EQ catches up with the legendary Peter Kruder to talk about his new EP for DJ Hell’s revitalised Gigolo imprint, and – as he delivers an amazing guest mix – his DJing philosophy…
It’s hard to believe that it’s been over a decade since Peter Kruder and Richard Dorfmeister teamed up to deliver the K&D Sessions, one of the few mix album that will still sound as fresh in another 10 years’ time as it did on the day it was released. To say that the K&D Sessions shaped the sound of countless comps that followed is no exaggeration, but it’s all to easy to let that one album overshadow the fine canon of work that both Peter and Richard have created since then. From Mr Dorfmeister, there’s been Tosca; from Mr Kruder there’s been his solo work as the Peace Orchestra, and his work in Voom Voom, a sort of electronic supergroup alongside Christian Prommer and Roland Appel.
Now Peter is back with his first 12” in ages, the excellent Visions LTD EP on DJ Hell’s resurgent Gigolos imprint. Peter’s worked with Hell before on the huge Listen To The Hiss back in 2005. They returned to the studio together last year to create one half of Hell’s new artist album, the excellent Teufelswerk, and from there Visions LTD was born. The title track is a stunning, tribal-edged creature of the night, with a haunting flute line floating above menacing drums. On the flip, Shine picks up the pace, for a twisted techy track interrupted by choral vocals. Both tracks will get you moving – neither sound like anything else you’ll hear on a dancefloor. Blown away by these new tunes, EQ tracked down Peter for a chat about his latest projects, his DJing and working with Gigolo. He also whipped up an amazing mix for us, which is waiting for you to download at the bottom of the page…
The new EP’s excellent and not at all what we expected given the Voom Voom sound. What’s inspired its sound?
The inspiration for Visions LTD goes back to some of the jacking Chicago drums from the mid-80s, those ones that used Roland 909 toms heavily. I was always very fond of hypnotic rhythms that have no break and just roll on forever, and that’s what I tried to archive on this track. I sampled an old 909 for this because there’s just something magical in the sounds of that machine that’s hard to get otherwise. The melody of the flutes was something I had in my head for some time, but it only really worked out once I had that rhythmic structure going. The B-side, Shine, is more an update of this jacking idea, using more modern sounds, but still focusing on the toms as a rhythmic signature. The timing and spacing in this track’s rhythm is more what’s going on now.
The EP’s quite dancefloor orientated, but at the same time, it isn’t obvious or genre-specific like a lot of club tracks. How would you describe the sound of the EP?
I’m always on the look-out for tracks that do more than just copy the average sound of the month, and that’s also the main thing I want to archive with the music I make. The EP references the past, present and future in equal measures, and just by the choice of instruments it stays away from genres of the moment. Using a flute as the lead instrument and not a synth gives you better ways of expressing a melodic idea. It also makes all the difference when you hear the track in a the club. I always prefer tracks where you can hear that there’s someone behind the music – someone with an idea about harmonies and chords – and not just something I call FX music where there’s only a bunch of wired noises without any harmonic structure. Not that there aren’t some useful tracks like that, but they are very rare to me personally.
Was this EP written more for the floor than some of your earlier tracks?
It was definitely written with the floor in mind, and for the DJs who like to broaden the experience you can have on the floor by playing things that aren’t just the sound of the moment. I always make tracks for my own DJ sets, and this EP is the same. It’s a challenge to try to make music that doesn’t follow the rules but still works, music which when played at the right moment makes your sets stand out from the next DJ. And I’m lucky enough to have an audience that is willing to hear something different from my music and my sets.
How has working with Gigolo shaped your production sound?
DJ Hell is an old friend of mine and we share a vast knowledge and interest in music from all areas. I helped produced the Day CD of his new album, Teufelswerk, and when we were in the studio we listened to a lot of electronic music that was made between the early 70s and late 80s. The simplicity and effectiveness of those records informed me and the new sound of Gigolo. There’s just something unique in those records that were made in a hands-on way with analogue gear that got lost in the world of digital soft synths with tonnes of presets.
Is this EP a good indication of your DJ sound at the moment?
It’s more like it refers what’s happening in my DJ sets. I tend to play longer sets, so it’s a part of where things could go. I always try to go through all sorts of flavors that are happening for me, be it very deep or very straight forward and pumping – plus everything in between. I like to keep things interesting from a musical perspective as well as from an innovative production perspective, and on a a lot of records that are around I know within 20 seconds how they are done. And that just bores the hell out of me! I like to find things that inspire and motivate me to take things further and that keep me on my toes when it comes to my own work.
Tell us a bit about the mix you’ve done for us. Is that a typical Peter Kruder mix? Is there such a thing as a typical Peter Kruder mix?
The only thing I can say about my mixes is to expect the unexpected. I like hard-to-find records that are different and special in the way they are done and the way they sound. I also like to mix things that are not obviously working together to bring something to the floor that take people out of the routines. For me, DJing is a little bit like playing chess – in your head you have to know your next five moves to get your opponent where you want them, and this applies for the dancefloor as well. There is nothing more satisfying than when you know the next record you’ve cued up will bring the house down.
Are we going to hear anything more from Voom Voom? There aren’t enough supergroups in dance music…
We are just about to release a brilliant collection of remixes from the album which are all roadtested by us last year. There are amazing remixes from the likes of Henrik Schwarz, Charles Webster, Deetron, Muallem, DJ Kaos and many more. We still have some unreleased stuff that wasn’t right when we did the album but feels perfect now, and these are some of the highlights in my sets at the moment.
What else have you got going on at the moment?
I just did a 12” for Stefan Goldmann’s Macro label that I’m very happy with and this should come out in June. I’m also working on a new Peace Orchestra album which is the furthest away from the dancefloor you can possibly imagine. Hopefully I’ll finish this in the summer. And there are some other amazing projects in the pipeline, but I don’t want to jinx them by talking too early about them…
Daso & Pawas – Det [Hey! Records]
Ican – Caminos Del Nino (Martyn's Oscuro Remix) [Ican Productions]
Gui Boratto – Triads (Andre Sobota Remix) [Spectrum Recordings]
Stereotyp – Take the Weight (Peter Kruder Dub) [G-Stone Recordings]
Peter Kruder – Visions LTD [Gigolo Records]
Ben Klock – Subzero [Ostgut Ton]
Federleicht – On The Streets (Kollektiv Turmstrasse's Let Freedom Ring
Remix) [Connaisseur Recordings]
Guy Gerber – Timing [Cocoon Recordings]
DJ Hell featuring Bryan Ferry – U Can Dance [Gigolo Records]