Jürgen v. Knoblauch (Sonar Kollektiv/ Jazzanova) interview.

What is the idea behind the new album Upside Down?

The idea for using the methaphor „Upside Down“ is to underline that remixing is a highly creative and thus worthy way to express own musical ideas. Many of the mixes on „Upside Down“ are so different from the original, so upside down, that they are good examples of how the art of remixing has developed over the last decade. This is especially for us a very touching fact as our remixes for other artists have been an important part in our early career. „Upside Down“ is our expression of honoring remixing as own artform.We had many different reasons to ask for remixes: A remixcontest, to feature the dance side of a listening album and vice versa or to get a different view on a dance track, etc.
Our collection should give an insight for enthusiasts as well as for cherry pickers. Thats why we offer different formats to image the whole spectrum of remixes. Many remixes from the remix contest will be available only on the dig deeper section of Sonar Kollektiv’s own website. Digtial releases as well as vinyl and CD releases of Upside Down differ. The size of the whole release project, too, required on own name: Upside Down!

How important is the art of song writing to you – what are your thoughts on it in relation to today’s dance music?

The art of song writing is the basis for all kinds of music and for dance music as well . Then and now. But it’s importance differs from the clubby situation. On eclectic dancfloors where moslty songs are played to the crowd the songwriting is even more important as on house floors for example where a bigger focus is on the arrangement and on sounds.

Do you have a favourite instrument or piece of software you like to use in the studio – do you have a preference for analogue or digital?

Both are good: analogue and digital elements. It is fun to explore both worlds and to connect them. Most used gear /sofware is Protools in the studio and Ableton Live on stage. The heart of our studio is a 32channel Neumann console.

In broader terms how would you define Germany’s place in the development of dance/ electronic music – and how do you feel it contrasts to America?

Germany plays an important role in the development of dance music. Many dance genres are featured and developed further by lots of clubs, djs and labels.
Berlin plays an important role. Music people from all over are moving there and contribute to a vibrant scene. This mirrors that dance music in general follows international procedures. People in Germany where influenced by dance music out of New York in the 80ies and Detroit in the 90ies. And the US Dance Music scene had been affected by northern soul allnighters out of Britain during the 60ies and 70ies. The US in general is such a big country with lots of little cells of creative who push dance music forward. Thats why the US has more variations and differences as Germany.

What inspired you to start to DJ and what still inspires you today – what for you makes a great DJ?

I was fascinated by Acid Jazz and the whole background of it: The idea to go to secondhand shops, discover forgotten jazz, disco, brazil, soul, reggae or even rock records and play them out. On the one hand side it is a motivation for me to check if newly discovered tracks work on the floor and within our group we had and still have a positive competition going on. On the other side this Acid Jazz idea of combining different styles as a DJ and producer is so profound to me that it will be a source of inspiration throughout the time I will be doing music.
A great DJ is someone hwo follows his own voice, experiments and develops his own style.

What other exciting projects do you have lined up for Sonar Kollektiv in 2012?

We are planning a re-release of our Jazz in Romania compilation with four newly added tracks. And why? In the first place we weren’t happy with the sound of our previously released record. So we did a totally new master from the original vinyl records at Timetools Mastering. Enrico Mercaldi did a fantastic job. Now it makes much more fun to listen to the sometimes lush orchestrated recordings. We will release the newly added tracks on a 12” together with a remix of Guido Manusardi’s Tandarica by Ra.H (Rabih Beaini) and maybe by the Romanian DJ Raresh. We won’t release the whole thing again on CD or LP but we are going to sell it digitally for the first time. I really can recommend the whole package because of the great sound!
Another big Jazzanova Release is Jazzanova -  The Funkhaus Studio Sessions  with Band & Paul Randolph. We just finished recordings. The result is 12 recorded songs of compositions from our catalogue, original and remixes including a new song called “I human”. This track will be a 12” release in February with remixes. The Whole thing will be available in Mai 2012 and touring will start in February 2012. Just check our pages for exact dates!
The forth longplayer of Micatone will see the light in March 2012. The CD and the gatefold vinyl will be a product highlight for Sonar Kollektiv in 2012. But also the music is something special. They just performed their new record at the Berlin Sonar Kollektiv Showcase at Gretchen. It’s a special energy that shook us, the listeners. A cool and yet playful easiness. Great!
Others we are working on is a Longplayer Projects by Hot Coins, Stee Downes and Dego. We also are about to compile another installation of our succesful compilation series called „Secret Love“.
Actually secret love is SKs mantra this year: Lots of things we are working on over the past years will finally see the light in 2012.



Jazzanova “I Human” feat. Paul Randolph (Official Video)
From the forthcoming Jazzanova “Funkhaus Studio Sessions”(Sonar Kollektiv / May 2012). I Human will be released on the 7th of february 2012


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