The Berlin based label (Get Physical), production team and general all rounder DJ team (M.A.N.D.Y) have been causing quite a few ripples amongst DJ circles of late with their minimal and funky injections to the house and electro circuit. The label itself is only 9 or 10 releases aged, but the influx of remixes offers, DJ bookings, radio play (namecheck: Pete Tong’s Essential Selection) and press coverage is sure sign that things are hotting up for this original and organic label of friends with a pure passion for dance floor music.
The duo have been cutting their teeth for over a decade now, playing records in clubs around Belgium, Frankfurt, Berlin Holland and the States, and stepped towards managing the Get Physical label at a time when Europe, and in particular Germany, began to emerge as an undisputed underground heavyweight on the electronic music scene. The list of influential labels and names seeping out of the scene over there is perhaps a nice indicator of where the Get Physical vibe comes from: !K7, Ricardo Villalobos, Steve Bug / Pokerflat, Captain Comatose, International DJ Gigolos (and many more no doubt) and you can’t help but get a sense of it being a big large happy family with ideas bouncing off all those at the centre of the controls.
Foreign Muck have hosted the M.A.N.D.Y boys before, way back in February and things have only seemed to get better. As way of an update before reading on, M.A.N.D.Y have been busy remixing Captain Comatose, Freeform Five and Joakim, producing in the studio and releasing the excellent Get Physical Music mix CD compilation.
Philipp Jung took some time out recently to answer a few questions from RA:
Perhaps something to help readers get their heads around it….what does M.A.N.D.Y stand for? Anything special or is it one of those in-label and studio jokes?
At the beginning we invented crazy stories about a girl called Mandy, but to be honest the name just came up and we thought it’s better than our real names. It was quite funny at the beginning when club promoters were expecting a hot babe to turn up and instead of two ugly boys.
You describe yourselves as a collective of people born out of club projects, what was the inspiration for creating M.A.N.D.Y and the Get Physical label?
We (Booka Shade & M.A.N.D.Y.) have known each other for nearly 10 years. We did various projects on different labels. So one day we thought it might be a good idea to concentrate on one project instead of giving it away to someone else. We knew Thomas (DJ T.) from Frankfurt as we played in his club and proposed him to start the label with us. It’s just a good feeling to sit in the studio and you don’t have to think where the track might fit.
The label has just turned two years and seems to be riding a great wave of success. Did the M.A.N.D.Y remixes of Silicon Soul and Sugababes convince you that there was something special happening?
We were really happy to do these mixes at the early stage, but I think at that point it was too early for us to realise that our label and productions were being appreciated abroad as well.
The discography for Get Physical Music features a whole raft of quality acts, remixes and names, Chelonis R. Jones, John Tejada, Tiefschwarz, Justus Kohncke, DJ T, Captain Comatose, Lopazz. What is the label’s A & R policy or is there a specific sound you look for to associate with the label?
We are six people, so if a track passes these six complete different levels, it’s done. This doesn’t happens very often. So there’s no real politics behind it, but for all of us: the groove is the most important element.
Perhaps an observation from the shores of the UK, but there’s a real buzz coming out of Germany in the form of productions, DJs and the whole electro / house / techno sound. Do you feel like Germany is leading the way at the moment?!
Difficult one. Every one or two years there is this hype about one city and the new music sound. But there are quite a few great productions coming out of Germany right now. At the moment there are so many international DJ’s and producers moving to Berlin, so I think that’s also one reason why it’s a hot place right now. There is a big exchange of ideas and creative chaos in the city that helps everybody to cross the borders!
What other producers, labels and DJs do you admire from around the world?
One producer that I really like at the moment is Luciano. He’s got a serious attitude in the playback and at the same time these easy melody-lines that just fly in the room and bring a smile in your face.
And still and always Alter Ego. The way they work will always be a secret and that’s so good. A lot of other new ones, but too many to mention.
Your M.A.N.D.Y schedule for DJ dates is looking heavier in the UK. Can you give us an idea on how you approach gigs here? Do you try new things, test new material or have to differ your style from gigs back home in Germany?
Before the first gig in London we were pretty nervous and had all kinds of strange and exceptional records in our bag, but we ended up playing what we felt on the night. It was great to see that you guys ended up going crazy to the set as well. Caroline from Muchomumbo is now looking after our booking in the UK which is a great help!!
As M.A.N.D.Y, you’ve played Foreign Muck at The Key in London before and more recently at The End. Are there any plans for a full scale Get Physical show here in the UK or around the world?
This will definitely come soon; but we don’t want to rush. I think it’s good to first collect some experience and wait for the right time and place. But we love the UK, it’s really a great place to be, intense musically and so many nice people and they are still very passionate about music. We love that.
You recently released a 12inch by Lopazz, perhaps something a little different from past releases. Did you get into competition with Output and Trevor Jackson over it?!
Luckily not at all. Trevor signed ‘I need ya’ which was out here quite a while ago. But it was because of this track we contacted Lopazz and asked him to do a remix for Chelonis. Then he came in with two new songs that we really liked and fortunately they were free. The remixes from Ricardo and Luciana will come out soon.
Is Lopazz the beginning of a more live direction for the label?
It would be nice, but it is very difficult to find. Spectrum for example is a great live band or Captain Comatose are one of the best acts that I’ve seen live for quite a while. These things don’t happen to often, but we love that approach.
What future producers and artists are you lining up for release on the label?
Our future projects are with Tomas Barford from Denmark with a 12” coming soon and Zoo Bresil due in November. There will be a Booka Shade album in fall which sounds very good so far and a Chelonis album. There’s also a bunch of maxi releases from our own artists.