Grab a shovel and start digging… the Timewriter’s brand of house is the deepest and most intelligent to grace record boxes since Larry Heard’s heyday. Brad Massive spoke with the maestro from his subterranean bunker…
What is your earliest musical memory… are you classically trained? When did you start doing house tracks?
I think I was influenced by the many different styles of music my parents were listening to… Buddy Holly, Neil Diamond, the Four Tops, Leonard Cohen, or Abba- just to name a few. There was never a minute without music at home. When I was 14 I went to a classical boarding school in Stuttgart. Since music was the main subject, everyone had to learn at least one instrument. I chose piano but I must admit that in all those years, I never really practised or trained the way I was supposed to. I soon discovered the fun of improvising with friends- we had a female singer, drummer, bass player and so on… we also had one synthesizer and some homemade FX units. I still have recordings of that time- very dark and dusty. In the summer of 1989 I left school and joined a band called Brigade Weather which played Electronic Body Music like Front 242 or Nitzer Ebb. We went on to support Frontline Assembly and Psyche on tour. Eventually, we decided to start producing multimedia productions mixed with drama. The most important piece to me was ‘Exploding Faust’ -which sold out every time we played. After years of working together, we noticed our minds and selves had changed, so we decided to go our separate ways. Within one year of going solo, I released an ambient album called the Timerewinder… it still sounds timeless. In 1995 I released my first house track called ‘Soul Freak Music’ and the Timewriter was born!
What’s the centerpiece of your studio and why?
I think my Rhodes is one of the centerpieces because it is often the instrument I jam on to get a good basic to work on. It is always different though… either the Rhodes, Ensoniq SQ80, or Roland JV1080.
Since you DJ as well, tell us when and why you got started with DJing. What was the last good party/club you played at?
I started DJing in 1995. I’ve been to a lot of different parties and the best of them were illegal and at the craziest places… like in a tube right underneath a highway. The vibe of the environment and the music we were dancing to really moved me. I thought, ‘That is something I could do’ by playing the records I love. The last good party I played at was Park Café in Budapest in April this year. It was really cool because I played some tunes that people didn’t know and didn’t expect in the context of the evening. First there were only a few people dancing… after a while they were joined by others- record after record until we had a solid soulcatching vibetrap!
What other artists/labels do you respect and enjoy?
I really enjoy labels like F-Communications, Mole, Guidance, Phono, Svek, Rhythm & Sound, Electrolux… acts like Jori Hullkonen (who is my favorite producer), Anthony Rother, De-Phazz, Nova Nova, Paris Angeles, Terry Lee Brown Jr, St Germain, and Herbert. This is just a small selection of the labels and artists I respect.
Last book read? Favorite non-techno album of the 1990s? Favorite film? Best vacation spot in Germany? …and, most importantly, Favorite beer.
The last book I read was entitled ‘Kraftwerk.’ My favorite album, released in 1996, is ‘Older’ by George Michael. It was, and still is, an outstanding work- full of tracks that will forever move me. It penetrates so deep- very jazzy, full of pictures of life… It’s really important to me. To name the best vacation spot in Germany is hard for me because I seldom spend my vacations here. I think the south of Germany, around Munich or Stuttgart are nice places to stay for a while. My favorite beer is Krombacher because it’s not too sweet or bitter.
What’s next for the Timewriter?
There’s a new 12″ EP coming up called ‘More Pieces’ which features new mixes of ‘Photographic Life’ and ‘Lost in Cyrix.’ I’ve also just finished remixes of Marshall Jefferson’s ‘Mushrooms,’ Billy Hendrix’s ‘Body Shine,’ and Kurtis Blow’s ‘The Breaks.’
Jigsaw Pieces, the new album from the Timewriter, is out now on Twisted Records.