Mobilee News

Sebo K mixes watergate compilation

Sebo K keeps the standard high with his mixing and composition skills in the 4th installment of Berlin's Watergate Compilation. Following the footprints of Onur Ozer, Sascha Funke and Konrad Black, he delivers a deep mix spiced up with some exclusive tracks and remixes from DoP and Koljah & Oliver Deutschmann. The mix also features one of his own productions, a solid remix of Martyn's 'Elden St.', which is definitely one of the highlights of the compilation.

Talking of his own productions, watch out for the end of the year as in December Sebo will be releasing mobilee 060 'Spirits'!

Posted on September 1st, 2009

Five Questions With Rodriguez Jr.

Tell me a little bit about your relationship with mobilee and how it started—I hear there’s a good story behind it.

I first met Anja and Ralf quite some time ago when I was touring with my other project The Youngsters. We went to Anja’s radio show „Dance Under the Blue Moon“ for an interview and a live mix session. After that we did a couple gigs together with Anja and had a lot of fun touring around Germany and ended up doing a remix for Anja’s very first EP. Germany actually still remains my favorite place to play at the moment—the scene is definitely the most exciting and I love the vibes in all the different clubs…Watergate, Berghain, Weekend…I could play there every week (laughs).

Definitely. Can you talk a little bit more about why you decided to start working under the Rodriguez Jr. moniker and how it differs from your previous project, The Youngsters?

Well, you know, when you're in a band you always have to compromise and Rodriguez Jr. is a way to escape this and work within my own universe, with my own recipes and my own influences. I think the sound of Rodriguez Jr. is quite introverted, intimate and personal whereas The Youngsters are much more extroverted and audience-oriented. I mean, in a way both draw on similar influences—particularly those from Detroit—but I use them in a very different way for each project.

Speaking of influences, who would you say are your big ones?

I love a messy mix of things: Carl Craig, Kevin Saunderson and the melancholic sounds of Detroit but also a lot of the sexier flavors from Chicago and the early house music scene. In terms of more contemporary stuff, I find myself fascinated by artists like Villalobos and Luciano. I’m also a big fan of the early stuff on Warp—Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada, etc.—from a melodic perspective.

Going back to the idea of this Rodriguez Jr. moniker, is there a particular relationship between the name and the music you create?

Well, in a way the main idea behind the project was produce music in a fresh and personal way and the name kind of reflects that. My father is Spanish and I knew I wanted to integrate a Spanish name—Luciano and Martinez were already taken (laughs). And the “Jr.” part is a nod to The Youngsters. So I think the name definitely reflects my history, both personally as well as musically.

Where are you from originally by the way?

Well, I’m currently located in Belgium but am originally from the south of France in Montpellier. I moved here because someone told me that a lot of rain every day is good for producing music, so I thought I’d give it a try (laughs). But seriously, I moved here a couple of years ago because of a girl and ended up staying here and starting a family which ended up being a great decision—I now have a two year old daughter who is absolutely amazing and who is definitely one of my main inspirations.

Growing up in France did you find yourself involved with the electronic music scene there at the time?

I discovered my first electronic sounds with Jean Michel Jarre, Kraftwerk and Depeche Mode in the 80s and eventually stumbled upon the early acid house scene, LFO, Warp and all that crazy shit…it was a revolution! Then I began to discover the night; my first rave was in ‘95 in Nimes—it was called Borealis—and I realized it was what I wanted to do.

Yeah--I think for a lot of people that first rave experience always has a big impact. So when did you begin creating music?

My first contact with a keyboard was at the age of six when I started to learn the piano. Then I had my first experience working with computers and synthesizers when I was at school…I just remember this absolutely huge mess in my room! It became serious around ’93-’94 when I got my first decent synth: a Roland JD 800 which I was using with an Atari ST. Then I met Gil (the other Youngster) in ‘98 and we developed really quickly, partially I think because we shared so many influences—we eventually signed to F Communications in 2000. Officially, I started this moniker in 2006 with my first EP on F Comm…then Anja had told me about her Leena project so I sent her a couple of tracks and eventually released “Soledad” which is, in a way, the real beginning of Rodriguez Jr. as well as of a relationship with mobilee—which I’m really proud of and excited to be a part of the mobilee family.

What do you expect to follow as a result of focusing more on your Rodriguez Jr. project and becoming part of the mobilee roster?

Well I’m going to keep on looking for and developing my own sound and musical recipes; this moniker has given me a new wave of energy and freedom to produce anything I want. I’m going to keep producing heavily and releasing and trying to build something that perhaps reflects a wider spectrum of influences. I’ve got a couple of nice parties in July planned that I’m looking forward to—Resolute in New York and Rex Club in Paris—where I’ll be playing live; I’ve been playing primarily live with this moniker because that’s my background--I’m a musician who became a DJ so that’s my preference.

What are you currently listening to? Any recent acts that you are particularly digging?

I think Holger Zilske is currently one the best producers, so I’ve been listening to his new album at a lot at home. I also love Harmonic 313 on Warp...a mix of old school computer sounds, hip hop, retro futurism. Absolutely great.

One final question—what’s your favorite, funniest or craziest moment as an artist?

The most amazing moment for me was the Skol Beats festival in Sao Paulo where we played after Jeff Mills during sunrise in front of 35,000 crazy Brazilian people…in terms of funny or crazy stories there are too many for me to choose just one! You know when you travel and play in clubs…anything can happen.

Posted on July 1st, 2009

Five Questions With Anja Schneider

Label founder, internationally renowned DJ and producer, world-traveler, and charming personality all rolled into one, Anja Schneider might just be one of the hardest-working individuals in the business. We sat down with this one-of-a-kind artist and businesswoman to talk about her recent trip overseas and mobilee’s 50th anniversary as well as its past, present, and future.

So you just got back from North America a couple of days ago where you were playing gigs at the WMC and throughout the States and Canada. Can you give us a run-down of what you were up to over there?

I started off in New York playing a Resolute party in Brooklyn. I was kind of worried at first after hearing about some recent parties in NYC being shut down by the police but once I got there all my doubts immediately faded. The space—this enormous warehouse—was completely packed with a really enthusiastic crowd who partied hard. So yeah, it was a ton of fun.

After that I went down to Miami for the WMC and played three parties—another one for Resolute, Listed’s Freaky Tiki Boat party and the mobilee showcase at Studio K. My favorite was definitely the Freaky Tiki Boat party where I played with Steve Bug. Listed found some crazy boat and decked it out with all this twisted tropical décor, the crowd was all these Americans going crazy dressed up in ridiculous costumes…it was a really, really good time. When I wasn’t playing I tried to hit up as many parties as I could… Sunday School for Degenerates, the Cecille Showcase, the Ghostly/Spectral party and a bunch more.

Then I headed out to LA with Dan Curtin for a warehouse party put on by Compression who are really great promoters and who throw consistently great parties. I was pleasantly surprised by the crowd too - they really like it hard in LA!

Then it was off to Montreal for my birthday party…unfortunately the weather was kind of cold and rainy so I ended up taking it easy and not doing a big celebration…I just got a really long massage which was great after all that traveling. On my birthday I played at Metor…all it all it was a fantastic two weeks…presents are still welcome of course!

Mobilee’s 50th anniversary release just came out last Monday courtesy of you and Lee van Dowski. Can you tell us a little about the creation of this record and what it was like to work with Lee?

Well to be honest it kind of started out as this vague idea because we really like each other’s music and get along really well as people. So I went down Geneva for a couple of days and headed straight into the studio without aiming for any specific sound…I only kind of new what I didn’t want to have. So the production was really spontaneous and not planned at all but Lee and I really just clicked—we have a really good rapport and share the same sense of humor and all that stuff. So we just sat down and started working and ended churning out three tracks in a really short period of time.

Sometimes the whole collaboration process can be really strenuous but it wasn’t like that at all—it was a really fun and laid-back experience. I really love working with other artists and collaborating because it’s really nice to try something different and get new inspirations. In Lee’s case I feel like he really brings this funky, jacking house sound of the old-school days that I really miss. At the same time, La Roulette ended up being more in the vein of an older minimal style.

But yeah, it was a great experience and we both want to continue this collaboration. We’re going to meet again and work in the studio this May when he comes up to Berlin to play at Panorama Bar.

50 releases is a benchmark, especially for a label that’s been around for a relatively short period of time—do you have any thoughts or reflections on mobilee’s development as a label and roster since its inception?

Well I think that it’s really great that we’ve made an effort to develop all the artist we’ve been working with since the beginning (Sebo K, Pan-Pot, and Exercise One) while, at the same time, they’ve made efforts to develop themselves as well. I’m really happy that we are still working hard with most of the artists we started with and it makes me proud that all of the artists have developed in their own right. When I hear our old records alongside the new ones I really notice the progress they have made. I’m also really glad that we have the capacity to get new artists like, Dan Curtin, and Hector on board. It’s also been really important for us that every artist has their own style—we don’t want to have two Sebo K’s or two Pan-Pot’s—and I’m happy that each artist has successfully be able to carve out their own path and create their own sound.

Of course we’ve still got room for improvement; for us it’s a continual process that we are constantly working at. We want these developments to continue. At the beginning the idea behind mobilee was to create a platform for young, fresh talent. Of course we’re still doing that but we’ve been getting more professional about it: we’ve started doing our own bookings, working on more artist albums, doing our own press and licensing—that kind of stuff. We’re kind of at the point at which we are starting to turn into a fully-fledged company. As a label you always have to build on what you started: the vision we had from the beginning is definitely still here but we’ve expanded upon this vision and have been following it in new, exciting ways.

What can we expect from mobilee in the months to come in terms of releases?

We’ve got a ton of stuff coming up…in the near future are Exercise One’s new album In Cars We Rust which drops at the end of May and a new release by Hector at the beginning of June. You can also expect new tracks from Pan-Pot, and Dan Curtin as well as another artist album at the end of the year…but I can’t say who yet! ;-) After the success of Sebo-K’s Back Up Vol. 1 we’re also going to be doing another Back-Up compilation presented by someone really special…also can’t say who yet—but hey—I gotta keep some things secret!

Do you guys have any big events, tours or showcases planned in the near future that we should be aware of?

At the end of April we’re throwing an album release party for In Cars We Rust with Exercise One and Deadbeat playing live and bunch of other mobilee DJs spinning. We’ll definitely be doing our rooftop party at Sonar again which I’m looking forward to—it’s going to be on a Thursday so book your flights early! We’ve also got plans to hit up a bunch of summer festivals, we’ll be heading to Ibiza and are planning super-special big mobilee event here in Berlin perhaps in conjunction with another label…But yeah, there’s a lot coming and a lot to look forward to!

Posted on April 1st, 2009
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