They placed a live set right on the finest dance floor in Belgrade, which contained a drum kit, microphones, a guitar, Moog, pedals and a few more dream machines as if a real band was there, in such a small and very intimate smokey room. It was a beautiful sign that someone had come to Belgrade to support the lovely work of the Disco Not Disco crew (again). In that particular moment the vintage analog gear Ralf, Sebastian and their live drummer Nico R. had collected over the years was surrounded by highly passionate dancers and DND resident Toshke was playing out his early night selection. A very fine selection to mention. My friends from Croatia who were there for the very first time immediately got caught by this special, warm atmosphere I’m always talking about. Anyhow, as we were chatting over a panorama view from the terrace the first live drum kick came in. Damn, it would be nice to hear that again on the 20/44’s new sound system.
According to your name, what do you hunt, what do you cherish and what do you fight for with your music?
Sebastian: Perhaps the need for hunting in these modern times has vanished, but the hunting instinct is still very much alive in all of us. I guess in our case, we process that instinct in the studio.
Have you always thought that way or have you become mavericks at a certain point in your lives when you have turned to this type of electronic avant-garde, futurism and rhythms?
Sebastian: I have always thought of music making as being something very instinctive and intuitive. We’re inspired by so many things…music of course, instruments and effect units built by great people, stories, life and art in general. It’s hard to say what shapes the creative mind exactly, but that’s the beauty of it all.
Ralf, you have worked with former Kraftwerk member Karl Bartos and released several albums as part of the duo Nalin & Kane and under the name Unit 4. Sebastian you have played in an electro-wave group called Noblesse Oblige. That’s impressive. Where did your minds find a hotspot?
Ralf: Mesmerizing things.
Tell me about your days before you started working together? Were there any other projects besides the ones I mentioned?
Sebastian: I have been recording and playing with Noblesse Oblige for many years. Ralf has been involved in many great projects. Nalin & Kane, Unit 4, Electric Music, Propaganda, the label Amontillado and many more things.
Is making music part of your everyday lifestyle?
Sebastian: Yes! Almost everything else feels like a waste of time.
It seems you love to work in groups, did you ever think about solo works or you just prefer to work on ideas and bring them to friends?
Sebastian: It’s a lot more fun to work together and bounce ideas off each other. I think we each have different qualities, which complement each other in the process.
Ralf how was it working with Karl Bartos?
Ralf: It was quite exiting. We worked together on the second Electric Music Album and played Live shows on a Skandinavian tour. Karl is a big collector of Drumboxes. I think he owns almost every drummachine that was ever built.
And what’s the story behind “Beachball”, a legendary Ibiza anthem that you did as Nalin & Kane? Did you have a feeling it will be such a huge tune when you finished recording it?
Ralf: Absolutely no idea. Andry played it on the weekend for the very first time in the „Ratinger Hof“ (another famous Düsseldorf music club). Afterwards he told me that he has the feeling that something special will happen with this record.
Ok and a couple years later you guys hooked up in Dusseldorf’s Salon des Amateurs? Around 2006, right? Why do you call it Germany’s “postpunk Hacienda”?
Sebastian: Haha, I think it was Resident Advisor who called it that. And why not? It’s a fantastic place and a nice quote. Yes, we met there in 2006 after I played there with Noblesse Oblige and Detlef Weinrich (Tolouse Low Trax) introduced us.
Are you both from Dusseldorf or are you Sebastian from Berlin?
Sebastian: Ralf is indeed from Düsseldorf. I grew up abroad mainly but have spent some childhood years in Düsseldorf. I’ve been living in Berlin for nine years now. But my parents moved back to Düsseldorf a while ago, so that is my home too.
So Sebastian, you came to Dusseldorf to see a place of likeminded people doing weirdo disco, rave and dark wave music? Was the club under the German radar already?
Sebastian: The first time I came to the Salon in 2006 I hadn’t heard of it…I think it had actually only just opened. But one could feel right away that it was going to become a special place.
I think you don’t border your music within just one genre, but how would you present the sound of Krautrock to some dancers that maybe never heard of it?
Sebastian: I think the term Krautrock is confusing and quickly tends to be used for almost anything that came and comes from Germany that mixes guitars and electronics. Like most music, it’s hard to describe in words. But I think a common ground is the concept of repetition. Gradually developing monotonous patterns that evolve by means of dynamics, effects and sparse rhythmical changes and melodies.
When did you start working on your debut album “Die Wilde Jagd”? You had been working on it for a few years, right?
Sebastian: In theory we started working on it in 2006. But it was only last year it all finally came together and became a proper album.
But before that you released music together under a different name, Der Räuber Und Der Prinz? There is one record on Amontillado Music and one on Desolat, right?
Sebastian: Yes, we released two 12 inches under the name Der Räuber und der Prinz. Those tracks also appear on our recently released album under the new band name Die Wilde Jagd.
Why did you decide to start working as Die Wilde Jagd and why did you choose that name and story?
Sebastian: Der Räuber und der Prinz was really a side project for us, as we had so many other things going on at the time. The few tracks we made were created during a large time span of about 6 years. Last year we got together and finished a whole new bunch of recordings in a short amount of time. We then felt we wanted to release the album under a new name and concept. Ralf showed me a painting of “Die Wilde Jagd” by Peter Nicolai Arbo, based on the ancient folk myth. We both loved the dramatic and musical quality of it. We thought of our album as a sort of soundtrack or musical frame for that painting.
So I’m thinking, there is a lot of material on your hard drives? What you are going to do with that?
Sebastian: There is. And it won’t just rot away there. We are constantly working on new material.
What were you using in the studio for these recordings? Your regular live setup or some other things? Nico R. is your live drummer, can you run me through that part?
Sebastian: The list of things we used in the studio would be too big to mention here. Ralf has most of the “must have” gear ever built, which pretty much all got used. Playing concerts is a whole other matter and I must admit it’s not easy to bring the studio productions to the stage, but we’re constantly evolving and improving the Live set up, which consists of just myself and our Live drummer Nico. I really like the quality he brings to the Live versions of the songs. He’s also one of the LOUDEST drummers I’ve ever heard!
Are you still collecting gear, Ralf? Was it love at first sight when Sebastian first entered your studio?
Ralf: Oh yes, during the very first studio session we did I could tell there was a special energy with Sebastian. Regarding my gear collection, I’m still observing the market but no actual buys for quite a while. But few days ago a friend dropped off an old Tube Tape Machine from the 50ties.
How did you feel in May when the album came out backed up with more live shows on the table? It’s not as if that had never happened in your life but it certainly brought you some nice new things and at least it brought you to Belgrade. It was a kind of Schwabe’s dream come true, did you know that?
Sebastian: Well we love to play Live and playing at 20/44 was something very special. I’ve rarely been met with so much warmth and love. And the musical taste and DJ sets of the Disco Not Disco crew were absolutely exquisite.
As 20/44 is my favorite club and it has taken a big part in my heart and music life I would like to know if it has taken a special place in yours too? Gilb’r loved it as I have heard. Can you find a connection between 20/44 and Salon des Amateurs as Vladimir Ivkovic was involved in both clubs at some points?
Sebastian: It was actually Vladimir who established our connection to Belgrade and helped to organize our concert there. I think it’s safe to say that wherever he is involved, means it’s going to be a place that is musically exciting, progressive and goes beyond the taste of the ordinary club scene. Both 20/44 and the Salon are places that present relics of the past and present. Something made by music lovers, sharing their creative horizon with the public.
Where are you going with your music now? The remix pack is ready and they are great. Ivan Smagghe, Etienne Jaumet and Stallions on the record. It’s like a dream team.
Sebastian: Yes, we are very happy with these remixes. It’s an honor to have these artists on board and each one of them contributed something unique and special to our versions.
As you love collaborations, are you planning on doing more things with the Versatile crew?
Sebastian: I hope so! We did a remix for Etienne Jaumet and he remixed us, so I hope there’ll be more collaborations like that in the future, Versatile is a great label. I went to see Gilb’R DJing at Panorama Bar the other day…it was truly amazing, great taste and feel for the dance floor.
Regarding the remixes, tell me when do you get a chance to play them? Do you DJ from time to time in clubs or only play them on special occasions?
Sebastian: We’re not really DJs but we have DJ’d in the past and still do, occasionally and casually. I have a monthly residency in a small bar in Berlin where I just play whatever I fancy. I also sometimes DJ at the Salon des Amateurs, usually together with Detlef, which is always a pleasure. We just end up asking each other after every other song: “What’s that you’re playing now?”
So what have you prepared for the new episode and this season of my radio show?
Sebastian: It’s the second Mix we made as Die Wilde Jagd and contains some all time favorites as well as some new tracks we like.
And lastly, if you could tell me what radio songs have changed the way you think?
Sebastian: The other day, Nathan Gregory Wilkins posted Abba’s “The Day Before You Came” on Facebook. I hadn’t heard it in a long time but I’ve always thought of that song as a perfect pop song. It has a really beautiful melancholy to it, something very naïve and European. I’m not sure if it has changed the way I think and whether that’s a classic radio song…but that just came to mind!
Check The Clubber for Serbian version (click text).