Soulphiction talks

Soulphiction aka Michel Baumann has been putting out great records of his own (and releasing many others on his Philpot label) for many a year. Ahead of playing at Cafe 1001 this Sunday, we caught up with the man himself to talk about his introduction to house music, the muscial vision of Philpot and the effect of the reunification of Germany on the musical culture of Berlin…
So lets start from the beginning. Tell me about your first introduction into house and electronic music.

I’m coming from HipHop and Hip Hop for me is electronic music too…so basically electronic music was with me from the very beginning. House was introduced to me by a friend who worked in the same record shop as i did. It just went hand in hand…

How did the reunification affect you at the time both in general and also musically. I say this because it must have been such a massive event culturally that we here in the UK dont really have the equivalent to. 

I’ve been to the east several times, while it was still closed down, and that was some of the most irritating

and strangest times of my youth…..we all couldn’t believe that it happened so fast….we were just happy that it happened …
Berlin was the City of Rock and Junk at that time, and all the eastern residents started those great acid and techno parties to celebrate this new freedom….that basically built this city and the culture of clubbing.
When did you first start producing and how long did it take you to get released?

1985, I bought a DX7 and some roland rhythm boxes…but it really started, when I got my hands on a sampler and a compressor 4 years later. It took another 5 years untill my first vinyl was out…

How did Philpot come about? Was putting out other peoples music a natural progression once youd started producing?

Philpot was planned as my personal outpt only, but I was very lazy and I always got great tracks from 

friends and like-minded artists, so I started some proper A&R and a schedule to keep the flow…
There’s always been a very clear musical vision to Philpot that has stayed consistent throughout. Is this something you set out with or did this evolve as you went along?

The vision was….it has to be unique.

Timelessness is an overly stretched term, but I tend to use it anyway…
I want to listen to a record in ten years and still feel it, not sounding totally outdated…so we never followed 
any hypes. I guess people appreciated that 🙂

How have you gone about selecting the artist that youve worked with on Philpot? It seems like you have quite a tight knit, family thing going on.

Basically its friends and new artists we felt connected to and then became friends. We got a small roster of very consistent artists, that makes everything a bit easier….

Whether in your Soulphiction productions or in your work as Jackmate, it seems that the use of samples is at the very core of what you do. How much of your time is dedicated to digging out the samples you use?

Sometimes I don’t produce at all, but dig into new musical territories for weeks…

If I like something, I want to know everything about it….bit obsessive, but during that digging time I also 
constantly sample and record sounds. So its about half of the time I spend in the studio, getting inspired and collecting sounds.
There is always an element of roughness to your productions. This seems to be something very much in vogue at the moment with a lot of producers but you’ve been working this way for a long time. 

Why do you think you are drawn to this grittier sound? 

For me, that’s the sound I want to hear in a House-Club! Like with Sex, everything polished and obvious bores me, and Sex used to be a big part of this Music En Vogue you say?! Interesting…:)


Youre going to be djing for Conclave at Caf 1001 this weekend. Tell me how you approach a dj set? Do you just turn up with a bag of records or does a lot of planning go into the operation.

I think I’m booked to represent my style, so yes, I care about my set everytime before I play, but I don’t really check, what kind of sound the club normally presents.

I trust in my booker and the promoter 🙂


Interview: Joe Europe
Soulphiction plays Conclave at cafe 1001 this coming Sunday. For more info, go here.