Matthias Tanzmann, included in the electronic music scene in the mid of 90’s in Leipzig. He began his musical journey in the growing generation with techno music and today he carries titles such as DJ, label owner and producer. Matthias has also contributed for some of the most respected CD series including Fabric and many others. Before his RAW performance he answered our questions, read below.
How about we start off your background. How did you start making music?
I started as a teenager. A friend of mine had already gained a little experience at his home studio. Both of us still lived with his parents so we would meet at his parent’s apartment to play around with that one synthesizer he had. It was a workstation so we could make full tracks with it – in poor quality though. At the same time we started practicing DJ mixing on Technics turntable replicas. Every new piece of technology was a big thing when as we had to save pocket money for it and do student jobs.
How did you get into electronic music scene? Can you tell us something about 90’s?
Some friends took me to one of the first techno clubs that opened in my city. That must have been around 1993. I was 15 or 16. Everything was new. The Berlin wall just came down and techno was something that only our young generation knew – like a sound track of the time. It was our musical identity.
Is there a way of writing or talking about what DJs do and how they do it that has been successful in your opinion?
I think it is like in most other fields. If you are not incredibly lucky, you have to work hard in order to be successful. If you know what you want and you are ready to sacrifice some other things for that, there is a good chance you will make your way.
Do you have any dance music role models that have inspired you?
There have always been influential people. I never had that one role model, but I have always observed what artists who I admired did in order learn and improve. Not necessarily by copying but by filtering out the things that can be adapted for way I wanted to go. These things can both be artistic or business related.
You performed many times in Ibiza last summer. How was Ibiza this year?
I mainly played for the Circoloco parties at DC10 and the season has been great. The club has always been crowded and the line ups amazing. This place doesn’t lose its magic.
Tell us a bit about Moon Harbour Recordings?
We started the label back in 2000. Next year we will celebrate our 15th anniversary. Originally, it was intended to release music of friends and myself. We were mainly producing deep house at this time. Over the years the label has grown and the artist family got bigger. Meanwhile we can look back at more than 100 releases on Moon Harbour and its sub labels. We have released EPs, artist albums and compilations – either containing label content or in cooperation with partners like Circoloco or Channel Zoo Ibiza, whose CDs we produced.
How does the music industry differ now to Leipzig in the 90’s?
The whole scene has become global. This is, of course, a general development, not only in Leipzig. With the rise of the Internet electronic music could easily reach the furthest corners of the world. Now the scene is globally linked and so are Leipzig and its musicians.
You’ve performed in lots of countries, but surely one of them is your best. Where is the best place you have played and what makes it so special?
Probably Ibiza and Berlin are the best places to play. The mix of an educated crowd and techno tourists adds this extra energy. Besides that there are really amazing places that I have been able to get to know through all the touring. I have been playing on all continents and there are only a few countries left that I really want to go to as a DJ. I am very grateful for that.
Istanbul is a unique city, which provides so much inspiration for many artists. What do you think about Istanbul? Do you know any Turkish producer/dj?
Istanbul is fascinating. I have been there a few times and for my last visit I managed to stay some extra days to get to know the city a bit better. I really can’t wait to be back. DJs that spontaneously come to my mind are Onur Özer and Ahmet Sisman. But Onur lives in Berlin. So there is still more to discover.
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