The 347th episode of our 12 Questions segment features producer Blue Cell.
How old are you, where are you living and how long have you been producing and Djing?
Nicolas: I am 42 old and am DJ for 25 years, I live in Dormagen, a small town near Cologne. I produce with Joachim under the name “Blue Cell”
Joachim: I am 48 years old and live in Dormagen , which is located between Cologne and Duesseldorf . Music and produce music is my hobby for more than 30 years. 2006 we founded “Pearldiver Records” together. Pearldiver Records and “Blue Cell” are our baby’s and we very proud of it. Take a view: www.pearldiver-records.com
Where do your musical roots lie, what are your first memories of electronic music and when did you know you wanted to pursue it seriously? Are there any particular productions or artists from the past that really made you think to yourself ‘this is what I want to do.”
Nicolas: My first musical experiences I made at the tender age of 7, my father heard already that time so different styles as Pink Floyd, Herbie Hancock, Depeche Mode, Tangerine Dream to name a few. Over time, then I started getting more interested in electronic music and invested early on my allowance in my record collection.
Joachim: As a little boy I liked to listen to classical music , which today is still the case. Jean Michel Jarre was the first electronic music that I heard. Later played me a friend pieces of Depeche Mode before, because it had happened to me. From then on, I wanted to make music themselves.
How difficult was learning to produce for you in the beginning? Did you take any Audio Engineering programs or production courses to help you out or are you pretty much self taught? And did anyone give any advice early on that really helped?
Nicolas: Through my DJ gigs I can contribute as co-producer well into the studio work and contribute my experience with Joachim, who is more of sound fiddler arranged like a track and should sound. This symbiosis of DJ and producer, we have developed and refined over the past almost 20 years, until today, more and more.
Joachim: It was initially very difficult to produce their own tracks , but a performance synthesizer with a sequencer helped me enormously. With the computer it was always easier and Cubase from Steinberg helped me musically to develop myself.
What parts of the production process do you find the most difficult and what comes easiest for you? When you do hit a creative block what helps you through it?
Nicolas and Joachim: Difficulties occur always to do when trying frantically something new, which is rather impossible. It is important that each new track of Joachim and me is produced with passion and does not attempt to copy itself.
What’s a normal day like for you? Do you have a job outside of electronic music? And what do you like to do when you’re not working on music?
Nicolas: The normal working day looks like that is made during the week and produces a normal job after work and then sonicated the crowd on weekends. But the most important addition to the music, the family and health.
Joachim: For me it is similar, but I sit in the studio at home and not stir up at the turntables to the crowd.
Apart from electronic music what other genres do you listen to and who are your favourite artists outside of electronic? and do these genres or artists have a direct effect on your own productions?
Nicolas: I hear basically almost only electronic music, but I am open to everything else. Characteristic of our productions but is the music of the 80s and the emerging wave Progressive House early 2000s
Joachim: I enjoy listening to Irish folk , I like handmade music and the dynamics therein. The serious or tragic in classical music influenced me greatly.
What was the first and last physical (CD, Vinyl, Cassette etc) piece of music you bought?
First : Depeche Mode – Construction Time Again
Last: Jean Michel Jarre – The Heart of Noise
First: Antonin Dvorak (9. Smphony) 1976
Last: Any Ambient CD in 2010
Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?
Nicolas and Joachim: Blue Cell is like a piñata, always produces new ideas with heart and soul.
Which producers in your opinion get consistently overlooked?
Nicolas: Blue Cell 🙂
Joachim: Is today nor any music unobserved ?
Which producers consistently inspire you? And where else does your inspiration come from?
Nicolas: Trevor Horn, Giorgio Moroder, Van Bellen, Guy J to name a few
Joachim: I can’t say which producer, cause we have our own style and we don’t like to change it. We are Grandpa’s in progressive music hehe…the truth : we can’t change our style ! There are countless producers out there trying to find their way and create their own unique sound, what advice do you have for them?
There are countless producers out there trying to find their way and create their own unique sound, what advice do you have for them?
Nicolas: Always be diligent, never give up and screw, screw, screw … who is industrious, will sooner or later get lucky
Joachim: Build your own Sound, sample your own Sounds, play your own Sounds.
Example: Copy a arrangement, not the sounds! Arrange in your DAW parts with empty Events, than filled the empty events with your sounds. It’s a pleasure to hear what happens when you hear your sounds in an another timeline. There are many way’s to find out, i think a creative producer find the right way for a unique sound, but it can take more than 10 Years.
If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last
Nicolas and Joachim: Sunmilk
‘Nachtschwaermer’ is out now on Stellar Fountain, you can purchase the release: here