With meticulous dedication to his unique studio productions and versatile DJ sets, Voigtmann quickly gained popularity in the underground party scene and acquired the respect of his peers. After completing his mission with his previous label and party series Toi Toi Musik, Voigtmann went off seeking new musical challenges with the label Subsequent, on which he is releasing his debut LP ‘Sublunary’ this September. His new brilliant podcast for Meoko is dreamy and ingenious; the one-hour recording evolves in a truly natural way touching various influences from micro-house to UK garage, and feels like the perfect soundtrack for morning sunrise after a heavy night out. We are happy to present his MEOKO mix with an interview, discussing his new record and upcoming projects.
1- Hi Claus! First of all, thank you for the mix and for taking the time for the interview. This month Subsequent is releasing your mesmerizing full-length debut album “Sublunary”, which got support from the likes of Zip, Ricardo Villalobos and Sonja Moonear, to name a few. How did the record come to life? What is the concept behind it?
Hi Meoko! Firstly, thank you for the interview and glad to be back on your lovely series. In regards to the album, I believe it should be defined by the music on the two black slabs rather than by the people who support it. I think it’s an old-fashioned way of defining quality. Yes, I am happy I got the support, but new people with new ideas are on the rise and always falling back on to the same 4 people for definition is pretty boring and I believe they aren’t comfortable with that either, they are just like us, doing what they love.
The decision to make an album came about because I felt very comfortable in my studio. I had the best setup I could imagine in my little room and also felt I knew where I am going to take the album style-wise. I always knew I wanted to keep my debut album as classy as possible. The word ‘timeless’ is overused but I wanted to be able to look back in a few years and still be able to listen back without cringing.
Halfway through writing it, I realized that I literally don’t care if people like it or not. I fell in love with the process. As an artist, you are ideally maneuvering outside your comfort zone, hence you are instantly faced with judgment from other people. The process of writing the album showed me that the result isn’t the main focus. For me, the beauty is in the process of writing and the amount of thought that went into it. Along the way, my sound changed to something wider, more grown up, more technical. I tried to circumnavigate any trend and really establish a very own body of work.
2- The LP features club sounds ranging from minimal house to techno and breakbeat but also presents an elegant touch in the style that feels closer to ambient music. Can we expect more of this coming from you?
I always had an affinity for sounds outside of house and techno… For instance, I have been collecting 70’s funk records for years now. It’s beautiful NOT to work result-oriented in the studio and just see what comes out… Sometimes it’s really weird stuff, sometimes it’s beautiful ambient pieces. I am planning to seek different challenges outside the 4/4 under different aliases next year… For example venture into broken beats/future jazz under V-Man (who would have thunk). I feel, I fulfilled a first milestone with the album and I am now open to all kind of influences.
3- The album shows impressive and versatile production skills. How did your studio set up evolve in the last few years? Can you name a piece of gear which was especially used for this record?
Thank you very much. The studio evolved more and more towards an analog side. I added drum machines and synths I love and could not live without anymore. The album heavily features the Analog Rhythm, The Oberheim OB6, and my computer. I do a lot of textures and the entire arrangement in Ableton while all the rhythm section and the main melody elements are analog. The digital bits sit very naturally behind the analog bits. It’s the best combination for me.
4- Can you tell us about the development of your DJ career in the last few years?
I am very proud and happy where I got to, mainly in the last year. I broke free from some chains and expectations holding me back. I also overcame the whole digger mentality; before I tried to fit into what everyone was doing and as an effect, I would sound similar. It’s bonkers, sometimes I felt I have to perform only for the chin scratchers on the floor. I couldn’t care anymore, my aim is to spread positivity on the floor and make people dance, dance happily, dance wildly, dance weirdly. My DJ sets got a lot more energetic but less heavy if that makes sense. The funny thing is that by simply being yourself you present a unique style already, you dig for your own style, you are unique. Once this penny dropped in my head I feel complete freedom behind the booth, playing an old vocal house track and bits I would have never touched before…it’s very liberating. Try it.
5- This Saturday you will be playing at the fourth birthday party of Oscuro in London. What is special about it compared to otherplaces?
The boys are doing a great job and pulled together a top-notch lineup. I played for them before and just feel my music is very well-received. I am succumbing a lot more UK influences these days and I feel the Oscuro crowd embraces that.
6- Can you share your highlight from summer 2018?
Houghton, Houghton, Houghton.
7- How would you describe your new mix for Meoko?
All my recent mixes were very fast and energetic, this time I wanted to create a very slow-evolving, unpretentious afterhours mix with simply a lot of unreleased material and tracks that I consider great music. No need to cram a mix full of the weirdest tracks you know, I find it quite relaxing just listen to the music evolve in one flow.
8- Do you have any other upcoming plans or projects you wish to share with the Meoko readers?
I am off to my beloved South America for a two-weekend tour. I had a studio break for a couple of months after the album but from October onwards, I will shift my attention back to the production/studio life. My book is filled with EPs and remixes this year so I will work through them and simply be a happy (V)man in my little studio. I plan to be positive and happy.
See you on Saturday at 4 Years of Oscuro.
Words by Giovanni Bodrato