Hello Matthias, it is a pleasure to have you in dub, you are of the musicians that I really admire and you were missing in my collection, so here you are, on a beautiful Wednesday afternoon.
Thanks, my pleasure.
How did you come to music, or did music come to you?
I always liked music but I never had a specific direction until some friends of mine took me to a club, actually it wasn’t really a club but more like a semi legal warehouse rave in my hometown. After that I developed a passion for electronic music.
What came first, did you first play as a DJ or did you start producing or did it go hand in hand?
It kind of went hand in hand. A friend of mine made his first steps as a producer in his room at his parent’s apartment. And he also bought two turntables and a mixer, so I got in touch with producing and mixing pretty much at the same time at my friend’s place. We used to hang out every afternoon after school and did our first mixing steps and played around with his Yamaha synthesizer.
I speak with a lot of DJs and producers, would you agree that it is a different approach either producing music or mixing existing productions together creating something new?
Yes definitely, I mean nowadays both has become a lot easier, there are less barriers to do both. Back in the nineties there was no software for synthesizers or mixing, so you had to get the stuff and then know how to even wire it, and the same for DJing, I mean it is no rocket science but you had to learn your skills step by step to be able to mix vinyl records. So yes you could say the approach is very different, even today when you use a computer to do both it still has little to do with each other. Producing is something that I do for myself, DJing is something you perform to an instant audience.
Very good point, funny that nobody pointed it out so clearly before, when you are in the studio you do it for yourself and DJing is more of a showcasing live and direct.
You are classified, well i don’t like the word classifying, but you are a synonym to Deep House or Deep Tech House, and what i hear today classified as Deep House is not Deep House at all, how do you see that, did i miss something?
If you missed it I missed it at the same time. When I check the Deep House section at the music portals I say to myself ‘Ok, whatever that is but it is no Deep House at all’, it seems like they needed a name for this music and the word Deep House was there, but for me it is something really different in the 90’s and early 2000’s, what they call it nowadays is almost near EDM.
Absolutely, i cannot agree more.
I don’t know what happened but it kind of changed pretty much in the people’s perception, the younger generation today has a different way of defining music. So probably we have to invent a new category, something like ‘classic Deep House’ maybe?
That would have been my next question, how would you call your music then? If Deep House is something different, what is your music?
My music nowadays is more Tech house but even that can be everything. It is difficult to say, not because the music is so special but categories are so complicated to apply to music. I would say it is somewhere between Deep Tech House, I like to play music that is very groovy and organic.
Your last album ‘Momentum’ from 2016 is for me a perfect example of what i would call Deep House.
It’s good that you say that, it was for me like looking back to the music from the 90’s and beginning of the millennium, paying tribute to this kind of Deep House sound.
Perfect, pointing out to the new generations today saying ‘Hey folks, this is what is called Deep House, nothing else.
Well, I don’t make music to teach people, who am I to tell people what is good or bad? I try to reach people that like this kind of music or find a new audience, but without saying my music is better than any other.
Very well said. Your label Moon Harbour is a label that started very deep, defining Deep House in a way, so how would you define the musical development of the label over the last 17 years?
17 years, yes indeed. We started with this deep sound that friends of mine and myself were producing in the late 90’s. At the start of the label we were very young, so the journey went from a more listen-to-music sound to a rather club and dancefloor orientated approach, therefore the music became more functional over the years. As I was more and more DJing I produced music that I wanted to play in a club. There were always references to the deep sound of the beginning but the whole thing developed more into music for DJs.
You still reside in Leipzig, your hometown. So many people moved to Berlin, so do you just like your hometown or is it a traditional thing?
Leipzig is just an hour away from Berlin and the vibe here is quite similar. Of course it is smaller but it is a growing city, we have a lot of students here and it has a lot to offer. It is like the Berlin vibe on a smaller scale, it is not as hectic as the big cities I travel to every weekend, so I like the balance of it. I like to be here, to enjoy life in a city not so big but with lots to offer and I simply love Leipzig, so I never felt the urge to go away, it keeps my life in balance.
It gives you time to chill when you come home.
Exactly, i kind of need this. I have a lot of colleagues that can easily live for months on the road, going from hotel to hotel with your suitcases and that is fine because you get to know a lot of places which is super interesting, but I don’t work like that, I need to relocate back home every few days, I can not be on tour permanently, I need to have my base.
How and when did you come to Ibiza?
It was pretty late actually, my first time on the island was in 2004, so compared to other colleagues i arrived pretty late.
How do you see the island nowadays compared to back then?
Without going back that far i can for sure see a change, it has all become a lot more professional, moving towards all this VIP and commercialism, but this is not only true for Ibiza, especially in club life this development is happening everywhere and I don’t like to look back and complain that everything was better back then. There are for sure things that I liked more but there are also great things happening now and Ibiza still has so many beautiful places to offer and so many amazing things one can do. If you are not just into partying you find a lot of things to do on the island.
You take the worlds out f my mouth, thank you.
Big laughter again…
You had your first gig in DC10 in 2007, would you say that it influenced your sound or vice versa? Or is it a healthy mix of both?
I am one of many many DJs that play at DC10 and I have to say when I first got into this club it influenced me a lot, it wasn’t just DC10 but the whole island. My sound definitely changed, especially with the sound of Circo Loco, and this also had an influence on the sound of Moon Harbour.
If you would have a magic wand and could change three things in an instant, what would they be – on a global scale?
Oh, a big question – first of all I would stop the destruction of our planet as I think we have already come very far in terms of littering whatever comes our way, second would be to find a solution to feed our ever growing population and third would be to take away the influence of religion as it seems to be used as a driving force to bring bad things over us from every side, not just one religion, but many of them.
It is used to justify wars and crimes to humanity.
Exactly. It is used to control people, it always has been like that but lately it is getting a lot worse.
Obvious to the educated ones, the ones that are able to think and doubt.
Talking about Ibiza again, how is your Spanish?
Terrible I have to say… I started to use an app to learn it but then I stopped again for a couple of weeks and it just doesn’t work like that. I understand quite a lot but if I have to talk it is kind of embarrassing, so I prefer to say no, I don’t speak Spanish.
How does your perfect day look like?
Actually a perfect day is a quiet one, not that i don’t enjoy my job or however you want to call it being a DJ, but after travelling my perfect day is a day without a hotel room, without an airport or sitting in a plane, better to sit on my couch or at some nice beach, maybe in Ibiza, no travel schedule, no time management.
For one day having absolutely nothing to do.
You played the opening of DC10, you also played at the opening of Hï Ibiza, where else can people listen to you this season?
There is also the opening of Ants in Ushuaïa, then a couple of more gigs in DC10 for Circo Loco, and i also play for Music On in July and for Jamie Jones at Paradise in DC10.
Any forthcoming productions?
In May I got some remixes from the album coming out with Hot Since 82, Josh Wink, Jesse Rose, Andhim and more, to be released on Moon Harbour.
I love the andhim remix! Matthias Tanzmann in 20 years?
Oh, i will be 45 then…
If I am still DJing it will very likely be a lot less than nowadays, and if not it I will hopefully be on Ibiza enjoying the more quiet places we talked about before.
What would you do if music wouldn’t exist? Invent it?
I wanted to become an architect when I was a kid. Obviously now it is a bit late to start a second career but right from the beginning I would have loved to do that.
Any advice you can give to a rookie who wants to become a producer / DJ?
Work hard to be dedicated, you have to know what you want and why you want it, if you do it for fame or money, don’t even bother starting, it won’t work. The way is paved with rocks, the world is not just waiting for you, there are so many others out there. But if you are ready and really feel it then go for it, connect other artists and good luck.
Last question – what do you think about dub magazine?
I love it!
We cannot ask for more… Thanks so much Matthias, always a pleasure talking to you, and now finally you are a member of the dubious, thanks again for your time and see you soon on the floor.
Thank you Andreas, the pleasure was mine.