There's a veritable tsunami of electronic dance music coming out of Berlin. After all, it's the techno capital of the world.
But amid this overwhelming wave of white noise, one of the artists currently standing out on the international charts and club bills is Till Von Sein.
It helps that he counts releases on hotly tipped labels like Suol, Dirt Crew Recordings, and Supplement Facts. But it's Von Sein's signature sound that's garnered wide appeal: modern tech-y German grooves infused with vintage American funk and soul. In other words, transatlantic deep house at its best.
Crossfade: What kind of music were you into growing up and how did you first get drawn to electronic dance music?
Till Von Sein: I've been into rap music forever. Besides that, funk, soul and '90 R&B had a massive influence on me growing up. Jungle and the so-called "French house" was the first dance music which really got me.
It seems like you have a sort of hip-hop approach to your productions, with ample use of old R&B, funk and soul samples. What is the creative process typically like for you in the studio and where do you go digging for vintage records and samples?
It always depends. These days, I spend quite some time on iTunes and listen to music, and every now and then I find something I wanna sample, and take it from there. But sometimes I also just start with a basic groove and play my own melodies on top of that. The best for me is to combine both worlds: a dope sample and some Rhodes or synth melodies on top, played by myself.
You've a regular Suol contributor. How did you first hook up with Choptsick and the label? What is your creative relationship like?
Chopstick asked me in 2008 to work together on some tracks, and we became friends quite fast and did two EPs and some remixes together. In the last 2 years, it got a little slow because we are both busy with other projects.
Berlin has the reputation of being a creative and sort of bohemian haven for dance music artists. What is a typical day like for you in Berlin?
I get up really early, around 7 a.m. Normally, I start answering emails for 1-2 hours, and go to the gym afterwards. Then back to emails, and maybe a coffee break before I have lunch with some good friends in my neighborhood. Then back to emails, and maybe some music work until my girl comes home and we spend some time together.
You've played in most continents by now. Which are some of your favorite party spots around the world and why?
South Africa has a great deep house scene. People really " feel" the music and are enthusiastic about it. I love Amsterdam -- there is always this special vibe in the air. And North America is growing on me a lot. This tour has been a total blast again -- o much fun in D.C. and Chicago last weekend -- wow!
What were some of the highlights of 2012 for you? Any favorite moments?
My two shows in Johannesburg, and being a guest at the Detroit electronic music festival -- so much energy and good vibes. Can't wait to be back there!
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So what can fans expect from you next?
I'm working on my first mix CD for Suol, and a new EP together with Tigerskin for Dirt Crew Recordings. And always working on solo joints -- maybe a new album in early 2014, let's see.
Till Von Sein. Presented by Sub-Motus. With Baez, Surreal Flight and Loudsilence. Thursday, December 20. Electric Pickle, 2826 N. Miami Ave., Miami. The party starts at 10 p.m. Call 305-456-5613 or visit electricpicklemiami.com.