11 years deep into the game: youANDme continues to remain relevant and refreshing. Conjuring up a deep, spacey signature over the years, Desolat, Cocoon, Rekids, Pokerflat, Compost and, of course, his own Rotary Cocktail Recordings are just a handful of respected labels that have sported the work of the once-duo-now-solo German act… And more will follow this year. Including influential Brazilian institution D.Edge.
Fresh from both a comprehensive Asian and South American tour, and a remarkable new single ‘Tube’ which features two contrasting versions from youANDme plus two on-point versions from Shinedoe and Timo Maas, 2017 has all the hallmarks of a vintage year for the man born Martin Muller. We caught a rare moment of his downtime to find out what else he has in store this year… And how he rose to this respected position within house and techno in the first place.
See also: DHL Mix #059 by youANDme
From evolving into the solo act he is today to key Rotary Cocktail support from Sven Vath to his and Holger Flinsch’s experimental Dubsuite side project and beyond, it’s time for youANDme to get as deep as his beats…
“I love the deeper side of music with funk and soul…raw and kicking.”
Hey Martin how you doing and where do we find you today?
Hi! Thank you! I´m fine. At the moment I’m in the studio working on new music.
We understand you’re not long back from Asian & South American Tours? How did they go and what were the highlights?
Yes I was really lucky to spend a long part of the cold winter on the summer side of the earth. In the beginning of December I started my Asia tour with 2 great gigs in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. After that I played the first time in China and I had 4 really nice shows and lots of new and exciting experiences. We celebrated New Year’s Eve on the beautiful Vietnamese island Phu Quoc and I played at the beach of the new Epizode Festival which was organized by the guys of the former Kazantip Festival. They gave me also the opportunity to play some days later a sunset set on the beach and this was truly a highlight. Two weeks after I came back from Asia I flew to Sao Paulo to play at the amazing D.Edge club. The next station was a really magic place called Giant Bay in Nicaragua. I played directly on the beach at the Full Moon Festival with artists like Robag Wruhme or Terrence Parker. The last SA-gig was in Guatemala at the Secret Garden Club which was also so much fun with a great crowd.
Give us a brief history of youANDme. Past to present. Go!
youANDme was created in 2006 by two friends called Martin and Daniel. We did the school together and after we finished it we moved to Berlin. For nearly 10 years we shared a flat with 2 studios. Today Daniel is focussed more on his career as architect and Martin keeps the youANDme project alive. I’m really thankful that we had the pleasure to play at so many nice places all over the world and that we had the chance to put out our releases on many great labels like Cocoon, Rekids, Pokerflat, Desolat, Compost, Ornaments, Drumpoet, Rebirth and more. Apart from original productions, we were also lucky to do remixes for some of our musical heroes like Moodymann, Robert Owens, Radio Slave, Seth Troxler, Steve Bug, Paul Johnson, Timo Maas, Brothers’ Vibe or Lawrence.
For the few that may not be familiar, how would you describe the sound of youANDme?
I love the deeper side of music with many funk and soul, but every time raw and kicking. The structure of a typical youANDme set is very different and it depends on the crowd and the surrounding. I like to play several styles in one set like house, techno, broken beats, dub or electronica. For me it’s always great if I can play various waves of music and combine everything to a nice story. It’s the same with our own productions. You can find some more house inspired tracks, pure techno tracks but also some more dub inspired or ambient stuff. For some people it might be confusing but for me it keeps things interesting.
Your current single ‘TUBE’ comes in not one, but two versions. Was this always the plan? Also tell us about the remixes, such a contrast to the originals and a Grammy nominee on board no less.
I like to do different versions of my tracks to test it on the dancefloor and see the reactions of the crowd. Sometimes I do 10 different versions until I’m really happy. The two versions of “Tube” are a bit different and both work really well. That’s why we decide to put each of them on the record. It’s also a pleasure to have 2 amazing remixes of Shinedoe and Timo Maas. Shinedoe delivering a bass-driven rework with a beautiful deep touch but also jackin’ like hell with the nice drum rework. Closing the package and taking the original for a walk on the mystical wild side is Mr. Timo Maas. In 2013 Timo asked me if i can remix a track of his last album and now he did a remix for me as part of a swap deal. That he’s nominated as best remixer for a grammy now is even nicer and he really deserves it because he did a great job and he is a really nice down to earth guy.
In recent years you’ve released on Cocoon, Rekids, Desolat and Poker Flat and 2017 is already shaping up to be busier than ever, including two exciting vocal projects. Give us an insight into what we can expect from youANDme over the next few months…
The first vocal project I did with the awesome US singer Gjaezon. It will be released in June at one of my favourite labels – Drumpoet Community from Zürich, Switzerland. There are 2 great remixes of the original track by Quarion and Washerman.
I recently worked with the legendary soul voice Ingrid Arthur for another vocal project. She is a former member of the Weather Girls and one of the best voices which I know. I have to finish our project now and then we will see what will happen with this songs.
Another record called “Swell/Repeat” will be out soon at the D.Edge label from Brazil with remixes be the Detroit legend Kenny Larkin and Renato Ratier. Later this year I will publish another Drumpoet with the amazing vocal artist Black Soda from South Africa and a remix by the rising star Jimi Jules. And of course there will be some new youANDme remixes, e.g. for one of my alltime favourite songs on the New York based imprint Nervous Records, for DJ Le Roi on UponYou Records and for Tyoma on Life On Mars Records.
You released an album as Dubsuite last year in November. Tell us more about this project.
Dubsuite is an interesting side project which I do with Holger Flinsch. Our album is called “Eigenleben” and it’s one track of 44:55 minutes. It’s a deep long journey from ambient scapes, downbeats to more dubby beats and chords. I think it’s hard to describe the music because everbody understands it different but you can listen to the whole LP here:
You’re also proud owner of Rotary Cocktail Recordings, a label thats successfully crossed genres and delivered a variety of sounds across its 48 releases. Was that always the intention when you started out?
Yes we were always open for different kinds of music and it was the intention not to concentrate to one style. Sure, our main focus is house and techno in different variations but also other good music is welcome. For me a label is getting boring if they repeating the same sound with every new record because then I’m loosing my motivation to buy this records again and again.
Any key moments and/or releases that have played a pivotal role in the success of the label?
There were many nice moments in the history of the label. It’s always nice if Sven Väth is playing your records and if he really likes a track maybe you get asked if he can include it to his yearly Cocoon Ibiza Mix CD. This happens more than one time to our label and it’s also a great opportunity for the artist to get more attention. One of the biggest hits of the label is a remix of Masomenos for the indie band Pupkulies & Rebecca. This one is really burning genre borders and it’s unbelievable what has happened with this nice interpretation.
What one piece of advice would you give to somebody looking to start a label today?
It’s not easy to run a label today because of all the changings in the music industry. If you want to earn much money and get rich maybe you have to look for a better business model but if you really love the music and this love is burning with much enthusiasm and passion in your heart you should do it.