In Conversation: Rebolledo vs Panthera Krause

Leipzig based artist PANTHERA KRAUSE is currently riding high from the recent release of his excellent and eclectic debut album ‘It’s A Business Doing Pleasure With You.’  Released on Riotvan, the label that he co-runs with partner Markus Krasselt, the album is, as the press release explains to perfection – “A cliché-free and self-determined approach to production and musicianship that assembles NuDisco-smashers, giddy slowed down Soul, Indie Dance, and bright and vibrant House” –  The treasure trove of an album takes the listener on a number of unexpected audio tangents which, for fans of Panthera Krause is no surprise, but for many will be the velvety cushioned inspiration that your ears, and feet, have been crying out for.

Club owner, Pachanga Boy, DJ, Artist and globally recognized Mexican creative, REBOLLEDO, has been making musical waves since the early 2000s  His Hippie Dance imprint, run together with Superpitcher, has a strong and loyal following and his Mayan Warrior project has received worldwide acclaim, not least for their iconic Burning Man productions.

Having made the transatlantic journey for his Warrior initiation ceremony last summer, Panthera Krause called on Rebolledo for a chat about all things Music, Travel, Design, Inspiration, producing from your bed and unearthing music from a native legend. So tuck in and enjoy…

Rebolledo: These days there’s sooooo much music around that promos rain in my inbox and to be honest, I don’t open most of them because very often I end up being disappointed… but when I received one with a track from a guy named “Panthera” I thought… “A guy with such a cool name has to be cool…” So I was very pleased to find “Tropical Redux”, then listened to the rest of the promo and I liked it all… which led me to get to know Riotvan more deeply… so…. Why Panthera?
Panthera: Happy to hear that “Tropical Redux” opened your ears to my music and Riotvan! Why Panthera? After finishing my band’s (Marbert Rocel) first album I wanted to have a cool artist name. I love poems and lyric and years ago I read this poem “Der Panther” by Rainer Maria Rilke, it’s stuck with me since I first read it. It’s so sad but beautiful and has this majesty, I combined it with my real surname Krause, which is a typical German name and fit crazy perfect.

Rebolledo: You were telling me about your band with which you used to release on Compost… can you remind me the name of the band and tell me which track from them I really have to listen to?
Panthera: I hadn’t listened to them myself for a long time and just right now while answering these questions got lost in listening to old music we made for the last 2 hours… so good! Haha… before I started releasing music on my own as Panthera Krause I was making music with my band Marbert Rocel. We released four albums on Compost Records, and had a project together with Mathias Kaden called Karocel. We played a lot of shows and even made remixes for Lana del Rey. Together we produced the music and I wrote most of the lyrics for the songs and did the artwork. On stage I played Saxophone and synths, I really miss this time and the feeling of playing live shows. But to answer your question – It’s “Song For You“ – it combines all of the typical Marbert Rocel elements and is a good representation of our pop-band.

Rebolledo: When we “premiered” the masters of your (fantastic) album for the first time in my situation room everyone was thrilled and happy but you… did you overcome that stress and finally realise how good it is?…
Panthera: Haha, yes! Puh, it was an intense situation for me. I got the masters some hours before and was so excited. But now after getting so much great feedback I’m really happy and thankful.

Rebolledo: I was very glad to host your first trip to Mexico last summer… Can you tell me your highlights of that trip?… Favorite show?… Favorite Restaurant? Favorite city?… any particular experience you remember???
Panthera: First, thanks for this great and inspiring time! There were so many amazing experiences, really the whole trip was a highlight. From having us at your house the first days to playing these overwhelming shows at Bar Americas, MN Roy and Topaz Deluxe, to spending this mind-blowing week at burning man, I’m still dreaming of these experiences. I enjoyed meeting so many amazing people and to see all these places. There are these moments in life when you are close to yourself and realize how good life is – I had one of these sitting alone in the backyard of your restaurant in Monterrey having a cigarette after we had this delicious dinner and I could see everyone through the window in the kitchen while William Onyeabors “Better Change Your Mind” was playing. And for sure the moment at Bar Americas when I turned around and stared at Peter Invasion and you with wide open eyes, not understanding why the crowd went so wild after the third track I played.

Rebolledo: We went together to the nevada desert for your first Mayan Warrior experience… How did you like it?!?! how was your week?!?! Up for coming back?!?!
Panthera: Since being back in Germany I realized that it’s impossible to explain Burning Man to anybody who wasn’t there. I felt like I was on another planet. It was a great experience but to be honest, the first night was too much for me to handle. All these lights, like a starry sky on the ground and no feeling for the distance in the desert. That totally disorientated me. After sunrise, everything looked totally different and it took me 2 hours to find our camp. Such a crazy night! But all in all it was overwhelming good – the hospitality of the Mayan Warriors, the sun sets, the moment when I entered the Warrior for the first time and to see this glowing sea of people in front of me. I’m definitely up for coming back!!!

Rebolledo: I really like your style as an illustrator and graphic designer… can you remind how you developed your technique??…
Panthera: Yes, I remember we talked about it in the desert. I studied graphic design and illustration at the Bauhaus University in Weimar and worked as an Illustrator and mostly illustrated books for children, for example, a book called “Expedition Krebs“ – a project I did together with the university for children in Cologne explaining cancer and treatments to kids. I enjoyed this work but at one point it felt to me like I was stuck in one style and I wanted to develop a new one so I started drawing with my left hand and without doing draft sketches. This really gave new life to drawing for me, it was so much fun that I couldn’t stop for hours.

Panthera: Whats your favourite setting for making music? I ask because you told me once you like to work in bed.
Rebolledo: JAJAJA… Bed is for very specific things… and it´s usually hotel beds… in Bed, I organize my live sessions, I do edits, arrangements, or work on remixes… only stuff that doesn’t require external gear, mixing, etc… very early in my production years playing around with the software until late night in my bed, I did make Pitaya Frenesí which happened to be my very first release… but this was a one time thing… My setups have been changing through the years for the main reason that I have been moving so much in the last couple of decades… but in general, I use the computer just for recording, editing and then I use machines and record instruments with mics… The amount of gear and instruments has of course increased over the years but the concept and work flow is pretty much the same…

Panthera: You’re traveling a lot for your job and beside of this you’ve founded TOPAZ Deluxe, you’re a part of MN Roy as well as of a Restaurant in Monterrey and you are a big part of the Mayan Warriors project. What do you think is the best advice you can give to find a balance with all of this and the time for your family and for yourself
Rebolledo: I’m still trying to figure out how to do it… I just don’t have enough time… It helps a lot to have a great team behind each project so I don’t have to be involved in every action of each one but just the touring is enough to keep me way to busy and way too much time away from home… still trying to find a way to fix that.

Panthera: During the last years you played a lot of shows all over the world. What do you think is the most noticeable change in club culture in these times, if there’s some
Rebolledo: Freaking phones… and social media consequences in general… the underground culture has faded out as a result…

Panthera: Do you have times struggling with your music and your career or do you always had a strong vision for it?
Rebolledo: I always have tried to be as professional as I can without taking myself too seriously, I have stuck to my sound and ideas and have been thankful that there has been an audience for it… I never thought about “taking over the world with my music”… I just wanted to do my own thing and have fun in the process… somehow it has worked…

Panthera: When we had this listening session of my album in your situation room what was your first impression of it?
Rebolledo: Loved it right away… but it might have been the champagne talking…

Panthera: Recently I got the promo of Lasser Dakar which will be out these days on your label Hippie Dance. The music is so inspiring but the tracks sounding like there are from another time, away from gestures of today. Could you tell me more about it?
Rebolledo: Emilio Acevedo, the guy behind Lasser Drakar is a proper legend… he’s been doing music since the 80´s, has an amazing band called TITAN which has been around for more than 20 years which has mixed sound of rock, electronic and funk… they have done collaborations with Gary Newman and Egyptian Lover for example amongst many others… He has other projects which are more “high energy dance pop” if that makes any sense… but this specific material he produced between 2000 and 2003 just for him to DJ because he was having some requests to perform but he found all the house music out there too lame to play… I invited him to play at my first bar back in 2006… I was super flashed by the music he played… I asked him what was all about and he told me exactly that… his own music… just for him to play… I ran into him ten years later in a show we were both playing (him with TITAN), and I asked him about that music… and if he could send it to me to play it… he told me he had to look for the CDs in which he had burnt it and then send it to me… thank god he found them… ten years later I was flashed again and I asked him if he would like to release it with us… he agreed… and now it´s finally out…