Balancing the twin disciplines of production and DJ’ing is a constant battle for many of today’s electronic artists. But it’s a battle that Robert Dietz is very much on top of, managing to cultivate his position as both a producer and much loved DJ over the years.
This week the affable German has tracks out with both Saved and Desolat, two imprints that Dietz is a close cohort of. As usual the quality is of the highest order and both tracks come drenched in the same personality that makes Dietz one of dance music’s truly charismatic artists.
With the two new tracks out on the two impressive labels on 10th March, I Voice spoke to Robert to find out what drives the German whilst in the studio and what stems the creativity to get inside there in the first place.
You seem to spend much more time at this part of the year holed up in your studio. Does not playing so much sat festivals like in the summer, allow you to get into a better routine at home?
It’s really important for me to find time to spend in the studio all year round - overt the summer though generally there are a lot more festivals and midweek shows, so I guess it’s slightly easier over the winter, yes.
It’s always a struggle though balancing up the studio time with constantly being on the road, but I make sure I find time. I’ve just set up my new studio in Berlin, so I’m excited to get to work there! I feel like the second half of 2013 allowed me to really focus on my DJ’ing and I’m now at a point where I feel more comfortable than ever, and I’ve applied the same logic to my studio time this year.
We know you like to exercise a lot too. What kind of exercise do you do and how does that affect the way you make music?
I try to stay healthy and keep fit - which is quite hard being on the road and airport food, hotel room service etc - and go to the gym at least a few times a week. It helps focus my mind and I think that’s probably reflected in the music I make. I think for anyone it’s important to have that time off from whatever you’re doing.
What little touches have you made to your studio to bring the best out of your work? Is there a certain lighting that you prefer or do you have artwork surrounding you etc?
As I mentioned before, I’ve just moved to Berlin and set up a brand new studio there - it took some time, but I’m really happy with how it is now.
There are not such things as artwork or lightning at the moment but I’m planning on getting some more furniture to have it cosy.
A couch for example is a must have. If you got friends over or you just want to hang in your studio and listen to music you need comfortable seating. It’s so important to feel relaxed in your creative environment.
So does all this studio time you’re having at the moment mean that there is plenty of new music on the way? Please can you tell us about it?
It does! I’m really excited with some of the projects that we have coming up! Over the next few months I have releases on Desolat, Saved, VIVa, as well as some projects really close to my heart like a collaborative EP with Tuccillo, as well as remix for Nicole Moudaber. I was really happy to be able to get some really cool remixes for the Viva EP from some new DJ’s and producers - watch this space!
What else do you enjoy doing when you have more time for yourself what you’re at home?
Right now I like to discover my new neighbourhood here in Mitte. Meet long-time friends, eat, drink and check out the small fashion shops around.
Although it must be hard at times to travel as much as a DJ, do you feel that many modern DJ’s moan about this aspect too much? There are plenty of aspiring DJ’s who would love to travel the world playing their music to people.
Of course the travel can be hard sometimes (and the lack of sleep!), but I always try to remember why I started DJ’ing and not forget that it’s a privilege to be able to travel the world and to interact with fans every weekend. We, as DJ’s, are extremely lucky to be able to live this kind of lifestyle, but I never take it for granted and am always aware of the journey it’s taken to get here.
Does DJ’ing/making music ever feel like a hobby to you or has the professionalisation of the industry made it feel like a job all the time?
When you have a great crowd in front of you at an amazing club, it 100% feels like a hobby - it’s always such a pleasure to see and hear feedback from a great night, and it reminds me of why I wanted to make music/DJ in the first place. I love the production side and really enjoy being in the studio, so that never really feels like work to me - only when remixes are due or we have tight schedules to keep to! It’s hard to contain creativity and put a limit on it, so this can be a challenge.
You have releases out on both Desolat and Saved Records soon. Does it give you added joy releasing records on labels you have a close relationship with?
Of course! This will be my third release on Saved, and I’m really happy to be a part of the 100th release - it’s such a great package. As for Desolat, this is my first release with them - Dice is a really close friend and we’ve been going back and forth with the idea of putting something on the label for a while, and finally something was working on their X-Sampler, which I was happy to be a part of. We’re in the process of discussing a follow-up EP later in the year so keep an eye out!
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
I’m planning to release lots of music this year, as well as some really exciting shows coming up! I have a few other ideas for post-summer as well that I’m looking forward to exploring, but you’ll have to wait for more news on that.
|Robert Dietz Online|