Interview: Viktor Talking Machine
Viktor Talking Machine could be the name for a bot doing automated answering tasks for phone services. But it is not. No automation at all. Viktor Talking Machine is a jovial duo hailing from Eastern Germany with a great passion for music, campaigning ‘digital death’. After our interview, we felt that we are very much like-minded, not about ‘digital death’, but the fact that music should be a unifying factor. Not just any music made by anyone, but music and people who create memorable experiences that inspire and invoke emotion.
Viktor Talking Machine joined the fantastic monaberry family a while ago. A great label with artists like Super Flu, Ole Biege and the so much anticipated Andhim, The latter is flying high the past 2 years. Viktor Talking Machine fits perfectly in this bunch of great artists.
We took us some time and contacted them to see if they were up for a talk. They gladly accepted.
Hey boys, how are things nowadays?
First of all Happy New Year to you and your beloved people. Things are getting bigger nowadays. We play more clubs and festivals and are so excited about what is coming next. Hopefully more music from us… That is what we are working on at the moment.
How do you define your music and at least your sound?
Our sound is a journey. A journey through great house music and awesome artists beside the Top Ten. We try to tell a story and show people some unknown tracks. Tracks that are a multiplier to your feelings. But while playing an 8 hour set it is impossible or unbelievably boring to just play one style. So we react to the people, slow them down, speed them up or let them stand there. Unbelievable what strange music is being played currently. At the end a special song has to stick in their head. Our own music is more four-to-the-floor with a special groove. We always try to include a lot of field recordings and unusual sounds to get a deeper and wider track.
What is it you love most about house music?
Mostly it is a feeling we can’t describe. You hear a track and you want to dance, you start to cry or you just start to smile. We love the history of the music. And maybe this sounds really cheesy … we love that this music works for so many people all over the world. Doesn’t matter which color, which country or which language. House music connects them all and for that special moment they dance together to one track. They mostly have no idea about the artist, whether he is black or white, tall or small, female or male, religious or not. It is just the music which is important in this special moment.
Any rituals we should know of when working on a mix like music with sleeves?
You shouldn’t know one of our rituals, if we want to look like professional musicians. But who cares? It had always cost us heated discussions which record suits best and after a while, we decided that each of us could choose the same amount of tracks for a mix equally. Then we arrange the records in our case and start a first “test”. After finishing the test mix we start listening to it in our car. If the mix is car proved, we mix it again for the final version. Not strange enough? We sometimes choose our records for the mix just by the look of the cover, or we just use B-sides. That’s to force ourselves to leave the known path. And we have special slippers for the mix that are fluffy and warm.
Want to tell us something about your selection process? How does a vinyl end up in your bags?
For a record it is quite easy to end up in our bag. The music has to be great and touch us in different ways. We have the records for a smooth start … bubbling sound, no big breaks functional tracks, but special in a good way. On the other hand the best of house, according to our taste. Tracks that have this special groove and sound … not so clean, dirty and rough. Then we have some all time favorites … old records for education, crazy tracks and masterpieces. And of course, some special tracks to surprise … 80’s classics, intros, tracks without any concrete beat. Often we try to use vinyl only releases … for us a quite simple way to distance ourselves from the mass.
You were born in Eastern Germany. Any special influence here?
We were 5 and 6 when the wall fell. So we didn’t get the full dose of communism. But our parents, teachers and all the other people who grew up in East Germany can’t change their behavior from one day to another. So we think there was a subtle education the socialistic way. Whether this is good or bad … hard to say and you should ask the people around us. Tragic on the one hand, a lot of companies closed and many people lost their jobs and a save future. On the other hand it created space. Space for us and all the people who need room for their dreams and parties.
Let’s talk about the monaberry family. How did you end up with them?
Quite a funny story. One of us studied Graphic Design and at the beginning of the university career we met Super Flu at our canteen. Educated socialistic and open minded we started to talk with the guys. They found us sympathetic and invited us to play in their radio show. Surprisingly they liked our sound and connected us with a new club in town … Charles Bronson. We started to play there a few times and after a while we became part of the family. At the end it was a lot of hard work and luck.
Besides the latest live mixes you recorded, what else is coming?
At the moment we work on a lot of podcasts for great people as Wemoto, From Halle With Love, Dressedlikemachines. Our next music with sleeves should be finished by the end of January. New releases have to be finished and 2 remixes. So it isn’t getting boring. And, of course, we work on an interview for Tanzgemeinschaft … great guys, by the way.
We at Tanzgemeinschaft believe this is one awesome ride. Donwload for your car and start cruizing:
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