Pushing the boundaries of techno, house and bass elements, ASA 808 has made a name for themself by combining classical instruments with analogue synths and drum machines. On the new single “Love No Matter What” – taken from their forthcoming album boy, crush, they have teamed up with fellow Berlin artist DAEDE for a soaring, melodic club cut that combines elements of house, electronica and indie dance.
Connect with DAEDE on Soundcloud | Instagram
Connect with ASA 808on Soundcloud | Instagram
Thanks for talking to us today – how has the year been for you so far?
DAEDE: Thanks for having us! The year was really eventful, kinda started off bumpy, but took a nice turn over the summer. In different ways, it felt like a new beginning to me.
ASA 808: Same for me! I finally started making music full-time and received support from so many people in making this new album a reality (among others: Dairmount, Heartfelt Management, Initiative Musik, and TOYS Berlin). I feel so grateful and hope that we can give something back with the releases and TOYS fundraiser on Nov 26th, 2022
First of all, we want to get to know you “from the beginning”. How did your history with music begin?
ASA 808: As a kid, I was a big Michael Jackson fan. Luckily, my mum had a nice record collection and I had three older siblings who introduced me to Tom Waits as well as to some indie, funk and hip-hop music. I learned playing keyboard and classical piano but found it a bit boring at first. As a teenager, I became obsessed with funk, disco, jazz, ambient, Brazilian music, psychedelic and indie rock and eventually classical and electronic music. Then I became much more interested in all kinds of music theory, composition and improvisation. Luckily, I had a teacher who could teach me all of that. That still helps me a lot when working on tracks.
DAEDE: I’ve been musically socialized with classical music, played in indie bands in my youth (some together with Asa) and was writing and producing for my German synth-pop band CHILDREN in the past years. I became more interested in producing and always have been working on some electronic tracks, I just never put them out. So, I am really excited to start releasing and also happy about the collaboration with ASA, as we have known each other for ages and the timing and musical process just felt really natural.
For you, what is the magic of music? The thing that makes it such a big part of your life?
DAEDE: For me, it’s the flow you can get into when making and listening to music. This certain moment of vibing. And the joint experience it can create is unique.
ASA 808: True. Music can touch people in ways that words can’t. You can imagine and describe landscapes and soundscapes of inner and outer worlds, feelings and atmospheres that you didn’t know existed before. Or that you felt but couldn’t describe.
Are there any artists in particular who you are finding inspiring at the moment?
DAEDE: I only recently discovered Yaeji & Godford, which I really dig right now. Also, Romare is very beautiful. And of course, I’m really impressed and inspired by what ASA 808 is putting out at the moment.
ASA 808: Oh thank you. 🙂 I’m also really in love with Romare and Daphni once again. And with vega vi, Waleed and DAEDE.
You’ve described your new collab Love No Matter What as “a warm outburst of unconditional queer love” – does it feel like queer voices in music and art, in general, are finally starting to be heard?
DAEDE: I’d say there is a slight shift in mainstream media happening right now, but still so much work and education need to be done when it comes to breaking down patriarchal structures and enhancing queer voices. Asa has a strong message there and I am very happy to be part of that with “Love No Matter What”.
What else needs to be done in order to further redress decades of imbalance?
DAEDE: I think ongoing representation and allyship are key.
ASA 808: I think so too. And I also dream of a world in which men emasculate themselves. In which masculinity (if we feel it’s still needed) will embrace softness, weakness, vulnerability, solidarity, consideration, mindfulness, self-reflectiveness, and nonviolence. I wish for a world that opens up for non-binary meaning-making and I want to inspire others to explore their personal (gender) queerness and to help oneself at the huge buffet of the gender spectrum.
The collab took over a month, right? How different is the final iteration of the track from the initial idea you had, or it is pretty close?
DAEDE: It’s pretty close. The track was kinda there already and titled “Love No Matter What”, when Asa sent it over the first time. I basically only topped it up with the choir and the hook, and then we just had some back and forth about the arrangement and mix. I have the feeling the vocals basically only enhanced the general vibe of the dub version, which is now the B side of the EP, in the best way.
What does your current studio set up look like? Lots of hardware, or are you a mainly ‘out of the box’ type producer?
DAEDE: Not too much hardware, I have some synth and a proper vocal recording set up, but apart from that it’s more ‘in the box’. I like to stay flexible and also be able to switch studios for inspiration.
ASA 808: I mostly work with my beloved DSI Prophet ’08 and Kawai MP8 stage piano, but also with a Korg Minilogue XD and with Ableton, NI Komplete, and XLN XO.
What is the best advice you ever received as an artist?
ASA 808: It doesn’t matter what you do, you just need to do it.
DAEDE: Really just trust yourself and your gut, because you know best.
What do you have coming up for the rest of 2022?
DAEDE: I’ll have another single coming up at the end of the year, will finish my debut record that will be released at the beginning of next year and have been working on some remixes of friends’ music. Really excited for everything to come and really grateful for everything that has happened so far.
ASA 808: We’re celebrating our 10 years TOYS Berlin fundraiser on Nov 26th 2022 at ://about blank and planning a DJ TOYS compilation with contributions from many great producers to mark the occasion.