[MUSIC: Interview] Martin Eyerer
From shadow-producing records for Euro-house luminaries like DJ Sammy in his early years (who could forget that vomit-inducing trance remix of Don Henley’s ‘Boys Of Summer’?) to becoming one of the go-to guys for techno mastering in Europe, Martin Eyerer has been immersed in dance music throughout the last twenty years. His revered home studio is a constant drop-by spot for some of the scene’s most notorious – Gui Boratto, Sasse, Anthony Collins and Robert Babicz are among the friends who pop over for sessions – and his label, Kling Klong, has been releasing tunes since 2005.
We caught up with Martin on the eve of a tour that will see him play Spice Cellar this weekend, in celebration of Kling Klong’s seven years. Fresh off the plane from Argentina, he talks to us about his studio, his label, and making cheese for a buck.
Your music has always had a strong following Down Under – especially your early remixes, like Aquanuts’ ‘Deep Sea’ and Commander Tom’s ‘Are Am Eye 2.3?’. Do you feel that you have a particular connection to Australia?
Travelling to Australia the first time was a big challenge for me, and very exciting. I found a country of probably the nicest people on the globe, and indeed, I felt pretty connected to it. I was happy about the success that Chopstick and I had with our ‘Haunting’ single in 2006, too.
Apart from your DJ schedule, you’re also famed for your state-of-the-art studio. You’re the in-house masterer for Kling Klong of course, as well as Great Stuff, Craft, Connoisseur, Stil Vor Talent and a few others. Is mastering just something that pays the bills, or do you find some deeper satisfaction?
This is something I don’t do just for money at all. Actually, when I [calculate] all the money I spent on mastering equipment and the time I use it in relation to the earning, I shouldn’t be doing it at all. But I’m a bit of a gear head and I really love adding my touch [to] productions, and hopefully taking them to a next level.
With your productions, you seem to enjoy collaborations as much as you do solo work – you’ve worked with the likes of Gui Boratto, Robert Babicz and Tom Clark among others. What is it about working with other people that you enjoy so much?
Working with other people – or I should better say, friends – has two [benefits]. On one hand, it’s a totally different creative process, and it’s very exciting to see how other producers [make] music. On the other hand, it’s very nice spending time in the studio with a friend and having three days together. We all travel so much that we don’t meet that often, so when we schedule in studio time, it’s intense.
You’re also a prolific remixer. What are some of the favourite remixes you’ve released?
That’s a hard question – I think I always love best the last remix I did. The reason being I don’t give out my work before I am 100% satisfied. I am adjusting and evolving personally [with my] sound, so old stuff is never my favourite. At the time it was out though, it simply was perfect for me.
Your label Kling Klong isn’t afraid to put out music by lesser-known artists. What is your criterion when choosing from the countless promos you receive?
It’s risky, as these days only big names sell big. I am running [Kling Klong] together with my partner Rainer Weichhold, and the main criteria is that we both have to be convinced about every single track we release. This sounds easier than it is. Rainer is a bit more commercial and I am a bit more underground, so when there is something we’re both into, it works.
At the beginning of your production career, you were shadow producing for Euro-house artists like DJ Sammy. Was that simply a decent money-making gig, so you could start making your own tunes?
In a way you’re right. It gave me money to follow whatever course I liked, independent from any income. [Then] I could focus much more on my DJ career.
You made trance records just as the genre was booming in the late ‘90s and early 2000s. Was it a fun time?
I always liked what I did in that time – [but] after a few years in trance, I realised that this music was, and still is, not evolving at all. And standing still is dying, I think… Making the switch [to house and techno, around 2005] was fun; asking for a five-hour-long set instead of two. When I was playing that trance stuff before, it moved into a direction that I didn’t like, so I would have been happy with shorter sets – but at the end of the day, that’s not what DJing should be about.
When you visit Sydney this time around, you’ll be playing a new club, The Spice Cellar. It’s a smaller venue with an intimate vibe. What can we expect from your set?
Smaller venues are about working much more directly with the crowd. [With] bigger festivals or venues it’s more indirect. I definitely prefer the smaller and intimate parties – I’ve heard only the best things about Spice Cellar. Expect good energy, and new stuff from Kling Klong, from myself, and from a few friends.
With: Murat Kilic, Garry Todd, Nic Scali, Sam Roberts, Steven Sullivan & Christian Verlaan
Where: Kling Klong’s 7th Anniversary @ The Spice Cellar
When: Saturday February 4