Codec Interview

1.- Hi Sven, first of all I would like to thank you for conceding this interview
to all Klubbers’s fans. I like starting with some energy –like your music- .
Something that has amazed all people is that you recently stopped being in the
studio with Mathias Freund (Flexor). Why did you start working solo?

To be honest… in the last couple of months I felt that some of the tracks i
produced didn`t need any additional vocals. Music is somehting to express myself
and at one point i thought that no vocals are needed to do that. I think
everybody listening to club music will understand that. Sometimes it is about
communication without words. It’s about that synchroniziation of soul thing we
experience while having a great night in a club… Hey! Maybe i should call a
record like this: soul-sync.

I think I am going to do that… To get back to your question… there is
another reason why I decided to release some solo-stuff: Now that i am the head
of a label i feel responsible to spread the label-sound out to the world. And
this is a lot easier for me as a DJ than as a live-act.

Also i am really looking forward to work with other singers and musicians just
to widen up my horizon as artist.

But to clarify: I did not break up with Matthias. The first Body
Function-Release three months ago was a C&F production. In fact we are planing a
Body Function Asia tour right at the moment where I’m going to spin records solo
as well as I’ll have live gigs with Mathias. And be sure to find some new C&F
stuff in your record stores soon.

2.- And if you had to define your music (even though is unpleasant to put names
to it) But how would you describe it?

The music is pending between Techno/Electro and Tech-House and it is basically
focused on the dancefloor, at the same time influenced by my interest in kinda
different styles of music. Sometimes more, sometimes less. And I usually try to
put some deepness into the tracks. Finally, people shall feel that the tracks
contain a lot of my personal passion for this kind of music, no matter if they
are deep, emotional or just rocking.

3.- Recently was born your label Body Function, in 2007 I think but please
correct me if I’m wrong. Most of your releases were been in some other labels
like Forte, Kitty-yo or Television. Why did you start your own label after so
many years of career?
Don’t you find dangerous to begin a label now, since the actual problem in the
musical market?

It is not dangerous, it is nearly hopeless. But i am not doing things because of
earning money.I am following my innervisions. For me there is no alternative to
making music. I need it like the air that i breath. I am not that kind of guy
who is making music just for getting rich, respect or famous. It is the thing in
live i want to do most and i am willing to accept every consequence is coming
along with it. The label is about to give persons that feel the same fire
burning inside their souls and the same willing to perfection, even if you know
from the very beginning to be damned to fail, a home and a pool where they can
develop theirselves as an artist.

4.- Body Function is a label with personal identity because of your releases.
What feedbacks had you received and what are you trying to tell as Subkutan?
What are we going to hear about codec?

Of course i am using my popularity as a musican to make the label known first
and to sharpen its musical profil. In the beginning there were some demos which
were very industrial and ebm-style cause the people just did not know which kind
of direction the label will go. But with the release of the first two records
the people are getting more and more a clearer impression of what Body Function
is about. But it will not be a label just for my productions. The next release
is going to be from Ascii.Disko, a close friend of the label and me as a person.
Although it is not totally finished i am already really proud of the results. He
is a really are wonderful artist. It is impressing to see his willing the
compete with himself over and over again based in the willing to get the best
possible result. A perfect representative of the philosophy of Body Function.

Right at the moment i am doing a remix for Asciis “Black Summer” which we are
planing to release next and before the 12inch with his new tracks. It is a kind
of appetizer for the upcoming release and will be released digital only. But it
is not sure if i am going to find the time to finish it, because i have a lot to
do with the promotion for my record and the label.

The feedback about the label is good. It is getting known quickly as we are
working hard on it. And the Subkutan-Release was even more successful than the
C&F-Release. So we are constantly growing.

My next proects: There is going to be another 12inch expected in April/May.
Besides playing with Matthias live i want to concentrate on Djing. Also i have
some offers in doing remixes, but at the moment i am more interested in doing
own music.

And there is showing up an feeling it is time to start collecting some stuff for
an LP on which i will use again more vocals. I am already collecting guest
vocalists and developing an concept for that.

5.- Now, if you don`t mind, I`d love to hear your opinion about the electronic
music scene. Since everybody considers you as one of the precursors of live acts
from the XXI century.
What`s you opinion about the evolution of live sets since 2000?
What do you think this method has contributed to make it live acts so important?

Of course the biggest change was the invention of Ableton Live or similar
programs and their possibilties. A good point where the evolution can bee seen
is on my try to change back to hardware. Notebooks have one really big
disadvantage: they are made for working in the office and not for the situation
in the club. You have high temperature inside the clubs and often the sweat’s
dripping off the ceiling. Beside that the vibration of the massive basses is a
very big problem espacially for the harddrives. As I frequently broke notebooks,
I tried to stick back to hardware because it is much more stable and for me it
is more fun to play with. After 2-3 years I of hardware action I now changed
back to play again with a notebook for the following reasons: It takes a lot
more time to `translate` new music to the machines so that you are ready to play
it. I use totally different machines at the studio. Some of them are just way to
heavy to carry them with me or are to sensible to take on tour. But
electronic-music is about evolution and everything is changing very fast. And it
has to. Espacially when you are playing quite frequently work with the computer
fits better this way of life. You can make changes in your setup a lot quicker,
even on stage. You can reorganize or rearrange your music on the fly. And i can
work on the live-act wherever I am. Often I was changing some things on the
live-acts in my hotel room until the very last second before the gig.

The next big problem is that people who attend a live-acts expect to recognize
the records they have at home and already know. I am feeling the same when I am
going to a live-act of someone I know. I want the to hear the songs that I
listened to at home, because they finally made me enter the club. So you have to
work sample-based and for that kind of work the computer is definitly the way to
go. You can do remixes whilst playing and interact with the audience so that you
can create a special version of their favourite songs which is absolutely unique
and exciting only at that single moment. I think that is finally what makes
live-acts so special…

6.- I can imagine the answer already but I can’t resist to ask. What do you
prefer, Djing or producing?

I wouldn`t do one or another if i would not love doing both. From my point of
view there is no reason to prefer one or another, because the two things are
totally different. It is like asking “what do you like more, eating or
drinking?” It both can be wonderful or it can be horrible.

There are two souls inside of me: The first one is attracted to technique and
has got a scientific interest in sound. I can read technical magazines or
literature about synths/instruments and technique at any time and in any mood.
Sometimes i am really possessed about knowing everything about music, studio and
producing. For this part of mine the studio is the perfect place to be. You can
just be a nerd. Sometimes i am not speaking to anybody or go out for days just
spending time in my studio trying something new playing around with sounds.>>>

The other person in me is a very emotional person who just loves to listen to
music, spending time with friends and live life the easy way not willing to
believe that anything in life could ever be more important than the persons
around you and the things you enjoy. It is this part of mine that finally makes
me go out and share the love to life and music with nice people, whether it is
going out to the club and dance or to play there. Unfortunatly these two guys
are not really living in sweet harmony. So the nerd sometimes is focused too
much on his belonings and the emotional part sometimes becomes a little
self-destructive in his hedonism.

I think that is the main-reason I turn out to be a believer in dualism.
Everything has its good and its bad… Finally it’s all about the actual point of

7.- Now inside the studio. Which are your principal weapons when you begin to
work? If you had to give an advice to a young producer, which program or
hardware would you recommend?

Curiosity. In 99% it starts with the search for something new. I am studying my
instruments or some literature about acoutics or sounds or i am having a new
idea of using something and trying it out. I am just playing around with it and
take a look what is happening if you misuse some of the parameters. And then
everything is happenig really fast. It has a lot to do with causality. You have
an idea for a sound, a beat or a break or whatever and than you’re going to
develop it. It seems as if original idea brings you to a crossroad of
possibilities and you know by intuition what will be the way to go. I think
thats a big reason for me to make music. It is one of the few moments in life
where i really can let myself go. Like a person doing extreme-sports. You are
absolutly focused on the moment.

About the production-tools: I spent a lot of time searching for new stuff,
especially software. So many new plug-ins get released and every new one seems
to sound so much better than the older ones. For example: there are a lot of
plug-ins simulating a minimoog and some are doing it quiet good. But everytime
there is an update you realize how bad the older version sounded. Just take
yourself a few minutes and think about it. A real mini-moog will sound good even
in 100 years. Why spending time in getting closer and closer to the original?
Buy the real one and start making music. It is far more important to know your
instruments by heart and to be able to push them to their limits and even beyond
than always trying out the newest shit. Some people say that finally in the mix
you won’t hear a difference between plugin and original. First of all i disagree
and secondly this way of thinking for me is absolutly inacceptable. Especially
in techno or contemporary and future music it is about trying to reach
perfection and not about hoping that noone would hear a difference. This
philosophy also is manifested in the name of the mastering studio i am running: It is not a shame to fail, but it is inacceptable not to
head for perfection in music.

But of course there are some things computers can do better than hardware gear.
A digital reverb for example is calculated digitally anyway. So there is no real
difference in having software or hardware except the knownledge of the
developer. If there is a special weapon i am really hooked up with, it is the
reverb VSS3 for TC-Powercore. Before having this great tool I always produced
very, very dry and straight to your face, because i never found a reverb giving
me the sound i was looking for. Now i found it and i am really happy with it!

8.- All work ,even the artistic, had some similar parameters that in your case
are are concentration and dedication. But how codec gets organized day by day?
How is like a normal day in Codec’s life?

I guess it is surprising and i know it is not very usual for DJs/Producers, but
i try to get up at 8 o`clock in the morning. Making music at night can be a lot
more fun, but the results are often not very satisfying to me. I usually have
breakfast with a lot of coffee. No matter at what time i have to wake up I
always get up an hour earlier than necessary, as in the morning I am in the best
mood of my day. 😉 Just to be gentle and nobody will suffer from that I take my
time in the morning. Then I start to work in the office. Just doing some
business-stuff and listening to demos and new music. If there are releases or
some bigger things coming up I spend more or less time in the office. Usually I
start making music around 12 o`clock until evening. After that i spend some
hours with my headphones and turntables. In case there still is some time left i
would spend it with friends or do some sports. Not very spectacular, but i
believe in everyday hard work!

9.- If you had to stand out for some virtue or some bad aspect of your self.
What would it be and why?

I think one of my biggest virtues is my strong will. If i really decided to do
something or i want to reach something, there is absolutly nothing that can stop
me. I an utterly consequent person. At the same time I can be really warmhearted
and emotional. Gracefully I turned out to be quite selfreflecting and i always
at least try to be honest to myself. But of cause sometimes i am not able to
change things that are part of my behavoir or my character.

As i already said i am a believer in dualism so my biggest bad aspects are a
result or the other side of the good ones.

Sometimes i am just too much focused on the things i want to reach or the high
expectations i am having towards myself and other people, which sometimes might
turn out to be a little unfair. From time to time I just forget to let go and
enjoy life. Therefore i am a quiet emotional person. People that start getting
to know me, in the beginning might feel I would build up some kind of distance
between me and them which can easily be misunderstood.

10.- After all this visits to our country I guess you already have an opinion
about the Spanish scene. What is your opinion of the electronic music scene, the
artists, clubs and promoters? How did you feel in Spain? Do have any nice
memories or even a bad one about crazy costumes?

Of course. There were times when i knew some spanish citys better than the one i
lived in. I am a fan of the spanish scene! It is a pleasure to play here because
the people are very enthusastic and like to party a lot. They are not dividing
up the music into too many categories. It is just electronic-club-music and the
only thing of interest is the music makes you dance or not, if it sounds good or
not. The perfect place to be for a musician. And the scene has been growing fast
in spain. A couple of years ago there was a great interest in techno and
electro, but mostly artists from other countries like germany or the US used to
play in the clubs. Then a generation of DJs and producers evolved that was able
to turn their experiences from those parties into own creative output: new
labels and artists have been coming up as well as party-series which were well
organized, having a wonderful level of energy. I am espacially excited about the
producers’ scene. A lot of guys to find there having with fresh ideas and a very
own way of interpreting our beloved electronic club music.

11.- And from all those places you have visited… Which one was the weirdest or
the most enigmatic place? Which was your funniest gig and which place you’re
looking forward to play?

The far weirdest gig i every played was a gig on halloween at the industrial
copeira in spain. There was a kind of Sado-Maso-show, what I did not know
before. I just stood around in the backstack with some other artists. All very
nice and gentle. After a little while they brought in some clinical stuff and
started to mark their bodies. I had no idea until the very last minute what is
going to happen. Then they started put hooks through their flesh (!) and i
really thought: what the f… is that? I was talking to a guy and during the
conversation another guy started to put hooks in his body. What was to follow up
next really should not be described in detail. Just sum up things, the highlight
of the show was a guy who hang only fixed with a rope thru the hooks he had
through his shoulder, his back and through his arms over the crowd and swing to
Underworlds “born slippy”. That was so techno that it hurted. I really tried to
get myself sedated that evening…
A very personal thing for me was the trip to Seattle. As a teenager is have been
big fan of that grunge stuff like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in chains and all
the other bands from there. And as i saw the city through the window of the
airplane and realized that i am going to play there in a couple of hours… a
very touching moment for me…
In general i am always looking for new impressions and want to play absolutley
everywhere i`ve not been to yet. For sure, i have seen many places already, but
there so much more to discover…

12.- And last but not least, I would like you to address yourself to the
Klubbers readers. Tell them something you’d like. An open place to say whatever
you want.

Thanks a lot for your support and all the good wishes that reached me and the
label via mail or myspace. Unfortunatly sometimes i am not able to answer them
all, because we are working as hard as we can and our day also got only 24
hours. But be sure we are reading everything you send and are really, really
thankful for it. I am looking forward to come back to spain as soon as possible
and share a great time with you!

Thank you very much for your time!

It was a pleasure!