"When I'm playing music I'm only focusing on it and my world is free." We had a good chat with German producer and DJ Mathias Kaden at Airfield Festival. Take a look.
1. Please tell a bit about yourself, the description are kind of short of info:
I'm Mathias Kaden, I'm from the East part of Germany, I live very close to Leipzig and I've started in 1995, quite early when I was young because in my area the house and techno scene started very early so I got in touch with music very early. Then I started to try to DJ, I've tried to buy my first turntables, I tried to mix and everything. I had my first gigs when I was 17 – 18 in Germany and around Germany and then it evolved step by step. Now, 17 years later I'm still into music, traveling around the world.
We also have our own label "Freude am Tanzen" it started in 1998 and I have my other label called "Vakant" where I released my first album in 2009. Three months ago I released my second album on "Freude am Tanzen".
I'm not the most active producer, but I'm DJing a lot, and now with the new album I'm doing a live tour. I got a little bit tired of playing music from other people, so basically I'm just using my new album and a few remixes.
2. What made you turn away from DJing in the favor of doing live sets?
The thing I love the most about doing live acts is that I can split my live sets and I can change my own sets. When I'm playing the tracks as they are, maybe I get bored. I can mix my own tracks, I can take the bassline and the voice from one track another and the high end and the rhythm from the other track, so I never get bored. When doing a live set you can handle every sound, every second and such. Also, when you're DJing, you have to trust the producer who did the track, but I want to trust only myself now. All I need is some drum machines, one small synthesizer and for sure my computer for the MIDI connection. Yeah... It's really nice, it's really a new way and I love this new way.
3. Talking about new way, Pioneer and Traktor are also going toward live remixing like the new CDJs DJM's and the Traktor S8 all have lots of live remixing functions. Do you think live remixing and live productions could be the future of DJing?
Sync, reverb and a big drop, it's a very boring levelIt will be the future of DJing but it's not my future. The fact is that real DJing is quite gone. I hope some young kids will come back to real DJing. Even it's harder, but I think to play the Traktor and beat-matching and all that stuff... Why are you a DJ? Everybody can do that. Everybody can download the Beatport Top 10 charts and you know... I think it's boring. The promoters around the world should take care to book real DJs, who are really into it, who really know how to build up a set to bring a crowd to dance. I think it's just too easy now. There are some well-known guys like Ritchie Hawtin. For them it is okay to use technology because they are using it on a higher level. In the same time, lots of people use new technology on a very basic level. Sync, reverb and a big drop, it's a very boring level and I seriously hope that some people still act like real DJs.
4. Today electronic music is the main thing, unlike in the 70s, 80s and 90s when live music was dominant and now there's almost only electronic music, so it got really-really big. What do you think about this huge rise in popularity when people are becoming DJ's not because they care counting to four but because they love the girls and fame and stuff like that? What do you think about this phenomenon?
Haaah... long question... Surely you've seen it that electronic music got so famous in the last 5-6 years, even like David Guetta, he plays crazy music, but he also play kind of electronic music and he brings lots of people to our scene. Now lots of people think "Ohh, I like techno" but they don't know what techno really is. They might think that David Guetta is a techno or a house guru. He played a lot of good music in the past, David Guetta is a really good DJ for house music. He did a lot of venues and he played for many-many years in Paris and around Europe, for sure now he's famous. I think that people who want to be DJs for the fame and girls, I hope that they won't have success.
The electronic scene is going through a big change and it is not easy now, but I'm curious for the future to see how it will go. I saw already some DJs who put a complete DJ set on a stick or a CD and they just moved the effects. They don't mix, they don't do nothing. And this is a shitty future for DJing.
5. In the meantime, just like you've mentioned that David Guetta has lots of gigs, if you have like three gigs in a week and you're on a plane constantly fighting jetlag, how are you still able to do your digging and to exercise for your sets? How do you cope with being in the move constantly?
I think I'm used to it and I think I'm made for this because I'm so happy that all my things went so well with music that I actually don't care if I have three of four gigs in a week. For sure it's hard and you travel and you have a jetlag, but still we're doing our thing, we're doing our music and we often get respect from the audience for our music and it's really nice. I enjoy traveling. Even if some DJ's are complaining "Oh my God, tomorrow London" and so on, they should remember that it's really a big bless that we can do our music, that we can play as a DJ and we can live from the money that we get. Even if there are 5-6-7 flights and jetlag, I'm still super happy about this.
6. What do you like the most about music?
When I'm playing music I'm only focusing on it and my world is freeWhen I'm playing music I'm only focusing on it and my world is free. Every other problem that every human has... When I play my sets, even if its one hour until ten hours I'm only there for the music I'm only there for me, it's my free time actually and I really enjoy it. Music gives me power, music makes me stay alive and music keeps us young. There are some DJs like Sven Vath and Carl Cox, if you see them, they're like over fifty, if I see some other guys in their fifties the comparison speaks for itself. Music is keeping us fresh.
7. Do you have any interesting projects coming up to look out for in the future?
I had an interesting project in the last two years, we had a band called "Karussel" where I performed on the stage with five other people and we had a pianist, we had a saxophone, a singer, a percussionist and I made the beats together with my friend Marcel. It was like a house and jazz band. We also did an album on "Freude am Tanzen" it is called "Plated". I'm also playing the orchestra for my city, it's a philharmonic orchestra and in October we will start practicing for next year and I'm planning to play my new album live with orchestra.
8. What is the ultimate goal that you'd love to reach, what keeps you pushing forward in music?
I'm always doing these projects to learn more. I'm not a music God or something like this, I'm just a normal guy, a DJ, but I like to constantly evolve my production. I want to know more about sounds and music production because I can produce a normal tech-house track for the dancefloor, but I want to go higher. I would like to do wiser things, but still for the dancefloor. All these projects are really like a school for me and it is also brings lots of fun.