In conversation with youANDme
youANDme pushes things forward
Here is an artist that is going strong for over a decade. Deeply ingrained into the German electronic music world, especially the international Berlin club scene. youANDme is using his labels as valves to get the blood pumping through the heart of the capital of Techno, Berlin. Gaining awareness throughout the years secured him gigs around the world. youANDme secured spots in cultural hubs like New York, Chicago, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Moscow, Tel Aviv, Singapore, Shanghai, Beijing, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Las Vegas, Sydney, Melbourne and Seoul. He has been in demand by top brands such as Space Ibiza, Sonar Festival in Barcelona, KaZantip Festival in Crimea, Epizode Festival in Vietnam, Panorama Bar / Berghain in Berlin, D-Edge in Sao Paulo and many more.
As DJ and producer, his music runs inherently deep, with a raw and kicking signature.
It does not stop with just releasing music
As the owner of Rotary Cocktail Recordings, Polymorph, CUTZ.ME, and three other mysterious imprints, he provides a steady flow of music and talent from Germany to the rest of the world. As DJ and producer, his music runs inherently deep, with a raw and kicking signature. The ideas of funk and soul serve as its backbone across styles like house, techno, dub, and electronica. Some of today’s most recognized labels have taken note, with youANDme releases making their way onto Cocoon, Rekids, Pokerflat, Desolat, Compost, Drumpoet Community, Rebirth, and more bespoke efforts like Ornaments or Mule Musiq.
Apart from original productions, he is also well known for his remixes and edits, having done official work for original house music heroes like Moodymann, Robert Owens, and Paul Johnson or contemporary powerhouses such as Radio Slave, Seth Troxler, Steve Bug, Timo Maas and Lawrence.
Whether through his productions, labels, or gigs, youANDme has proven that, with a little bit of heart, and a lot of soul, doors will open, crowds will come, dance floors will fill, and the speakers will pound for these ambassadors of their city, country, and the music as a whole.
This can count as an introduction I guess. We sat down with this passionate & versatile mister-do-it-all and talked about his past tour and fresh and upcoming work.
His latest release, ‘French’ EP is out on Kwench Records. Grab a copy »
Hey there, how are things with a full schedule these days?
Hey guys! Thank you! I’m fine and happy that I can do what I love most.
Tell us about the youANDme tour in Asia and Australia at the beginning of the year as you passed by Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and the Philippines.
The beautiful island Phu Quoc in Vietnam was the starting point of my tour. I played there New Year’s Eve at the amazing Epizode festival. It was my second time and for me, it’s one of the best festivals. You will find stages directly on the beach and a really nice family vibe everywhere.
Here is a video about my Epizode gig at NYE:
After that, I went to Thailand to play at Club Black in Bangkok with a lovely crowd and then we flew to the amazing paradise island Koh Phangan. We were there for one week and two gigs at the beautiful Samsara Beach Club. The owners Sharon and Lance are lovely people and they let us stay in an awesome beach house in the middle of the jungle. It was really quiet and peaceful, and only a group of monkeys woke us up every morning. I have to admit that I really fell in love with this incredible island.
My next tour stop was in Manila, the capital of the Philippines. It’s a really huge and loud city and the people of the electronic underground scene have to fight hard for their right to party. The authorities closed the best club in the city some months ago and the Footprints party where I played was one of the first techno and house parties in the city after the shutdown. It was organized by many different promoter groups who want to keep the underground spirit alive and it was a big pleasure to be their guest and support them!
Here is a video about the cool Manila vibe:
After Manila, I went to Siem Reap which is a beautiful city in Cambodia. I played at Cambo Beach Club and at the Village Cafe which is run by Stew from Scotland and Cyril from France. It’s a nice bar and restaurant which morphs to a club and art space in the evening. The people and their vibes were great and I called it “the little Panorama Bar of Cambodia”. Besides the gigs, we did a lot of touristic stuff like visiting a floating village or Angkor Wat which is one of the seven wonders of the world.
Here is a video with impressions of the floating villages of Siem Reap with my new Cocoon track “Claret Loss”:
The last tour stops were in Sydney and Melbourne in Australia. I had the pleasure to play an all night long set in a great underground location called Club 77 in Sydney which was so much fun. The next day I had a gig at Circus Sundays in Melbourne which is always a crazy party on a Sunday night. I played also an after hour on a rooftop called Breakfast Club and this is one of my favourite spots at the moment. The party starts on Monday morning and ends on Tuesday morning. It was the first time that I felt that old Bar25 vibe again. If you are in Melbourne you have to check it out!
After the gigs, I did a road trip with my girl from Melbourne to Sydney on the Great Ocean Road which was full of adventures. It was the perfect ending for such a great tour.
Here is a short video about the Breakfast Club Melbourne vibe:
How much does touring in Asia differ from the rest of the world?
The scene is small and new in most of the countries but it’s getting more and more popular and I hope that it will establish itself as it has in Europe. As a DJ it’s always fun to play in Asia because people are really open-minded for new sounds.
Then, in how much, do you feel, is the club experience shaped by cultural differences? Do you, when travelling, take these cultural differences into consideration – and in how far has your approach as a DJ perhaps even benefited from playing in different countries and in front of different crowds?
It could be a challenge when you play in a new country and you don’t know how the people will react to your sound but that makes it also really exciting. What I really love about electronic underground music is that it removes all cultural differences on the dancefloor and unites people to have a good time. Sure, in some countries the audiences are a bit more shy in the beginning but at the end of a good night, you see the smiling faces of people who enjoyed the music.
After this, you headed toward the techno temple in Berlin. Tell us about the Finest Mule Party at Panorama Bar in Berghain. You played amongst others like Isolee and SecretSundaze.
It’s always nice to play at Panorama Bar and it was a pleasure to play at the 15 year anniversary of Mule Musiq from Japan. The label is one of my all-time favourites and I was really happy to release the “Belong” EP featuring magic Black Soda as Mule 228.
Talking about tight schedules which must have some effect on your mood sometimes. You are also into stress relief. How did you get the idea for Remood (www.remood.us)?
The VR relax app Remood is an idea by my girlfriend who is a great designer and this project was her Bachelor thesis. Remood is the first Virtual Reality smartphone app for relaxation, creativity and focus. With pulses of light and gently moving shapes in 360° space, the user can immerse into a completely individual world of colour which feels like diving into a lava lamp.
What’s your role in it?
I did the sound design which was a really nice job besides doing club music. In addition to the visual stimulation, the app offers ambient sounds based on scientific studies which I had to consider during productions. Paired with binaural beats, Remood has yet another advantage – these can be used to positively influence brainwave patterns. The so-called technique of brainwave entrainment presents further possibilities for acoustic stimulation.
On top of all the touring, there are also releases. You dropped your ‘French’ EP on Kwench Records. Four live recorded tracks using analog gear. Talk us through the release. Maybe the gear you are using and also why a live recording.
I’m a gear nerd and collecting stuff since early 2000. For me, it feels much more natural to have real knobs, faders, keys and sequencers to make music. For the “French” EP I used the 101, 808, 909, MFB 503, Electron Octatrack, my modular system and some efx boxes. I have the possibility to record 16 tracks simultaneously into my computer so I can make live jams and catch the human touch. That gives me the freedom to open the project later and edit it to the final mixdown.
For me, it feels much more natural to have real knobs, faders, keys and sequencers to make music.
It doesn’t stop with this release this year. As youANDme you have more things to come.
Yes, there will be a new Poker Flat record in June with my mate Tim Toh and a remix by Prins Thomas, a Do Not Sit On The Furniture Record featuring Black Soda in July, a record at D.Edge Records with remixes by Kenny Larkin and Renato Ratier and youANDme remixes for Helmut Dubnitzky & Patrick Testor and Freund Der Familie.
As versatile and busy as you obviously are, what does ‘time’ mean to you? And how do you make use of it?
If I have time, I leave the busy city of Berlin and go to a quiet lake and enjoy nature to recharge batteries. That’s real quality time for me!