Mobilee Records – The German soccer team of club music. BN1 spoke to label supreme Ralf Kollmann, ahead of their showcase at Brighton Music Conference.
House and Techno is undergoing a resurgence in the UK. A new generation is slowly turning to the deeper, more intelligent tunes. Is the music getting better again, or are people just getting more clued up?
Electronic Dance Music and its connected club culture became the dominating player in nowadays youth and pop movements.
The recent success of DJs like Jamie Jones, Solomun, Seth Troxler and Ricardo Villalobos has helped to get the new generation’s attention.
This had a big effect on the UK dance music scene and media landscape. There will probably never be a completely new thing popping up; it’s just moving tiny little steps in this or that direction. It’s all completely mixed up and we are all using new channels to find and experience our favorite music. MTV or radio is not discovering the new music trends for us anymore.
Even a magazine like Mixmag is just following trends as things are accelerated on FB and YouTube. Everything is happening in a more chaotic way in a digital social media world.
Beside the pure music the clubbing experience itself became more important. It’s more a common feeling, a moment and specific constellation the modern rave culture is bringing together.
That´s the smart and advanced aspect of the actual dance music evolution – not the tunes got more intelligent!
What’s the best thing about setting up mobilee?
Well, generally if you are running your own business you have a lot of freedom and the chance to create something on your own. We like to share experiences with the younger artists, as we already had a career before we started the label. It’s great to see things growing, and it makes us proud if mobilee artists have a big success and finally go their own way like Pan-Pot these days.
Roland is reintroducing a whole range of vintage tech at BMC. Is this something that’s set your heart racing, or are you more into single box production?
A whole generation of producers grew up on software based studios with all the pros and cons to it. Affordable vintage technology can give some new inspiration to the “plug in based everybody using the same boring sounds” situation and help understand how the process of sound synthesis really works, without using a mouse! I am really looking forward to it and hope Roland will have a successful launch and others are following.
Could you survive without technology?
I am pretty addicted to the digital world. Sometimes I feel like a slave of my digital environment. It makes me more passive, instead of reacting actively. We’ve just renovated the whole mobilee office and studios, to have an extra meeting room without laptops next to each other. But after an hour we all get nervous, get withdrawal symptoms and need our fix… email and Facebook check! Haha!
Have you been to Brighton before? Did you have a good time?
I’ve been in August ´99 for the solar eclipse across Europe. I was working for an event marketing agency and we organized a party for the launch of Lynx Voodoo at a secret location between Brighton and Stonehenge with Fatboy Slim, Carl Cox and Faithless. Good memories! I am also familiar with the whole Big Beat and Beach Boutique thing at the legendary Concorde of course and know for sure that Brighton is a beautiful place. I wish I could stay a week and explore the area a bit more.
What’s the scene really like in Berlin?
We have a fantastic club environment and music infrastructure here in Berlin. It became a playground for many creative minds. Living costs are affordable. Clubs are owned and directed from passionate people from the scene. No closing hours. Many things came together. But the rest of the world is sizzling too! New York, London, Rio, Budapest, Warsaw, Capetown and many other cities are keeping up and have a fresh and very creative scene. Dance Music is taking over every corner of the Planet in its good and its bad ways.
What is the best piece of advice anyone’s given you?
Play music for the ladies on the dance floor.
Ralf Kollmann will play the mobilee BMC showcase, alongside Sebo K and Neil Schtumm, with a live set from And.id, at Boutique Brighton, on Sat 12 April.