Mrs X from Skelerock had an exclusive interview with Charly Beck from Germany talking about music history, underground and the music industry, personal influences and his new Album “Hade”.
We (Skelerock and Mrs X) thank the DJ Charly Beck for this great interview and enjoy their great spectacular music.
How did you start making/producing music? What was it that inspired you?
Actually it was never so much about djing more about production. That studio stuff inspired me since i was a little child where i missed no opportunity to play around with synthesizers and keyboards whenever i could reach one. I’m not sure what it was. I remember that interview in the early 80ies with Kraftwerk and the song “Erdbeermund” on TV which somehow inflamed me with that interest for music production. These days it was not affordable and after my parents prompted me to learn an instrument and asked for the one of my choice i had to learn that “a home studio” was not “an instrument.” Also my second choice – the electric guitar – was not so appreciated by my parents but I succeeded in getting one. If only they had bought me a studio. Now the boy became a punk. (laughs)
What kind of music do you produce?
With my current album I was focusing on industrial edged European techno. Where i put a bit more of dark music influences from the alternative scene which resulted in more melody and more lyrics which i always missed in the typical techno tracks. Mine are a bit more like techno songs.
What musical genre influences do you use most and with whom would you like to collaborate?
Actually it has always been a wide range. When i was young I was listening to Punk (Like here: “Forever punk” in this “Forever young”-Cover. Or Heavy metal like this one who also you guys in Mexico could know. Or pop music like this one. (You see I used to be a loner who gave a fuck about stereotypes). Also this acid house stuff in the mid of the 80ies was fascinating for me. In the nineties i lived the big Techno-uprising time which somehow felt like a second Woodstock for those who didn’t experience the real Woodstock in the 60ies like me. I even had a weird nerdy time listening to jazz and even Chopin. Nowadays everything led me to produce a mix of deep, dark melodic techno and dark genres like EBM, Synthpop, Darkwave and such genres. But i never felt constrained in doing experiments and also succeeded in doing so – like in my early times when i made some kind of chill step remix for Linkin park’s “Burn it down” – a great song/band in my opinion. My remix was finally accepted by the guys and licensed for official release. (By the way, releasing remixes as a small player for big bands is nothing special nowadays since big companies already made up revenue systems for such no-name remixes. Well might it be good or not, it just fits the zeitgeist to drop the last money out of anything – just in order someone was missing a political statement. For me it was just fun working with Linkin Park vocals as it’s hard to get such high quality recordings.)
Whom to collaborate with? Good question. I had a lot of idols in former times. Regarding EDM stuff i always was fascinated by the techniques Egbert was using in his production. Now that i’ve grown old and wise (laughs) I have less such idols and focus on my collaborations with artists in my scope. I don’t feel attracted so much in looking up to the big players. I find there are a lot of great underrated artists who inspire me and who are not too important to work with me. For my experience most important thing when collaborating is the inspiration you get from the other artist – either through the material you get from him and / or how the flow goes when you’re together in the studio. I guess here it makes no difference if the one is a big idol or not. So what comes first of all: The artists i work with need to be relaxed guys. The money you make from music nowadays is not worth making stress about success, contracts or original mixes.
Besides being a DJ/producer, do you play any instrument?
Well when i was young i played electric guitar for a couple of years and we also started a punk band with some of my friends. But it was never really serious with that. It started to get more serious with electronic productions and in the meantime i even on demand find the c-key on the keyboard. I feel a bit regret i did not learn the keyboard instead of starting with the guitar. That would pay out now. Also i’m learning some stuff about harmonics which i really could have learned long time ago.
An album that you could listen to every day would be …
What was your first vinyl?
Oh haha. I never was really into collecting vinyl. So my first vinyl records where from a German comedian who nobody knows nowaday – called Emil which is a typical old fashioned German name – btw like Charly (laughs). I owe some vinyl I got from here and there including my own dub plates, but I remember specially my first tape from “Major Tom” (Peter Schilling) who for me was some kind of pioneer in the German “Neue deutsche Welle”. Lot of german artists from that time began to do EBM and stuff like that. (Please don’t mix up EBM with EDM) I mean the music in the 80s was really freaked out. Later the sound became more serious, harsh and dark and i appreciate that. Though it seems this German music from the mid 80s influenced me a lot.
A song with which you always feel identified?
Hm. Difficult. You know in the Techno scope it is more about tracks than songs. A song – for me – is with lyrics (verses, refrain) and melodics. There are a lot of good techno tracks around which lack of both – other’s don’t though lot of them are just covers. But one song of the newer times which really gave me shivers is Röyksopp & Robyn “Monument“. (There is also a great remix). Another one of that kind from Röyksopp is “What else is there“. There are a lot of great songs around but these two really touched me in a very special way.
Are you interested in the culture of your country about music, art and cinema?
I remember the later 90s when all that internet stuff raised up. I had tons of so called “artpacks” where underground artists put their digital art and paintings. It’s all lost now on some rotten hard discs in the basement. But later that lead me to surrealistic painters. My favorite one was a Russian guy. – gosh, I don’t remember his name and also wasn’t able to find him in the internet any more. Maybe these pictures came from these artpacks. He also was able to touch me in that special way like Röyksopp did with their music. I always felt attracted by surrealism and all what comes with it, for example as in this nice movie. Regarding the German culture i was more reading books from the German and Greek philosophers and also the bible gave me insights on how this culture was formed.
What does your new album mean to you and what do you expect from the public?
Maybe it sounds stuck up to call it a concept album – as in fact from musical point of view it is a “simple” techno album though with a bit more sophisticated melodies, lyrics and structures than common for European techno. But the album also is a mystic work. It covers a very wide range of my inner live or maybe – in respect to its dark peculiarity – one may also say inner death. Maybe it’s a common story, about contracts, revenge, guilt and forgiveness. This whole picture behind it still keeps evolving and it still gives me input for my works. I took some time to figure it out as in the beginning of my inner eclipse it was all quite weird and messed up. I think lot of people make such an experience but i also guess lot of people turn away from it rather than facing it: To walk in the fire and to introspect the void. So I put some deep esoteric impressions into this album and yet when it came to its end with the later tracks yet i realized what it was meaning and began to see the bigger picture behind it. So what i expect from the public. Hm. I guess i’m not a big leader or someone who makes a lot of followers since all that issue is quite geeky. But I know there are some guys around who like my artist work and maybe some of them look through the mystic story behind it. For those who do, i expect them not to get insane with it. (laughs) And for those who don’t it still gives a nice listen if one likes Techno with a tip of EBM, synth- and dark wave.
What do you have for this 2018?
Oh the goal maker? I know it’s not popular but I’m not a goal maker. I mean i have ideas and visions. But for common it turns out later what it all was for. So i don’t have big plans for 2018 neither. I’m going more in the Synthwave direction at the moment. So maybe an output will be a 80’s Synthwave ep coming in 2018 or a bit later? We’ll see. Also some talks regarding remix project’s are pending. This is coming asap. No need to plan.
Anything else you want to add?
Nope. I was talking enough i guess. Thanks a lot for your attention, I hope you like my album and thanks to you, Adolfo and Skelerock for the interview!
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