Interview by Nicky Trax
Gorge, a huge welcome to DMCWORLD. Hugely influential in shaping the ‘Mannheim sound’ of deep groovy house music alongside partner Nick Curly, can you tell us how your first started out in the music world…
Well I was a drummer in a pop/rock band in the late 80’s/start of the 90’s where I also got in touch with the technical side – recording music and mixing it down. At the age of 18 I started going out to the first clubs playing only electronic music like the legendary Dorian Gray in Frankfurt where Sven Väth, Marc Spoon and Thorsten Fenslau started their DJ careers. In 1993 I first touched a pair of Technics turntables at a friend’s house and I became addicted immediately. In 1995 I started playing residencies and set up my studio bit by bit as it was very expensive buying everything at that time. This went on and I made my first steps into production and experimented with a lot of styles like trance, house and electro until I found my style in deep house and tech house. I met Nick Curly in 2003 and we sat together in my studio and made some magic which went it’s way and continues to do so till this day. I ended up founding 8bit records, creating a new musical sound that went on to be known as the ‘Mannheim Sound’.
Who or what were your early inspirations – people, clubs etc.?
As I mentioned, Frankfurt had a big scene at that time with Dorian Gray, Omen and also the Box which were clubs we went to regularly. I didn’t decide in favour one style of music as I came from pop and rock music and was totally open to house, techno and trance music. For example, I was inspired by a lot of music such as Eye Q Records and Harthouse, both two of my favourite labels from Frankfurt and I still have all their releases here in my studio. Also labels like Cleveland City and Strictly Rhythm added mental tracks to the club scene and I saw people cry on the dancefloor when we were playing these records.
You’ve clocked up another impressive year with the ‘Maleika EP’ on Gruuv, a remix of Athea for Hot Since 82’s Knee Deep label and Darius Syrossian remixing Andrang on 8-Bit. What have been this year’s personal musical highlights for you though?
My personal highlight was our baby 8bit Records. After 11 years it’s still there and we add music we like to the huge unclear music market…and it seems people like what we do. My personal highlight was the Tayo EP on 8bit which stayed for 6 months in the Beatport TOP100 Techhouse chart and also my release on Gruuv as I really love Audiojack and the stuff they’re putting out.
I work with a lot of people regularly such as Nick Curly and Steffen Deux and I also have a really inspiring collaboration with Markus Homm going on. We finished some nice tracks and will release them in early 2016 for sure.
Your first album “Mood” gained great reviews for ‘producing timeless deep house music as well as club friendly house tracks’, did you feel it was a big achievement?
An album is always something special and my aim was to create something that I can listen to in 10 years and still like. I focused on deeper timeless tracks instead of producing a tech house album which is there for 3 months and then gone. After 6 years I can still say I play tracks from the album and also see people playing them. My favourite track was ‘Erotic Soul’ and I still don’t know how I created this. Never did something like this again.
You’ve also been nominated in the Beatport Top 50 Tech House artists and how did that make you feel?
To be nominated is a big honour for me as I don’t really release the usual Top 50 music I think. I look at the polls sometimes as beside the same big names there’s always some interesting people to look at.
What’s your favourite role – producing, DJing or running the label?
As I’ve been a tech nerd for quite some time, my heart beats for production and DJing. I love the label but nowadays it’s frustrating how much time you have to invest and what comes back money wise. The market is too fast and the illegal downloads too big. Besides that, streaming is more and more successful (which is good) but this doesn’t pay back at all.
Can you tell us a bit about your current DJ set up…
Well with Djing I’m really classic. I play with 3 CDJ-2000 Nexus and USB sticks. No extra fx machines etc. but I’m thinking of some for the future as it’s frustrating sometimes when you have the Allen & Heath mixer and the DJ before you kills it with Traktor.
You’ve released music on a wide range of labels including Objektivity, Diynamic, Brise, Systematic,Freerange, Noir Music, Fear of Flying, Loco Records, Highway Records and Gruuv. Do you think it’s important for an artist to spread themselves widely?
I did a lot of remixes back in the days and nowadays I’m more focused in producing my own music and working with some of my favourite labels. For an artist profile it’s important to have 3 or 4 labels to appear on regularly to reach a wider range of listeners. More is senseless and not helping as you need a crew and to be loyal to the labels that helped you when you started your career as they gave you the chance to bring out your music and give you that early visibility on the scene and in the stores.
In demand on some of the finest global dancefloors including Watergate (Berlin), Rex (Paris), D-Edge (Sao Paulo), Cielo (NYC), Space and Zoo Project (Ibiza) and Electric Pickle (Miami), do you have any favourite events or clubs that you like to play?
I played a lot in Brazil the last few years and I love the scene there. One great party was the Colours Festival in Brazil and the most impressive club for me was Grand Factory in Beirut, Lebanon. I also played in Buenos Aires for the third time and the scene there is the best for me in the world at the moment. People are so open minded and into the music like nowhere else.
Which producers are you currently following or playing?
My favourite producers are also my close friends like Mihai Popoviciu and Markus Homm. I also love the music of Audiojack, Butch and Collective Machine at the moment.
Current Top 5 tracks that you’re spinning
- Undercatt – Venus
- Collective Machine, Philipp Straub – Baychimo
- Krom – Easter Egg
- Luca Donzelli & Mar-T – Sunday Sampling (Emmanuel Satie remix)
- Nick Curly – Dancing
And before we leave to head out to Egg Presents…Riva Starr, Gorge, Flashmob and more on December 16th, what should we be listening to?
Groovy Techhouse with a deep touch!
Gorge joins Riva Starr and Flashmob at Egg Presents…on Friday December 16th and for more info go to www.egglondon.co.uk