German DJ and Production duo Kruse & Nuernberg have a very straight forward, modern approach to House music. They’ve created some of the most interesting Deep House in the past few years and have caught the attention of some of the most important underground labels. Ahead of the release of their debut album ‘Lets Call It A Day’ through Lazy Days Recording, I got in touch with them to tell us more about it.
Firstly I’d like to congratulate you both on your debut album. From what I’ve seen in the industry there seems to be a time/phase for any artist to embark on a project like this. Has this been one of those phases for both of you or has it always been an ‘under construction’ type project until now?
Thanks for the congratulations! There has always been the idea of doing an album even if most of the electronic music consumers are buying singles. An album is something special and way more personal than just a single.
There is much more space to do experiments and it is good fun to play with different genres, instruments and other new elements. We used to work with some musicians as well and this process definitely opens new doors and brings your productions to another level.
But yes you are right we also realized that more albums are coming out this year for some reason. Maybe these guys had the same idea at the same time but it was never our intention to follow a trend here.
I must say listening to the album the first time; I’ve personally had to stop listening and reorient myself to engage bit more with the material. I then realised that the whole project is actually a step outside the boundaries within which we’ve come to know Kruse & Nuernberg as – from that basis listening to again it sounded awesome.
That was exactly the main idea of producing an album. There is absolutely no need to put out 11 tracks that are only dance floor oriented and that sound like we usually sound. An album has to function as a piece of art that unveils totally unexpected sides of the artist.
Our intention with this album was always to sound way different to what we usually do.Dance music often follows a simple scheme; you tend to work in certain pattern to make the tracks work in the club.We wanted to step away from the dance floor compatibility, from producing tools that are almost old by the time that they get released – which is actually a really sad development!
We don’t necessarily need to see the tunes in the charts. We want people to listen to it at home, in the car, while they watch outside the window, while they make love… for instance.
What exactly are these boundaries that you’ve both had to break or coalesce to conceptualise the album?
Well… good question. We never really thought about this. Most of the tunes that are on this album they just happened and ended up in the file named ‘Album’. The concept always was to do something different to what we usually do or what people expect from us. There never were any boundaries to break or coalesce. Sometimes things just happen and you shouldn’t think too much about it. It’s art!
We are more than aware of the fact that the album is a mixture of styles that differ a lot. For us that’s fine because that is what we always wanted to do.
How about the other people who may not otherwise have the same penchant for your work as a I do – are you not risking to alienate yourselves from them?
We totally understand this concern and we were a little worried too but again, what it all comes down to is that it is art and people have to decide if they like it or not. We consider the Deep House community a very open minded bunch of people that surely know how to handle this. If they can’t, that’s more than fine…
We will definitely continue to produce dance floor music and there is plenty of stuff in the pipeline but we had the feeling that it is about time to release this album.
You’ve both been in the forefront of the revival of Deep House music for a while. Guys like Groove Armada and Dennis Ferrer can bear testament to that. Considering the nature of the album, within which space of the entire Deep House spectrum/music as whole do you want your fans to place the album.
We are not even sure if we want to fill a space in the Deep House spectrum with this album. We cover so many genres. This album is just way too far out there to call it a Deep House album, isn’t it? We want our fans to listen to it with a totally different approach compared to listening to the latest Kruse & Nuernberg DJ-mix or single release.
Please tell me more about your work with Greek producer Stelios Vassiloudis as Wiretappeur. What is it that John Digweed hears in what you guys produce that he releases your productions/ remixes on his ‘Bedrock’ imprint?
We first met Stelios in 2008. At that time he started his label Dieb Audio and requested some original tracks from us. After a while he invited us to Athens for a DJ booking. We spend some extra days in his studio which was very comfortable and started working together.
We are good friends now and get to see each other not really on a regular basis but once or twice a year for sure! When we work as Wiretappeur we are sending the music sessions online from Hamburg to Athens back and forth until we decide it’s finished. That’s our workflow.
One day Stel gave us a call and said John Digweed would be interested in hearing some new stuff that was definitely a great moment and big pleasure hearing that. He signed a track and from that moment on we are constantly releasing tracks and remixes on Bedrock.
We just finished a new Wiretappeur tune for the 14th anniversary of Bedrock upcoming in October 2012.
The links between both of you and Fred Everything stretches back several years with each being a fan of the other’s work. Apart from this, what other musical parallels are there/that you all share?
Fred Everything has been releasing music and DJ’ing for over a decade! He has definitely influenced the evolution of Deep House music a lot over the past 10 years or even more.
We always liked his sound and about 3 years ago we got in touch on Facebook. He said that he’d like to sign an EP from us on his label ‘Lazy Days Music’ and that’s how the relationship started. Guess we have the same taste of music and like the same sounds when it comes to music productions.
Our collaboration track ‘Like A Version’ is a good example that there are parallels for sure!
What are your essential studio tools?
The most important tool is our studio room combined with the monitor speakers we use. It’s the biggest gold to have a room that sounds good with your monitors. We are using two different pairs of speakers: Genelec 1032a and Klein+Hummel O110.
Another essential tool is our UAD-2 duo DSP card – the card includes a bunch of great sounding plug-ins and gives that analogue feel. When it comes to software instruments we are big fans of Native Instruments, Arturia and Rob Papen. We also have a great sounding preamp/compressor/expander for vocal and guitar recording from Save Sound Audio.
Does it happen that you compromise on the type of tool to use in order to capture a certain sound or you always use the right tool for the job?
We are always trying out new things and sometimes it happens that we create a new sound by testing some weird plug-in on a track. We also like recording sounds with our microphone.
For the track ‘Lights Blinding’ on Liebe* for example we couldn’t really find the right sound so Nils jumped into the vocal booth and sung the hook line and we added some distortion and filters on the recording and created a new sound which was perfect.
But well when you click through the presets of your instruments and there is a sound you really like you take it and maybe change it slightly with some e-quing, compression or reverb. There is no standard scheme or plan we follow when we produce. It’s happening .
The album features singer Stee Downes from the ‘Want You In My Soul’ fame on a few tracks in the album. A lot of people [I presume] will compare what they know of Stee Downes and his previous work with what they’ll hear in the album.
We loved Stee’s collaboration work with Lovebirds who also is a friend of ours and lives here in Hamburg. It was easy to get in touch with Stee through Lovebirds so we decided to give it a go and he immediately liked our playbacks we sent over. Working with him is good fun and very productive.
When we start a production partnership we never want to sound like somebody else who also worked with that vocalist. We just like Stee’s voice and his style he’s bringing in into the production.
People can compare as much as they want… We neither want to sound like the other artists that also worked with Stee nor do we aim for such a successful tune like ‘I Want You In My Soul’ – it is the wrong approach.
We also think that tunes like ‘Last Chance’ or ‘Love Can’t Break You Down’ stand quite solid themselves and are so way different to what Lovebirds and Stee did. It is kind of hard to compare our work.
Was there a particular essence you wanted to capture collaborating with him or it’s a case of three different musicians combining their artistry to bring out something new?
It’s hard to find a good singer and especially someone who sounds different in a good way. We were happy that we found someone with such a great voice. We wanted to do one track with Stee and the musical playback to ‘Last Chance’ was nearly finished when we contacted him. He liked it and sent us some great vocal ideas back.
The working process was very quick and effective. We wanted to show Stee some other ideas for the album and send him the playbacks to ‘Love Can’t Break You Down’ and ‘For My Life’. He was so much into it that he immediately delivered a vocal for it and sent it back to us. That was a great surprise and a ‘wow’ moment because we really feel these two tunes and the depth in the lyrics as well as in the music.
Please tell us about your own label Save Room Recordings – who is involved and what to expect in the future.
We started the label in 2008 so we just had our fourth anniversary! Unbelievable how quick the time passes by. The main idea was to put out good music from other artists and to release our own stuff every now and then.
Now we can tell it really worked out and are a little proud of our rooster to be honest. The Save Room family is getting bigger and bigger and we have worked with names like Huxley, Sasse, Giom, Cosmic Cowboys, Karol XVII & MB Valence, Dzeta ‘n Basile and many more.
Our actual release and various artists sampler ‘Summer Madness Vol.02’ includes a great variety of tracks and we already got support by Maceo Plex, Robert Dietz, Noir and Kolombo to name a few. Upcoming is an EP by Stu Patrics who already release with us with some very interesting remixes. So watch out!
A lot of musicians/DJ’s struggle to pin point who exactly their audiences are – the type of followers who’ll always support your sound no matter what. Do you guys know who they are?
That’s a very good question. Of course there are some followers who give a shout on Facebook or Soundcloud when we add something new but in general we don’t really know where our sound is working best. It’s always good to be surprised when we travel somewhere and people know our sound, talk to us and through their hands up when we are playing one of our tunes. That’s why we like our job so much!
What would you like to say to them?
Thank you for the great support and the passion for underground music!