UTA Podcast 006: Yokto [Compost Records] (Exclusive Dj Set + Interview)

UTA Podcast 006: Yokto [Compost Records] (Exclusive Dj Set + Interview)

UTA Podcast 006: Yokto [Compost Records] (Exclusive Dj Set + Interview)

by May 12, 2014

Hello Jürgen and Christian!

Pleasure to have you with us, tell us where in the world are you right now?

Hello Underground Tel Aviv! At first, thank you for your invitation and making this interview possible. To be honest, this is our first interview outside of Europe, thus this interview is a great pleasure for us! It’s Sunday afternoon and the sun is shinning. We are in Germany. Christian left my place, two or three hours ago, heading towards Karlsruhe, where he is living. I am in Überherrn, a small village close to the border of France in Saarland (Germany). In few hours, I will leave towards Freiburg, where I am working as a software engineer from Mondays to Fridays.


What’s the story behind the name “Yokto”?

Finding a name, that is available and fulfills both, semantic and phonetic preferences, is not an easy task these days! With the choice of   this particular name for our project we do associate something like     starting from the smallest known scale and pure deepness.


How is the underground music scene in your city?

Christian and I met in Karlsruhe many years ago. Karlsruhe is a German city close to Frankfurt. There exists a vivid electronic music scene, but a lack of mid sized clubs that support quality deep house music grown from the underground. The Erdbeermund and the Vanguard are nice venues. Worth the mention is also a music label that was created by friends of us two years ago, called The Healing Company (THC). And of course, there is our most beloved pub called the Kap.

In Freiburg, there are two high quality parties named Tageins and Root Down. These parties are perfect places to get in contact with the latest deep and soulful House music or subtle, raw Techno played by gifted newcomers and professionals. The atmosphere is very soulful and the crowd is dancing from the very beginning on. Also Keep It Deep, a nice blog and podcast by Bernhard Amelung, is based there.

In Saarbrücken, the city close to my studio, exists a collective of party organizers called Wilde Katze and C’est dur la culture. They dig amazing places for their parties. This collective is great when it comes to combine underground art and music. Beside this, there exist some small and mid-sized venues that are worth to spend the night. So, we have nothing to complain.


What style of music (genres/artist) gives you inspiration and influences your creation?

Either of us are digging electronic music in general and electronic dance music in particular for a long time. I think, that Ambient, deep and soulful House and raw and subtle Techno are our common denominators. But we are not just limited to electronic music.


You guys are getting huge support on your upcoming EP on Compost Records, what’s your ambitions for the future and where you see yourself in two-three years from now?

We are really happy about the support from Compost Records and Muting The Noise! At the moment, we are working on some new tracks and are excited, if they will find their way out, leaving our studio. For us, quality is more important than output rate. Diversity weights more than mono culture. Both of us are deeply rooted in House! For sure, we will produce modern House with vintage attitude – this holds for now and tomorrow.


What gear are you guys using in your productions?

My studio is a mixture of analogue and virtual analogue synthesizers and a collection of quality VST Plugins. I own an analog and a digital mixer.
I did a lot of work with Reaper from Cockos, but also did some tracks with Ableton. Since last year, we are working with a 32 channel digital mixer, due to the fact that we only have one day a weekend working together. The digital mixer helped us a lot getting our tracks done!


What is your workflow of creating a track? Where do you start?

Our first EP consists of three tracks. I’ve done two tracks on my own (Panamax and Nishinomaru). The melody line of Panamax was developed two years ago. I first did a track, which was based on the original line. The result was a more techno-oriented track. One year later, I decided to do another track based on that particular melody, but re-worked it a little bit. Panamax was quickly arranged, but the mastering process of Panamax took several iterations (thanks to Conor from Calyx for his endurance, at this point!). The development of Nishinomaru was straightforward and took me just a few days, in contrast to Two for Wood, which took us several weeks to get this track finished. I think, we ended up with a completely different track, compared to our vision at the starting point. Which was for sure down to the fact, that we decided more than once, that the changes we did at the last session were crap. At one point, we’ve been totally stuck. The track was close to finish, but something was still missing. We decided to take an arpeggiator line, I developed some months ago for another track. After incorporating the arpeggiated line, we just did some refinements on it and were finished. The mastering was done in one shot by Conor from Calyx.


Name some tracks you’re digging at the moment:

  1. Anthony Georges Patrice – Parallel Romance (LL 1201)
  2. Frank Wiedemann – Oh Africa (Remix) (Philomena 10)
  3. Vermont – Übersprung (Kompakt )
  4. Guy Gerber & Dixon – No Distance (Lake People Remix) (RMS001)
  5. Bison – Way to LA (Day) (Claremont 56)
  6. Almunia – Electro Blues (Claremont 56)


What’s the best production advice you can give to aspiring producers?
Do not fear to kill your darling! What does this mean? We often tend to incorporate a catchy element in the track at an early stage of development in order to keep motivated when working on the track. Later, when arranging the track, it can happen, that we glue to this particular catchy line or sound and stretch it over the whole arrangement. In the end, this catchy line masks frequencies or even prevents the incorporation of sounds or fragments that make the track even better. When it comes to this point, we try to keep calm, remember the rule and then do not hesitate to kill our darling.


Do you have plans to play in Israel?

Sorry, no booking planned so far. But a famous German dance magazine did a short report about the underground scene in Tel Aviv some months ago (see link below). Christian and I talked about this report recently and both of us were fascinated about the energy the people spent to organize these roof top parties described in the article. Would be a great experience to contribute a DJ set to such a party.


You recorded an exclusive mix for Underground Tel Aviv, what can you tell us about this mix?

It is important to me that a mix is on the one hand surprising and on the other hand fulfills the expectations of the audience. I like it, if a mix has something to tell, or let’s say, has an evolving dramaturgy. In my opinion, a contemporary blend of novel tracks is preferable over a mix consisting of vintage tracks. But this is, of course, a very personal opinion. A set consisting of vintage tracks can be equally inspiring. On the other side, I am willing to drop the one or other gem from the past as demonstrated in the contribution for your podcast. I hope, you enjoy the ride!