Next up to sit on The Decoded Interview Armchair is Bavarian born and now Berlin based multi-genre infused tech house DJ and producer Michael Korb better known as Klangkuenstler.
Klangkuenstler has coming along way in the past few years with releases on a multitude of quality record labels including, Smiley Fingers, Rawsome Recordings, Elrow Music, Toolroom Records, Suara and Stil vor Talent just to name a few. Last year he made waves with the well-received Jam Master Jack on Smiley Fingers which reached number 2 in the overall Beatport charts and number 1 in the Beatport Tech House tracks charts. It also stayed in the top 100 for nearly 6 months which is quite a feat in itself these days competing with hundreds of new releases each week.
Hello Michael nice to have you in. I see your most recent release is currently smashing the charts once again. A remix on Rawsome Recordings on a track called Be by Greco featuring Rowetta. Currently this is number 3 in the overall Beatport track charts and number 2 in the Tech House charts. Can you tell us how this remix opportunity came about as this is your first release on Rawsome Recordings?
Rawsome Recordings is a pretty new label from New York and is rund by my buddy Greco (NYC). I was following him already before he founded the label and I am a big fan of his productions so I knew his label will release some serious music, and so it was and is today. He made this track where he catched up the well known vocal from Rowetta and I loved it on the first listen and directly wanted to put my hands on this vocal too, so I just started this remix, sent to him and he seemed like to like my version as much as I liked his version. It was just the only reasonable way to release my remix a few months after his record made its rounds and got support from big artists like Kenny Dope, Claptone, De La Swing and many more… But that it climbs so high in the Beatport charts I never expected, this is a big achievement.
Your recent release is on Elrow whose sound and parties really do fit with your sound perfectly I think. The EP is called Pop Dem Bottles and features 3 tracks called House Your Body, Girlfriend Mentions and like the Ep title. This was released last week and is already in the Top 50 overall and tech house Beatport chart. Can you tell us some more about this EP, you released on Elrow’s ADE showcase last year so good to be asked back?
Exactly, my first appearance was last year on the ADE sampler but in generally I prefer to release Ep’s as it’s simply a bigger statement than to put out just one track. Of course it was a great opportunity to make with the ADE track a first step inside the label, so it was a big goal for me to produce a Ep for them as next step. The label is growing fast and bringin out some really good music so I was happy that it worked for me. I think I never had three tracks from one Ep in the Tech House Top100, it’s pretty unreal for me.
Can you let us know your future release schedule or anything that you are really excited about in the coming months?
My next release is coming on Deeperfect, it is one track of mine plus a remix from my Italian brother Raffa FL. I love his productions and first second I met him in person after we already had contact on Instagram and Facebook I felt like knowing him for years as close friend, so it’s a big pleasure to have him on board for that. After the Deeperfect release I will be back on Toolroom but I can’t say more now otherwise I have no more news to drop haha
Your sound if I can generalise, is a foundation of tech house with an infusion of other genres. As you live in Berlin which is predominantly the techno hub of the world. Are you ever tempted to swerve into techno territory or are you commuted to forging your tech house sound?
Well, I don’t care about specific genres to be honest. I mean yeah, I don’t play Techno usually but it can happen that I play a few tracks in a set when it fits the vibe. Few weeks ago I played before Victor Ruiz who obviously stands for Techno so the last half an hour I changed my set slowly into his direction which made the transition to his set smooth and for me it was a nice a fresh variety in my set. No matter which genre I play you can be sure that I love the tracks, I think that’s most important thing. And of course there are Techno tracks which are fitting maybe more my Tech House stuff then others. I always love to have a old school touch, I love punchy and dirty drums, this you can have in Tech House and Techno. I even produced two more kind of Techno tracks this year for my release on Stil vor Talent. If you are interested who this sounds check “Save The Rave” and “Exodia”. So whenever I will change my style it won’t have anything to do with Berlin or any other city, I just do what I like but this changes often. Right now I feel pretty comfortable with Tech House but also enjoy playing the harder sometimes.
It looks like you have had a busy summer with plenty of gigs in Germany and abroad such as the Stil Vor Talent Festivals, North and South America tour and for examaple Egg in London alongside someone we have interviewed recently – Franky Rizardo. Can you give us your highlight or highlights of the summer if you are feeling generous?
This is one of the most difficult questions to answer, not because I want to say every gig was amazing but of course they were many, so it would be unfair to compare them as they are so different mostly. I love to play festivals in Amsterdam or Netherlands generally because the productions are always so on point and I know there so many nice dudes and artists, so I had very great time at Verknipt or Gaasper Pleasure Festival for example. Stil vor Talent festivals are always like home as we are a big family and I know the team for years now and crowd is always great there. Definitely one highlight was Kafes Istanbul which is a kind of open air club directly next to the see where the sun rises up in the morning. I also enjoyed playing Loveweek Festival in Croatia, I mean the vibe is always amazing in countries like Croatia where the sun is mostly shining and you have the palms and beach around you. Another incredible experience was Green Valley in Brazil which is not like a realy club, more like a festival and it’s surrounded by jungle.
Which is your ultimate festival or club to play in the future. If all the promoters on planet earth are reading this interview who do you want to call out to?
Oh there are a lot. Elrow of course, Ultra Resistance, Amnesia, DC10, Time Warp, Sonus Festival, Creamfields, Coachella…
Moving away from music for a moment, can you tell us what your daily life is like living in Berlin. How much of your week is dedicated to studio work and how much is chill out or party time or is it a case of grabbing time to chill out wherever you can. Do you have any particular TV series you are watching?
I don’t have a kind of fixed time schedule when I will go to the studio, mostly I open Ableton and see what comes up as long as I don’t have to work on something which needs to get finished. Best things come out if you don’t make pressure on you and just try out some stuff. If creativity is not the highest I spend time on social media and stuff like that, this is pretty time intensive too of course. And rest of my time I go out for eating with my girl for example or yeah, watch Netflix. But to be honest I don’t understand the hype around Ozark haha but however I watch series like Person of Interest, Blacklist, House Of Cards, The 100, Designated Survivor.
Final question back on music although as a listener. What do you listen to for inspiration or just to relax if you are having say a family BBQ?
I love old school Hip Hop but also other stuff from the 90s or 80s. But it’s also good to listen other producers stuff, even it’s not 100% my thing. Everything can bring you to an idea so its important to keep the ears out. On the other hand I try to be not too inspired by other stuff as then it can happen that I try to come close to someone else’s track, best thing is actually if you just make what comes out of you without any thinking.
Klangkuenstler’s ‘Pop Dem Bottles’ is out now on elrow music
Grab it here