There's a popular line of thinking that says real electro is never in or out of fashion—it's always there, doing its thing in the background. While there may be an element of truth to this, it does feel like electro is in a particularly strong place right now. Objekt and Gesolten Cirkel are finding fresh angles on the sound. Old hands like DJ Stingray, E.R.P., Versalife, Radioactive Man and Heinrich Mueller's various projects are still releasing vital music, while labels like Central Processing Unit, Frustrated Funk, Shipwrec and Crème Organization supply the scene's DJs with a steady stream of high-quality vinyl.
Add to this list The Exaltics and Solar One Music, the label he runs with Nico Jagiella. Robert Witschakowski is simply one of the busiest and best producers when it comes to modern electro. The German artist is essentially a purist, making tracks indebted to the space-age blueprint of Drexciya, but adding to this decades-old conversation through his broad artistic range and the sheer quality of his releases. Perhaps the best evidence we can offer you is that today Witschakowski releases Project STS-31: Spiralgalaxie, a collaborative album with Heinrich Mueller, AKA Gerald Donald, one half of Drexciya. It's essentially a compilation of the two artists' many aliases, and it's an ideal look at what Witschakowski is capable of. There's a classic electro club cut as The Exaltics, a tense soundscape as Robert Heise and a noisy beat piece alongside Nico Jagiella as Crotaphytus. He and Mueller cover plenty of ground together as Project STS-31, from nightmarish ambient to sinister 4/4. (This is to say nothing of Witschakowski's penchant for brawny acid tracks.) Once you're done with the album, dive into his extensive back catalogue. Leading labels like Bunker Records, Crème Organization, Clone, Further Records and Shipwrec have signed his tracks, while his and Jagiella's Solar One Music has itself become a key destination for electro lovers, with music by Luxus Varta, E.R.P. and Helena Hauff among its recent heat.
RA.536 also fuels another electro cliché: that the sound is timeless. Most of the music here was released on Solar One Music in the past couple years, but really, this mix could have been recorded 20 years in the past or at some point in the not-too-distant future.
What have you been up recently?
We played some gigs this year, last one at Krake Festival in Berlin. It was amazing! Played together with Emika. She was singing on some tunes. That was very intense! I love her voice. I was also doing a lot of remixes and label work. I'm always on fire!
How and where was the mix recorded?
I recorded the mix in my studio with Ableton. I really like the possibilities. It's like producing music when you combine the tracks with each other. Was a lot of fun!
Can you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
It's not the typical DJ mix because I didn't want to speed up or slow down the tracks. I tried to combine all tracks with synth and FX work to give it a more soundtrack feel. I could loose myself in connecting the tracks with sounds, new melodies and so on. All things melt together in a completely new way. I totally love that process. With the track selection, it's a little journey through some favourite tracks that have been released over the years on our Solar One Music label. Also included is some upcoming stuff. In the end it's a mix through deep
and melodic, to cold and fast electro music.
Tell us about your working relationship with Heinrich Mueller.
There is a special aura around him, which is really interesting and inspiring to me. Everything with him is about music and concepts. No bla-bla around. It all began with that Dopplereffekt remix ("Instinct") for me last year. Then Nico had the idea to make a split LP with him and I under our different aliases. Like a compilation but only from two producers. We spoke with him and he liked it. Also the Hubble Telescope theme he was into. So things started to roll. Now after one and a half years the release is finally ready. It's a great moment for me! I'm thankful we could work with him on this special project. It's a very interesting and diverse LP, and invites you to a journey to deep space.
What drew you to the idea of basing a series of records around the Hubble Space Telescope?
That was Nico's idea. Last year the Hubble Telescope had its 25th anniversary and he watched a documentary about it. So the idea came through his mind to dedicate a series of records to it. Electro music was always in a strong relationship with space, and the pictures the telescope took were so amazing. Then we thought about which artists would be great for such a series. We got a tip from Objekt about Luxus Varta, a new solo project from a guy who is involved with the Detroit Grand Pubahs. This became volume one. Then we asked Gerard Hanson [E.R.P.] for volume two. He really liked the concept, and his return with E.R.P. after three years' silence was an amazing success. Volume three with Heinrich Mueller and I is now officially released. We are more than happy that we could release that series with these amazing artists. It's a gift for us.
What are you up to next?
I'm working on some collaborations at this time. One is in early stages and one is nearly ready. Also we are always in the making of or planning releases with Solar One Music. Always much work with music, but we totally love that. We need that to breathe, we need that to exist.