German DJ and producer Robert Wagenknecht aka Miyagi has developed his very own sound during recent years. He mixes up deep house, tech house and techno as a producer and a DJ and always brings hypnotic and melodic atmospheres. His productions have come on labels like Einmusika, Katermukke, Do Not Sit and Flying Circus while he has DJ’d everywhere from Chicago to Berlin to London. Miyagi also hosts the WEIRD events in Hamburg, which are renowned among the most popular local events, and now he goes to the next level with this new album.
We caught up with Robert to discuss his journey into electronic music, his experience of the pandemic and his new album ‘Good Night Planet’.
Hey Robert, welcome to Deep House London! How are you, what’s good and bad in your world?
Hey guys, thanks for the invitation. Even though the world is in crisis right now, I’m actually doing pretty well. I always try to make the best possible out of everything. I am a very optimistic person, which helps in many situations in life.
Tell us a bit about your journey into the world of electronic music. Was it something that you grew up around or discovered later in life?
I started listening to electronic music in the early 2000s. Minimal techno was very popular at that time, but I quickly realized that I always felt comfortable with melodic music. I discovered artists like Miss Kittin, Anthony Rother or Ellen Allien. I went to the Love Parade in Berlin several times and had my first experiences in clubs and at festivals. When I moved to Hamburg in 2009, I got my first turntables and started DJing, later producing my own music. Since then I am infected and know that music is my life.
How has your experience of returning to clubbing / parties been?What have you missed the most about it?
To be honest, the first gigs were a bit strange. It took me some time to get back into the rhythm, also in terms of musical direction. But after that, it was insane. I quickly realized how much I missed it. There’s almost nothing better than creating a vibe and people dancing to your music. I also missed traveling, the impressions you gather there and the people you meet.
How much did the pandemic and lockdown affect the mood of the music you made, played, listened to?
That was definitely a tough time as an artist and I hope that there won’t be another global or cultural crisis like that anytime soon. But the pandemic hasn’t really changed my music that much. My dj sets or productions has always been deeper.
Tell us about your amazing new album ‘Good Night Planet’? Where did the idea for it first come about? What was the inspiration behind it?
“Good Night Planet” probably suggests that it was inspired by the pandemic. But the album title was actually decided months before. I felt it was time for a new album and I wanted to do the follow-up to “Scene From A Dream”. I started writing the songs end of 2019 and in the beginning of 2020. For example, on my India tour in February 2020. That was a lot of fun to spend every free minute on the plane, hotel or in the cab to bring the ideas further.
We’ve really enjoyed the whole album, but if you had to choose, do you have a favourite track and if so why?
Each song was my favorite for some time. But I think I listened to “Runaway” and “Good Night Planet” the most. In my DJ sets I often play “Aphorism” or “Together We Lose Control”
How do you work, do you have an idea in your head you work towards or do you just experiment and jam and see what happens?
I have ideas or references in my head and then I start jamming. From that point on the musical journey can go in any direction.
What were some of the key bits of gear in the set up?
I used the “Vermona 14” analog synthesizer in every song. It is a real beast. I love the basses and leads you can create with it. Of course, my all-time favorite VST synth “Omnisphere” could not be missing in the production process as well.
What up-and-coming artists are you enjoying listening to and seeing grow at the moment?
I’m a big fan of Innellea and Woo York. Both acts have proven their quality in the last 2 years.
What else have you got coming up/are you working on?
I’m working on 2 new EPs right now. But I cannot tell much more about it yet. The last months my focus was completely on “Good Night Planet”.
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