Kevin Arnemann – THE PARTAE

by the partae

Where are you currently based?

Right now I’m living in Amsterdam.

How did you start?

I’ve been interested in music as long as I can remember. My interest in electronic music started around the age of 13. For my 14th birthday my parents took me with them to the Awakenings Festival in 2006 – that was my first proper encounter with techno music. That day sparked my passion for techno.

Not long after I started to spend my spare time at Outland Records – a record store in Amsterdam – digging the crates. Shortly after I got my own pair of Technics turntables and a mixer. After building my own record collection and playing records in my bedroom for 2 years I decided to sign up for the TWSTd DJ Contest late 2008, which I ended up winning in 2009 in a sold out Melkweg. That gave me a great platform to proof myself to the Amsterdam night life. Winning the contest also gave me the opportunity to take the Electronic Music Production course at SAE – where I’ve learned all the foundations for the studio.

At the moment you are working on some really cool projects for your label Taped Artifact. Please tell us about these projects:

Taped Artifact came into existence very organically. Around 2013 / 2014 I was having these talks with my label partner Daan. We noticed dub techno as a genre had become pretty ‘safe’ over the last couple of years and we wanted to make it more creative again. We didn’t really rush into setting up the label, we just started collecting ideas, music and visual art and went on from there. Now, a bit over 2,5 years after the launch, we felt it was time to expand the label witch events to further showcase our sound. We are in the midst of locking in some dates with various venues. The kick off of our label showcase is this month.

In September you will have your first club showcase, what can we expect?

I’m super excited for this. It will take place in The Hague’s newly opened Het Magazijn – a small, intimate club located in a basement. It’s dark, raw yet with a warm atmosphere – the perfect place to showcase the sound of Taped Artifact. For this first edition we’ve invited Berlin’s Pablo Mateo. He’s an artist we’ve been following for quite some time now and now really is making a name for himself. Therefore it’s even more special to us that he will follow up this gig with his Taped Artifact label debut later this year, by appearing on our first remix compilation.

You have lined up some exciting releases for the end of this year and early next year. Can you give us a sneak peak description of what will be coming out?

I’ve a solo EP coming up for the new London based Glass Talk label. That will be a four tracker with quite some dub influences. Next to that I’ve two remixes coming up.

You have lined up two remixes, one for a Japanese label and one for a label from Chicago. How did these come about? How do you approach remixing?

Remixing is something completely different compared to producing originals, as you are dissecting a moment someone else has created and recorded. That’s why I tend to stay away from the original as much as possible and create my own moment with the given stems. Occasionally this can result in something that doesn’t sound anything like the original as I took the stems completely apart, chopping and processing them over and over. So in a way the approach is completely different, however the process can be quite similar to producing an original, the only thing is that you are forced to work with certain sounds.

You also an EP coming up on Glass Talk, a new London based label. What inspired this EP and please tell us about the production process:

This EP turned out to be more of a compilation of four tracks I made over a longer period of time – so there isn’t really one source of inspiration that triggered all the tracks. As to the production process: I don’t really have one way of working… At least I’m trying to stay away from a standard approach as much as I can. When making music I tend to look out for these unplanned moments, as they often trigger my inspiration and creativity.

What other music are you working on?

Got lots of bits and pieces laying around that need to be finished.

Earlier this year you premiered your new live set, please tell us about this and your live set:

In 2016 I’ve spent lots of time in the studio making all sorts of music. At one point I went through all the projects and exported files and started to put them together into one session file and started to play around with it. That’s where the idea came from to start a new live set. I also got more confident about the music I produce. After all those years of making music I’m starting to find my musical identity as a producer.

As to the set up, Ableton is the centerpiece, just like in my studio. I simply love it. Also because my music relies heavily on resampling and effects processing i can’t go without Ableton on stage. Next to that, an essential piece in my live set is the Elektron Analog Rytm. It’s an extremely powerful machine that is also really great to use in a live environment. It enables me to keep things organic on stage and it leaves a little room for errors, experimentation and those unexpected moments, which I really like.

What do you like to do outside of music and does it affect your music?

Next to music I’m working at a advertising/marketing agency. For me this creates a nice balance, as I noticed that working on only one thing all the time really narrows down my mind and focus, which as a result takes away inspiration. Also, a rule of thumb to me is that every hour in the studio should be compensated with one hour of social life – meeting up with friends for a drink, to see a movie, or whatever. When I don’t do this and I sit in the studio for too long I can’t find the concentration to finish up certain projects.

How would you describe your music genre?

It’s a cliché, but I don’t like to think in genres. I play and make techno, but to me techno is a broad definition. The 90s dub sound is definitely one of my biggest influences, so that is always something that you will hear back in my sets and productions. But especially during longer sets I find it very interesting to take the audience to different places. One time you achieve this by playing a very obscure Aphex Twin track, the other time you do this by playing a track with some uplifting house chords. It also really depends on the venue, the crowd and the time slot. But yeah, techno can be anything if you ask me.

What are your plans for the future?

Taped Artifact definitely has most of my attention at the moment. I’m really pleased with the releases we’ve lined up for the forthcoming period and we’re looking forward to announce more club nights soon. Other than that I’m really looking forward my the forthcoming gigs!

What are you listening to at the moment?

Looking at my iPhone – I currently listen the most to Foals’ latest album ‘What Went Down’, ‘Section.80’ by Kendrick Lamar and lots of Dutch hip-hop by the likes of Great Minds, Opgeduveld and Opgezwolle. I also re-discovered the ‘Decks, EFX & 909’ compilation by Hawtin which I haven’t listened to in a long time. At home I tend to listen everything from Nils Frahm over and over and over again…

Who are your top 3 influences and icons?

Naming 3 is a tough one, but one of my biggest influencers is David Bowie. An artist pur sang that was always pushing the boundaries by being completely unpredictable. He’s one of few artists that has left an immense heritage that will influence music, art and pop culture for many decades to come. When it comes to electronic music in particular i have to give Mortiz von Oswald all the credit. How he’s shaped electronic music over the last three decades is impressive, being responsible for a numerous amount of timeless records that have inspired me tremendously along the way.

When are you playing next?

The next gig will be at the Taped Artifact Label Night at Het Magazijn, The Hague, on September 30. Followed up by the third RADION anniversary weekender on October 7 in Amsterdam.


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