Robert Dietz is one of those artists whom we have always followed here at Jacker, most likely because of the roots that we share with him in Hip-Hop. A Frankfurt native, Robert’s crush for elecotronic music came at a very young age when a childhood friend of his gave him a Sven Väth tape and listenning to it for months on end on his Walkman. Fast forward and his first productions emerge under the Be Chosen and Celille labels. His devotion to music kicks in two years after that when he joins the Candenza crew and begins travelling the world during the famous « Vagabundos ». Lately it seems as though Robert’s career has taken a new turn. He quit Cadenza to join Artist Alife and now shares the stage with artists such as Loco Dice or tINI. We grew curious to know more about this major artist who has managed to keep a low profile in the current Techno scene.
Jacker / Can you tell us how you discovered electronic music and what has fascinated you at that moment ?
Robert / Electronic music has always been rife in Frankfurt, so for me it was a natural progression. I think the first contact I had with electronic music was when I was about 13 years old and received a tape from one of my neighbours. It was a recording of Sven Vath at the weekly “clubnight” radio show, and I fell completely in love with electronic music - I had the tape in my Walkman for months and listened to it every day !
J / When and how did you begin to mix and produce ?
R / About 1 year after I discovered electronic music, I began to buy records and hung around with friends who were already experimenting with hardware and DJ set-ups and it evolved from there. I bought my first pairs of turntables with a friend together when I was about 17 years old and about another 10 years later my first studio equipment.
J / Tell us about your first successes, as in your track with Cecille, how was your meeting with Nick Curly ?
R / Nick and I are from the same area in Germany so we met through mutual friends and I put my first EP out on his label in 2008. Before that, though was my very first EP, which was on Be Chosen.
J / After that, you integrated the Cadenza crew, did it was a keystone of your dj career ?
R / My time at Cadenza was, of course, extremely important to my DJ career. I played a lot of parties with the crew and released 2 EP’s on the label. I had a lot of support from them in my early days, which is invaluable at that stage in your career.
J / You seem to have established a kind of distance between you and Cadenza, as we see you more sharing bookings with Loco Dice or Tini and the gang, explain us this changement ?
R / I think, for me, it was more how my sound progressed over time and the stage of my career I was in. I felt I needed to make a few changes in my career and focus more on my own productions and my own bookings rather than be part of the family - which is a big step for any artist in their career, but one I think you have to eventually do. Artist Alife, for me was a natural choice of agency as I felt I related to all of the artists they look after, and it allows me to be independent and begin to focus on my own way.
J / After this years on the scene, how did your music evolve ? As well as a DJ than producer ?
R / Music is always evolving and you have to make an active effort to stay relevant, whether this is in your DJ’ing or your producing. I’ve found that recently I’ve focused a lot more on my DJ’ing and didn’t release too much music, which I’m planning on changing in 2014.
J / I imagine that as a lot of artists you’ll surely get through long studio hours, do we have to wait on fresh productions ?
R / I’ve managed to set aside some time to be in the studio recently so, after some time out, you can expect a lot of fresh productions throughout this year, with the first couple dropping in March.
J / What did you listen to when you are not hunting tracks for your sets ?
R / I listen to all types of music - I’m a big fan of hip-hop, jazz, alternative and all sorts of genres, even electronic music. Just no four to the floor beat. I can’t stand this at home. But the inspiration comes from everywhere. Music in general is too versatile and surprising to just focus on one style.
J / If your studio burned down, what would you do ?
R / I’d be hating myself for not sending back this household insurance paper that I’ve had sitting on my desk for months...