This week´s AM/FM is the second hour of a 4h Collabs live set, that Speedy J and myself played on June 3rd at the Weather Festival in Paris. I got to know Jochem Paap from Rotterdam aka Speedy J first time back in 2000 when I asked him to remix a track for me. Back then he has already been a legend for all of us, with his outstanding knowledge and ability of making amazing electronic music. Just check out his discography and it'll blow your mind. So after he agreed to do a remix for me, he also performed one of his super-energetic live sets at a monthly night I ran in a club in Frankfurt called the U60311. We started to be more in touch, and one time in Frankurt, when he played a live set before me and was just about to finish, I kind of started to mix into the end of his live act, which encouraged him to not stop and play along. As much as I remember we continued like this for about half an hour, and looking back, this was kind of our first Collabs set ever. From this moment on we started to do this more and more and also started thinking about some sort of new setup that would give us more potential to recreate music live together. At that time we kind of morphed my DJ set up with his live setup.
When we were about to start our first little Collabs tour, which happened to be in Australia, we spend a whole night in an apartment in Melbourne, the day before the gig, trying to find the best way to connect all of our equipment. Since both of us worked with kind of the latest hardware and software provided by Native Instruments and Ableton back in the days, all this was quite adventurous, and looking back we learned a lot by doing this. Our individual setups today are essentially the follow-ups of these early developments. Working closely with Allen & Heath as well as Native Instruments during that time really started to push the limits of what we can do. I do remember our first "official" Collabs gig in Melbourne was quite fun and interesting... and also very sweaty and rock and roll. Maybe someone who was there back then reads this now, if so please report in the comments ;) I think that was around 2003 or 2004. Around 2005 we started working on an album, which was released in 2006 on Nova Mute. It is called Metalism, for those who might wanna check it out. 10 years ago, things were a little faster. Working together with Speedy J in his studio was an amazing journey for me, not only that I got to spend loads of time in Rotterdam, I also learned so much from him… and still do. After 2008/09 we played less Collabs gigs and concentrated more on our own brands. Jochem started his very innovative and successful label and party series Electric Deluxe. We still play Collabs shows, but only about 2-3 selected ones per year. Funny is that we have the feeling that our gigs get a better flow every time we play. Last year´s Awakenings Festival was definitely in our top 3 gigs ever. Keep an eye out on Electric Deluxe, `cause that set might be published there soon too.
More Collabs gigs are in the planning, and who knows, maybe one day we sneak back into the studio and do a follow up to Metalism…. until then, I hope you enjoy these 4 Collabs episodes on AM/FM.