we are back with our interview series in 2021 and are excited to kick this thing off with Mr. Mircro.fon and kiddaz.fm boss DJ Emerson.
Let’s get into it!
Hello DJ Emerson,
Can you please introduce your new EP ‘Everything is Shitting Away’ to our readers? How did it come together?
As some of you might know, I have a long history with broken beats,
which is basically the sound I started Djing within the nineties. So I kind of went back to the roots with the title track. Obviously, all the track names are heavily influenced by this pandemic, which left me unable to live my regular life as a DJ.
How did it come together?
These are just three tracks I produced from January 2020 to October 2020, and they went really well together.
Tell us more about the title track, please. This one is Electro, and the other two are deep/ hypnotic and melodic Techno tracks.
I love Electro a lot. I have been a massive fan of DJ Hell and Dave Clarke ever since I started as a DJ, and Electro was always a big part of the music they played alongside Techno, of course.
I also clearly remember early live acts I witnessed by Dopplereffekt and AUX88, and they left a significant impression on me.
How you develop your … let’s call it “subgenre focus “- before or when you record?
I bought an old modified 808 recently, so I wanted to do an electro track. This is basically when this came about … then I noticed that some parts of that song would work well on a 4/4 bass drum, leading to “Alles ist egal. ” During the summer, I felt like creating a more melodic techno track after I played a nice open-air in Berlin as these kinds of tunes worked well in my sets at the time. This open-air was first prohibited and later raided by the police, which gave me the inspiration for the other title.
What did you use to produce the EP tracks?
My usual set up: 2-3 analog machines (1 drum computer and two synths), Ableton as a sequencer, and for the mixdown, I use pro tools with lots of digital channel strips and an old Tascam mixing desk.
What’s the story behind this quite “street language” title of the title track and EP?
Well, l am a street kind of guy with my heart on my tongue and the people I hang with speak this kind of language.
Also, I am just pissed about the way artists are treated in this pandemic.
Nobody wants to break some bread for them. Everybody just says parties are impossible to have, which will be the last thing we discuss bringing back. At the same time, it’s ok to go to the supermarkets with 500 others and drive the crowded subway and so forth. There’s just a lack of a serious lobby for this culture, which brings a lot of sparkle to a city like Berlin and this sparkle seems to vanish more and more, and nobody cares apart from the investors who want to get rid of the club locations anyway.
Let’s talk about your label (s) and yourself as a musician.
Your label Micro.fon the EP will be released on, and you founded 2005. And you are a DJ and producer.
Micro.fon was planned as some kind of spinoff to kiddaz.fm with a stricter musical direction and a little bit more serious. I founded it together with Holgi Star, but in the last years, I managed it alone, and he took care of other labels like Ragnarøk and Style Rockets.
When did you start your career? Tell us about your biggest influences on your sound and if- how they changed and re-influenced your sound over the years?
I started djing in 1994 and went professional with it in 1998 when I moved to Berlin after an invitation from my long term partner and friend Holgi Star/ Holger Nielson to work with him in his booking agency.
The most significant influences on my sound were Laurent Garnier, DJ Funk, DJ Hell, Dave Clarke, Jeff Mills, and acts like AUX88 or DJ Hype & the Ganja crew.
But my sound was always guided by my “gut “feeling and what basically came out of me musically at that time.
What’s the concept behind the label, and what exactly, you think, makes it successful for so long?
I think it’s a trustworthy source for quality Techno music and maybe not as one-sided as some other labels where everything sounds a bit similar, which is also ok, but I like to diversify a bit.
Also, I come from a generation where you defined yourself as Techno/House DJ and those two genres just went along with each other. Today a hard or dark Techno DJ could never play a House track in his sets because it has absolutely nothing to do with his style. For me, I came more from a point and time where you’d play underground electronic music all the way – maybe with a little more focus on Techno in my case.
How was your work as A&R for your label, and how you decide about your own releases and other artists’ releases?
I go by my gut feeling. That’s how I discovered artists like Thomas Hoffknecht. I felt a good vibe and thought I need to check the music. Like this, most of the Micro.fon releases happened. It’s not so much all planned out with the business and release plan… That’s what we tried with CLR and it was an excellent experience to get to know this kind of work-flow, but with Micro.fon nothing is forced. New releases just happen when the time is right, and the music is good.
Besides making music, is there anything else you do /use to express yourself?
I love to do and watch sports, especially tennis, during the time I couldn’t work in my job. I was giving tennis lessons and I played lots of tournaments.
But unfortunately, with the strict lockdown right now in Germany, it is also forbidden to play. Right now, I dig into running as a sport and try to do little home workouts to keep fit. And I really like to hang with golden retrievers.
How are you dealing with the current global situation? Has it had any positive impact on your career or personal life? Have you adapted your creative or productive process during the pandemic?
Well, no positive effect at all for sure. It only made it all super tricky for me.
Also, I am missing sweaty club nights so much because this I where I get my inspiration for my music mainly. I stopped producing music entirely for a little while.
Which future releases/projects can we expect from you and on Micro.fon this year?
I want to do an album with broken beats that is more suitable for listening to (at home). Because this is the only thing I can do right now since I lack any club Techno experiences and inspirations. As long as nobody is playing my music in clubs anyway, this might be the right time for it. Then I’ll have it remixed by my favorite Techno producers. I really dig the sound of Theo Nasa and Anfisa Letyago right now.
Thank you man.
Thanks for having me and all the best,
Our Thursday selection:
DJ Emerson – Everything Is Shitting Away (Micro.fon, MF074)
Welcome to the latest promo from DJ Emerson‘s Micro.fon imprint.
Everything Shitting Away is a timeless electro track. Alles Ist Egal a versatile, deep & hypnotic techno tune and Fuck The Police a more melodic techno track.
Tracklist: DJ Emerson – Everything Is Shitting Away (Micro.fon, MF074)
01. Everything Is Shitting Away
02. Alles Ist Egal
03. Fuck The Police