Motorcitysoul is Matthias Vogt and C-Rock, AKA Christian Rindermann, a Frankfurt-based DJ and production duo that have been working together since the early '00s. Over the years they became known for their smooth and melodic style of tech house, something they showcased on dozens of 12-inches, two albums and a whopping 60 remixes (not to mention an RA Podcast in 2008). Though they'll continue DJing and producing separately (and even sharing a studio), time constraints and differing goals have led the two artists to go their separate ways.
We caught up with Vogt via email to talk more about the split:
How did you and Christian first start making music together?
Infracom records in Frankfurt signed me (as DJ Matt back then, 2001) where I did two 12-inches. They asked me to do an album and we decided to start this new project Motorcitysoul. I chose the name as a semi-ironic but heartfelt statement towards my former hometown, the German (Opel) motorcity Rüsselsheim, adding "soul" as a hyper-genre explanation for the vibe of this music. Well, I wasn't happy with the overall sound of the demo tracks and looked for a producer for the album. I knew Christian from his quality label work with Stir 15 and LoFi Stereo, plus we knew each other from mutual work at Groove magazine (he did the [tech reviews], I did album reviews). So Infracom and I hired him for producing the first Motorcitysoul long player Did You Expect That? Working on it together was easy and felt right. Instantly we started DJing together—that was the beginning of Motorcitysoul as a duo.
Why are you splitting up?
Many reasons. Both Christian and I are very busy with different projects. Motorcitysoul was my main project for the past eight years—for example just speaking of remixes: we produced more than 60 remixes together, and we did that with no schema or pattern, every remix has its own approach! We did split as a DJ team about two years ago, C-Rock still played at Cocoon, I changed the agency (now with Sweatlodge, where I feel very much at home) and play different venues now in and outside Frankfurt, for example Silbergold. When we started DJing together we had the same tracks to play, now our sets sound quite different. Plus Christian opened a bar/restaurant in his hometown Hanau ("Mayfeld's"). That's costly in terms of labour, of course. The question was whether making Motorcitysoul a side project or to say we had very good and intensive years (almost a decade) and call it quits now.
Like I said, we did make a lot of music together and I hate to repeat myself as an artist. So I think it's a likeable idea to say it was a very cool project and we end it at this point. And working solo again felt good, I started doing that a couple of years ago. Finally: the last ten years I did two albums with Motorcitysoul, five with [re:jazz], two with my jazz trio... After working on solo tracks for quite a while now and finding my own voice with it it's about time for a Matthias Vogt album. I already started to create this.
If you had to name one highlight from Motorcitysoul's era as a duo, what would it be?
The main highlight was meeting and producing with Chez Damier. Christian knew him from way back when, throwing a party with Ricardo (Villalobos) where they invited Chez as a special guest. It was one of those legendary and magic nights. Years later (2004) we had a night at Cocoon Club together and asked Chez if he'd be up for a studio session the day after the gig. He agreed but he was very very tired, hanging out on our studio sofa trying to fight sleep while Christian and I started building a track. Suddenly he jumped up and told us about his idea for a vocal hookline and started singing! We recorded him and he wanted us to double the phrase a couple of times. "Keep On Turning" from "Kids In The Streets" (Chez Damier & Motorcitysoul) marked a starting point of our time as a production duo and was a big inspiration for all Motorcitysoul tracks we did from then.
Motorcitysoul played their last gig together in Spain on Halloween. They still have one EP in the pipeline due out this year on Night Drive. Vogt's debut solo album is expected to come out sometime in 2013.