What made you decide that music is a thing for you?

I was lucky that my parents sent me to music school or saw the sense behind it and invested the money for it. After that I had the necessary environment, so friends who made music with me, a teacher who encouraged me. Since I’m 14 music is more or less my life elixir and it took its way, I only practiced, so I was accepted at some point at a music university. Even if you still don’t know what it means to be a professional musician (haha) everything was clear from there on. I can’t imagine anything better either. It’s also a great privilege.

Introduce us to you and your musical history.

Glockenspiel, flute, classical guitar, electric guitar, effects, composition, rhythm research, finger drumming, producing, building beats, haha. After many years of making music, I have really learned or at least tried a lot of different styles of music from different regions of the world. But since about 10 years I’m really deep into the topic of rhythm and beats, I still like this very much, I’ll probably stay there for a while and research, research and research, yippie.

Two possibilites to describe me: One possibility: I’m a guitar player, composer, producer, (rhythm) researcher, tutor, thinker, (festival) organizer, post-contemporary, subcultural creator, feminist, real-utopist, motivator, supporter of marginalized groups, common welfare orientated, traveler, passionated laugher, part of Subwater Beats collective and privileged inhabitant of planet earth.
Or second possibility: I do, try, believe in pluralism, doing things together, experiments, multicollectivity, endless fun, multiperspectivity, recovering again and again, celebrating and appreciating life, connecting collectives, failing and learing process, exchange, consistency, sustainability, peace, thinking from the future, correlation, connectivity, respect and random stuff.

The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in, How do you feel you are doing?

It totally feels that way yes, although I could think of other, worse types of businesses, phew. To be honest it is frustrating 99% of the time haha. Just the other day I did a personal study: 100 booking emails, 5 responses (all people I know), 2 concerts. The booking emails were super researched not just standard emails. Everything works through vitamin B and or money, that’s it. Skills are unfortunately absolutely third-rate. An official study from 2016 showed that even in a super-rich country like Germany, 68% of all jazz musicians live below the official poverty line. On top of that, there are far too few performance opportunities for far too many super musicians, as well as several other structural problems, without going into intersectional forms of discrimination yet. At the same time, I feel very privileged to be able to practice this profession. I have gained a lot of freedom, so I really concentrate on my own music and research work.

How have your composition and improvising skills developed over time?

I have to say I’m very happy with these for a few years. After years and years of struggling, I feel quite comfortable with that now. For years I have always had hyper-creative phases in which I either record an album or write a new concert program for my bands within a week mostly. Also with improvising, I feel more and more free. Not all the time for sure, sometimes you just feel uncomfortable, but it’s getting better. Luckily.

I’m seeing a lot of debate about women not feeling safe at music gigs, any thoughts on what we need to do to help?

That’s sadly super true and horrible. I mean our whole society (speaking now for Germany) is super sexist, still in 2022, crazy! And I wanna add LGBTQIA+ and People of Color, which also don’t feel safe very very often, doesn’t matter if it’s in the audience, the working environment, or even on stage. After all these marginalized groups are telling us non-marginalized people day after day how crazy they get suppressed, we finally need to listen to them and change that as fast as possible. These are all not my ideas but speaking of our music sector: I can see dramatic differences in events with or without awareness crews. As a curator or event manager I should/could think about who do I invite and what my event policy is, as an artist I should/could think about who I could pass on the concert request I can’t play, and so on. So come on white privileged dudes, move your ass and do better stuff, haha, we will all benefit, 100%!

As you develop as an artist and develop using socials what ways do you get new ears on your music? Any tips?

Haha, definitely would share my tips, if I would have serious ones. I’m trying the standard options, but I think money and contacts are definitely working best, haha. Maybe luck sometimes and ok, yes also skills.

Tell us 2 truths and a lie about you.

Some people think I’m smiling and laughing all the time. But I can tell you it’s not true. Latest in the moment I start working on some music business stuff, haha. But what is true, is that I immediately start smiling and laughing if I met or see some nice people, yippie.

What’s your thought on spotifys monopoly on the music industry?

As with all monopolies or oligopolies, I think it is even more important than politics finally intervenes in the all-so-clever free market. Individuals won’t change that with consuming decisions. There is enought proof about that – same thing with climate crisis. At the moment the spotify share is lower than when it went public, because investors (similar to netflix) are bailing out because they have noticed (within the doubtable free market logic) that there are no possibilities to be profitable at any point, if you can get endless music (or films) for 10 bucks a month. But without clear laws I don’t think it will be better even if spotify would die at one point. Like in all businesses I think there must be companies with way more democracy and worker rights, e.g. workers are shareholders. There are amazing ideas out there from very smart „common welfare economy“ people. But yes after people all around the globe are used to it that you get „all“ music for more or less „no“ money, it will be a huge task to make them clear that people making music also need some money for their work and existance. I mean how does it make sense that not the producers (in general) but the people around make the money, that’s insane.

Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories?

I’m quite into contemporary philosophy. Since one year quite into new realism. It’s completely the opposite of conspiracy theories. It is more about how to solve the problem of our post-truth age. Like every human being, I’m also into stories, this is a major part of our lives and essential for survival, but I think we urgently need clear and easy instruments and access to facts to solve multiple crises and to be able to build up better narratives for the future on planet earth with human beings, animals and functional biodiversity.

Did you buy anything you don’t need during the pandemic?

Luckily, I think not really, maybe some plugins, haha.

What was the worst experience on stage?

Not really bad things happened to me, I have to say, but I remember a concert at a very cool and lovely self-made festival. But not everything and everyone was professional, so it already was kinda exhausting to set up everything for hours. I was already done when the actual concert started, haha. But after all that, suddenly some people turned off the electricity in the middle of the concert, because they found it too loud, too late, too something, haha.

Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about. 

I’m struggling with complexity rhythms, too. haha. 

What makes you stand out as an artist?

Musically wise, I think that after years of struggling I managed to make a new kind of beats. in terms of content, making improvised complexistic rhythms (or xenoryhtms as i call them) as bouncy as possible, making the sound as unique, unpredictable and fat as possible. i’m always very happy when people at live concerts take the challenge to try out their future dance steps on the dance floor while I set off my beat fireworks. In general, I try to see the bigger picture of what I’m doing, i.e. to see the whole thing as a total work of art. I try to be as creative, multi-perspectival, funny, concrete, respectful, and open as possible. for me, it is also extremely important to convey a message, especially a political one. Considering our time of multicrisis and the urgency to end or somehow manage them, I can hardly stand it anymore when (especially privileged) artists think that “just being an artist” is enough to change anything.

I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it.

Most likely, no (human) being perceived time as something uniform or evenly progressing. Although I am the biggest fan of and strongly influenced by straight (programmed) beats and in the pocket grooves, at the same time I see rhythm and life and „the world“ (if it exists at all, in the way most people think of it) much more irregular, contrasty, multi-layered, diverse, multimorphic and full of dance and movement contingencies. In this sense, the album wants to be a glimpse into the beat’s future or bring post contemporary beats and move(ment)s into the present. Yippie. 

And I guess the major tasks of our time are probably the understanding of complex interrelations and contexts, tolerating ambiguities – at the same time resolving paradoxes – and describing problems as concretely as possible. This album is by no means an attack on contingency, nevertheless a laudation of the concrete within the experimental and a rebuff to the vague. 

Talk me through the thought process of the new tunes.

After my debut album “Too Tall To Dance,” I tried to deepen the two same main concerns. first to see how complexity rhythms can groove, where the border of the rhythmic imaginable lies and where the border of the nuances is, someone can perceive at all. This time I wanted to go to the extreme, rhythmically wise and I had one pre-compositional complexistic rhythmical idea per song. E.g. one beat has a mixture of three and even four nested tuplets, or two more nested tuplets in a polyrhythm of 17 over 22. Shortly before I recorded the album I developed my system x over y no borders, which makes it possible to imagine polyrhythms from 2-33 over 2-33 (and also higher) and as a result to perform accurately, too. It is kinda easy to write complex stuff as a composer, but I’m a hybrid composer-performer who wants to go wild. I don’t see so much sense if people compose the most specific stuff, but no one can play this. Don’t like the approximate, premature and vague so much in this case, haha. I used the x over y no borders system a lot, but also other rhythmical stuff and approaches I learned through the years. Outside all the rhythmical thoughts, I care a lot about the general sounds and sound design. I most of the nondrum sounds I played with my guitar synthesizer, sounds I already programmed in advance, to have a wide option of sounds and fast and intuitive access while the recording process.

What was the recording process like?

Normally I do albums in hyper-creative moods. When I immersed myself once, I just do stuff. There is no real (critical) thinking or even doubts usually, a very very rare state of mind and the best trip, always and noncomparable to anything else. The focus was absolutely on the beat (bass drum, snare, hi-hat) which I played on an MPC into my loop station. Usually I imagine very odd and out stuff over a standard 4/4 meter or some 4/4 bars. Most of the time you don’t hear the actual time, it’s more about the relationship of time. But a fun fact I like to use is, that all the effects react in the actual, non hearable tempo, that makes it even more fun for me, haha. After that I recorded bass lines, melodies, chords and sounds on the remaining tracks of my five track loop-station. Everything happens very much in a flow state. Afterwards I made an instant arrangement with the fx from the loop-station and recorded it directly into my daw as one stereo track. There I supplemented some (effected) sounds, melodies and samples, very little stuff. Then I mixed and mastered it and that’s it. The whole process or trip from the pre compositional thoughts till the final masters took me one week with little sleep, haha.

What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?

Hard to say, but before I start my recording trip, I spent a lot of time practicing guitar, finger drumming, mixing, rhythmic concepts, and finding new sounds. Before such a creative phase starts suddenly, I always had an intense practice period, where I learn the most.

Would you change anything now it’s finished?

No, haha. I try to focus on new projects or music once I finished something. I try to be in an interrelationship of thinking of the future and thinking from the future.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world? 

Maybe my three personal slogans: ethic endless fun, imagination unlimited, demanding power from below, means: have as much fun as possible without hurting someone else (especially marginalized people and non-human entities, too), imagine the most way-out things within your work or passion, push your creativity as much as possible to reach something new and (most probably most important) join at least one political, social, plural economic, future-orientated movement and fight for a better “world”. Have fun listening. thanks for taking the time. Peace out!