Artist To Artist – Chocky & Tilman


Chocky & Tilman both feature on the latest Ears Have Eyes release. We could think of no better way to celebrate such a feat than for them to grill each other about all things music, lifestyle and influences. They discuss London, Soundcloud and more: 

Chocky Asks Tilman..

You're London bound for the Ears Have Eyes release party, are you a London lover or hater and why? 

As this will be my fourth time in London, I am getting more and more comfortable. A year ago, I was there with my girlfriend for a week. I love the weird architecture in the city, you can find new stuff next to very old red bricked buildings, from narrow streets to big avenues. The appearance of the public transportation system: cabs, busses and tubes shapes the look of the city and makes it unique. London also has a big music and cultural scene as well as a lot of nice record shops and clubs. I am always happy to be back digging through the record shelfs and of course I am looking forward to playing this time at the release party for our EHE record.

Do you have any thoughts or opinions on the current state of Soundcloud?

I noticed, that a lot of people have problems with it but for me, there is no other platform where I can present my music to a big audience. If I upload a mix or track on Soundcloud, I get much much more plays than on Mixcloud or similar websites. I understand that people get frustrated when they upload a mix and it gets deleted, but Soundcloud is to promote your own tracks and not to upload mixes or edits with music from others.These you can upload on Youtube or other social media channels. Anyway everybody should decide for themselves and I am not the biggest Soundcloud fan, but for me it’s the number one website to listen to others music and to promote mine.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to venture into music production or Djing today?

Puh i really don’t know. Just do it for the love of it. These days you don’t need expensive equipment, which makes it much easier to start. My advice would be to begin with one synth or synth plugin first and learn it, you dont need every new gadget that comes out. I made that mistake in the beginning: I downloaded endless sound packages and found myself having around ten thousand 808 kick samples on my hard drive. You don’t need that many sounds, most of your samples can be recorded from vinyl or using a microphone, but I had to learn that, too. Also try to make your own sound library with unique samples. 

About Djing: For me, I prefer the oldschool way with the black gold. It’s expensive, but it is worth it to hold a vinyl in your hand instead of having a folder with thousands of ripped tunes. I can understand that people play with Traktor because they travel a lot or have back problems…. but I enjoy it far more playing vinyl or watch a Dj playing records. There are many pros and cons, so everybody has to decide for themselves. At least, play what you like, not what the people like. 

Do you have a work ethic or approach to a new project/ track or mix?

Nope, there is no work ethic for me. Normally I start with a beat, an idea of a melody or just a sample. So, it’s different. Maybe thats also a reason why I produce various types of electronic music. Sometimes I make an acid track and the next day a funky house track. I get bored very fast from overdoing one direction, so it can all change during the process. I often notice that people know me for my house productions and yes, they are right, it’s overall house music, but my productions, as I said, are often different. Sure, I have my own style, but if you listen to my tracks for example on our EHE EP, you will notice that the 3 tracks cover many styles.  

Slider mixers or dial mixers?

I dont really care, the mixer should just work. I started mixing some years ago with music from Akufen, Cabanne, Ark, Mossa, Dave Aju, so, a lot of Micro House stuff. You can cut things off very easily in this music, I loved it and still love their stuff. These days I am more into smooth mixing without any effects or special stuff, just working with the hi/mid/low frequency buttons.

Who would you most like to remix, past or present, dead or alive?

Oh, too many, but as they will never ask me to do a remix for them, I am doing edits of their tracks for myself.

Are there any tracks that you're particularly feeling at the moment?

I cant listen to the same track very often during a small period of time. Just for listening, I love the 70s and 80s Funk, More or less everything, from Curtis Mayfield, Sylvia Striplin, Patrice Rushen or George Benson, there are so many. This music puts me in a good mood.

Any forthcoming releases you'd like to share with the readers?

I put a lot of work into my own label Klamauk, upcoming releases and all that stuff. There is also a new EP coming on Charmin with Florian and there will be some records coming up on other labels, but they aren't official yet.

Tilman Asks Chocky..

Where did the name Chocky come from? I read it is from a John Wyndham novel, but do you just like it or is there a story behind? 

Yes it's John Wyndham, I especially liked the story, the name I am still not sure about, the search for an alternative energy source which is one of the main veins appeals to me as well, that's one to check out.

When did you first start appreciating house and techno and what artists initially inspired?

Around the age of 14, this was pre-internet so sources came through pirate radio, mix tapes and record shops. Being too young to go out I would record as much radio as possible and still have all the tapes today, Masters at work, a lot of French stuff, Motorbass, Ashley Beedle, Derrick Carter, Classic Recordings, early Daft Punk – their remix of Ian Pooley's Chord Memory, really struck a chord.

Growing up what kind of music did you listen to? 

The aforementioned, also a lot of Drum and Bass, Good Looking Records style, lots of old soul music like Otis Redding, Michael Jackson and De La Soul.

Do you play any instruments?

No I don't, is a sampler an instrument?

I noticed that you don’t collaborate. Is there a reason for that? 

I don't use Ableton which makes it difficult, I'd like to but I think I would have to be in the same room as the other artist as transferring projects online is impossible.

Why is your cat called Lenny Bruce?

Because he is a badass, sadly he was run over a few days ago. He was a lovely cat and I will miss him dearly.

How did it happen, that we are doing a split EP on Ears Have Eyes? Do you have any idea? 

No idea at all. Joe and Miles might be able to shed some light on this, I think they were spot on though as the EP works with the various styles presented.

Have you ever tried to produce any other kind of music?

Yes I am always playing with different styles, Drum and Bass, Electronica,  Broken, Ambient, they are all kind of related I suppose as it is computer based electronic music.

The release is out now and can be purchased HERE. Details the launch party discussed in this feature can be found HERE