Interview: &ME

Coming from Hamburg to Berlin in 2004, &ME was soon recognized for his talents in the studio.

Flash forward 10+ years and now &ME can boast releases and remixes on the likes of Front Room, Souvenir, Rebirth, Liebe*Detail, and Saved, solidifying his reputation as a gifted producer and DJ extraordinaire. His blend of Techno and soulful House has taken an incredible shape, also in no small part to his own Keinemusik imprint.

No stranger to DHA, &ME now prepares for his 3 September performance at Pleinvrees Festival, where he will bring his electric touch to Amsterdam once again. He’s also set to release yet another standout EP via his Keinemusik. Entitled “One On One,” the EP is a collaborative effort with English singer/songwriter-enigma Fink, letting musicality rule over functionality.

Here, the multi-talented &ME dishes his thoughts on Amsterdam, starting and building a label, cocktails, and much more.

“You can play at the shittiest place you could ever imagine but if the crowd is connected with you and the music it will always be a good night.”

Where are you and what are you working on at the moment?
Hanging in Berlin right now and figuring out how to squeeze clothes for 5 weeks into cabin baggage for my America tour starting next week.

You grew out of the scene in Berlin. How did you do that and what all went into throwing parties and releasing music?
Everything happened in little steps. I started as an observer because Berlin and the electronic music scene was new for me. Then I slowly got involved in some house and techno projects that went down in the studio I worked for a couple of years and as Fetisch from Terranova took me to the beloved Cookies to DJ with him. I was totally hooked. He also included me in his Terranova project and I helped him running his small label called tnt. during that time I learned a lot regarding vinyl pressing and getting records out and it was about time for Keinemusik to start doing the same thing cause we didn’t know who would release our music. With the birth of our label we also started the first Keinemusik nights in Berlin and we were lucky that both had a very successful start. From that point on we just kept on doing the things we love and like and are facing our 8th birthday next year.

Two turntables, a mixer, speakers, and maybe a few drinks. What else would you need to start a party?
Alongside the technical equipment the crowd is the most important part of the party. You can play at the shittiest place you could ever imagine but if the crowd is connected with you and the music it will always be a good night.

What was it that got you motivated to co-setup your own label Keinemusik?
First of all we weren’t sure if anybody would ever consider releasing our music and with the basic know how in the pocket we decided to do everything ourselves. It was lot of work in the beginning cause we wanted to have a proper release which means digital and vinyl. The digital part wasn’t that hard and the vinyl pressing itself went pretty easy as well but getting the distribution right and getting the stuff heard was a pain in the ass.

What was it that you did that distanced the label from the saturated nature of Berlin’s music scene?
I guess our sound was a bit different from what you could hear from other Berlin labels. On top of that we did very heavy social network promo to build our base. There were not too many labels and DJs doing that so we kind of stood out.

You have a performance at Pleinvrees coming up – how does the style of the event suit your music?
The Pleinvrees events have a very open minded crowd and that suits me very well. You can go in any direction without being worried if they will follow you or not

What is it that you like about coming to Amsterdam to perform? What else would you like to check out while you are here?
I love the cosy feeling of the city and the relaxed atmosphere that the Dutch people are spreading. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to check out much this time as I need to leave right after the gig for my America tour

And – how are you preparing for your set at Pleinvrees? Do you undergo change in your performance setup every so often?
I just make sure that I have all my new music in my record box. The rest is freestyle.

You going to hit up any record shops while in Amsterdam?
Rush Hour, for sure

Recommend a nice cocktail?
Vodka with ice – no lemons and no straw. Fancy stuff!

“One On One” is available 26 August on Keinemusik

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3 September | Pleinvrees Festival | Tickets | Sportpark Riekerhaven