Mike Wall plays NYC for the first time this weekend for the Hidden Recordings party. New to the city but not to techno, his releases and remixes have seen him rise through the techno ranks. His latest EP "Different Colors" on Hidden Recordings is already receiving rave reviews. Lets see what Mike has up his techno sleeve this weekend!
CGNY: Hi Mike – thanks for chatting with us! You’re playing NYC next weekend for the Hidden Recordings party tied in with your release on the HR label – tell us how you came to know the HR label?
MW: It all started in summer 2011. Plankton had asked me if I'm ready to do a remix for his EP on Hidden Recordings. I immediately agreed. In February 2012, followed already my first solo EP on Hidden Recordings, OUT OF FIRE. Already at that time, we started talking about my album.
CGNY: You grew up in East Germany – correct? What were you listening to growing up – was ‘western’ music harder to come by and did that shape your sound as dj/producer – the lack or abundance thereof?
MW: I was born in 1983. In the Nineties I first heard hard techno and the usual commercial techno songs. We were given a lot of 80s synth pop on the radio. It was not too difficult to get Western music. In 1990 the Berlin Wall fell and the doors were open to the world of music.
CGNY: Your first major release came out on a very known label with a lot of heavy hitters on it (Safari Electronique). You must have been thrilled – but what was the process of getting that music to the right people?!
MW: That was very funny. In the days of MySpace it was very easy to get music to a label. So I sent my music to many labels. Safari Electronique signed my first song "Jonny" published under the name "Mike Wall," I was more than thrilled. It is each time a feeling of happiness. There is also a bit of luck involved.
CGNY: When was your first professional dj gig – did it go well?
MW: I think it was 2002. My first international appearance in a club in Switzerland. I was more than excited. Unfortunately, the evening was more than bad. There were about 20 people there. Certainly there have been appearances before. For example, the Fusion Festival. There I had my first gig in 1999. Previously there were also a few small events in Mecklenburg back in 1997; this must have been my first gig
As you can see ... it's hard to say when my first gig was actually professional.
CGNY: Your “Different Colors” EP on Hidden Recordings is a solid banging techno record – really good dark and dance-y music. When you set about working on it – what were your inspirations or thoughts before laying down tracks.. how is your creative process in the studio?
MW: It's hard to explain. I started already in 2011 with the first ideas for this album… I get my inspiration from the shows that I have. Much has impressed me - tracks from other artists, a great club, a great event. “Ribbon”, for example.... “Ribbon” is called that because the track was created directly after my appearance at La Terracine in Ribbon Club, near Rome in Italy. I have an idea, start my program. Ableton and Reason in Rewire and just start with the basics. Bass, hi-hat .... and then let my thoughts run wild!
CGNY: What software/equipment are you using to produce/dj with these days – are you fan of new technology with regard to the music industry?
MW: I love vinyl, of course. Each month I rummage through the record store and search for small treasures. If I'm traveling by plane, I play exclusively Traktor Dj with an Audio8 Interface and timecode Vinyl. One Traktor Kontrol X1. The handling functions just as when I DJ with vinyl. Turntables are irreplaceable for me. and I use to produce
Acces Virus synthesizers
an analogue studio mixer
Some analogous effects
my NI Maschine
some midi controlled sequencer
and a bit of other stuff
CGNY: You have a lot of gigs lined up over the next few months but obviously NYC is a big stop off for most techno djs. Have you any expectations about the city – any sightseeing plans?
MW: It will be my first time in New York. I'm very excited. I am pleased to meet some friends in New York. I will try to collect as many impressions as I can. I'm definitely open to suggestions about what to see in New York City. I think Deepak Sharma will show me a few sights. Central Park interests me, the Statue of Liberty and much more I will look at certainly.
CGNY: In your down time – what do you like to do – other interests besides music?
MW: Yes, of course. I drive an old Volkswagen camper van, from the year of 1986 that I travel a lot with in the summer. I go to the Baltic Sea to meet up with other friends there. I go with my bus 2 - 4 weeks to Spain, approximately 7000km. What you experience when you live 2-4 weeks in a camper bus - that is freedom. Also, I love to be out with friends. In summer, however, I am looking for the more quiet zones in the city. There are so many great things to do. Of course this includes the family ....
CGNY: With regards to your own label Wall Music – what are your plans for 2013? Any new artists for you label that you’re excited about?
MW: Wall Music is the digital label .. I am already 6 - 8 months in advance and there are some great EPs to be released. Wall Music Limited, my vinyl label will also start this year. We will continue to maintain this tempo and publish a monthly vinyl. This can be obtained only on vinyl. There are some good remixers already promised and certainly there will be still one or two good new artist. Keep your eyes and ears open ...
CGNY: An alien lands from another planet and has no clue what techno is! What track/album do you hand over as a learning tool?
MW: Oh that's really hard to say. I have not thought about it. I take this question for the next time. Maybe some monotonous, it should be simple ...
The group Kraftwerk are maybe the right ones for it.... I’m not sure....
I really think about it.
For details on this Saturdays Hidden Recordings party go here