Frankfurt duo Motorcitysoul provide a mix of tech and deep house for this week's RA podcast.
Fresh from releasing their Technique album on Will Saul's Simple imprint, the Frankfurt duo of Matthias Vogt and Christian Rindermann, AKA C-Rock, have had a busy year so far. Their own brand of melodic house music has been in high demand during the current deep house resurgence, with releases signed to Freerange and Tsuba on top of their aforementioned full-length. To say that they are bandwagon jumpers would be far from the truth; they've been plugging at this deep, driving sound for a while now, even managing to score a collaboration with US house legend Chez Damier back in 2005.
The pair first recorded together around five years ago for local label INFRACom, with Matthias taking writing responsibilities, and C-Rock acting as the technical brains behind the production. Since then, they've decided to share the songwriting duties equally, forging a lush soulful sound that retains its dynamism. The same could be said about their RA podcast, which takes some of their own original productions (both as a duo and solo) and mixes them up with a fine selection of deep house both old and new. We caught up with them by e-mail to ask about the mix, and how things are going with their club night and label.
What have you been working on recently?
C-Rock: Besides the Motorcitysoul tour, the album and 12-inches around its release, we've finished a remix for Black Science Orchestra, Abacus and the Hamburg based Liebe Detail label recently. I will also re-release "The Source" with fresh remixes by myself and Reboot. Further requests for releases and remixes have lined up too, however I have to see how much time will be left in the next few months to deal with all of them.
Matthias Vogt: I've done some stuff in the jazz angle—an album with my project re:jazz, and a new Matthias Vogt Trio album. It will be out early '09. I've also done some deep house stuff for Urbantorque, check out my Frankfurt Sour EP.
Where and how was the mix recorded?
C-Rock: We recorded it in my studio, which is 15 miles east of Frankfurt. We used the effects of the Ecler Nuo4 and combined Serato and real vinyl and recorded it all through to a Tascam M3500. The Tascam got pimped some weeks ago with hi-end BurrBrown pre amps—however I doubt this will be noticeable in the end after the mp3
We did not do any editing later on in the computer, as time was too limited to do it. We did that with our Back Up album that we mixed for Infracom, but these things need time. Our RA podcast was pretty much done in three-and-a-half hours including a little mastering and the final bouncing and mp3 conversion.
Can you tell us a little about the mix?
C-Rock: Well, it's a kind of a combination of what we do at night but also what we would tape on a mix that is made to be listened in your car or while at work. So it's neither a "favourites and specials only" mix nor a linear "club mix." It's obviously not easy to try to make both worlds happy, but for a one-shot try without any planning it turned out quite OK I'd say. Everything was quite spontaneous and the classics we included fit quite well with all that contemporary stuff.
Your Stir15 imprint has been pretty quiet of late. Do you have anything planned to come out on it soon?
C-Rock: Stir15 is still around and there are several plans, but to be honest there is so much good music around that I do not feel the 100% need to give the world anything it is missing. Ever since the label was founded there were times when there where not much to add to the market. Furthermore the change of the whole label/distribution biz is also not pushing me to release things just for the sake of it. (Which is not a bad thing at all, as it means what comes out on Stir15 (or Lo-Fi Stereo) is really relevant to me and makes sense to bring it out on that label.)
There were times when both labels released more and had the approach to achieve a certain level, a level of power and importance but in the end that was never the reason why the two labels started. We were releasing more—and sold more—but we weren't more satisfied. Stir15 and Lo-Fi Stereo began as music lovers imprints and became known for the unique sounds and special vibe and not for the hits. So the labels are basically where they started, which is more than fine with me. With strong partners such as Cocoon or Simple and Freerange I am happy to have time and energy to concentrate more on my own productions and return to the label work when there is time to do it.
How's your night at Cocoon going?
C-Rock: This changed a bit from where it started. We do not host nights on the second floor that often anymore. After four years of "going deeper," it was the time to move on to the next level. Motorcitysoul is now hosting the "our house" nights every other month on the main floor with guests like Spirit Catcher, Jimpster, Shur-I-Kan or Kiko Navarro. The second floor thing is only happening now when there is time to do it, as the DJing outside Frankfurt is blocking most of our schedule. Instead of hosting a regular monthly or even weekly night, we have been concentrating on spreading our sound outside of Frankfurt which is a lot of fun. 2008 has been great with amazing nights in Berlin, Ibiza, London, Budapest, Moscow, Bratislava, Manchester and many, many more.
What are you up to next?
C-Rock: Some really good gigs are coming up in the next few months such as Indigo in Istanbul or NYE in Frankfurt at Cocoon together with Reboot, Mathew Jonson, Sven, Karotte and my long time DJ partner Stoopid from Berlin. In 2009 I will be the first time in Israel for two gigs which I am really looking forward to and, last but not least, we have already started working on the next Motorcitysoul release. Other than that, I have to support my home team Eintracht Frankfurt which is struggling and dealing with the worst start in the season I can think of. Luckily, we won the last two games which brought us some places away from relegation. Fingers crossed, it will continue like this.
Matthias Vogt: Fingers crossed, I will continue doing both jazz and house. There's nothing else I would like to do more on the music side. It keeps me inspired. I really love and enjoy playing and producing both kinds of music so much.