Tesla286 Talks


According to Tesla286 the future is over. Now that your mind has been put at ease, you should take the time to listen to the dystopian landscapes created by the world's newest soothsayer. For his latest project, 'Zukunft' (which means future), Tesla286 has assembled a collection of tracks that create his version of future events and steps forward for electronic music. We caught up with him to find out a little more about the man behind the prophecies;

Please Tell us about yourself; who are you and where are you from?

Hi Everyone. I'm Tesla286 and I'm from Berlin.

How did the name Tesla286 come about? Was there any trial and error involved before settling on the name (Hopefully not from Tesla1- Tesla285)?

Last year I started getting interested in the history of Nikola Tesla. He was a famous and genius scientist. And No, I started with TESLA286, because "286" is the julianische Birthdate of "TESLA".

How would you best describe your sound?

Dystopisch, funky, oldschool, detroit, electro…

What first got you into music? Has it been a passion of yours throughout your life or was there a particular moment when someone flicked a switch and your musical side sprung into action?

At the age of 13, I started during a holiday as a guy whose care for music from Tape- deck's for other kids something like Kids-Disco. Later, I became a technical assistant for a DJ in East Berlin and got into music history from Funk to 80s, from New Wave to Hip Hop, and from NDW to Soul. From these days until now, music has always been a passion in my life.

What was the first electronic record you ever heard? How did it make you feel?

Fat Gadget… Depeche Mode… Kraftwerk… I felt like this would be the day everything changed in my life.

Is there a particular version of the future that appeals to you? Have any media forms of the future such as in Star Trek, The Jetsons or Wall-E had any significant bearing on your thoughts about the future?

Future is one of the most momentous and illogical phenomenons in our lifes. It is pretty grave for the (more or less) predictable forward-thinking and forward-going and coevally agonizing. It can be full of hope and strength, an engine of social, cultural and technical progress – but at the same time spread doubt and anxiety. Past, present and future form an open and interacting force field for me. I can follow it’s linearity – or fool around with it in my fantasy, use it against all conventions, floating in different directions, or be up in arms. That means I can accelerate and decelerate at the same time. Music has to work with time and in it. In multiple ways. Music is always a creative medium that deals with time.  

Your track 'Tesla's Oscillator' has a bit of the Herbie Hancock's about it, is jazz something that you have a particular interest in? Are there any other influences of yours that might surprise a few people?

Herbie Hancock is definitely one of my old heroes. I also love current jazzy productions like Moodymann. but no surprises otherwise, nothing you could not hear in my music.

Why should people listen to Zukunft? For you, what makes the album complete?

Last year I had this feeling, to start a project completely different to what I normally do and I felt the music that influenced me in earlier days wasn't actually as present as it should be, so I decided to go back to my roots and try to catch these feelings from years ago. The result is a soundtrack of the beginning of my first steps into electronic music. I hope it reminds some listeners of that time and for those who haven't experienced this musical age, to discover it. Do you think my album is complete?

If you could collaborate with anyone (living or dead) on your next project, who would it be? What direction and format would it take?

If I could, I would bring some of my heroes together in a band – James Stinson and Gerald Donald coupled with Stockhausen and Herbie Hancock…

If your sound was a visual thing, what would it look like?

Like a magnetic field…

First and last record bought?

First: "Karat – Der blaue Planet"

Last: "Modeselektion Vol.3 – Pt.1"

What’s the best piece of music you’ve ever heard?

Kraftwerk – The Man Maschine LP

What’s your favourite place on earth?

Berlin, my Hometown and I love the forrest

Are you a kick drum, hi hat or a snare? And why?

No single instrument makes a groove, so I'm a Roland TR606, if it's OK for you?

It is indeed! What are you obsessed with at the moment?

Prepare my live setup for Melt! Festival and recording sessions for my next album.

What's your answer to everything?

No idea, to ask the right question.

Anything we might have missed?

I'm really happy and proud to the upcoming remixes of "ZUKUNFT"! Thank you very much to to Djedjotronic, Jonas Kopp, Housemeister, Beroshima, Alexander Kowalski, Scntst, Dinamite, Dave Tarrida, Hoshina Anniversary.

Thank you for the interview!

'Zukunft' is out now on Housemeister's AYCB label, for more information check out Tesla286's official website.