This week sees the release of Moodmusic’s Starstyling compilation, which is a fine selection of some of the best moments from their recent catalog. Label owner Sasse provides a large helping of fresh house and techno featuring tunes from many of the Moodmusic camp, such as Tigerskin's already classic “Holy Grail” along with the newest release from Dave DK and Holger Zilkse, “You Will Find Out,” which we can’t get enough of...Sasse took some time out to answer some questions for all things concerning Moodmusic and what’s in store next.
When and where were you born, and have you always been in Berlin?
Originally born and raised in Finland in May 1973, I´ve been in Germany for the last 10 years, in Berlin for 6 years now. As much as I Iove the city for its vibrant scene, it´s a very nice and chilled place to live.
What got you interested in house/techno music?
It must have been the first wave of acid house which hit the UK, and eventually also the rest of Europe in the end of the 80s which made the impact. I remember taping radio shows in late 80s with italo, proto house and early Chicago stuff and dreaming of going into clubs, as where I lived in a small industrial city in Finland there [were] only shitty pubs and discos. Eventually I started traveling to London and NYC to buy records and visit clubs, which led to promoting my own nights in the early 90s, first doing proper raves, then doing club nights and so on..
When and why did you choose to start to make your own music?
I started spinning house and techno in the early 90s, after a few years of more commercial dj jobs at shitty normal discos. Eventually we started throwing rave parties and one thing led to another so we started looking for off locations, smaller things, which also was more fitting with the deep house sound we were spinning back then. Anyways, I always wanted to understand how to make the music, but as there was no real producer scene, no mags and no internet back then to talk about, I had no clue how to produce house and techno. Some friends heard about the 909 and bought one for 300 bucks and another one bought an Yamaha FM synth and some analogs for next to nothing; it was totally non-fashionable to use analog synth back then -- it was all about workstations!
I built a dj-sampler from a DIY company and it was a big revelation to be able to sample shit, as Akais and E-Mu samplers were just too expensive. So we multitracked on normal cassette tape machines and somehow could overdub new samples on to the tape; can´t remember how it was working but it was great! This must have been around '90-'91 I think…
How would you describe the Moodmusic sound?
I think there´s always a certain deepness or emotion in the sound we create and bring out. Moodmusic stands to me for my personal taste in music, which of course has and will change over the years as a dj, but foremost as a music lover. So it´s everything under the sun, really, as long as we can call it house music !
The Starstyling mix has a whole slate of talented remixers and producers involved. Who are you going to be working with on future releases, and what are some of the sounds you’ve really been feeling these days?
The mix has a lot of our regular artists involved and we´re always looking for fresh new talent, so there´s no big master plan who will be featured on the next releases. I´ve just been in the studio with James Flavour and Phonogenic, and will work with Martin Eyerer in January on some tunes, so there will be more Sasse output in 2010 on Moodmusic. There´s a few interesting remixers which I´m really happy to feature on Mood, namely Tony Lionni will do a remix of a tune for the new James Flavour vs. Sasse single, and $Me is remixing my new Sasse single. Really excited about that!!
What's your opinion of what's going on (musically) in Berlin right now?
Berlin is mixed bag actually...Really happy about the deeper side of things, house rules the clubs here again.. But I have to say there´s great techno nights as well. I´m quite a lot on the road, and when I´m in Berlin I tend to hang around in the studio rather than going out, so I cannot only comment on the night I play out myself.
What's a typical day in the life of Sasse?
Wake up, coffee, studio, long dj lunch, studio, pick up my son, home, sleep
How do you like US clubs -- how do they compare to what's going on in EU?
From the technical side I really enjoy the sound systems in US clubs; there seems to be more detail and care put towards the perfect sound system, but I can only comment on clubs I´ve been to, which have been in bigger cities like NYC and Miami. European clubs, of course, also have nice sound systems, but that´s only in the top clubs like Berhain/Panorama Bar, Fabric, Robert Johnson and Watergate.
How important do you think it is for a DJ to be remixing and producing as opposed to just DJing?
I really have to say I do respect people who are djs only, but being only a dj today is almost impossible. I mean, I know a few peepz who´ve been djing only, but they´ve been 20+ years in the biz and have their respect. I myself would find it boring to dj only, as studio is my 2nd home and I need the studio as a creative space for my dj-sets as well.
Has the Moodmusic business plan had to change with the digital era -- will you continue to press vinyl, etc?
Yes, for sure. The days of vinyl sales are gone, but we keep doing small pressings for the fans out there. I´m pretty sure there will be a day when we cannot do vinyl anymore; it´ll be sad, but it´s just normal, I think. If the market does not want a Moodmusic release on vinyl I don´t give a toss about it...We do music for fans, and they will find it -- be it vinyl, CD or digital. I´m also pretty confident that the digital market will massively change in then next 5-10 years; we´ve just begun and are learning how to play the game. So yes, it´s exciting times and being an old fart aint´making it easier, but at least keeps you in form...
Anything else you'd like to say?
Not really, keep it deep and real -- and support your artists, label and djs!
Finally, do you have a chart or a top 10 for us?
Sasse - December 2009 Chart:
1. Nick Chacona - "Fear" (Beg To Differ Remix) - Moodmusic
2. Alland Byallo - "My City" (Alex Kid Remix) - Missive
3. Yosa - "Margaret" - Dirt Crew Records
4. House of House - "Rushin to Paradise" (DJ Harvey Streets Mix)
5. Black - "Reject My Love" - Black001
6. Siopsis - "Really Love Ya" - Get Physical
7. Chymera - "The Rumours of My Demise" - Komplex De Deep
8. Hakim Murphy - "Jupiter Poop" (Original Mix) - Black Robots Having Sex
9. Steffen Nehrig - "Randomize Me" (Tigerskin's on hold rmx) - Inclusion
10. Felipe Valenzuela - "Recordo" - Room 9
Starstyling - Tracklisting:
1. Stel - "The Nail That Sticks Out" (King Roc remix)
2. Sasse - "Friday Sessionz" (Daso remix)
3. Dave DK - "Cinema Paraiso" (Ada remix)
4. Kiki & Sasse - "Belvedere" (Till Von Sein remix)
5. Filippo Moscatello - "Pagliaccio"
6. Tigerskin - "Holy Grail"
7. Dirt Crew - "Deep Cover"
8. Penner & Muder - "Wonder"
9. Lil Tony - "Checkpoint Charlie"
10. Holger Zilske & Dave DK - "You Will Find Out" (feat Richard Davies)
11. Filippo Moscatello - "Kleinmond"
12. Sasse - "Wrapper"
13. Nick Chacona - "Especial" (feat Anthony Mansfield)
Starstyling is now available on Amoeba.com and in our stores.