Ahead of Superstition x Sweat Lodge Agency Takeover at Village Underground this Friday in London, we caught up with the Berlin based DJ and producer Oliver Deutschmann to find out more about his relationship with the Sweat Lodge booking agency and how his own label Vidab is developing.
In the interview Oliver discusses his forthcoming album, and provides some advice to those that are thinking of launching their own record label. He also talks about the state of the electronic music industry, hype, pop star statuses and obviously the pro’s and con’s of that.
Hi Oliver, how are you? How was your NYE and how is 2015 treating you so far?
NYE was great. I played in a small friend’s club called Fiese Remise here in Berlin and it was packed and sweaty. Right after I headed to Israel to play in Jerusalem and the first Sweat Lodge Party in 2015 at Bootleg in Tel Aviv with my good friends Elie, James and Ed. That one was stunning. So, it couldn’t have started better.
You’re playing in London at the Superstition x Sweat Lodge Agency Takeover at Village Underground. Can you tell us more about Sweat Lodge, and your involvement with the agency?
I am working with the guys since 7 years or so. I have a pretty close relationship to the agency. They always believed in me and still do. We are friends and that’s the most important and luckiest thing for me.
Spencer Parker, Ed Davenport and Chymera are also playing at Village Underground, what is it about their music that you admire?
They are all amazing DJs and quality producers. Also, in my opinion Ed is one of the best and most unique Techno DJs in the world.
Have you played at Village Underground before? If so, did it leave a lasting impression on you? If not, what are you expecting?
I played in London a lot the last years but never at Village Underground. I saw some pictures of it and it looked quiet impressive. And, I never expect anything. When it comes to gigs.
How’s your label Vidab going?
2014 was a relatively quiet year, which saw the release of Tomas Svennson’s album and a 12” from Hiver.
What does 2015 hold for Vidab?
2014 was a quiet year, that’s right. I had a lot to do with touring, caring of my other imprints GKNSTR and Falkplatz and I produced and released some secret stuff with friends. As well I produced and mixed Magit Cacoon’s album that will be released on Upon You in spring. My Vidab partner Stephan works as a full time doctor and therefore also hasn’t got that much time.
But there will be something out on Vidab before summer. We are planning another Various Artists EP.
Having started your own label, what advice would you give to those who are also starting off their own imprint?
Just do it. Don’t waste your time and send your demos to the so-called big labels. Only a very few people are so lucky to get the chance. Be your own boss and start something on your own. Don’t be afraid of doing mistakes. It’s important to do them. That’s how I got into all that. No one wanted to release my shit in the beginning. It was so disappointing. So one day I said ‘Fuck you all, I am doing it on my own’. And it worked out. But expect a lot of work and pain before it pays off, hehe.
Where are some of your favourite places to play and why?
Of course my ‘Homeclub’ Berghain. I don’t have to explain why…I guess.
In the last few months I had two really amazing gigs in the Bootleg Club in Tel Aviv. Everything there was just perfect. From the hosting to the crowd and back!
Also the Überhaus crew in Beirut is doing an amazing job. I will return to Lebanon in a few weeks. Can’t wait for that too. So, I’m a mid east fan I’d say. The crowds know how to party and the food there is unbeatable.
Rumours are suggesting that you’re working on a new album, can you tell us a bit more about it, and what you’re hoping to achieve with the album?
That’s right, I am currently working on that. It will take longer as expected, as I want to try all of the tracks that are in the shortlist in the clubs and only the ones that work perfectly will make it in the end on the album.
I am doing the album for me so I don’t really care about any achievement. Good or bad reviews are the same for me. It just doesn’t matter. The tracks don’t have to be landmarks. They have to rock the floor and have to be timeless.
When you were a teenager what music were you listening to?
I listened to a lot of Metal in that time. Bay Area Thrash Metal, Tampa Death Metal like Forbidden Voilence, Exodus, Obituary, Death but also British Grindcore like Napalm Death, Carcass were the styles that I loved a lot. But I also adored bands like Nine Inch Nails, Ministry and all that Industrial stuff that came out that time.
What provoked your interest and desire to experiment in house and techno?
I just love the whole package. The parties, dancing, excess (not so much anymore!), get lost in a club night, the opportunity to travel and meeting people all over the world. It’s not only about the music. I mean, that’s the most important part of it, of course. But the whole lifestyle of this scene is what provoked my interest. And it still does.
It seems that house and techno, in all their shapes and styles, are everywhere these days, what’s your perception of this scene?
Electronic music today is pretty successful. Of course this is good and it’s great to be able to make a living out of your passion. But I can’t stand this focus on DJs and producers and turning them into rock-stars. I think faces and persons are not that important as the music or the skills in DJing or producing are.
The last years the scene turns into a kind of pop business and this is an absolutely uninteresting development for me. But the underground scene is pretty vital and alive and the most interesting things are happening under the hype’s bottom – as in every art form.
What technique would you say that your DJing is? Selector or multi-mixer extraordinaire?
I try always to play the (for me) perfect set. That means long mixes, no technical mistakes and a different range of electronic styles.
Have you thought about what track you’ll be playing first at Superstition?
As I am starting it will be something smooth. Maybe this one:
Finally any words of wisdom you’d like to leave us with?
Leave your brain at the wardrobe.Oliver DeutschmannFalkplatzVidabHouseTechnoSuperstition