Wednesday, March 2, 2011

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with ROBOT KOCH

Berlin-based producer & label owner ROBOT KOCH doesn't get much sleep these days. The story goes that back in the days his bandmates from JAHCOOZI used to call him 'Robot' since he would always be up making ton of music without getting much rest; hence also his label's name ROBOTS DON'T SLEEP. After last year's release of his debut full length album entitled “Death Star Droid”, Robot Koch kept up with his crazy work schedule. In 2010 alone he dropped the new Jahcoozi  album “Barefoot Wanderer” on Bpitch Control , released his EP “Listen To Them Fade“ on Project: Mooncircle, did a bunch of remixes and productions for both major and indie artsits and played stunnig live shows everywhere from Low End Theory in LA to the Sonar Festival in Barcelona. He has just finished his US tour hitting cities like San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, among others. For his second LP, “Songs for Trees and Cyborgs”, he teamed up with the likes of Boxcutter (Planet Mu), 1000 Names (Black Acre), Doshy (Robox Neotech), RQM (Baby Sumo) and Graciela Maria (Project Mooncircle) showing his versatility as a producer at home in many genres. The man Dazed Digital calls "the cornerstone" of Berlin's electronic music scene and whose work has been praised by Modeselektor and Flying Lotus, is definitely an artist to know. 

LICHIBAN: How did you get into making music? ROBOT KOCH: i started playing drums in a death metal band when i was like 15. then i got into jazz, hip hop and electronic music and started producing tracks back in 1999.
L: What were your musical influences? RK: i grew up on the funk tapes of my mom. motown stuff. then slayer, pantera and motorhead became my heroes, also some death and black metal stuff...stuff which stoked me later on included everything from wu tang clan over moondog to david axelrod, beastie boys, john coltrane, roland kirk and linda perhaps.

L: How would you describe the type of music you in one sentence?
RK: its like motown with lazers.
L: What are you working on these days? RK: i just dropped my new album and started working on a record with john robinson (who worked with MF doom and flying lotus before), i also just finished the album of graciela maria, which will drop on PMC soon. i finished some remixes for stagga (to be released starkey`s label), kraddy from the glitch mob, and did some more collabo tracks with boxcutter (planet mu). will also start writing new stuff for the new jahcoozi album on bpitch control next year.
L: Beside your solo projects, you've done several remixes and had many collaborations with other artists. Could you highlight some of your favorite projects?
RK: i`m really stoked about the collabo with john robinson right now and about the album of graciela maria which is about to drop. for this one i teamed up with sneaky (fingathing/ninja tune) who played some amazing chello and double bass stuff...its very different and i always like to surprise people. and myself.
L: Do you like to collaborate? If yes, why? RK: i love it. i`m a teamplayer and i believe that you can learn a lot and make really dope stuff if you work with others. everybody brings their own talents and they are all unique.
L: You live in Berlin, right? I hear that Berlin is the creative hub of Europe at the moment. What is the music scene like? Are there overlaps between the art & the music scene?  RK: yeah berlin is the perfect creative environement for artists right now.....but as much as i like the fact that there are artist friendly rents, cheap food and a creative scene...sometimes i just have to get out of the city and be creative somewhere else. but i like it here. been here for ages already....i also wonder: where else could i go and live? and i always have to admit to myself that i am at the perfect spot for me right now. i`ve been to mexcio city for a few months earlier this year and also really liked it there.
L: What would you say to New Yorkers to get them inspired to go check out Berlin? RK: dont belive the hype. see for yourself.
L: Could you put me on 3 of your favorite albums that you've been listening lately? RK: 
1. tim buckley - once i was
2.  loops haunt- hurache EP
3. james blake- limit to your love
 
L: Future projects?
RK: many, see above;)
 
L: Shouts?
RK: i get a lot of mails from people in the states that they are really diggin my stuff, which makes me happy of course. 
 
Thanks!

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