Believe it or not, dance music artists lead double lives. While you may think they're the prototypical clubber with superhuman powers that kick-in once they step into a DJ-booth, once the headphones come off, they're just your regular Joe with a family that shoots the shit with their friends on weekends. Music is their life, but then again it isn't. That's what we found out after catching up with Germany's world-renown tech-wizard, Loco Dice. A big source of his inspiration? Family. What's constantly playing on his iPod? The Game, Jay-Z, and DMX to name a few. Didn't see that coming, did you?
Clubplanet recently caught up with Loco Dice to see how he'll be wrapping up his year, what he has planned for Desolat in 2012, and how hip hop had a strong influence on the latest Desolat X-Sampler.
Clubplanet: 2011 is coming to an end. When you look back on this year, what are the enduring memories that you think you’ll take away from it? Will you be making any resolutions for 2012?
I never make any New Year's resolutions, they always suck. 2011 was a great one. All those years, when Ableton and Tracktor became strong and stirred up the whole music scene, are now calm. People are calm and are now doing their thing. I hear more and more quality now. The hype surrounding the music seems to have subsided. People are surviving the big hype and sticking to their own sound. My big thing about 2011 is of course the US rising up again in techno scene and putting itself on the map. It’s important. We played some big festivals in San Bernardino. It was the first time they hosted a techno tent. It was amazing seeing all those people who were open minded and just getting it. Visiting Miami this year and playing for 15 hours on the Space Terrace was memorable, seeing as it was once conquered by trance, progressive…let's just say house DJs. The amount of people coming to Ibiza this year to see DJs was immense. This year was great overall. Hopefully there is more to come. We are like the ambassadors of freedom. We dance the war away and we show unity. George Clinton always said, 'One nation under groove.' It's growing fast, it's growing good, it's growing healthy. You don’t see those ravers with the glow sticks being totally messed up. It's all a little bit more adult and it's nice.
This is the third Christmas Sampler that Desolat has released. Rumor has it the series is based on Deathrow Records Xmas sampler?
That is absolutely correct. Growing up and listening to hip-hop, I was a huge Death Row fan. Listening to their music really inspired me with a lot of the things I do. I remember when they came out with this Death Row Christmas Edition, and I really liked the way they brought all these artists onto one album. So when I came up with the idea to do it for Desolat, I had some things I wanted to change. When we wanted to do this, we said 'Lets do it our way. Lets have our artists come and do the sampler.' We have the pictures of everyone on the cover, as we want to show the people and our fans who they are actually listening to. We also want to show that we are not just one style or sound, that Desolat is diverse.
With the great success of Desolat in 2011 - the LPs from Guti, tINI - what things do you have planned for 2012?
A lot, but we haven't exactly mapped it out. I have a lot of things in the works that I can't discuss now because it’s still not on paper. I'm going to continue working with Martin [Buttrich]. We have several plans, but we have to see what we can do - maybe something live, maybe a new album. Desolat has got a lot of surprises in the new year. There are also some other projects that I am working on and I want to see what happens there. That's why I'm coming to the US. I'm going to meet my old friends in Detroit and New York. We'll see what happens.
You have been working with Martin Buttrich since 2002. What makes you two so compatible?
Martin and I have been working together now for ages. There is just something special that makes us so great together. It's just that we really click well with each other and we have this chemistry that is rarely discovered between two people. We can sit down and not say a word to one other but still feel how the other feels. And I think that's what makes us so successful working together and why we've been able to stay together for so long now. Martin is more than just a friend to me, he's like my brother.
What do you make of the burgeoning US dance market? You are obviously a very different artist to a David Guetta, but do you notice an uptake in attendance at gigs, or a chance to play more markets?
I’ve seen a lot of my colleagues give up on the US when our music was really down. I said to myself, 'Look, I don’t want to give away what I have worked so hard for since 2001.' I’m responsible to deliver music to my fans. I remember I used to play in New York in small clubs and now I’m playing at Pacha and I see the evolution. What's good for our music in the US is that it isn't growing too fast. It's important not too merge to much with these massive US festivals. It’s still to early and it still has to grow healthy. The sound that we're playing is not an easy sound to take in for new listeners. It’s quite difficult. Of course if you're open minded, you go on the dance floor and let yourself go, you'll have the best time of your life. But if you go critical, and you try to understand what this is, and what that is, you'll kill it and that’s not a good experience. We don’t deliver it like Guetta who comes and plays two hours. We're entertainers, but we're different. So my point of view is that all have to come to the States, play our gigs right, choose the locations right, with the sound system and with the crowd. If we're sandwiched in for a big event, alone, between two massive commercial DJs, it doesn’t help us at all. It's important for people from the States and Europe - US guys like Behrouz, Victor Calderone or Danny Tanaglia, or whomever else - to unite and try to give the people quality music time after time.
You’ve done some big collaborations in the past. Would you say the collaborative process is something you’d enjoy? How do you decide if someone is a good fit to collaborate with?
We don’t have a lot of time to really make all the ideas happen. There are a lot of things in the works, but techno and house progress slowly. It takes a lot of time for people to realize that they can actually get in a studio and work together. We have so much respect for each other, but it's through that respect that we decide to slow things and take our time. We don’t see things from the business perspective. You can interact with other artists after a big set at a party, have some beer, then be like, 'That was really great, what are you doing tomorrow? I’ll be here. We should do something?' This is how collaborations happen in music. You don’t force or plan it because it can go wrong if you do. It's a gut instinct. I mean look at Martin. He's now doing “Better Lost Than Stupid.” It took them two years to go into the studio together. Martin and I, we've been working together so long now, back to back, and we didn’t go into the studio together at first. Collaborations happen when the time is right.
You say family is very important to you. What sort of affect does your family have on your life?
Big role. My immediate family is so important to me and I like to keep it private because this is not my real life. It's my ying and yang. When I come home, I feel no pressure. I can turn my back and say, 'Ok, now I just don’t talk about work anymore and focus on different things outside of music.' I'm really happy that I have my family - my wife and my friends. But I also love my music family and the kind of freedom they give me. With my music family isn't always about music either, and that's important. If you keep talking about what you're doing, you'll loose the love and excitement for it.
What songs on your iPod do you constantly have on repeat right now?
I am going through my iPod selection right now and I found just all my old stuff. I found my Cypress Hill, Above The Law, DMX, Dr. Dre, Easy E, The Game, Jay-Z. I don’t like to listen to electronic music on my iPod that much. The last electronic album I had on there was the tINI album. I don’t listen to the sampler because I play it, and before that it was Pulshar I was listening to, and before that all the Desolat albums were on my iPod. Besides that I have rock and hip hop. Hip hop makes me feel good. I can go to the gym with it and listen to it in my car. It keeps me going and reminds me where I come from.
Upcoming Tour Dates:
12/15 Vessel San Francisco
12/16 Nova Luna El Paso
12/17 Music Box LA