Interview: Boot Slap
Boot Slap, the coming together
Berlin-based DJ/Live act Boot Slap is the meeting of minds of two artists who were brought together by their mutual love of deep-house music. Whilst their musical collaboration was fused by this common thread, their backgrounds are quite different, which creates an exciting dynamic to their productions and live shows.
Christian is a Berlin native and absorbed the unique spirit of freedom that came along with the fall of the wall in 1989. Techno became the soundtrack to a new way of life. Takis meanwhile came from the South West of Germany. Growing up near a US Army barracks his musical roots were characterized by American Hip Hop culture and everything related to it like breakdancing and street art. Takis moved to Berlin in the early 2000’s, around the same time as he discovered his passion for house music. After years of being immersed in the burgeoning Berlin underground scene and making connections with the city’s artists, he started doing guest vocal sessions with his friends. His debut in the electronic music scene was as a vocalist for Siopis on the track “Really Love Ya” on Get Physical, which is now considered a classic.
Meanwhile Christian had been busy DJing around Berlin, writing music, developing his production skills, and running his vinyl label Perplex Recordings. In 2012 Takis and Christian started working on music together, building their studio in the now famous Riverside Studios, and developing their mutual ideas to work together as a DJ/Live act…. and thus Boot Slap was formed!
The duo reactivated the Perplex label with a newly minted release. The East meets West pair bring their wide-ranging set of skills to life in “Fade into you”.
The duo reactivated the Perplex label with a newly minted release. The East meets West pair bring their wide-ranging set of skills to life in the ‘Fade Into You‘ EP while enlisting the remixing abilities of fellow German DJ and producer Boronas on the B side.
We had a talk with the duo about this great work and things in everyday life and music.
A duo comprised of the highly skilled producers and multi-instrumentalists
Hey Christian, Takis,
First of all, our belated wishes for 2018! How is it going these days?
Wow, it’s 2018 already. Time flies – actually, we met 10 years ago via mutual friends. Right now, we enjoy a lot of studio time. The grey and wet Berlin winter make it easy to stay inside and concentrate on new tunes. But it’s just one more month of darkness – and then: Springtime!
Made any resolutions that are going to be hard to keep?
The one and only resolution is to stay focused. Sometimes that’s not that easy because Berlin can be so distractive.
One thing that we’ve picked up, is a new release on your own Perplex Recordings label. Can you tell us something about it?
With the release, we wanted to reactivate our own label Perplex. Fade into you is driving, yet melancholic and Takis’ catchy vocal creates a spellbinding, complex atmosphere. We believe it’s a great starting point for our own label. The idea is to create a platform for the great musicians that are our friends – and for ourselves, of course. Feel free to form your own opinion!
The EP ‘Fade into you’ will be released in February. It’s a gorgeous deep house track filled with a lot of percussion and a warm sound. How did this track come together?
That’s quite difficult to explain. In general, we collect a lot of ideas for tracks together, just playing around with the gear. If we decide to pursue a certain idea, Christian starts to build up the basis of the song, Takis throws in some vocals and adds the special touch to his deep understanding of harmonics. Afterwards, it’s Christian’s part to shape Takis’ ideas and make them a song.
This is going to be the first release in numerous other the come? What are the plans for the record label?
We already have two more releases piled up. The second one is going to be by Thodoris Triantafillou, a very skilled producer from Athens. Last year, we already collaborated on an EP that was released on Connaisseur. A great success. Perplex No. 3 will come from K.E.E.N.E., a duo from Panama. Actually, they are even brothers.
You both seem to be very complementary, playing as a DJ and as a live combo. How does this live set look like?
Being a duo has advantages and disadvantages. It’s a little bit like being married. We both have special skills that complement each other. And even if there is friction from time to time, the result speaks for itself. The key is to let go and to trust. Never question the other one. What’s special about our live set is that Takis plays live drums and percussions and Christian conducts the rest of the ensemble.
The key is to let go and to trust.
What’s your favourite gear when playing live?
Roland Handsonic Live Percussion,12 Channel Analog Mixer, DSI OB-6, Elektron Digitakt, Elektron Analog Heat, Ableton Live, Midi Twister, Live Mic, Reverb and Delay Fx, FMR Audio Analog Compressor.
Any chance of seeing you play live this year?
Yes, for sure. We are currently working on our live act that will be finished by summer. From then we are available again.
Looking back at 2017, what was the most memorable experience you had, personally and music-wise?
Takis became an uncle – babies are always a good reason to shift perspective. And besides the real-life-baby, he is very happy about the birth of our new live concept.
Well, Christian changed his lifestyle – he went from a large carnivore to almost vegan and he stopped smoking. Regarding music: Our production skills reached a new level. This is mainly because we optimized our studio workflow and because we have limited ourselves to analog gear. It’s good to let go everything that is superfluous.
Thank you very much!