It’s been 10 years since Martin Eyerer founded Kling Klong Records and released more than 100 singles, EPs and albums since then. Managed by Rainer Weichhold the label has gone onto release music from Affkt, Pirupa, Ninetoes, Darlyn Vlys, Mathias Kaden, Sonny Fodera, Nicole Maudaber, Oliver Klein, Kaiserdisco, Peter Juergens, Carlo Lio and Joel Mull to name a few.
Since more than 20 years Martin Eyerer travels heavily around the globe as a DJ and producer. He has more than 100 releases on the hottest labels like Rennaissance, Buzzin Fly, Great Stuff, Boxer, Audiomatique including his own imprint Kling Klong. As a producer Martin has something to show as well: Gold Albums in UK and Australia and a top 3 US Billboard chart ranking have a great effect here. As a mixing and mastering engineer Martin runs a respectable analog studio for 15 years, which has an established standing especially in the electronic music scene.
After moving from Stuttgart to Berlin in August 2012 Martin and his partners Jade Soaid and Tassilo Ippenberger opened together the Riverside Studios – a 1000 m² complex in the heart of Berlin with direct river view and the neighborhood to clubs like Berghain, Watergate, Kater Holzig, Tresor or Weekend it became one of the hotspots of Berlin‘s music scene.
Label manager Rainer Weichhold started DJing in the late 80ies with an eclectic mixture of Funk, Hip Hop and Indie. His musical tastes matured into techno and house when he had his enlightenment listening to the sets of Alex from Tokyo during Rainer’s stay in France 1993. Alex showed him how house music can be soulful which lead him to discover the world of Masters At Work and their NY sound. In 1993 Rainer was introduced to Daft Punk for the first time which further helped his commitment towards house music which lead him to the position of A&R and label manager for Great Stuff Records. These days Rainer is running Terminal M, bouq, Electric Ballroom and his own Gold Records besides Kling Klong, also touring all over Europe with his brilliant mixture of electro, minimal and classics with his rocking sets making every dance floor explode. 17 years of experience can do that.
To pay homage to a decade of dance as Kling Klong Records, Rainer agrees to provide a feature mix as part of our label series and talks us through some of the history, high points and operations leading to their milestone anniversary and a look to what the future holds.
Thank you for joining us here at Decoded. Firstly I’d like to congratulate Martin and yourself. I’ve been a fan of the label for many years. How did your involvement with Martin first come about and how did it lead to your role of label manager?
Around 8 years ago I was A&R and label manager for Great Stuff Records and Martin Eyerer was one of my old mates who called me that he has an idea and concept about a label. This was Kling Klong Records so we started it as as a sub label of Great stuff and I was the label manager from the beginning on. Some years later I decided to only take care of Kling Klong and leave Great Stuff. Martin was fine with that and also with the fact that I started to manage other labels like Terminal M, bouq, Electric Ballroom and my own Gold Records besides of that.
Could you explain a typical day in the Kling Klong office? An access all area account of the day to day events of running the label?
In fact we share most of the work and even live in different cities. I am in Bavaria in the south of Germany lying under the trees in my garden and pretending to work and Martin is busy in Berlin with his huge studio complex Riverside Studios which he runs with his mates from Pan-Pot et al. So I do all the day to day work from my deckchair like coordinating the releases with the distributor, signing contracts, talking to remixers and graphic designers, doing the promotion and accounting and Martin is the one discussing the best demos with me, doing the mastering of all our releases and being on tour representing Kling Klong worldwide. I do what I do best and Martin does what he does best. We even only meet personally 2-3 times per year.
There is clearly a very high standard when it comes to signing music to the label. For anyone who isn’t familiar how would you describe the ethos of the label and style of music it purveys?
We are rather open in our musical concept. It varies from deep house to banging techno though there are two things we always need: We need to love it both and absolutely want to play it out at our gigs and we both want some sort of musical theme in the tracks. So not only DJ tools which do the work on the floor but tracks which could stand the test of time with some melodies, vocals or harmonies in it. Some musical depth so to say. Our ideal signing would be the next Jaydee – ‘Plastic Dreams’ which rocks the crowd also in 20 years. But I guess thats the dream for every label owner to have such a classic on board.
As a label manager what’s your biggest struggle right now? What part of the daily routine is giving you the most pain?
Fortunately there’s no struggle or pain at all. I simply love my job and do it with all my heart and passion. Though as an A&R I would prefer that newcomer producers would chose the labels more carefully and not send demos which are unfinished, not well mixed and musically not suitable. Instead of sending demos to 50 labels in BCC it would be better to select the ones where their sound would really fit to. I reply to every demo I get and I listen to really everything as this is how we discovered loads of our artists. Even if this takes a lot of time I am happy that I can help and support new guys.
What have been some of the key factors which have shaped the label into what it is today?
I think to be positive, consistent, hard-working and fair are the most important attributes. At the end it’s a business where you have clients and partners who you have to treat with love. And of course it helps that this kind of music and part of the industry is my passion. That means I simply love what I do and this never stopped for 20 years and won’t stop in the future.
How has the process of running the label changed over the past decade with advancements of today’s media?
It’s a great progess since the invention of the internet and social media later on. I remember that in the 90ies we had to send out hundreds/thousands of letters to inform journalists about new releases. This was expensive and time consuming so it’s a joy that nowadays you can communicate with fans directly via facebook and twitter and talk to DJs and media via email. It wasn’t always like that!!
To celebrate, a compilation titled ‘10 Years Of Kling Klong – The Classics’ was released August 10th. Out of so many classic releases how were the selected tracks decided? It must have difficult to only choose ten?
This was not so hard as to be fair we simply had a look on the sales figures and found the original tracks which sold the most during the years. In a second step we also found out the remixes which had the most success the past 10 years and we will release the 10 biggest remixes in a few weeks (from Santé, Pan-Pot, Re.You, Jay Lumen, Kolombo, ZDS…). And of course it’s also about the future so at the end of the year we will put out some 8-10 exclusive new tracks by the artists who belong to our family since a long time or new producers who can be talents for the future. It’s always about giving a chance to the new generation. Releasing tracks from the well known producers is just easy, but developing and taking time for the young boys and girls is the bigger challenge. And that’s what we like.
Could you talk us through the track selection for your showcase mix?
This was no easy job but I checked our back catalogue and chose the tracks which I still play in my DJ sets even if they are 10 years old. These are my favorite tracks on Kling Klong no matter if they have been big sellers or tracks which deserved to be in everyone’s USB stick even if they didn’t. Perhaps you can find out some gems you missed in the first time.
I know this is a difficult question, but what would be your top 5 personal picks from the label?
Wow, you come with hard questions, but I would say:
1. Kaiserdisco – ‘Jaana’:
This track changed everything and opened up new horizons for us.
2. Oliver Klein – ‘Hey Baby’:
The main track from our first album which wasn’t from Martin Eyerer. Such a great groove, such a great video.
3. Martin Eyerer ft. Ruede Hagelstein – ‘Hey Hey’:
Martin’s sensual version of this great 80ies classic taken from his brand new album ‘Struktur’.
4. Namito & DJQ – ‘Ride The Flow’:
This one is so different and special. Chemical Brothers on Kling Klong!
5. Ninetoes – ‘Finder’:
Our huge Ibiza hit destined to be a future classic. Who could resist these steel drums.
What have been some of the highlights from the past ten years you look back on with a smile?
There are 2 things: first it’s the so funny ‘Barbie’ video for Oliver Klein’s ‘Hey Baby’ and second it’s the tremendous success of Ninetoes – ‘Finder’, which obviously showed that you can can have a huge track as a complete newcomer.
Looking forward, what does the future hold for Kling Klong Records? What is the vision for the next ten years?
I think for all labels this is the biggest struggle and task: Being ahead of the game even after a decade or more. To not lose contact to the youngsters and their needs. So we will stay open-minded and thankful for every year we can continue to develop our idea of the best soundtrack for your weekend.
Once again thank you for the opportunity to feature Kling Klong in our showcase series on Decoded Radio, and to all our listeners. Enjoy!
Decoded Radio with host Ian Dillon featuring 10 years of Kling Klong Records with Rainer Weichold
01. MUUI – Sodde (Original Mix) [Sudbeat] & Flashmob – Little Helper 190-1 (DJ Tool)
02. Alex Niggemann – Virgo (Fur Coat Remix) [Last Night On Earth]
03. Kurt Baggaley – Spiral (THe WHite SHadow Edition) [Chapter 24]
04. H.O.S.H. – Cilantro (Original Mix) [DIYnamic]
05. Marc Romboy – Hypernova (Stephan Bodzin Remix) [Systematic]
06. Bastian Bux – Teardrop (Original Mix) [Suara]
07. ABBY – Halo (H.O.S.H’s_Boy_Mix) [2DIY4]
08. Ukka – Where Nobody Sees (Original Mix) [Click Records]
09. Argy – Belen (Original Mix) [Bedrock]
10. Bastian Bux – Anima (Original Mix) [Suara]
01. Dusty Kid – Cowboys
02. Hermanez – Do You
03. Oliver Klein – Hey Baby
04. Eyerer & Chopstick – Get Up (Sonny Fodera Remix)
05. Ninetoes – Finder (Kraver Remix)
06. Vangelis Kostoxenakis – Red Wolf (ZDS Remix)
07. Kaiserdisco – Jaana
08. Rainer Weichhold – Clap Tone (Original)
09. Namito & DJQ aka Quinta Young – Ride The Flow (Dub)
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