Interview: Len Faki
Berlin based DJ, producer and label owner Len Faki is one of the most outstanding and in-demand artists in techno’s present age.
Being a resident at Berlin’s prime techno club Berghain since its opening in 2004 keeps Len open-minded as both, DJ and producer, constantly evolving his sound without ever losing its vibrant, unique energy and the passion and heart he puts into his sets.
In 2003 Len founded his own label figure as a new platform to play out his eclectic and open-minded vision of techno music. At first an outlet for his own productions, figure developed into a well recognized, highly acclaimed label, releasing household names like Johannes Heil or Slam as well as Cleric, Setaoc Mass, Lewis Fautzi and Regal.
The latest from figure comes from Len Faki himself, and may be his most personal collection of work to date. Entitled “Hidden Objects,” the 3-track remix EP reveals reveals previously unseen shades of both the source material and Len’s own musical identity. Produced over the course of last year and originally never intended to come out, the “Hidden Objects” were to remain just that – hidden from anyone but Faki himself who was privately developing a different side of his in the studio. Spanning the spectrum of electronic music’s potential sounds, “Hidden Objects” sees Faki take on tracks from Slam, Scuba, and Philippe Petit.
With that, we thought we should get the word on “Hidden Objects” direct from Len Faki, as well as speak on what’s new and exciting in the world of a techno mainstay. Enjoy!
“I feel more free to do and try what I want now…I don´t base much on expectations of others anymore,”
As we are speaking primarily about your latest EP ‘Hidden Objects’, the story behind it is that its 3 tracks were never meant for release. I suppose the obvious question here is, what made you change your mind and release them?
Like you said, the tracks weren´t planned to be released together. I produced them independently from each other over the last year for playing them in my DJ sets. I like the originals a lot and it was much fun working with their parts / elements. At the end of 2015 I realized at one point that they match perfectly with each other and shouldn’t remain ‘hidden’.
The EP is also described as kicking off a different musical side of you. In your own view, can you describe this new side? Why the increased focus on melodic music? How do you see progressing over the year and into the future?
I assume it´s not a completely different and new side of mine, but one that is part of me ever since. Only I never adopt and showed it that much before. There were tracks, like ‘Kraft und Licht’ for example, which were different already.
I feel more free to do and try what I want now. This may be a confidence that comes with age and experience. I´m not sure. I don´t base much on expectations of others anymore, but trust my instincts in the first place. This EP is an expression of this development and I think I will continue to follow this path.
What was the process like behind choosing the artists and tracks off ‘Hidden Objects? Here, Slam, Scuba, and Philippe Petit are reworked, covering quite a wide spectrum of sounds between them, how have you seen the three tracks work on the dancefloor, as well as a package?
I didn´t think of a certain selection at the time I was in the studio producing the remixes. I understand what you’re referring to, but for my impression they are not that different from each other and by remixing and adding my style to the tracks they sound connected now.
I instantly liked the originals when I heard them for the first time and went on form there. In my opinion they all carry a certain deepness inside of them already – I just had to carve that out.
Why did you decide to have ‘Hidden Objects’ as your first musical release of 2016? Is there a thought process in the industry on the best way to kick off a new year? For example, is it more beneficial to release an EP or LP, original production or remix package, or perhaps simply open up with a certain type of gig? How do you like to open up a new year?
I intended these remixes to be released towards the end of the winter. The reason is, for me these tracks all have a certain redemptive or healing feel to them. Their harmonies and their vibe could symbolize an end and a beginning of something. Something emotional. Like an optimistic view into the new year towards spring with the winter in the back. That’s the reason we put this release on this exact time.
While making ‘Hidden Objects,’ what would be the single most important piece of gear in its production?
Listening to my intuition and my gut feeling. That´s the most important piece of gear I have.