We chatted to the rather excellent, understated genius of DJ Koze to hear his thoughts on a whole host of things including production techniques, musical awakenings, being in a German hip-hop band, ‘doing’ Ibiza, the Hamburg scene and a fair bit more...
Your production has an incredible warmth and depth to it. Can you tell us about the production techniques you use. Is it purely machines or purely computers or a mix of both?
A mix of both but it’s not that important in my opinion. responsible for what comes out is with what you feet the machines or software. I don’t use much software synths for example. They are too clean for what i want to sound my music like. i like it dirty, warm and organic
Your RA podcast from 2009 was so incredibly diverse and all over the place whilst maintaining such a strong direction. You finish it with the classic Animal Collective My Girls which crossed many borders and genres. Can you tell us a bit about what shaped your musical taste and knowledge?
My musical awakening was Public Enemy and all the US Rap from late 80′s . The Pharcyde, tribe called Quest, Jungle Brothers, Flavour Unit, Lench Mob … After that the straight bassdrum appeared in my world with the first Acid Tunes from Phuture but always i was open for mindblowing music also like Frank Zappa or Aphex Twin
Do you ‘do’ Ibiza? If so, or even if you don’t, what’s your opinion on it all?
I will play at Pacha for the cadenza Vagabundos and at Amnesia for Cocoon this year. I am looking forward to both partys but surely Ibiza is more ore less a new experience to me. Its a kind of absurd thing going on on this Island every summer….
How does Hamburg differ from Frankfurt or Berlin in terms of it’s music scene?
Hamburg is so small and boring and far away from many direct input it’s a Blessing for the Music producing scene there. you have all the time to work and are free to digg deep into new Landscapes to come up with something Original. Sometimes less input brings more output in my opinion. Beside this there are many really good friendships among the muscians of the most different scenes in Hamburg
Who’s your favourite person to warm up for you?
You were in a successful hip hop band Fischmob back in the 90s and you were the runner up in the DMC championships a few years back. Do you play straight hip-hop sets anymore?
No, I never did
With Fischmob you had hit singles in the German Charts. What’s the difference having been a pop star as opposed to travelling the world in a different capacity now playing the more underground clubs?
I’m thankfull that I don’t have to play the same songs (hits) on and on. I can entertain myself in different ways every weekend while refreshing my sets. Telling new stories, trying out new streets….beside from this i deeply trust in the grassroot Style of Distribution and the small structures of the Underground Labels . There’s no hype. No money blowing in the wind to make a product bigger as it is. no manipulation of a Demand. You sell so much of your music as people find it worth to buy it. It’s direct, honest and compromiseless
I never would like to change anything
What’s your take on the Future Garage/Bass sound. Have you found any of it creeping into your sets of late?
Yes indeed. i like the close vice versa influencing friendship of these both scenes. It’s good to inseminate each other before it gets boring.
What’s your opinion on short sets i.e. the usual 60 minutes?
I know it only from festivals, i think it’s more to show up there and give a little taste of your style, more like a liveset, sometimes it makes sense, i prefer the longer and deeper Travel
You’re playing for 4 hours soon, what can we expect from each hour? Could you pick us a track to reflect each hour?
I surely not know now. When i’m on the party i will know, but definetly i will play out new unreleased stuff from my Label Pampa like the new single from Die Vgel or a few new tracks from myself.
You’ve been voted DJ of the year in many places. What keeps your standards and quality so high?
I still have a lot of love for clubmusic even when i’m bored of most. Maybe a good mixture to be a DJ
Who’s bubbling under on your radar at the moment production-wise
I like matthew dear, Kasse Mossem, Robag whrume, Panda Bear, Lowtec, die Vgel, Jackmate,James Blake , Roman flgel, all the Dial boys, many but not really new names…
Outside of the dance world who else is doing it for you at the moment?
I’m really impressed of the new Apparat Album but to be honest outside the dance world i don’t listen too much newer music. chet baker, moondog and Hiphop instrumentals or Bach are ruling my playlist
Anything else we should’ve talked about but I haven’t asked you?
Yes, you could ask what is wrong with my hands? Why everything i touch becomes golden!? If it isn’t a bit scary for me?
Thanks for your time… enjoyed that.
Koze when he was in International Pony playing Laurent Garnier’s Flashback: