Marcel Vogel: The Ransom Note Mix
Lumberjacks can exist in both heaven and hell, however, it is the latter which Marcel Vogel chooses to place himself. The German producer and disc jockey has a notorious reputation for blending elements of cosmic disco alongside r'n'b, house and various oddities. Eclectic and dancefloor orientated the label has released music from the likes of Jamie 3:26, Traxx, Mr Mendel and Eddie C. More recently Marcel Vogel has also founded a new label titled 'Intimate Friends' on which he has taken a new creative approach. As a producer Marcel Vogel has captured elements of seduction present in old school r'n'b and placed them alongside modern day electronic influences. The result is often enchanting, odd and abuzz. We caught up with him as he contributes to The Ransom Note mix series. Listen and read the interview below:
Please introduce yourself…Who are you, where are you and what are you? What does your music sound like?
My name is Marcel Vogel and I am a DJ/producer originally from Germany but currently living in Amsterdam. My daily grind is making sure people dance to the releases I put out on my labels Lumberjacks In Hell and Intimate Friends. I am trying to cover all sorts of soulful music, mainly Disco and House but also NuSoul plus the odd bits of Afro and Funk… whatever makes me move and smile.
Where did the inspiration behind Lumberjacks in Hell come from, both in name and music?
Lumberjacks is influenced by whatever inspires me, which includes things like Chicago, Detroit, Theo Parrish, Disco, House and stilllove4music. When it comes to the things I want to do with Lumberjacks it's usually very specific places where I look to find new music, but I’m always open minded and I just want to find those extra groovy things that make you go mmmmmm…
What is upcoming in the world of Intimate Friends?
KAMM – Kick Drunk Love just dropped and my EP titled “Being Human” is coming up next month on Intimate Friends, and shortly after that there will be a remix EP for “Being Human” with reworks from Soulphiction, Simba, NY*AK and Soul Clap. But in between those there will be a debut solo release on Intimate Friends (MATE 009) from Dear Earth who is a young buck from London. The Intimate Friends sound is a bit more challenging than what I release on Lumberjacks In Hell, which means I have to work a bit harder to reach my audience. But this is the part I like because I love the music and don’t mind working overtime to share my passion with likeminded people. There is a bunch of stuff in the pipeline and it’s a very exciting time for me …
Your most recent EP saw you slow things down a bit, how would you describe your latest release?
I grew up with R n B and always loved vocals, plus soul. My love for Disco directly stems from that. My next release Being Human is a status quo for me and shows what I am capable of right now. For the EP I have collected together a bunch of stuff I’ve precisely released from my first dips in song writing, and combined them with a selection of new things I’ve been working on and accumulated over the years. I’ve always worked with a team of handpicked friends and musician’s, but whoever I’m working with I always find myself torn between slow grooves and up-tempo dance orientated stuff.
I find it hard to choose between the two sides of my taste and wherever possible, want to indulge in both. When I make music I’m trying to create music for myself and think of the stuff that would tingle me, as a result I’m not focused on creating super-refined genre specific tracks, as that's just not me. It’s been a beautiful process working with all these people especially Khadija and Tim Jules. I’m a decade older than both those guys and I’ve been releasing music a lot longer, so it's nice that I can also help them and share some of my experience.
Where was the mix recorded?
What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?
Apart from a dancefloor the best place to listen to any mix is in a car, as that's the best place to have an intimate listening session… or that’s what I think anyway. I suppose your headphones on a bike comes a close second place, as I like listening to music on the move. When I make a mix I always hope that in the right setting it will make people dance, so weather it’s at home, in the car, park or office, I hope it makes people want to get their groove on… even if it’s just a shoulder shuffle on the commute to work.
What should we be wearing?
Something probably only my girlfriend knows is that most of the time when I am at home I am butt naked. I didn’t even realize it myself but she kept telling me and now I am aware of it. I think if you have the freedom to wear nothing and dance around then why not?
Which track in the mix is your current favourite?
I couldn’t pick just one track as so many of them are special to me, and to pick a single favourite I’d feel like I was discriminating against the others. There is a lot of good shit in there, and of course I love the upcoming Lumberjacks stuff by Soulphiction and the remix Karizma did for me, especially because I’m proud to work with such legends. My main philosophy is never to start a mix with a track that's not special for me, because you have to grab people’s attention right from the first beat.
What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?
In a recoded mix or podcast I think the first track, but in the club the last track is most important… especially if it’s the last one of the night.
If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?
I wouldn’t want people eating it as then it has to come out the other end. But it’s like sandpaper because it’s rough and makes you move.
If it was an animal what would it be?
It's like an elephant.
Upcoming in the world of…
I’m always involved in millions of things but trying to have a nice and steady output with both labels is a main focus. Between the two labels and my own music I think there will be about 10 records coming out before the end of this year… this includes my own record Being Human which will drop on Intimate Friends around mid-September. There is also a split 12” with Karizma for Lumberjacks that will come in November. Plus Mr Mendel, Rahaan and myself have recorded a 12 together for Kolours Ltd, and that should also be coming out this year. Loads and loads of stuff that needs finishing but it's all coming in due time…
Follow Marcel Vogel on Facebook HERE.