Originally hailing from Hamburg this Berlin based producer’s consistency speaks for itself. Numerous labels such as ‘Sci + Tec’, ‘VIVa Music’, ‘8bit’ and ‘Toolroom Records’ have all invested in Sidney’s production talents and he has certainly delivered. Much attention circles his name and he he is being booked regularly across the globe, already having achieved bookings in 15 countries he is soon to grace Yorkshire’s ‘Fieldtrip Festival’, so grab your wellies because this could be the perfect time to catch Sidney doing his thing. We have recently caught up with him regarding his career so far, his involvement in the label ‘Avotre’ and the different style of set you can expect from him at a festival in comparison to his other side he reveals in intimate venues. So grab a cup of tea, put your feet up and lets take a moment to get to know Mr. Charles…
Sidney thanks for joining MEOKO… In your time within the scene what changes have you noticed in your career? What’s been the most important thing to happen to dance music in the last ten years in your opinion?
I can´t really tell any specific changes on my own career. I have the impression that my career changed really slowly and naturally, so it’s hard to see changes coming up suddenly. One thing I can definitely say is, that I played a lot more gigs in 2014 than the year before. I don’t really know the reason for that, but I’m happy about it. As I’m only involved in the scene for about 5 years I can only answer this question with half of the knowledge. But I have recognized in this period of time that it became much easier to create authentic house/techno music, caused by the reinvention of analog equipment in the digital world.
Do you think producers have it easier nowadays as they have the world at their fingertips, or do you think its harder for the new wave of producers and DJs to come through and be noticed? What were the big hardships and challenges that you experienced personally?
I think it’s much easier to have a breakthrough nowadays, because the consumers of scene gets more hit-orientated. But usually those names will disappear as quickly as they came up. So the difficulty is to constantly bring out great quality music that DJs want to play while still staying true to your own sound. I think another big issue is to be an accepted part of the scene as producer. It’s a thin line between being underground and getting too famous and then losing the authenticity.
Residing in Germany you actually hail from the second coolest city in Germany, Hamburg, which has its own cool underground dance music scene….What are the benefits of being based in to smaller city like Hamburg? Less tourists? More opportunity for artists?
I was born in Hamburg but I’m based in Berlin since 2011.
Throughout your time playing in the UK what are your experiences of playing outside of London? Leeds has a long love affair and history with techno music…
I really enjoy playing in the UK. Especially in the north the feedback to my music is always really good and I have the impression people know about me and my interpretation of house and techno.
You’ll be playing the intimate Field Trip festival in Leeds, how do you prefer this to playing larger scale events? Are you more of a fan of being a bit closer to your audience?
I think both have their pros and cons. I definitely like to play for an intimate crowd because the connection to the people gives me a lot of energy during my set and I can read the crowd better. On bigger festivals I’d rather play more stuff I know will work on bigger floors and be maybe less spontaneous.
You’re a true champion of the underground scene, feeling like a part of the music’s progression and history as time goes on… Have you ever had an opportunity to go for the commercial side and to chase those big money sets?
No, I really try my best to not get commercial in any case.
In the run up to the festival you’ve created an exclusive MEOKO mix to get us well in the mood… Is this a true representation of your sound when playing out and does it give a good taste of what to expect on the day?
Yes. It’s my current sound that I prefer to play in my sets. I’d say it speaks for itself…
Listen HERE for MEOKO‘s latest podcast by Sidney Charles
Of course, summer is here and that means one thing: Ibiza. What do you have planned for the white isle in 2014. Do you still think Ibiza holds as much relevance as it used to, or do you think it’s being widely recognised as one of the pivotal locations for modern dance music?
I’m staying on the magic island for about two months to get to know the scene for the first time. I play about 13 shows over the summer. I’ve never experienced Ibiza before so I can only answer this question after this summer.
Sankeys are a brand that are exalting fast but also maintaining their roots and underground credibility… Would you say that a club like Sankeys is as mainstream and open as it gets? What’s the equivalent of Sankeys or fabric in the city of Hamburg?
Sankeys is staying true to its roots and keeping the underground alive in a lot of ways. I think this is why people like Sankeys. If Sankeys would go mainstream it would lose all its credibility and so also all their followers. I’d say in Hamburg you could compare ‘Übel’ & ‘Gefährlich’ or ‘Waagenbau’ with Sankeys or fabric.
As well as releasing music on nearly every underground label around and doing across the globe you’ve also taking up the role of A & R at Sante’s Avotre label. How did you come to be part of this family and how does your working dynamic with Sante work? Are you guys/have you released any tracks together too?
I knew Sante before I moved to berlin and he involved me very early in his plans of starting his own label. He wanted me to be part of it from beginning on and since then we worked together on Avotre. I really enjoy working with Sante as we have a similar way of thinking conercing where we want to bring Avotre and its sound. We had our first EP together on dun fires label Sci+tec. There is more to come up this year as well…
Catch Sidney play at FieldTrip Festival 2014 in Leeds.
Info and tickets HERE.