The Scion and Hard Wax man gets low on this week's RA podcast.
Peter Kuschnereit is a man with some serious techno credentials. Not only has he worked for Berlin's much lauded Hard Wax record shop since 1991, he's also responsible for the first ever release on Basic Channel sub-label Chain Reaction as Scion alongside René Löwe (AKA Vainqueur). National service in concurrent periods forced the duo to produce solo, culminating for Kuschnereit in the release of his Session Elements album as Substance. But the Substance project was put on the backburner when Mark Ernestus and Moritz von Oswald decided that Scion were the right people to represent Basic Channel in the live arena, and the duo became early adopters of Ableton Live to create 2002's Scion Arrange and Process Basic Channel Tracks mix CD.
Kuschnereit was already well regarded as a DJ at that point, sharing a residency with Surgeon at the old Tresor club during the '90s, a partnership which was recently rekindled at December's Bleep43 party at London's Corsica Studios. Revellers who've already seen the man in action will know of Pete's broad musical palette, but for this week's RA podcast, the Hard Wax man has offered up a kinetic and hypnotic synergy of techno and dubstep. We spoke with Pete by e-mail to ask him about the mix, his passion for dubstep and his forthcoming solo material.
What have you been working on recently?
Mainly I was selecting records for my DJ crate for various DJ gigs. I like to spend a lot time on that, because I play many different styles. Lately, for example, I play house classics one night, industrial related techno and IDM another night and things between classic minimal techno and dubstep with a broken hard techno feel at Berghain. My last music production was a remix for Scuba on Hotflush Recordings.
How and where was the mix recorded?
This mix was recorded at my home studio in Berlin. It's a classic vinyl mix, that hasn't been edited digitally. I'm using two turntables and a DJ mixer with kill switches and an external digital delay.
Can you tell us a little about the mix?
It is an attempt to mix tracks that are not necessarily from the same genre or era, obviously not matching, but then you feel a good match about certain colors and atmosphere. Dubstep on the way to techno plays a big role in that mix. I wanted to do an unusual and cool mix.
Both yourself and the Hardwax store have been notable for pushing dubstep sounds in Berlin. Do you remember what it was about the genre that first caught your attention?
It was grime that first came to Berlin, and I was interested until it had too many similar riddims, bad production and too much MCing. Mainly, it was drum & bass related stuff like productions from Search & Destroy and Toasty that led me to dubstep. Labels like Hotflush, DMZ, Tempa, Texture and Planet Mu got my full attention then. Thank you England for dubstep!
You recently reprised your Tresor partnership with Surgeon at Corsica Studios in London. How was that?
One of the most memorable nights for me! Surgeon and I have been friends since 1996. Back then, he invited me to play in Birmingham for one of the famous House Of God nights. Later, we played together at Tresor club for the Dynamic Tension nights, where we were the only DJs all night—a perfect match. It's quite rare that you can play at the same night with one of your favourite producers, so it was a real pleasure to pick up the idea and do a "revival" in London. Additionally, Scorn live! It was incredible. I'll never forget that event. We'll do it again at Corsica Studios on December 11th.
Your last solo effort that wasn't a remix came out eight years ago now. Can we expect some in the near future, or do you prefer working on original material with René?
Since I've been remixing quite a lot, I'm actually into kind of remixing myself, resulting in new tunes with the "old Substance" feel to it, I hope. It was really nice to see what was possible with just some dusty samples and sequences from old Scion material, resulting in Scion Versions! Why not do that with Substance? Since I've started playing live as Substance, I'm on my way to new material.
What are you up to next?
I'm starting a remix for a Canadian industrial band, Orphx, as well as my residency at Berghain and more DJ gigs in the UK and Europe. Hard Wax is also hosting a monthly Sunday night at a new club in Berlin: Wax Treatment at Horstkrzbrg.