Creating chart topping music and making fans as they go along from one country to another has become second skin for these two celebrated duos of the Techno scene and even more so in the last couple of years, with spot on releases continuing hard and fast on some of the most influential label’s of current times such as Afterlife, then Innervisions and more!
Michael and Daniel have been taking their German roots in a no nonsense fashion across the globe after initially releasing their stand out EP – Vigilans and Lost In Fades from the Fourth Realm of Consciousness compilation on Afterlife, are now getting down to business with their latest offering which reads like an album but is not, contains many and only their productions which may not see the light of day and yet they transmit their frequencies to create a journey in their inimitable style, full of hybrid strains intersecting with deep seated Techno that’s easy yet has layers and layers of electronics one can get lost in, from this latest compilation.
It’s taken a bit of time but here’s my chat with the two, that takes us in to their mind space and gives us enough to get to know them just that bit more… with the initial hey guys thank you for taking time out to do this for us at Decoded Magazine, it’s time to get a little bit of information about how they met and started Innellea, and the thoughts and ideas behind their musical project and it’s a sunny reply back –
“Hey thank you for having us at Decoded Magazine. Back in the day we both were part of a music collective that mainly hosted parties. At some point we realised that we were more motivated than the others and so we decided to jam and work together as a new act.” With that out of the way, I ask about what the boys were doing individually before they came together and whether Munich and Augsburg where they both live respectively, fertile scenes for dance music and they don’t hesitate to complete each others words by – “We were both doing music with other partners. After our first jam together the focus was on Innellea. Munich definitely has a very good scene. The club variety and the varied bookings ensure that there is something for everyone. A few years ago Augsburg lost one of our favourite clubs. In general, Augsburg unfortunately offers only a few choices and the scene is therefore very small there.”
It’s always a cool thing to find out about the musicians one is grilling about their formative years, if they were being typical teenagers doing the rounds of clubs, being boys, just simply dancing and hopping to other DJs of the time and they quip – “Of course. Going to clubs were and still is what we love to do. If there’s a free date on a weekend which rarely happens at the moment we always feel attracted by clubs and it’s not easy for us not to go out” they go on to add heartily and with a smile lighting their faces up. Always melodic yet their soundscapes contain dollops of Techno that never appear disjointed and stand for sophistication, my next question is after navigating through the times of getting together and playing all sorts of famous parties and releasing music on some of the best labels, when did the boys think that they had truly hit the mark of the dance music scene, or feel like they have arrived and they put it simply – “It was a steady growing process, that’s why we never had the feeling of arriving, to be honest. We just continuously released music on well known labels, which have turned to be important steps. That’s how we started and tried to get our music into other people’s heads. And that’s what we still do.”
When I ask whether either of them play any musical instruments Michael and Dan scrunch up in laughter – “We both can play the Guitar a little bit, but we are better with synth and drum machines, I guess. Hehe!!” I voice my thoughts about whether they think the releases on Tale Of Us’s label Afterlife gained them more prominence and the usual fame and all the things which come about with stardom of that level the boys are matter of fact to say –
“Well the Afterlife release definitely was a huge push for us as it is one of the biggest label’s with an outstanding reputation. It was perfect for us to share our music with this huge audience, which has wide reach and respectability if I might add.”
Also, is it safe to wonder, that both of them started off as producers first and then on to the DJ circuit and they reminisce that it was almost simultaneous and add – “Producing back in the day was more like playing around with the DAW without any clue about what we are doing. But we already had a certain taste of music that we played out in several clubs in our hometowns.” In lieu, I tell them to talk us through their first few productions such as Obsidian, Noxe, Saladin from back in the day, to now with Vigilans and recently Secret Weapons P 11 offering in 2019 what’s changed, are they using more machines or techniques or anything else that provides more room for their compositions to grow and both boys are enthusiastic with their response – “We produced our first songs in our bedrooms where we both had all our gear right next to the closet and bed. Nowadays we both have proper studios with way better speakers and definitely more gear. It’s a steady process of learning that never ends and you won’t stop getting better and better if you work hard and focused.” And whats their studio setup like is my immediate reply and I find them muttering – “We both have separate studios and it would take to long to mention every gear we use. But secret weapon no.1 is the Arturia Minibrute no doubt!”
Instinct guides me to make them talk about their most prolific music selection and album like vibe on Afterlife this year, it’s joined and intertwined together with their own productions alone. How long did it take to put this idea together and even the tracks, did they approach each of them differently and simultaneously to weave a story, and they kind of sound profound with their ideas on the same –
“We live in a world dominated by a fast pace. The ability to access anything, anywhere, at any time leads to an enormously short survival time – even for releases in the music industry. That’s why we’ve chosen to create something that can keep its shine for a longer time”.
This current ethos and sensibilities that translates through the compilation, a set of tracks which is radical in a sense, would the guys say they had to dig deep and get out or harness something pure where things are simple, yet things that transcend over adhering to the current fad and fashion of music makers desire to be chart topping and which creates validation in numbers, and their thoughts veer off with the following – “Everything gets more and more compressed. Songs get shorter and shorter and people get bored way faster then back in the day. This is only because we have access to everything at any time, anywhere. This leads to a general loss of value of things. That’s why we decided to produce a full hour of exclusive music that can only be heard in this mix. That’s our answer to 3 minute long Spotify edits that are still switched off after a minute or jumped directly into the break because it doesn’t go off enough.” They go on to add that – The whole process took them about 3 months.
My oft-repeated query to artists is always specially of the Techno variety as to whether its too mechanical and too automated, with no real feelings attached to it in recent years and for the first time in the entire feature we get some fire from the placid coolness of the duo –
“It can’t be generalised. There is still a lot of good music produced with a lot of passion and love. Nevertheless, you are subconsciously put under pressure to do things that sell the song better and give it a better chart placement or more Spotify plays. In a way I am back to the same, it leaves room for debate without sounding argumentative, I rest my case in a small way.”
With that laying about like a battle torn subject I move on to how travelling the world over can create scars through a gruelling schedule and they are right to comment as with any of us DJs who love what they do – “It can get exhausting indeed, but the moment you stand behind the decks and share your music with the audience, any stress and effort fades away.” And how do they handle all the love and adulation that comes along with the trade they are good matured enough with their ponder – “We always feel honoured and happy about every single person we can touch with our songs. There is no more beautiful feeling and that is exactly what motivates and inspires us.” Apart from all this what do they do to chill out, and I ask how a typical off day in the life of Innellea is –
Michi: “Skateboarding is my way to relax and my trick to get new inspiration. It helps me switch off completely and free myself from all thoughts. After that a cosy dinner with my girlfriend and spending the rest of the day with her. Daniel: “Hanging out with homies and reading or listening to podcasts grounds me. If I did more sports, I would add that one, too.”
And with that I draw to a close and a little about their plans for the rest of the year, and if there’s anything exciting they’d like to share with us and the answer is far from boredom or lack of things to do from these exemplary, well behaved tune makers – “We are constantly working on new sounds. We hope to show you something new pretty soon. There is also a Edit, which will be released on Vinyl only soon.”