Today Meoko presents you a double interview with Cinthie and Diego Krause. These Berlin based deep house DJ’s, producers and record label owners are on the verge of breaking through into the music world with their amazing labels – Beste Modus and Unison Wax. Soon they will release a third label, which they clear out in the interview. With some personal questions we got to know the people behind these record labels. This cheerful duo also explain us their background, their love for Berlin and their vision on the music industry.
Hey guys! Let’s start out getting to know you by asking some personal questions. What is your favourite vacation destination?
Cinthie: I like Thailand. You have so many different islands, which are wonderful. It is also nice that you can hang out at the beach. It can be very relaxing.
Diego: Actually, I like traveling to cities. Paris for example is a great destination!
Your favourite party destination?
Cinthie: [laughs] Paris again for both of us I guess. France in general is really on fire at the moment. When I started out as a DJ, more than 15 years ago I played many French records, but then it diluted somehow. Luckily the French started a revival.
Diego: And Berlin? [laughs] But for us it is becoming quiet boring now, because it is our hometown, but that applies for everyone I guess. We live in between Berghain and Watergate. A change of setting is sometimes good for your brain.
Your favourite movie?
Cinthie: My favourite actor is Danzel Washington. He played in a movie I watched already a million times: The Bone Collector. I am really into crime stories.
Diego: There are many movies I like, but it is difficult to pick just one for me.
Your favourite dish?
Cinthie: Oh! Indian food.
Diego: I think I would say Mexican food.
Cinthie: No, wrong he is lying. It is pizza.
Diego: Of course yes, actually it is pizza.
Cinthie: He eats it everyday for breakfast [laughs].
We got to know the people behind the music a little bit. Let’s hop to the city you live in. You are based in Berlin. Is it the place to be right now?
Diego: Yeah I think so. I always wanted to go somewhere else. All my life I wanted to explore other cities, but after a week I miss Berlin. I don’t really see myself moving away from this beautiful city in the near future.
Cinthie: For me too. Berlin is amazing. There are so many artists living here at the moment. It is creative city. But I am missing something in Berlin. People in Berlin tend to choose for the easy and secure way. We need some risk-takers here. But still, this is the place to be!
What are your favourite parties in Berlin?
Cinthie: There are a couple of nice parties we used to go to in the past. Submarine at Watergate always has these raw underground house DJ’s. Homopatik at ://about blank is a night we often visit. The club nights at Panoramabar/Berghain are always nice. But at the moment we play quiet a lot. We don’t really have time to go to parties anymore.
Diego: Yeah, Homopatik is a nice party. They do not publish the line-up, but it is always about the vibe and the music. The music is always good! I also want to add a party from a friend, which is called Grime Box. It is at Griessmuehle, not a new club, but they changed a lot of things now and it has a really great sound system. This club has a lot of potential.
You guys are now living in Berlin, but is that also the place where you grew up?
And the rest of the crew from Beste Modus?
Where did you meet each other?
Diego: [laughs] Actually that is a very long story!
Cinthie: Yeah, basically the boys met each other doing music 7 years ago.
Diego: And Cinthie we met a couple of years ago, when we already formed the crew. But at that time we were actually making hip-hop oriented music. We met her at a club night.
Cinthie: I showed the boys the right way, kicked them out of the ghetto [laughs]. They started getting into house music and I was just pushing them more and more towards that direction I guess.
And how did you evolve into the house music scene?
Diego: I was into hip-hop and experimental music. Back in the days the switch to house music seemed a whole different world, but after producing a couple of years you see the same parallels between house and hip-hop. House music is faster, but you have the same groovy baselines. It is the same technique actually. Cinthie listened to house music all here life!
Cinthie: [laughs] Yeah, my parents collected some records. Obviously not house music, but a little bit of disco. At the time I also started collecting records and I started working in a record shop when I was 16 in the mid-90s. I also listened to Detroit techno and groovy stuff.
Do you share a studio with your gang?
Diego: We did share one. Cinthie has a whole studio complex that she runs with a lot of other artists such as Ben Klock, DVS1 and other techno artists. But now we all use our own equipment.
Cinthie: The thing is I have a kid and I used to have a job, which I don’t have anymore, because of a lack of time. I could only go to the studio until I had to pick up the kid from school. Actually I am more creative in the night, so I moved my stuff back home.
Diego: I always worked home. But with the studio we had the possibility to use it and we hang out there with the gang for collaborations.
You do only vinyl releases on both labels. Can you explain me why you chose for that?
Cinthie: In the beginning the boys did some digital stuff, but I only play with vinyl. I am also a software developer and I am sitting in front of the computer the whole time. It is difficult for me to recognize mp3’s; with vinyl it’s much easier!
Diego: I think with digital releases your music is more likely to stay under the radar. Especially when you put so much effort in making music, it is not something what you want.
First you started Beste Modus, which was also an event first, right?
Cinthie: Yeah, we started to make some parties for several reasons. We tried to make some money for the record label and it is also a good way to expand your network.
Later it also became a record label. What was the purpose to start up a record label? And what did you want to achieve with it?
Cinthie: For me, I am DJ’ing for 19 years now. I had a lot of ups and downs. I released my first EP in 2000 and I was travelling the world. Then, I did some illegal parties in Berlin. Later I got more into producing again and I was with Keinemusic for a while but then I had a kid, so I had to quit for a year. I started DJ’ing again. I always had bookings, but I didn’t feel like I got any further with it. Then I met these talented boys and I had some money saved up. So I would spend it all on shoes and clothes or I would do something useful with it. And so we tried to start up this record label!
Beste Modus is also known for their label nights in Berlin. Can you tell me something about that?
Cinthie: When we started the record label I contacted everyone in the scene in Berlin to let the boys get used to the different sound-systems and of course I wanted to spread our name, so I used all my contacts. We played in many clubs in Berlin so far. Now, we have a residency at Watergate and we also have frequent parties at ://about blank, which is more underground. There is also another outdoor location, which is called Ipse. We will throw a party there with SlapFunk and Music Is Love in June.
Unison Wax came a little later. Can you tell me something about the purpose of that label and the difference between Beste Modus.
Diego: I was producing so much music. I had too much spare time I guess. I didn’t like sending out demos because nobody got back to me. When we started off Beste Modus, we could finally bring out what we wanted, but it took a while for it was being released. When it was released I already felt my music was out-dated. So, I was thinking of starting my own label and Cinthie helped me with it.
Cinthie: For me it was sad to see, because Diego was always sending me tracks and I really liked them, but he couldn’t get them released. Beste Modus is a label where we release a record with the whole crew. Some of our guys are still studying, so it could take a while before we eventually released something. Diego is a much faster producer, so why not try to start Unison Wax especially for him and get his music out.
Diego, you recently launched a record on the famous Apollonia label, how did that feel?
Diego: Great! Dan Ghenacia got in touch with me last year and he wrote me that he played my record in the BBC essential mix they recorded. I was enthusiast about it of course. We talked a bit further and then he asked me to send him some tracks. At that moment I had five tracks finished and Dan came back to me six hours later and they picked three of them, which was really nice!
This year you are starting up a third label called Beste Freunde. Why did you start off this label?
Cinthie: I thought I don’t have enough work to do, so let’s create something new [laughs]. No, the thing is that so many friends, who are great producers at the same time, surround us. We thought we should do something with them before anyone else steals them [laughs]. We didn’t want to put them on Beste Modus, because it is just for our crew, but we created a kind of sub label – Beste Freunde (Best Friends) because they are actually all friends of us. We want to give them an opportunity to release some music, because we know how hard it is to get noticed.
Diego: It is always nice to support local people. I am sure there are a lot of great producer in South-America, but we are Berlin-based and we rather give a platform to local buddies.
What are your dreams for the future with the labels?
Cinthie: An interview with Meoko was always on my wish list [laughs].
Diego: I guess we want to make our music more international, bring it to the UK and other countries. Then support more people like we are now doing with Beste Freunde.
Cinthie: For me it is also important to let the labels grow and let us grow as artists. Now, we can make a living out of it and I hope this will continue. On the side, I have so many requests for studios in Berlin and I am looking for a second building and maybe built some kind of place where people can come and network with other creative minds in electronic music. There used to be a lot of concurrence, but I think people should work together more. I can already see in the studios that people are working together and if this studio didn’t exist, it would never happened.
On the 27th of March you will collaborate with London crew Half Baked. How did you come in contact with them?
Cinthie: For the last party we booked birthsmakingmachine and their booker asked me for a space in Berlin to celebrate the fifth birthday of Half Baked. And I could give them some space at ://about blank, because we were throwing a party there and we had two floors at our disposal.
Is there anything else we should know about you guys? Future plans, maybe a scoop for Meoko?
Diego: I am working on an album, but I don’t know yet if it is coming out this year.
Cinthie: We have a couple of cool party collaborations planned. We also have some releases on other labels coming up and we are going on a tour in Asia!
Thank you for the interview, best of luck with the music!!