Ruede Hagelstein has featured music on Watergate Records, Bedrock, Souvenir Music and Kling Klong along with many others, and included is a premiere of his latest release forthcoming on Do Not Sit On The Furniture Recordings.
Ruede Hagelstein’s commitment to his craft and passion for the scene is certainly heard in his music. A Berlin native, he has explored various avenues of the industry throughout his career. From his beginnings playing at Tresor towards the end of the nineties, to holding down a decade long (and counting) residency at Watergate, and even becoming the editor of multiple music magazines, these collective experiences in the world of dance music add up to a significant level of knowledge and insight; something which is reflected by his subtle yet effective approach to production. His latest release, a three-track EP for the Do Not Sit On The Furniture label, is no exception, and as well as premiering the opening track Derunt, we decided to speak to the man himself.
Hey Ruede, how has your year been?
I am working a lot and I love it. My studio grows, my labels DUAT and DUAT FOLKLORE are growing properly. We did super cool parties and I played cool parties, even if I am reducing my tour schedule to focus on studio work. I just turned 40 and I think I should spend more time at home and in my studio, so I am growing my studio business, mixing, ghost writing and composing. And especially this is working amazingly for me at the moment.
When, how and where did you first get into electronic music?
Well, I heard it on the radio. Berlin has a long tradition of cool radio stations. But especially BFBS London (British Forces Broadcasting Station) brought it to me, when I was around 10 years old.
You initially dreamed of being a rock star – have any of your early influences carried into your career as a DJ?
When I was a kid I was dreaming to become a rock star, astronaut, actor or just Robin Hood. The DJ thing came up with the early 90s Techno culture in Berlin, Loveparade, the techno djs from the radio. Steve Mason, Marusha, ED2000 and even Paul van Dyk. When I saw a DJ playing live it became my greatest wish to do the same, when I was 14 years old.
Tell us about this release – how did you link up with the Do Not Sit crew?
Behrouz was one of the first guys who booked me in the US via my agency Listed to his club Do Not Sit On The Furniture. When I was staying in Miami we met personally on an afternoon and talked about becoming family. So we did and I am happy to contribute some of my tracks to his label.
What were your intentions behind this release? Any particular influences that helped shape its sound?
First of all I tried to make some layouts, which could fit to the label. When I am composing music I am rarely influenced by any other music, at least not being aware of being influenced. I wrote “Dort” for my girlfriend, it’s about a special time in her life. “Gestern” is looking back to my own life. Very personal and intimate tracks.
You are formally trained on guitar, right? Is that of use to you now? Do you ever use those skills?
Unfortunately I broke both my arms badly while snowboarding, so I couldn’t play more guitar and I became pretty slow. I try to use the guitar for layouts or special FX, but when I need a proper guitar I call a proper musician. The track “Drueben” is a good example for creative use of guitar with tons of FX.
You’ve been a resident at Watergate for over ten years now. How has your approach to your sets differed in that time, and what would you say has been the most important thing you’ve learnt from the residency?
It’s really interesting to hold a residency for more than 12 years, because you go through trends, hypes and you grow with a club. You develop with a group of people who become some kind of family. Your local fan base is changing a lot, local friends don’t go out anymore and new more international fans come in to see you. When I started playing at Watergate, Minimal Techno had been a state of art in Berlin, those kind of parties went until afternoon. Tourists were a minority and I played mostly vinyl for people I knew personally. I never played strictly Minimal and I think it became my style to mix various styles, same with my productions. After all those years I became more and more a resident DJ who is embedding the headliner and knows when to show off my own skills and styles, I think that’s what I learned and still learning.
What gear do you use? Hardware or software? Any favourite bit of kit?
For DJing: CDJs, Rekordbox and any kind of analog mixer. In the studio I am into analog synths.
Do you still write about music? What do you make of the state of music journalism right now?
It became weird to write about music being an artist at the same time, and anyway you can’t make a living out of it. So music journalism in germany is a sad story, it became pretty commercial and the underground has no strong voices here anymore.
What else have you got coming up/are you looking forward to?
I am working on an Album, just shaping the new sound of Ruede Hagelstein, inspired by my first EP ever on Freundinnen Records 2003 (The New Fresh EP).
You can pick up a copy of Ruede Hagelstein’s new release on Do Not Sit On The Furniture Recordings from HERE