With a production and DJ’ing career spanning over two decades, Marco Resmann tracks have shaken up dance floors across the globe. Ahead of his upcoming North American tour, we had the opportunity to speak with Marco about his new three track EP ‘Hologram’, his experience as a touring DJ, and more.
HS: Hi Marco! Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions as you embark on your upcoming tour. You’ve been DJ’ing and producing in and out of Berlin since the mid-90’s. How did it all start, and what was your evolution as an artist like? Do you see yourself more as a DJ, a producer, or both?
MR: It all started ‘94 with my first clubbing experience in Berlin. I was immediately infected with the Techno virus and started buying records and learned my first DJ skills. In the beginning I just practiced at home with one tape recorder and one turntable. Over the years I upgraded my home set up step by step and started to make mix tapes for friends as well as selling them to make some extra pocket money. Later we were a group of young DJ kids who met up regularly to mix together and exchange records and skills.
MR: At this time I’ve never really thought about becoming a professional DJ. I didn’t even think about producing my own music. I just fell in love with the whole thing and my passion guided me to what I am doing today. Everything just happened naturally. I used to see myself more as a DJ than a producer as I started quite late with the production side. Today both, DJing and producing are playing an essential role in my life, even though I think that I’m a better DJ than a producer.
HS: Looking back at your discography, you’ve been producing records for over 10 years. What advice you have in maintaining relevance and creativity as a producer after all these years in the business?
MR: That’s an interesting question. I think first of all love what you are doing. Even though this whole thing is an industry, you need to have to be passionate, that keeps you motivated and let you enjoy what you are actually doing. It’s definitely not an easy task sometimes, because there will always be these moments when you struggle. But once you decide to make a living out of it you better work your ass off. Try also to be independent as much as possible. The music business has changed a lot over the past years and it will do so in the future. So be flexible and open for the new things that are coming.
HS: Let’s talk about your upcoming EP, ‘Hologram’, out on Beatport & Spotify June 28th. Beneath every track lies a deeper meaning, a source of inspiration, or perhaps something personal. What does this EP mean to you? Where did you pull inspiration and ideas from (imagery, deeper meaning, etc) when constructing these three tracks?
To be honest all three tracks weren’t produced to align on an EP. I actually never work that way. I’m pretty much every day in the studio during the week and I always bring different moods and inspirations to the studio. I just love to go with the flow. I’ve never been good in having a proper plan before starting producing. Inspirations and moods are coming from everywhere, from other people’s music, from my family life, from traveling, from movies, from club experiences and so on… Often it also depends on the gear that I use. I love to experiment in the studio and create diverse sounds. Sometimes things happen randomly and it is possible that I completely change the direction of a track.
HS: What does a typical studio day look like for you? Could you walk us through the production process of ‘Hologram’?
MR: Since I have kids a typical studio day starts in the morning around 10am. I usually check out the stuff I did the day before first. It’s always essential to listen to your own work with fresh ears. You immediately hear whether you did something nice or something completely wrong or even useless. I like to do small breaks in between to get a bit of a distance to my work as well as keeping the ears awake. An entire session never lasts more than 5-6 hours. After that I definitely need a longer break. When creativity and inspiration are with me I can easily finish the main structure of an entire track within one session. In the second session, which happens either in the evening or on the next day, I usually do the fine-tuning that and prepare the track to test it on other sound systems, like at home or in the club.
MR: Hologram is actually a very simple track. I basically produced it with 2 synthesizers – the Vermona DRM1 MK III (analog drum synthesizer) and the Prophet 6. I started with the beats and the groove, which are pretty much all made with Vermona. Afterwards I had a jam session with the Prophet and made all them arpeggio and spacey synth sounds. It’s one of these tracks, which I finished in one session.
HS: What do you want your listeners, whether at home or on the dance floor, to take away from your productions?
MR: I’d love to be in the position of my listeners, to have the experience to hear something for the first time. I’d simply love to reset my ears and listen to my own stuff like I have never heard it before. Generally I do the music for myself and not exclusively for the audience. When I finish a track I need to be happy with it and I need to be able to dance to it. Of course I’m more than happy when the audience likes my stuff or when another DJ plays my tunes. I’m always trying to figure out which is the typical ‘Marco-Resmann-sound’ and I feel like as I’m still on the path to it. So I think I’d be just grateful when people recognize my music in general, whether at home or on the dance floor.
HS: Your ‘Hologram EP’ is features an abundance of unique sounds which filter in and out during the span of each track so seamlessly. How important are details in your productions? Do you spend a lot of time fine tuning elements of your productions to get just the right sound?
MR: I love details in my production. But over the years I learned to spend less time on them to keep things simple. Most of the people that are listening to my tracks won’t hear them anyway. I always spend a certain amount of time fine tuning the essential elements nonetheless.
HS: Since 2006, you’ve been a resident at the world-famous Watergate club, hosted Upon.You label nights at Panorama Bar for some years now, performed at South America’s premiere electronic music hub, Warung Beach Club. How have all of these experiences shaped you (as a DJ, a producer, or as a person)?
MR: I’m really grateful to be in the position to say that I played or still play regularly in these outstanding places. But in the end it’s not just them – you have to see the whole picture. Every single gig in my career, whether successful or not, is a part of the story which shaped me to what I am today. Know where you’re coming from and honour the little things in life.
HS: Looking at your touring history, I see you’ve been around the world and back. Gigs in China, Russia, Australia, Brazil, and so many other locations around the world. What do you want people to know about touring life? What are some practices or routines you have in place to manage an intense touring schedule?
MR: If everything works fine I’m the most relaxed person on earth. The whole touring thing does not really bother me. I got used to it and just need to keep myself busy with something, like reading a book, watching a movie or listening to music. But if something goes wrong I become a completely different person. I get stressed and nervous. Punctuality is very important for me, which might be one of the reasons why I don’t really need wake-up calls. Most of the time I wake up before them. I’m also a very organised person, which helps also a lot to manage an intense touring schedule.
HS: On your upcoming tour, you’re commandeering the decks on stages from Turkey to Brazil. Where are you most excited to play in the coming month?
MR: I’m looking forward to every single gig in the coming month but the Brazil tour with its 5 shows will be definitely a highlight. I also can’t wait for my debut in Chile.
HS: Here in Montreal, we have some of the world’s most dedicated fans of electronic music. Do you have any plans to come to Canada in the upcoming year?
MR: Unfortunately no plans yet – but we’re working hard on my debut in Canada.
HS: On the horizon, you have an EP coming up with your House Project Luna City Express. Tell us more about this project and what we can expect.
MR: I run this project with my long-term friend Norman Weber from Berlin. He’s an outstanding DJ and producer as well. We will celebrate 20 years of Luna City Express in 2020. Crazy! We have released 2 albums + plenty of EPs and remixes over the past years. In July we will release a collaboration with the legend Robert Owens on Exploited. Another legend named David Morales did 2 remixes for this EP. We are pretty excited about this.
Interview by Hunter Lyons