This week we’re proud to present a special Valentines themed mix by the darling of house, Ada.
For those unaware of Ada, aka Michaela Dippel, she is an extremely influential figure in the electronic music scene. Both producer and label founder of International Records Recordings, she has released a finite amount of original records from John Daly, DJ Koze, René Breitbarth, Benjamin Brunn, Von Spar and Hrdvsion.
Her relationship with Areal Records is poignant, as they have fostered her unique sound since she began experimenting with a disregarded groovebox. Half a year later she presented two tracks to Areal’s founders Metope and Basteroid, which later developed into her debut record ‘Blindhouse/Luckcharm‘ released in 2002.
Since then Ada has released two albums, ‘Blondie’ on Areal and ‘Meine Zarten Pfoten‘ on DJ Koze’s and Marcus Fink’s highly regarded imprint Pampa. In such a male dominated scene, Ada brings a unique character and originality to the table and in her mix she reflects her musical roots and sound signature that has enthralled us for the past decade. Her Valentines mix features tracks from Sacha Funke, Move D, DJ Koze, International Pony and many more.
Do you have any notable first experiences with electronic music? Which producers really stood out for you whilst you were growing up and started to explore the electronic landscape?
The move to Cologne in 2001 was definitely an important shift. My friends Michael (Metope) and Sebastian (Basteroid) had just founded their label Areal Records where I released my first album “Blondie”. It was in the summer when Kompakt’s Total 3 was released which inspired me a lot for my first experiments.
You have a close affinity with Areal Records, please can you expand on your involvement with the label, Metope and Basteroid, and how you came to release your debut record ‘Blindhouse/Luckycharm’ on the imprint?
We’ve known each other a long time before I even started making music myself. Michael (Metope) and I grew up in the same district near Frankfurt. We hung out a lot at a studio in Frankfurt with some other friends who were making music all day and playing computer games at night.
What would you say are the roots to your sound – Is there anything you regard as an essential aspect to your productions?
Regarding my solo career, discovering sample-based production was a big step. Changing a sound completely by cutting, stretching, pitching it is still something I’m fascinated by. I’ve found that a lot in DJ Koze’s productions, his music is very inspiring for me.
In 2004 you released your debut album ‘Blondie’ – What were your musical aims and aspirations for that album and how has your sound developed since?
I started working on my album Blondie just after releasing two EP’s – I was still in this experimentation mode and was overwhelmed by the new possibilities I had learnt, using samplers/sequencers for my productions. My experiences with being a singer for many years on one side and the urge to discover new sounds made the albums mostly playful sound.
The recklessness that comes to light when I listen to Blondie makes me laugh nowadays. However I wouldn’t say “Meine Zarten Pfoten” sounds more grown up. I could have bought dozens more machines and experiemented with them but in the end this it’s just experimenting and has nothing to do with creating music. In actual fact using guitars, flutes and my own voice brought me closer to making music that pleases me rather than arpeggiating weird noises. That’s it for “Meine zarten Pfoten”.
In 2005 you released two remix EP’s, ‘Blondix 1’ and ‘Blondix 2’, featuring remixes by DJ Koze and Sascha Funke, Erlend Øye and a Michael Mayer & Tobias Thomas mix – How did you go about selecting these artists and who else did you consider?
I select artists by considering what they could add to a song. I let them choose the songs, but I make a proposal and usually we agree.
Can you expand on the writing process behind your music – Where do you spend the majority of your time writing music and do the environment[s] you work in influence your output?
I have a studio in Cologne where I work and I also have a small set-up at home as well. I share the studio with my friends Marius and Georg (Coma). We’ve had lots of vintage synthesizers, drums and a piano in the studio, but for “Meine zarten Pfoten” I chose a more personal ambiance.
After a few long nights sitting in the studio and trying to choose an instrument to play I decided to just take the most essential ones with me and switched to home-recording with headphones.
You also run IRR (International Records Recordings), a sub-label of Areal, you’ve released records from some serious heavy weight producers including John Daly, DJ Koze, Rene Breitbarth, Benjamin Brunn and Von Spar – Despite the trickle of releases I’ve always enjoyed the stark artwork that fronts each release, who is behind the artwork and what are your forthcoming plans with the imprint?
Sebastian Riedl aka Basteroid is behind all the lovely label-artwork. Areal stands for a more or less playful club-sound. IRR was supposed to be a platform for all our experimental and dreamy music.
The idea was there for a long time but none of us wanted to be the first one’s to release a record on the label. Luckily we met a very talented young man – John Daly – before our idea ended up as just talk. His Solitaire EP was our first release in 2008. I’m glad to announce that a new EP by him will be released, soon.
You released your latest album ‘Mein Zarten Pfoten’ on Pampa Records. What factors influenced you to release your album on Pampa as opposed to Areal and IRR?
I was linked to Pampa since the label was founded. During the working-process I was in constant interchange about the album with Koze and Marcus Fink. Maybe they know it even better than me. In the end it was just a logical conclusion to release “Meine Zarten Pfoten on Pampa records, but I’ll be working with Areal and IRR as well.
Please can you describe the Valentine’s mix you’ve recorded for IA – the track selection and overall atmosphere you have portrayed in it?
This is not a “music to fall in love with-mix” and honestly I’ve never celebrated Valentine’s Day. I mostly know about it from commercials that remind you to buy flowers for your loved one. So I hope I’ve made an appropriate first valentine’s mix. To ensure myself I recounted the appearance of the L-word, stopped counting after 5…
What does 2012 entail for you?
I’m currently working on some music with my other project “Cologne Tape”. It’s basically a Kraut-influenced project. Our first EP “Render” released on Magazine Records was featured on Dixon’s lovely “Live at Robert Johnson” compilation.
When are you next performing in the UK?
It’s been a while now since I’ve performed in the UK, let’s hope soon!AdaArealInternational Records RecordingsPampa RecordsDeep HouseElectronicHouse