What I didn't expected was the passion and talent that accidentally crossed my paths.
Since its debut in Detroit in the late 80's techno has become one of the most influential styles of dance music. It pops up at the most unexpected places and it influences people you'd never think of. As techno grew bigger it found new strongholds, escaping the decaying motor-city. Berlin became the new techno capital, whereas Berghain is the new White House. The effects of this place on the scene are significant at least. The culture that grew around it and the people that are being sucked in by it have gradually turned techno form a harsh futurist statement to a sophisticated neo-classical perfectionist craft.
As I was wandering the fields of Airfield Festival, I already knew that I will have a chance to absorb a bit of all I've described above as the veterans of Berghain like Ame and Mathias Kaden were about to hit the stage. What I didn't expected was the passion and talent that accidentally crossed my paths. I was looking for moments to capture with a crappy lens on my camera, so it was more of a wrestling with focus than looking for music. Despite my efforts to learn about photography first hand, life had different plans and it was very clear about it. This is how Emma and John aka DEPTH spawned on the techno stage to do their system checks, just before I got there to wrestle some more with the camera's settings. Just a quick question if it's okay to shoot them and we were already speaking music.
Fast forward to the second day. We were sitting in the restaurant showing mutual interest to Finnish – French Avant-Garde Techno and basically everything that made a sound. Just like techno is a mixture of a wide range of components, our discussion followed suite. London's cuisine, the unavoidable blending of cultures, loads of music know-how and everything in between went down as we ordered the most precious resource of the 21st century, pizza and Cola.
Music is always a reflection of who you are"We met in London two years ago"Starts Emma as we somehow manage to channel our chatter in an interview friendly manner "We came from different universes, but we had the same passion for electronic music." Different universes might seem a bit exaggerated, unless it becomes crystal that Emma is from Finland and she was studying and digging classical music, while John started DJing as soon as puberty kicked in, filling his young veins with French Hip Hop. These days it seems that all (ok maybe just many of them) roads lead to Berghain. Emma and John have found these roads. "First you have to look for your sound and try different things so our very first tracks were more of a bit easy going, more like classic deep house." Says Emma. "Some people start in a very funny way and now they are into like techno" says John putting on the finishing touch. As they got more and more involved into the craft, Emma had quit her day job to accompany John in the studio and they also stared performing together. Their basic setup includes four decks, synths when they go live and also a laptop. As for the laptop John puts the emphasis on his view regarding technology "We do all the beat-matching manually, otherwise I hardly consider it DJing. In my eyes, the kids who bring out their controllers and play the Beatport top charts are anything but DJs."
At this point it really downed on me, remembering myinterview with Mathias Kaden. The patterns in opinions point towards a direction. Electronic dance music performances are going to diverge from DJing as we know it into two directions. First, there will be a group of traditional DJs, who will use oldschool tech to play a continuous flow of records, and there will be the pioneers who will push the limits of technology, using sync and other and controversial techniques to free up space for more creativity, just like as Mathias Kaden says: "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" (Mathias Kaden). But as far as reality goes, everything falls in between these two theoretical points and that's where Depth is.
They bear the name "Depth" because, as John explains "We both like jazz and it's capability to trigger emotions, we're just addicted to that sensation. We would like to achieve the same impact with our music. Music is always a reflection of who you are."
"Music for me is an emotional leg, Jazz is really deep music, the way touches your heart and feelings..." continues Emma. As we dug ourselves deeper into their beats and future plans it became crystal clear how much of a techno-cultural catalyst Innervisions have become. Emma and John are obviously among those who got mesmerized by theBerlin based record label, but they are already looking further down the road. There's one short sentence that stands out from John's long monologue about creativity and future plans: "You have to be the new Innervisions"
Their wishes to climb up the food-chain of flat 4/4 beats are built on anything but sand. The tracks they showed me, as they referred to them, "not good enough to share", would have been out on the web and promoted by many others. For now, it seems that the nuanced attention to emotion triggering detail pays off, as not long ago they were invited to play alongside Trentemoller. The future looks bright.