The 72nd episode of our 12 Questions segment features producer Sandji.
1. If you had to pick one track which solidified your love for electronic music early on what would it be?
I guess I could name a few here, but one that made me want to start dj’ing back then was Lemon8 – New York, New York in the Out of the Sanctuary Mix. I remember hearing it for the first time on ID&T radio in their sundaynight progressive night. That one hit me pretty deep right away. Other notable mentions: Alexander Kowalski’s All I got to know and Mavi – Fallen. That last one was sold out everywhere but I managed to get a copy of it a few years later, it’s an unknown gem by Yunus Guvenen.
2. What was your first and last DJ gig?
Well, I remember a night where a friend of mine and I threw a party to celebrate finishing high school. I just discovered Traktor (version 1.08 beta or so) and played all night long. My first gig in a club was at the local club in my hometown, they held a DJ contest. I could play for about half an hour and the club was fully packed. Great experience, some good feedback, but my music was too underground for the contest. After that I had quite a few gigs here and there, but since I started making music I stopped DJ’ing. When my new studio is finished I intend to pick up DJ’ing again. I miss the feeling of vinyl in my hands! But as for future gigs I think I’d prefer a liveset.
3. What was the first and last record you purchased?
The first one: Hybrid – Gravastar / Celebrity Science. Celebrity Science was my favourite, I have a thing for breakbeat. The last one: Moderat – II. Everything Sascha Ring does turns into gold.
4. What would you say is the highlight of your career thus far?
I think my Reprise of André Sobota’s ‘One Day Out’ is one of the highlights. I remember Jason asking me if I wanted to do a remix of this track, but it had to be really grooving and dancefloor minded track. So I said yes and laid out a great idea for the remix. But, as it goes with creative processes, you can’t always control it. So, while having a great idea in front of me, I basicly started to write an ambient track because that’s what I was up for at that moment. So, in a few hours I wrote the Reprise and sent it to Jason, saying: “I know this isn’t what you wanted, but I just couldn’t stop myself”. Luckily he liked it and after my actual remix was finished too he decided to release both versions.
5. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?
I don’t listen to electronic dance music a lot. I don’t know much about it either. On the other hand it is my big love and I could never imagine life without it. As for making / producing music: my music usually consists of not more than 10 – 15 tracks. I often see people having these vast projects with over 70 tracks or so. I couldn’t never do that. Oh, and I don’t consider myself a ‘producer’. Maybe a musician. I’m not so much into the technological side of this whole music making thing.
6. Who are some of the best undiscovered talents in your eyes?
Over the years I’ve brought some great artists to mainly Proton, like: Exoplanet, Stefan Vincent, Jorg Murcus. As for now I don’t really know any unknown talents. Paul Vervoort might be one, although he got a release with Proton called ‘Reminiscence’. I met him almost 5 years ago and we made some music together. He’s really good, but he’s also a perfectionist. Usually that’s a good thing, but it can also hold you back in finishing projects. I know this, cause it happened to me as well. I hope he will find his way because he has so much potential.
7. Which producers consistently inspire you?
Most of my inspiration comes from outside the electronic music genre, but I’m really into the music of most of the guys at Innervisions like Ame, Dixon, Henrik Schwarz. Also Patrick Chardronnet, Kollektiv Turmstrasse, Apparat, Martin Buttrich, Ripperton, Agoria, Four Tet, Lindstrom, Prins Thomas, Fritz Kalkbrenner, to name a few.
Other less (or none) electronic artists I really like are: Bonobo, Fink, The Whitest Boy Alive, Chilly Gonzales, Hot Chip, The Cat Empire, Shpongle, The Egg, John Frusciante, Radiohead, The Mars Volta, Muse, Ben Howard, M83 and so on. I have quite a broad taste really.
8. What artist or track would you love to remix? and who would you love to be remixed by?
I think Bonobo, Fink or Radiohead. But I not sure I could. There are way too many remixes in this digital world. A remix is only useful if it actually adds something new to a track. Otherwise it’s just filling material for a release. I hate releases that come with more than 2 remixes of the same track.
I’d love to be remixed by any of the artists mentioned above.
9. Record labels are a dime a dozen these days and the majority of people feel most of them are mediocre music factories. Which ones if any standout for you?
I’m not so much into the latest of releases nowadays, but I used to follow labels more than artists. A few labels I consider top notch: Connaisseur, Innervisions, Suol, Audiomatique, Get Physical, Poker Flat, Traum, Manual Music, Etoka.
10. What would you say is the best mix compilation of all time?
Joris Voorn – Balance 014.
11. Current Favourites (you can list more than one per category if you like)
Food: Biological and ‘real’ food. Chocolate with 85% or 92% cocoa.
Drink: Belgian beers. Spanish red wines. German white beers. Croatian white wines (I don’t like white wine, but Jaksa’s friend proved it can be nice).
Animal: I grew up with cats. They are fabulous creatures.
TV Show: Scandinavian series like Bron/Broen, Borgen, etc.
Movie: Nothing recent, but I do like watching movies from time to time. Inception was great. The Rum Diary too, especially for the music.
Video Game: None.
Album: Can’t decide between Bonobo – The North Borders or Moderat – II.
Track / Song: Dan Croll – From Nowhere (Ame Remix). Which will not get released. Which sucks. Which no-one understands. DJ Koze’s remix of Moderat – Bad Kingdom is also very good.
Producer / Band: Henrik Schwarz
Record Label: Innervisions
DJ: DJ Koze
12. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?
Cass – Mind Rewind (Original Mix).
Sandji’s ‘Mr. Moodswing’ is out now on MNL, you can purchase the release: here