Germany has a thing for Felix Kröcher and no wonder; one can easily see how much of a pivotal role he’s played in the dance scene of the country and all things related to Techno. As with other producers mining the said style in question Felix has expanded the sound beyond its revered tradition, and found inspiration and influences in unexpected genres way back from the time when he released – “The Live Collection” in 2007, followed up by “Connected” in 2008 and “Discover” in 2010. Leave it to his DJ sets to keep you wanting for more, down to current news wherein we see a fresh release titled – “You Gotta” on Toolroom Records. A genuine DJ he mostly plays newer stuff that gives off a true Techno vibe in his sets. Priya Sen couldn’t miss the opportunity to catch up with him this month. Over to the ever green Felix Kröcher..
Hi Felix, hope you’re doing well. First things first, when did you get in to Techno and also was there ever a time that you may have dabbled with another style?
Hey, I am doing great. Thank you for having me for this interview. Well, I have always been a fan of electronic music, since I come from the capital of Techno – Frankfurt. I guess I have been into all types of electronic music, as I was captivated by the sounds that could be generated electronically. But Techno was always the one and it stood out to me even as a kid.
Are there any early influences we can know about?
Like I said, I grew up in Frankfurt, and there we had clubs like Dorian Gray, Omen, U60311, Cocoon, etc. Those places have been like magnets to me longer than I can remember.
I’ve always wanted to know about the style you play; do you think there is some kind of traditional basis for Techno which cannot really be improved, if there’s such a thing?
I guess so, there are many types of Techno because it is always developing. I think if Techno hadn’t transitioned then it definitely would’nt have so many people listening to it now. There are endless different ways to produce Techno nowadays and thus endless different styles. That’s what is so great about Techno, is that the minute stylistic differences make it such a broad and exciting genre. But in the end, Techno is Techno.
Was Frankfurt a musically fertile territory to start with, what were the early days like, in terms of clubs and your way in to the scene, could you describe a bit of that time for your readers?
It was really the clubs in Frankfurt that were there from the start of my teenage years. Going clubbing as a youngster and seeing my heroes play really hammered home the fact that I needed to get down and work hard to achieve what they had. Numerous nights at Dorian Gray, Omen and Cocoon taught me a lot about DJing and how a crowd reacts to certain music at certain times in the night.
You were part of the legendary U60311 club, how did you go about getting that residency and what was the overall experience like?
I am very happy to say that I was part of the U60, all my heroes and artist I looked up to played there too. The overall experience was incredible and definitely shaped the way I perceived and thought about music. That experience was undeniably influential to my long-term career and helped me get where I am today. It was a real learning curve.
Having been a constant face for years at festivals such as Timewarp, SonneMondSterne and Mayday to drop a few not just in your home town but in other parts of the world in setups like ADE, Awakenings, Nocturnal etc. Do you like playing in this format or would you rather go for the intimate, smaller number of clubbers in a hotbox scenario?
Well, I like both, because both have their own flavour. Sure, it’s awesome to get a huge crowd going crazy at a festival, but also I love the intimate vibe of a small club. I find at small clubs you can have a more personal connection with the audience, and can try things that you perhaps wouldn’t at a festival.
Would you say you’re long playing release – “Lauft” in 2011 had a certain something something that markedly catered to a wider audience and not just relegated to Techno heads. An album that made you push boundaries more than any other release?
Sure. ‘Läuft’ was a huge release for me. It was actually a kind of compilation of my own situation, because I was and still am open to a range of musical influences. I guess the fact that I am inspired by all different genres helps my musical output be more appealing to others and not just the Techno heads.
Could you describe your current studio setup, and your work flow when starting to make a fresh track?
I work with an iMac and Logic 9, I have a Midi-Keyboard and a variety of plugins and hardware which I use. Most importantly I have two different pairs of monitors to compare, adjust and mixdown my tracks. I find it useful to have these different monitors as reference points for each other. My workflow is a fluid creative process, and nothing is forced.
What machines can’t you do without?
Wow, in terms of DJing, some time ago I would have said that I could’nt do without the Technics 1210s, but now I would say I couldn’t do without the Pioneer CDJ 2000s and of course the Pioneer Mixer!
In terms of sound generating hardware, are there any effects that you like appearing in your tracks?
It always varies in each track, because I always love to discover new sounds, effects and adjustments.
Tell us about your new release on Toolroom – ‘You Gotta’ what were you aiming to achieve with its soundscape?
I am very happy to have released this one on Toolroom, and even more happy that the people behind Toolroom supported the track. When I created that track it was the result of a period where I was flowing creatively and producing with a lot of fun and pleasure. But what makes me the happiest is that a lot of people out there like the track!
Does Felix Krocher ever have time to do anything else other than music related stuff, any hobbies or pursuits?
Ha, whenever I have time off the music, I really love to spend every minute with my little family; my wife and my daughter!
You have been part of the airwaves with Sunshine Live Radio (Germany’s most prolific dance music station) for many years, what’s the status with that and what vibe are you pushing with it?
I am very glad to still be a part of Sunshine Live because it has been Germany’s only FM radio station playing electronic music 24/7 since 1997. I am part of the editorial department and I also host my own weekly radio show there every Wednesday from 9-11 pm. Alongside many other worldwide known DJs like Carl Cox, Karotte, Martin Eyerer etc. I also have a weekly podcast ‘The Felix Kröcher Radioshow’ related to the show I air on Sunshine Live.
Thanks so much for talking to us at Decoded Magazine. Lastly, what plans for the rest of the year, where you at on New Years, and any music releases you are working on that we can see releasing and when?
Thank you so much for this nice chat, I hope to see you on tour somewhere!
2015 is almost over but I’ve still got a lot to come, like the SEMF Festival in Stuttgart, Rave On Snow Festival and many awesome club gigs. New Years I will be playing at two events, one isn’t that far away from my home, which will be in Hanau alongside DJ Karotte, and then I will travel onto another gig in Munich. I will also be releasing my ‘Catena EP’ on Deeperfect next week, I hope you will like it!
01// Danny Fontana – Class 87
02// Felix Kröcher – You Don´t Know But (Richie Santana Remix)
03// Joseph Capriati – This Then That (Coyu Remix)
04// Sean Collier – POW
05// Oliver Koletzki – Iyewaye (Hatzler Remix)
06// Wigbert – Tinnitus
07// Pig & Dan – Complex
08// Slam – Rotary (Roman Poncet Remix)
09// Andre Kronert – The Throne Room (Len Faki Dub)
10// Eduardo De La Calle – Roswell Case
11// Hot Since 82 – Damage