“You must do more than only DJing and I can be very thankful I met my old friend Lars in Berlin. We started to build up a booking agency that you may know now as My Favourite Freaks” – M.in

Hailing from Germany’s prolific Rhein-Main area, Frankfurt’s M.in gained his momentum as a global player over the last eight to nine years. As a producer, DJ and label head his modern house and tech house style clearly owes to the Frankfurt heritage, yet M.in never claimed that promotional tag. He’s sitting firmly in the driver’s seat when it comes to his very own style. You can easily dub his beats trademark, bowing to the craftsmanship M.in has developed and refined with his dozens of releases in recent years.

Decoded Magazine caught up with M.in (or Markus Ferdinand as he is known to others) to talk about what he has planned for 2018, how his life has changed over the years since his first release, and of course his label.

In December 2008 M.in released his first track under the name we have become so familiar with now which means we are now in the tenth year of M.in. Keen to know more I asked what happened over those ten years and what were some of Markus’ special highlights that he looks back on. Markus answered… “In March 2009, my first EP as M.in came out on OFF Recordings. Previously, I only had one track on Höhenregler, the label of Basti Grub, a remix for Basti Grub’s ‘El Gitarro’ track (what was my first success as Loco Dice and others played it everywhere) and a remix for Andre Crom on Off Recordings.

“My EP on OFF Recordings was unexpectedly sold out before the release. No matter which shop you tried to order the record, no matter if in Germany, England, Italy or Japan, everywhere it was immediately out of stock.
 M.in & Bastian Schuster ‘New Orleans’ became a hit and sold more than 3000 vinyl copies. 
Also Ministry of Sound and Defected would license the track for their CD compilations but Andre Crom was scared about the trumpet sample from Louis Armstrong we used for the track. It was 49 years old and in this time you could sample tracks if they are older than 50 years. Fuck!!! But it didn’t matter because the track became a hit and gave me the first booking outside of Germany.”

Markus went on to say “my next success was on my own label Weplayminimal, M.in & YNK ‘Capetown ‘River Boating’ as Tiefschwarz was charting the track and this pushed the track into the Beatport sale charts. Sante (in this year they still were a three; Re.you, one half of Sokool and Sante) did a remix for this track and it got rereleased on Tiefschwarz label Souvenir on vinyl. 

Then I made a lot of remixes like for Keinemusik’s Rampa, Thomas Schumacher on Get Physical, Radio Slave, Marc Romboy, Italoboyz, Nicole Moudaber, Noir, Mousse T, and many more. 
 Also in 2009, Steve Lawler chose my remix for Horatio on VIVa MUSiC as track of the year in Mixmag or DJ Mag, I just can’t remember exactly.

 In 2010 two of my remixes were licensed finally for a Cocoon and Defected compilation. That was a great feeling. Some of the tracks of the Defected compilation (mixed by Riva Starr) were pressed on vinyl. My Remix was on it! I still have the vinyl at home.”

“I think 2010 was the year I released most. Such a lot of remixes and EPs I can’t count anymore. But you can check on Beatport! In 2011 my son Edwin was born and so everything changed. I was on tour the whole time, from Brazil to Korea, 20 countries. But then I realised I have to do less as I also want to see my son.”

Markus spoke about when he began to understand harmonics… “In 2012 I released the first of three albums I did. I worked together with a classical pianist and learned a lot about harmonics during this time. Before my music hadn’t had many melodies but it changed then. Now I could say I’m a good producer as I made so many different styles and cool tracks and remixes but it doesn’t feel like I learned everything about music.”

“On my tours, I met so many nice people, found a lot of new friends and I saw how short a DJs life can be. Many of the DJs who became famous at the same time as I got lost after 3 years. Not many of them still have a big name. And so, you realise you must do more than only DJing and I can be very thankful I met my old friend Lars in Berlin. We started to build up a booking agency that you may know now as My Favourite Freaks!”

M.in went on to speak about the agency today… “we have a lot of international star DJs in our roster like ANNA, Christian Smith, Webhha, Luca Agnelli, Secret Cinema, Miguel Bastida, Ramiro Lopez, Dosem, Ramon Tapia, Hanne & Lore, and many others. Since I have started as M.in I have had no normal job and now I am the head of a great agency and still touring a lot as a DJ. So M.in has totally changed my life.”

After speaking about the history of M.in and where he is now as an artist we went on to talk about his new release ‘A Deeper Love’… “the track is now almost 3 years old. I made the track to possibly offer it as a free download. Shortly after the track was finished, a friend wrote to me that he knows a great singer and offered to pay her so we can do something together. The main thing, he could do a remix of it. That’s how the idea arose to let the track sing along but unfortunately, the singer didn’t answer us after a while and so we had never received the vocal. Somewhat frustrated, I sent the track, which was with the vocals of Aretha Franklin, to the label Stylerockets, who wanted to release the track immediately. But for safety’s sake, I wanted to send it to Riva Starr, who answered quickly and wanted to release the track as free track via Snatch Records. 
A short time later, Riva wrote again and said that he is trying to clarify the rights.”

He added “after about half a year, he, unfortunately, had not made it and so he decided that he is looking for a suitable singer and did that. It really took a while to get the vocals, but then I got down to work and reworked the track. Riva wasn’t cool with the vocals and let a few parts change again and that took a really long time. But even the changes did not please Riva and so he decided that he is looking for a new singer. 
When we got the vocals, everything went pretty fast. I reworked the track, Riva blushed the track and now he finally came out. A long way, but it was well worth it!”

M.in played this year at WCD Pool Sessions alongside Solomun, Sven Väth, Paul Kalkbrenner, ANNA and many more. I asked him about the event… “It was a fantastic gig. It’s amazing to see how this event has grown up in the last years. I played at the first World Club Dome years ago and it was only around the Commerzbank Arena, now it’s so fucking big! 

Honestly, I was a bit struck from the day before so I couldn’t enjoy this 100% but what can I say? It was great.”

I also met my hero Mousse T in person finally. I practiced DJing back in the days with his tunes and my first bought mix CD was from Mousse T. I also did a remix for his track ‘Everybody’ but we never had the change to meet. Now it happened. So I felt like a groupie at this moment. I also was on the main stage while Butch was playing and when Solomun started at the Forrest Stage while Anna was playing and it was, wow. Such a great vibe. I never saw something like this in Frankfurt. Hopefully, I will play there too in 2019.”

M.in’s next release will be a vinyl release on his My Favorite Freaks Music label alongside Gunman. Having already released tracks with Gunman, including on Green Velvet’s label Cajual, and Wow Recordings I was keen to know more about the relationship and how it began… “Andreas, that’s his real name, is an old friend of mine whom I met in 2003. At that time he had a record shop in Göttingen, which he still has today, but he now sells pothead accessories. But also vinyl. 
We have always booked each other on our parties and so a friendship was born. When I hung up with him 4 years ago, he told me that he wanted to stop djing up soon because he got stuck. I then offered to produce with him and so everything went its course. Now we have released some EPs together and are currently fortunate that we only land on good labels. I’ve been sending tracks to Green Velvet for a long time, but it was never the right one. I did not dare to send him anything until we made the two tracks, which he signed very quickly and also released very quickly. Exactly 1 year ago.”

Talking about the release Markus added… “

Andreas sent me a new track by him a while ago as I heard it when we were playing together. I liked the track, but it wasn’t perfect, so I reworked it together with him in his studio. ‘The Voice’ has a great vocal and after we added some Roland Tr-8 beats and some of the effects I usually use, we were totally happy with the track. I took it to my studio and reworked it again just to add a better mood to it and here we go, the track is finished, and I think this could be a hit. ‘The Groove’ was produced by me and I showed it Andreas and he directly loved it. So we reworked it a bit together and then Andreas just asked me, if we want to do a vinyl of it.”

Before heading our separate ways I asked Markus where he has been lately in terms of gigs and what has he got planned… “I played on some open-air parties in the last weeks like WCD Pool Sessions or Tekkno ist Grün (Techno is green) in Hamburg, what was a great open-air festival. Such a great mood. Also, I played the first time on an open air in Berlin, what was also totally cool. But it was a hard trip as it was one day after WCD Pool Sessions and before I played in Heilbronn, what is in the south of Germany. 
This weekend I was at James Wood Festival in Wetzlar. Last year I had to pass as I played in Austria but this year I could be happy to be on board. Guman and I will have the first official b2b set together in his hometown. Then I will play at one of the best German locations in July, called Rakete in Nuremberg. 
Also, Ibiza is calling me again. This time at B12 together with my friends Tennan (Relief, Moon Harbour), Defex (Zoo Project) and Enrico Persano (My Favourite Freaks Music).”

I hope you enjoyed reading the interview with M.in. Check out the Tech House mix he exclusively compiled for Decoded Magazine.

01. Dennis Cruz, Martina Camargo – El Sueño
02. Re.you – Voodoo Tool
03. Sebo K – Spirits (Drum Version)
04. Basti Grub – El Gitarro (M.in Remix)
05. Pirate Copy – Tribal on the Terrace
06. Adrian Hour, Mark Knight – Shamrat
07. Alex Kennon – Crazy Pee
08. Davina Moss & Issa Elle – Tonantzin
09. M.in – A Deeper Love

About the Author

Director and DJ, Ian French (Naif) is passionate about many genres of music from Breakbeat and Drum & Bass to Techno and Electronica. A man that lives in a world of bass and beats, Ian is an obsessive collector of music and a true geek at heart, with many years spent in application design.