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Sawlin & Subjected

Sawlin and Subjected are a production duo from Berlin. Since meeting in 2006 courtesy of fellow producer Mørbeck, they have released definitive techno 12″s on Subjected’s self-run imprint ‘Vault Series‘. As a solo producer Sawlin has also released music on Delsin’s sub label Ann Aimee and French label Technorama.

With such a strong heritage and stable of releases we caught up with the duo to discuss their affair with techno and reasons for starting up their own record label. The mix was recorded at Subjected’s studio in Berlin and is 100% live. Sawlin used Ableton, an APC and an iPad, whilst Subjected used Traktor Pro with a Native Instruments Maschine to generate something completely new for us.

What have you both been up to over the past two months?

Sawlin: What I always do. Just Making music.

Subjected: I started a new job at a Berlin Newspaper. So I had to work hard over the past two months.

Can you both explain your roots and groundings into discovering the field of electronic music?

Sawlin: It´s hard to say. I cannot imagine my life without electronic music.

Subjected: I started doing some hip-hop stuff as a young kid. Later when I moved school my new classmates showed me the club culture of Berlin in 1999. I went out to Tresor or Casino.

How did the two of you meet and what provoked you to produce and release music together?

Sawlin: Mørbeck introduced us each other in 2006. Since then we are doing music regularly. It´s always fun and we are producing in a very fast way.

Who are your musical heroes and iconic releases / albums?

Sawlin: I´m influenced by the music from Juan Aktins, DJ Koze or Soulphiction. It changes a bit from time to time. The iconic album is Rok ‘Defender‘ on Muller Records.

Subjected: Yes, this album is a masterpiece. It was my third record I bought.

Do you both try to project a certain mythology around yourselves as artists?

Sawlin: I couldn’t imagine that someone would be interested in me because in the beginning we were totally unknown.

Subjected: No. This was the result for focusing our stuff without releasing pictures of us at first.

Can you explain how your IA MIX was recorded and if there is a particular theme running within it?

Subjected: The mix was recorded at my studio. This was a special one. Sawlin was using Ableton, an APC and an iPad. I was using Traktor Pro with a NI Maschine. We combined this technique to generate something new.

You both produce abrasive techno. What is it that drives this passion to produce such heavy techno?

Sawlin: Making music is the expression of my emotions. The more a sound shows my emotion the more I’m satisfied. It´s my personal way of “free your mind!”.

Subjected: Because I like it!!! I rediscovered Bjork ‘Homogenic‘ an album I listened to so often in my childhood. I realised, there are such distorted elements in it I love now. Weird. IMHO, a big rediscovered forgotten influence.

Do you have an ideal structure / philosophy for producing techno?

Sawlin: I don’t use old skits. I always start something new. That´s why my songs are so different to each other. A simple rule for everyone, who understands producing techno.

Subjected: Rule #1: Try to finish and arrange your track on the same day. The next day your mood will be a different one.

Tell me about the Vault Series, why you founded the label, the concept behind it and how you see it developing?

Subjected: I founded the label with Sawlin in the beginning in 2010. We had no platform for releasing industrial techno and others weren’t interested in our music. At this time I couldn’t imagine, that Vault Series will grow up to a worldwide successful label with 14 EPs and 1 LP.

Did you feel there was a ‘gap in the market’ for establishing the imprint?

Subjected: Yes and it was very risky too.

What other record labels and artist do you appreciate and respect?

Sawlin: I´m not a DJ. I´m a live act. So I don´t have to listen to new records weekly. There are a lot of good producers and labels but for me it´s hard to name them.

Subjected: I like Shed, Surgeon, Regis to name a few.

When producing music are there any particular environments, both mental and physical, that are essential for you to create new music?

Sawlin: I need to feel confident in my surrounding.

Subjected: When I start working on new stuff I had to think about it before. I always need a concept or a target.

Tell me about your live set up?

Sawlin: There are no other live sets as Sawlin & Subjected scheduled now. Subjected is interested in doing more DJing and I’m a typical live act like a band with a “what you see is what you get performance”. It´s all about entertainment. Feel free to come to my live show and ask afterwards.

Do you have any words of wisdom or warning for people who want to do what you do?

Sawlin: Only the independent one is able to be brave. And being brave will be rewarded.

Subjected: Be yourself….