At the old WMF club in Berlin, Sven von Thülen AKA Sven VT once overheard someone saying “I’ve heard Sven Väth is playing tonight under an alias.”. But the Berlin producer, DJ and de:bug journalist stuck to his moniker, thinking he would probably never be known outside of Berlin. Wrong thinking. As one half of Zander VT, he first impressed us with his Detroit epic „Far from Jaded“, later made us shake our asses off to the infectious house of „Get Down“ and now he charmed us again with his first solo EP on his new homebase Suol. And, of course, this great house mix.
Sven, any words on the mix you did for us?
Not really. It actually took me quite some time to get around and do it, due to several technical problems with my mixer and turntables and also us moving our studio. I spent two afternoons on the Waterfloor at Watergate recording a mix, but both times I wasn’t happy with the outcome. Being alone on a clubfloor didn’t really translate into a great mix. I just didn’t feel it. I ended up doing it at home on the computer, even though at first I didn’t want it to be a digital mix.I had all these ideas for it before I started, but then I decided to just take a few of my favourite tracks and go with the flow. And I am quite happy with the result.
As a kid I lived off of an angry diet of teenage angst sounds with sprinkles of hip hop and electronic music.
Tell us a bit about your musical roots?
When I was young I lived off of an angry diet of teenage angst sounds with sprinkles of hip hop and electronic music like (the more commercially successful) stuff from London, Detroit and Chicago e.g. Bomb The Bass, Coldcut, Inner City, Steve Silk Hurley, KLF … But since I had no one around me who was really listening to dance music or knew much about it, everything from Black Flag, Hüsker Dü, Pixies and Spacemen 3 to Gorilla Biscuits, Rohrschach, Born Against and Heroin was predominant till the mid 90s, when I really got into Jungle and then rediscovered (or really discovered) house and techno.
You just released your first solo EP on Suol, after numerous records as Zander VT. What’s the story behind that?
No big story, really. I have been wanting to do a solo record for quite some time, but it wasn’t easy for me to finish tracks. So I ended up with tons of ideas, tracks bascially, which needed an arrangement, but I would always get lost while working on it. If it wasn’t for Thien (Chopstick) and John (Johnjon) I would have probably given into my doubts again and pulled the plug on the record. It didn”t come easy to me. I kept overthinking things to a point where I couldn’t stand them any more. Pretty indulgent. I am glad and grateful that the Suol guys pushed and supported me to release the record. As for Zander VT: there is going to be a remix we did for Hell”s “The Angst”, which should come out in March or April and then, hopefully before the summer, we will have a new Zander VT record finished.
Stylistically, I observed a shift in your productions from Detroit techno to the more Soul-inflected house…
Yeah, there has been, I guess. I still love it though. And I have quite a few Detroit tinged techno tracks sitting on my hard drive. Maybe some of them will see the light of day in the future. Initially it was Fritz who was a little tired of that sound and this reflected in our productions. Another thing was that we started our residency at Watergate in 2008, where we would always play on the Waterfloor at the end of the night. And to me the downstairs floor at Watergate is not a techno floor by any means. When those sessions got longer and longer it just felt right to get deeper and slower and sexier.
What’s your involvement with Suol?
Suol is my/our new homebase. Over the last three months we (Fritz, John, Thien and I) have been building a new studio complex in a 270qm loft space with five studios together, so we are pretty close and see each other every day. It’s a big project, bigger than any of us suspected. We realized that in order to get it done we had to put in twice the amount of money and time into it, than we had planned. So far the results are really great, though. Once we are finished we will have our own little palace.