Hailing from Bonn, Germany – Jonathan Kaspar is an integral part of the scene in Cologne. He is a resident at the city’s renowned Gewölbe club and also one of the current main figures at the legendary Kompakt label. Amongst a busy release schedule this year, Jonathan recently featured on Part 1 of André Hommen’s More Than This Remixes, and in light of this we are pleased to be speaking with him today!
Hello Jonathan and thank you for speaking with us today! How are you doing and where are you based at the moment?
Hey, thanks for having me! All fine at the moment – I am based in Cologne, Germany. I just finished my morning run, sitting in the kitchen because my girlfriend is having calls during her home office in my room – the new normal since a few months now.
How has the year been for you given the current global situation?
My last pre-covid gig was March 6th at my residency Gewölbe together with Patrice Bäumel. A long, dark and sweaty rave – a dreamlike memory. I remember that we were talking about the situation and the future during the dinner, assuming it might be the last weekend open for events and clubs in Europe and sadly it was more or less the truth. Though I am missing deejaying, the nightlife and concerts in general like hell, but I am safe and healthy. My family and friends are all fine, that is most important to me. After a little break of making music at the beginning of the pandemic, I spent a lot of time in the studio. It was different, because a big part of my production process is road-testing the first versions of my tracks in the clubs, a part which is missing these days. Beside music, I am doing a lot of sports, trying to be up to date and be in exchange with my friends and colleagues.
At the end of October you featured on Part 1 remixes of André Hommen’s More Than This album with a fantastic reinterpretation of the track Eins. More Than This is said to be both André’s first and last album, highlighting the significance of being selected to remix it. Tell us, how did you come to feature on the release and what is your relationship with André and his label These Eyes?
I was honored to be asked by André and I am really happy about it, as I had the album very early before release, so I had some time to select the tune I wanted to remix. I loved the intro song of the album “Eins”, the ambient vibe, the dark sounds and mood, so after some time my choice was clear. André is one of my best friends and he told me about the concept and the idea behind “These Eyes” already in 2016. So far I had two solo EPs and now the remix on the label and I am and was very happy with the result and the choice of tracks for each contribution, so I am looking very forward to my next EP in 2021.
Can you tell us a bit about the creative process when you made the remix of Eins?
The remix came together super naturally and quick. I used nearly all tracks and parts of the original and added the bassline with the Moog Sub37. I tried to keep the dark mood of the original, make it a bit more for the dancefloor: I had a foggy techno floor in mind about 1:30am, where the people getting in the mood for a long night and morning – to be more precise: I imagined the feeling when you enter the club during the first 15 seconds of the track and then when you enter the dancefloor, the bassline begins to groove – a feeling we all know and miss!
Can you tell us a bit about your studio set up too? What are your most used pieces of equipment or bits of software that you use?
The daw is Ableton, the most-used equipment is the before mentioned Moog Sub37, Vermona DRM and Perfourmer. In terms of software, I love the Soundtoys plugins, e.g. the Decapitator or PanMan.
Who are some of your greatest musical influences?
I was playing basketball when I grew up – my friends, my team and me were only listening to hip hop and R´n´B, like Mobb Deep, Nas, Notorius B.I.G and so on. I still love the sound design of these productions, rough and dirty with a certain character, especially on the drumming. I also love noises, dirt and atmospheres in my productions, for me it makes the music more alive, it does not have to be to clean.
In some of our recent interviews we have attempted to draw attention to the scene and the importance of protecting it in these uncertain times. As a DJ and producer who has been dedicated to the scene for many years, what does nightlife culture and the underground music industry mean to you?
It is my life and passion! But I think at the moment it is sadly not the time for being together closely to enjoy the moment together in an intimate room, which is the main part of clubbing in my eyes. It is a big challenge for everyone who is following the same passion, but I hope there will be better times soon, though it might be different from what we were used to.
Thank you again for speaking with us today Jonathan! To round off, is there anything else coming up from yourself that you would like to share with us?
I closed this year with the remix for André Hommen and my ‘TIA’ EP via Acid Pauli´s and Nico Stojan´s label ouïe. Coming up next year is my follow up EP on Kompakt, which I am very looking forward to. Then my next EP via These Eyes and also a special remix for an artist I really love.