Could you take us through a day in your life, from a possible morning routine through to your work? Do you have a fixed schedule? How do music and other aspects of your life feed back into each other - do you separate them or instead try to make them blend seamlessly?
A typical day for both of us starts between 7:00 - 8:00AM. After having breakfast and watching the news, we are checking emails, doing invoicing stuff as well as other office matters and paperwork. In summertime maybe some quick work in the garden before we meet around 11:00 AM in the studio. While Frederic turns on the machines, Patrick is setting up a pot of tea and we are talking about some email news, business things we have to make decisions on together and of course family stuff as well. Then we start to work. If we are already working on a new track we listen to the complete track again at first, to get an idea on which part we have to continue and what’s missing maybe or just to decide what we still have to do. Patrick is the main producer as he is much more professional and of course it’s not possible to work simultaneously on the same Logic project. So while he is working on all the automations and the production in general I constantly try to give him feedback which is most of the time not really necessary cause after all the years our brains are more or less synchronized and we are having the same ideas at the same time, but nevertheless giving each other feedback is very important for us as it works like pushing each other.
On a good day we stop working in the studio together between 4:00 - 5:00 PM. Then it’s time for some sports or to relax, if the sun is out, then Patrick goes for that option! After it’s time for some social media stuff, followed by cooking and having dinner with our partners. Once or twice a week the evening plans could vary a little bit and instead of dinner at home and sofa time we meet old friends mostly for having dinner outside. From Friday to Sunday we usually on tour somewhere around the globe.
Could you describe your creative process on the basis of a piece or album that's particularly dear to you, please? Where did the ideas come from, how were they transformed in your mind, what did you start with and how do you refine these beginnings into the finished work of art?
Most of the times we get our inspiration while we are traveling and get the chance to listen to other types of music, meet other artists and hear them playing. Especially in Clubs the sound is totally different to the sound in a studio and very often we hear sounds and tracks which inspire us.
For our track ‘Hydra’ which is featured on our upcoming LP “Another Dimension”, we heard a track with a kind of Donna Summer semiquaver baseline sequence, followed by a track with a more rave synth sound, followed by a track with whippy white noise hits. We thought and talked about putting all these or similar elements together and creating a track out of it, as this kind of a techno track was still missing on the LP. That was while we were on a short South America Tour in the beginning of this year.
We kept the idea in our minds and when we were back in the studio we began to work on it together. As we’ve had a concrete plan for this track and everything in our mind already it was more or less only work and handwork to produce this song. As always and as mentioned before, we started with the bass drum, some hi hats and other drum parts, before we were looking for the main sound in this case the synth that should play our bass melody which we had in mind already. It was not hard to find it as we already knew what we were looking for. So all elements were collected and programmed and we could start with arranging the track like setting up the first part which is always the mix in part for the deejays, followed by fading in the main theme. We created two uplifting breaks for this track before we focused on the outro which is also very important to give the DJ enough time to mix in the next track. The complete process of producing a new track from scratch takes us about 3-5 days as we put much work into the automations.
There are many descriptions of the ideal state of mind for being creative. What is it like for you? What supports this ideal state of mind and what are distractions? Are there strategies to enter into this state more easily?
The ideal state of mind is to have no stress in the background, no worries about anything and to have a rough idea of what you want to work on.
It can happen that it takes a while to get back to the creative mind set especially when we have a summer break. In the past this could take a few weeks but the most important part for us is not to get stressed. We keep on working every day till we have that feeling back. If it’s there everything is easy and we are quite fast with the productions. If it’s not there sometimes it’s better to go home and stop working instead of stressing yourself and trying to force something, because the result will not be good.
How is playing live and writing music in the studio connected? What do you achieve and draw from each experience personally? How do you see the relationship between improvisation and composition in this regard?
We get our main creativity from touring and the connection between touring and studio works pretty good for us. DJ’ing is a kind of improvisation as we always play different tracks in each set and you never know if the crowd goes nuts or if they are just shooting selfies … Epecially when this happens you need to improvise. Touring was the perfect playground for us to test our new album, as this one is a club album and every single track has to fit perfectly into our sets.
How do you see the relationship between the 'sound' aspects of music and the 'composition' aspects? How do you work with sound and timbre to meet certain production ideas and in which way can certain sounds already take on compositional qualities?
In our opinion the sound and the composition have to work hand in hand. If you want to express a melancholic feeling for example, you would probably play a nice melancholic melody with an instrument like a piano, perhaps accompanied by a layered string ensemble or some spacy layered pads. As we are only producing forward driven techno tracks at the moment it’s not that easy for us to find the right sound for the right theme or melody, as the result should sound positive but not too happy, otherwise it could seem cheesy. Then it should also sound cool and maybe rough but not too dark and aggressive. So you can see it’s a fine line we are walking to express the feeling we want to with our music. Due to this, the hardest part of the production is often finding the right synth sound for the main theme or melody.
Our sense of hearing shares intriguing connections to other senses. From your experience, what are some of the most inspiring overlaps between different senses - and what do they tell us about the way our senses work? What happens to sound at its outermost borders?
All our senses are working together and you can hardly separate them from each other. Think about food and taste. Even the best chefs cannot realise sometimes what they are eating if they are blindfolded. If you are listening to music, it’s not only about hearing. Play it loud enough and you feel the bass in your stomach and through your body. Also the effect of visuals in conjunction with music shows us how all our senses are working together. Sometimes a specific noise or sound in connection with an incident that happened maybe long time ago in your life can be so strong, that you’ll never forget it.
Art can be a purpose in its own right, but it can also directly feed back into everyday life, take on a social and political role and lead to more engagement. Can you describe your approach to art and being an artist?
We do not want to make any political statements with our music.
We are just two super friendly and social guys from Hamburg who love to make music and we hope to spread some love, peace and happiness out into the world. Politics is for the corrupt people only :-)
It is remarkable, in a way, that we have arrived in the 21st century with the basic concept of music still intact. Do you have a vision of music, an idea of what music could be beyond its current form?
Maybe there will be a connection or a plug to transfer digital data directly into the human brain in the future. This would effect of course of not only the way of listening or consuming music, but would change the whole way of life for human beings.
For the moment we are quite happy that it seems like EDM is slightly disappearing from the planet.