Triple R celebrates nearly a decade of Traum on this week's edition of the RA podcast.
In 1999, Riley Reinhold made a huge decision. After many years of DJing, throwing parties and writing reviews and features for a variety of German magazines, he decided to put his money where his mouth (and pen) was and started a record label. Nearly a decade later, the Traum family of imprints (including Trapez, My Best Friend and their attendant limited sublabels) are some of the most beloved in electronic music, introducing the world to talents like Dominik Eulberg, Nathan Fake and Oliver Hacke.
As Traum celebrates (almost) ten years and its hundredth release, it's high time to look back. And that's exactly what Triple R does on his RA podcast, showcasing some of the most well known Traum releases—and maybe even a couple you've forgotten—over 90 minutes of music that takes in "wide-eyed ambience" and "trance elements mixed with Detroit and early English techno", as Triple R once described the label's sound. It's melodic, epic and a little bit beautiful. But don't take our word for it...
What have you been working on recently?
I have signed three new artists for our labels. I have signed two new people from Cologne, which I'm very happy about, because Cologne has had a big past in developing innovative techno music, so I see a great future for someone like Roland M. Dill.
Roland's family has a tradition in making music for three generations and Roland can improvise on the piano and has even won two championships composing jazz music. All techno producers will be quite ashamed!
The other project is a band called Scott. They will record on MBF Ltd, where I have recorded lately. They play drums and the computer. They look really sexy and I think they will play live around the globe for us at festivals.
Also, my new record on MBF Ltd is coming out today, called "Balsamic times" and I have had great responses by people here. Superpitcher saw me on the street and told me he loves the record and also music lovers around the world like it as well.
I'm working on two more tracks but change them virtually every day I work because I know they have potential. They're made out of cinematic music parts taken from music John Lennon loved, etc.
Where and how was this mix recorded?
I recorded the mix in the Traum Studio. I do virtually everything here.
Can you tell us a little about the idea behind the mix?
The idea behind the mix is to highlight music from the first ten years of Traum. I think the most interesting thing about mixing your own music is to see the potential and to highlight also tracks which were not hits, but music which has made your life worthwhile. I think that gives a lot of satisfaction—to see that all this music we have released for ten years is really music I can still appreciate after all of this time.
As a former music journalist, what bugs you the most when someone is reviewing Traum releases?
I must say, when I quit writing after 3,500 reviews, interviews with Mad Mike, Carl Craig and people I had discovered such as Cristian Vogel, Luke Slater…well, when I quit I said to myself, "Now, all I will do I will do just for the sake of music itself. And not for any person who is living in their own shell and reviewing music."
I must say, I was at times a very bad example of what a journalist can actually cause. I was so well known in Europe, and especially in German-speaking countries, that some people did not press their record when I gave them a bad review. I think this is really bad, but I was reviewing 30 to 40 records in a row, working from 12.00-5.00 in the morning. I was reviewing music like I was DJing music in the warehouse days when Sascha Kösch and I were doing parties in the suburbs in industrial areas where we tapped the electricity and played till the sunbeams came through the stained glass windows, which was really the best moment at the party—it's something the Panorama Bar in Berlin has conserved, when they pull the blinds!
What's the second R stand for?
Richard Riley Reinhold. I'm half-American. My American family, funnily, belongs to the founders of the USA. My sixth generation grandfather, who was called Hillegas, was the first treasurer of the United States. There are letters between him and George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and John Adams. And certainly the first dollar bill ever has the signature of Hillegas on there.
When I started the label I wanted to make contact with my American side. I went to school in the US. And I've always liked that part of my family. The father of my aunt was a good friend of Frank Sinatra. They both spent a lot of time together. They were both the same size, really tiny great men!
What's the toughest part of running the label for you?
To really look through the thousands of new labels and not to get the impression that it is so inflationary. It's kind of sad sometimes to see that people are not really into discovering music and really get down with it, but rather have gigabytes shoved from one side to the other. I think music is not really computers. Music is more than computers can be, if you know what I mean.
What's up next for you?
I'm going to watch the football game today and hope Germany wins, because we have enough depression in our soul. We don't need more of it… this week.