such as Polytone, Aim and more. His sound is deep, dark and heavy, crossing the boundaries of house and techno through an unrelenting drive and sonic force. But after a good 6 years of making a mark in club land, Oliver has just released Out of The Dark, his first artist album to date on Vidab Records. Tom Lally caught the Berlin figure to talk about debut albums, pressure and much more below.
How does it feel to have finally finished your first artist album? It feels great. It took me a lot of power to do this album, so there was also a large empty after finishing it. But now I am in a good mood again.
You’ve been working in electronic music for over 20 years. How did you know that now was the right time for you to release your first album? Is it something you’ve been considering for many years? I wanted to do this since I released my first solo Ep on my vidab label in 2007. But I never felt 'good' or ready enough to release a long player. Last year Tomas Svensson and I finished our new studio. And this was the 'go-ahead' for me. As we spend a lot of time in increasing the studio sound with absorbers and diffusers and all this sound gear I felt that now I have the right told to start my album project.
How long did the album take you to produce? Can you walk us through the creative process behind it? It took me around 3 months to get to the mixdowns. I had 20 tracks that got in the inner album circle. From those I had to choose 10 to do the final arrangement and the final production. This was a pretty intuitive decision. I wanted to tell kinda story with this album. With tracks that could be also representative for one of my DJ sets. Beginning, Main part, end.
You run two labels in Vidab and Falkplatz. From an A&R perspective, what are the key differences between the two labels? Vidab is very friendship based, a family thing I would say. I run it with Stephan Hill who is also really careful in choosing the music for the label. Falkplatz is my own thing and I do things more spontaneously. I also release music from people I don't know personally but that catches me.
What made you choose to release your album on Vidab and not on Falkplatz? I think musically it fits more to vidab than to Falkplatz. I also wanted to raise the profile of vidab a bit more. We also plan to do more albums here. I don't know if I want to release albums on Falkplatz. This is more a DJ oriented label.
Listening to the album, it sounds very dancefloor friendly. Would you say that musically it’s similar to what fans could expect to hear from you in a DJ set? Do you often play your own productions? I am not so into playing my own productions in a Dj-set. I also do live shows once in a while. So, there is an option to play my own stuff. I prefer to play others producers stuff in my sets. And yes, the sound of the album is kinda similar to what I play on the dance floor. Its techno combined with old school house and other dark stuff.
You are a resident at Berlin’s infamous Berghain / Panorama Bar. How does the residency impact on your approach to music production? The biggest impact maybe is, that it leads to some kind of diversity. In a long Berghain/Panorama Bar set you have a lot of options when it comes to different styles of electronic music. I would never play a set with just similar sounding tracks. That's good for the flow but, in my opinion, also boring after a while. So, when I play there I try to combine Techno with House, Minimal with Trance or Electro with Dubtechno. This helps me to stay open minded also in my productions. Being evasive is kinda important for me.
The Berghain is considered by many to be one of the best clubs in the world. As a resident, how does it compare to playing in other clubs around the world? I can't compare any other club with Berghain. It's the club I had the most gigs in my life and I just love being there. After so many years you also know most of the people behind and it always feels like entering home when you play there.
Do you have a heavy touring schedule planned on the back of the album release? Yes, I will visit Hong Kong and Singapore for the first time and I will play a lot of cities in Germany and Europe. There is also another US tour in the pipeline for summer. Let's see.
What else are you looking forward to in 2013? I am looking forward to my first Ep for Soma Record in may. I am a huge fan of them since years so it is a big honor for me to release my stuff on their label. I also did some remix work for Copenhagen based Tic Tac Toe Records that I am also a long time fan and follower from. I am planning my first solo Ep for my Falkplatz label and there will be also some new stuff for Jack Off records.
'Out Of The Dark' is out now through Vidab Records.
LIsten to Oliver Deutschmann on Pulse Radio.