With his debut album hitting the shops this week we catch up with Austrian artist Sonderzug.
1. Hello David, thanks so much for joining us today, how are you?
Hello Mitch, thank you very much for having me. I am feeling great, and especially excited about the new album!
2. Tell us a bit about yourself, where are you living now and how long have you been producing and Djing?
I have been producing music and DJing since around the age of 14. Right now I have been travelling a lot, and I was mostly in London trying to have a feel for the underground scene, and exploring opportunities, but officially I live in Austria, Vienna.
3. How did you get into electronic music and where did some of your earliest inspirations come from?
I remember the first time when me and my friend accidentally walked into a minimal techno party. The people and the energy got me instantly hooked. After that I started digging online for more music, like the ones I experienced live, and I found Richie Hawtin, Paul Kalkbrenner, deadmau5 and Dusty Kid, and other artists as well who later influenced me deeply. After listening to these artists and doing research on how to produce music, I have started my own musical journey.
4.Tell us about Austria? How is the nightlife there and do you get a chance to DJ in your home country very often?
Nightlife in Vienna is really good, we have many respected artists coming and doing great shows, so I always attend when I have the chance. I have played a few times, but not that regularly. I have been really busy on producing music, and creating the label. Now that the new album is out soon, I want to focus more on playing live, as I feel I have much more content to share with the people. So far I have been building up a name for Sonderzug, as it is still quite new in the underground scene.
5. Your debut album has just been released on your imprint Soulkraft. Tell us about it, how much time was spent on it and what was the vision you had in the beginning? It’s very much a club album, was that always the direction?
I had not planned on releasing an album to be honest. But the tracks summed up after about half year. I used about 5-6 tracks from previous releases which were really successful, and were all in the top 10 progressive house releases on Beatport, and the others are all new. I also did not plan it to be a club album, I always improvise when I produce music, that way I can also always surprise myself which is important in my opinion.
6. Was there ever a thought to approach another label to release it on or was it always intended to be for Soulkraft?
It came through my mind to release it elsewhere, but for this album I really wanted to do everything in a way that I feel its right. I wanted full control over the release, so this is a key reason why I choose Soulkraft.
7. Looking back on it now, what tracks from the album stand out in your mind or which ones hold the most meaning for you and why?
Well I would choose “Movement”, because for me it has a perfect flow, and gives me a interesting, special feeling every time I listen to it. I also love “Moon” which so far appears to be one of the most loved ones on the album.
8. Is there any thought of doing remixes from the album and if so who would you like to see remix your work?
I might organise some remixes in the future, I might even search for vocals for some tracks, but right now the album release process has taken up plenty of my time, so once the main release period is over, I will start focusing on other ideas as well.
9. How important do you think artist albums are in this age of rapidly consumed music? Are they as important and well received as they were 15 years ago?
This is a good question. To be honest releasing an album these days don’t have such a big meaning as back in the days. But I don’t mind, I don’t always like to follow trends. I like to stay old school in certain ways. An album for me, is a timeline of emotions. It reflects my mood and experiences in the past year, and I summon it up and share it in a interesting way with the audience. To me it still has a special feeling, and I am sure there are other people who can still relate to this feeling, although releasing singles weekly has become more popular. I try to find a good balance between the styles.
10. Tell us a bit about your Soulkraft imprint, how did that begin, who is involved and what’s the focus stylistically?
I have many ideas in my head, and it is hard to make them come true if you always need to compromise with other labels. They all have a specific style, and specific needs. I created Soulkraft so I can give myself the musical, and creative freedom I need. I thought if I start this path, with time other artists can join my as well. The style is mostly progressive, but I am open to minimal techno, and slower music types also. I just want to feel a music is honest and unique, that the person did not create it to get attention, but rather to express themselves honestly. Soulkraft is right now a one man operation. I do the videos, the mastering, the music and the graphics design. They are always people helping me on the way, but the core of the whole label is led by me.
11. So far it’s primarily been an outlet for your own music and a new artist you’ve been mentoring, Toronto’s Las Von. Tell us a bit about how that relationship began?
I have received a demo from Las Von called “Pulse”. I found it amazing and interesting, and we started talking. He said he understands the concept of Soulkraft and he can relate to it. We became friends, and I was giving him advice and telling him about my experiences in the music industry. As he started producing music not so long ago, he has already made a great way, and now he is experimenting with his sounds in the electronic music scene.
12. What advice would have for artists hoping to get signed to the label?
Well don’t expect success overnight, and only send tracks which are honest, and ones that tell a story. Telling a story, or building up a feeling in a track is the best thing you can do in my opinion to make it interesting. Its not only music, its a philosophy. We are rather looking for friends to make who we share the same interests with, and not colleagues.
13. What’s coming next? What can we expect to hear from you later this year?
There is a release coming out on John Johnson’s label called “Shout In Space” with 2 remixes, and also another single from Soulkraft probably in November or beginning of December.
14. Let’s end with your current top five, what are you loving at the moment?
Matador – Its A Rollover
Resonance – Home
Roll Green – Napier
Dirty Doering – Bliksem
Oliver Winters – In The Flood
‘Endless’ is out now on Soulkraft, you can purchase the release: here