We speak to the Berghain resident about his debut album, due out in July on Ostgut Ton.
Fengler has been a resident DJ at Berlin's Berghain since the club opened at its current location in 2004. It's his first major release since 2011's Berghain 05 mix. More recently he teamed up with Efdemin as DIN to contribute to the score for Berghain's new ballet project, MASSE. As with both of those releases, Fokus will see release through Berghain and Panorama Bar's in-house label, Ostgut Ton.
The 11-track LP, which looks set to combine Fengler's interests in club-ready sounds and more abstract tones, was recorded over a three-month period in his Berlin studio. Speaking to RA, the German producer said the timing of the album's release was perfect from a personal point of view: it comes out the month before his wedding. Fokus will be released as an 11-track CD and nine-track LP, with "Break Through" and "Distant Episode" only appearing on the CD version. Chatting via email, Fengler elaborated on the work that went into producing the album.
Your debut album comes around six years into your production career. Why now?
I think it's important to give yourself the appropriate time for an album. In my opinion it's the most complete work that a producer can release. I don't know any other medium better suited to break out of the context of a club oriented EP, single or remix and to try new things, particularly when it is applied more conceptually. In this respect, it has just taken a while for me to sort out what I wanted to express with an album and how it should feel.
The album is very atmospheric and seems to channel elements of techno, house and more experimental fare. What was the overall feeling you were trying to achieve?
My music on Ostgut Ton is at the threshold between house and techno. I think this has been noticeable on my most recent releases. On Fokus, you can find certain continuities to it, if broken down on individual tracks. However, this is also mixed with many new approaches that were not necessarily expected. This is partly a result of the fact that I was initially not quite sure if I should start a self-contained, completely new project or just leave older ideas incorporated into my work. In the end, it's probably become a mix that both the club tracks and experimental approaches find their place in.
What else have you got planned for 2013?
Privately, I am very happy to have a little more time now to prepare for my wedding in August. There is still some work to do there! Also, I cannot wait to try out my new equipment in the studio. Peter [Van Hoesen] and I have bought many new, great toys in the recent weeks and months, for which I had never found the time during MASSE and Fokus to work with intensely. Musically, I have remixes of Peter Van Hoesen, Terrence Dixon and Abstract Division on the way. In the second half of the year, I will pay greater attention to my IMF label. There will be my own, new releases, which will sound slightly more raw and functional. There might also be some new artists on IMF but I don't want to give too much away just yet. In addition to this, Phillip [Sollmann, AKA Efdemin] and I started our own project in the ballet MASSE as DIN. We'll see where that collaboration takes us from there.
01. Break Through
03. The Stampede
05. Distant Episode
07. King Of Psi
08. Sky Pushing
09. High Falls
11. Liquid Torso
Ostgut Ton will release Fokus by Marcel Fengler on July 8th, 2013.