This Saturday (14th Nov) Leftfoot will be welcoming Richard Dorfmeister and Steve Cobby to the Hare & Hounds, Kings Heath.
In the world of electronic music Richard Dorfmeister has left countless traces. Since the mid 1990s, the Vienna born artist, flute player, producer and DJ has released classic tracks and remixes with his co-partner Peter Kruder as Kruder and Dorfmeister.
The extraordinary DJ duo whose remixes for Roni Size, Madonna, Bomb The Bass, Lamb, and Depeche Mode have made them arguably the two biggest (and most licensed) stars in the DJ/producer world.
Support comes from brilliant north eastern DJ/Producer Steve Cobby (of Fila Brazillia fame!) and who now releases superb dubbed out disco dance tracks under his own name.
To celebrate the event Leftfoot have released this exclusive dual interview between Steve and Mr Dorfmeister himself:
Tickets available here
Steve Cobby interviews Richard Dorfmeister
SC: Do you remember when/where we first met?
RD: It must have been as part of the club series I organised at the Flex club in vienna in the 90s- we always loved your sound and I think I invited you ( at the time as Fila Brazilia ) to play together at the Flex and the Meierei club.
The Flex club was famous for its incredible soundsystem – you could feel the bass all over your body- wonderful. I think that was how it started – before that we actually were dicovering your releases (especially the SOLID DOCTOR ones ) at the recordshop ( at the time the blackmarket store was the meeting point for finding new music and as well talking about it -that`s a bit gone since everybody is now buying online).
I always enjoyed the somehow positve lightness compared with some sort of melancholy (as we talked about Saudade) you transported within your music.
Do you still have the ‘chalet’ tapes from the session we did in the alpine retreat? Can I have a copy if so?
Yes I remember when we drove to the countryside and did some music there- but unfortunately these tapes are lost in space or in some storing place deep in the basement. But the vibe at the time was excellent..
Whats the best and worst part of touring with a full production for Tosca?
The best is the performing part and the worst is the amount of effort you have to put into a production like this. We did some shows in the states and in germany plus some festivals and with every show the performance got tighter and better- you learn to deal with technical problems and the everchanging situations at the several venues- quite crazy that -but at the final gig in zürich all the components were playing together nicely – I set up a special light installation (with LED-letters you can trigger off ableton live) and we had an fantastic lightguy at the kaufleuten club in zürich.
Fortunately I hired a videocrew for the evening – so everything was properly filmed and later edited by myself. Quite exciting but at the same time an incredible effort- But we had a good chemistry inside the band – our vocalists ( rob gallagher and cath coffey ), our excellent soundman (christian apfalter) – all good guys.
So these productions I normally do only if a new TOSCA album is released- the DJ performances are easier to produce for sure.
Apart from Rupert, do you plan to work with anyone else in the future?
The work with Rupert for TOSCA is something I love, because first of all we are friends from school time and we know each other for such a long time- and we developed a way of working together which is special for sure- and we share so many mutual experiences that this project seems to be still growing.
At the moment I am setting up a project which should be a collaboration with several producers from all around the world- so I am thinking about a file exchange process to keep the workflow easy. You are as well on the list for that project…hope you are up for it.. And aside from the music productions I opened up a Bar in Zürich together with some friends- it opened this summer and it is nice little spot with a good soundsystem and top drinks – hope I can invite you there to play soon.
Is three kids enough or are you aiming to hatch your own 5-a-side squad?
Don`t need to say that having 3 boys at home (aged 4, 7, and 11 years) is quite a challenge- you are forced to be better than you would have ever thought of….don`t want to bore you with details but you definItely need to have the right partner and perhaps a bit of luck to balance out all the ups+downs of family dynamics. But at the end of the day it`s probably the best investment ever.
What are you’re top three gigs as a performer / DJ and your favourite three and as a punter?
There is no real ranking because I enjoyed all of the shows/performances of the past years- the K+D live shows all over the world have for sure been on top of the list- but at the same time the TOSCA live ambient performances in several churches in Germany + Austria were unique as well.
And DJ wise there have been so many gigs over the years that it`s hard to say which really was the best. The good thing about the Djing is that you need to renew yourself with every show you do – you are able to test out the effect of new tunes and you learn to drop these tracks at the right point- for me the Dj thing has always been exciting and fresh.
What’s your favourite white wine? What about red?
As well too many to mention but for the whites I can strongly recommend the austrian ones-especially the Grüner veltliner ( produced in the area around vienna ) and the sauvignon blanc from the styrian (southern)part of austria- but Portugal has been coming up strong – hardly anybody knows about the quality from there without spending a fortune. And in Germany you find the masters of the Rieslings- incredible products are coming from there.
To pick out a name from the huge universe of redwines is impossible- but at the end of the day it`s
definitely the french who are doing the most interesting wines (bordeauxs) – but everybody has its own taste- that`s just what I found out over the years.
Looking forward to breaking bread – and perhaps a bottle or two- in the city of enchantment. See you soon brother. x
Richard Dorfmeister interviews Steve Cobby
RD: Really looking forward to meeting up again in good ol Birmingham at the Hare and Hounds soon to drop some selected tunes…Birmingham has always been a strong music city-lots of famous bands are coming from there – I still love the early UB40 stuff especially the present arms album (as well as the dub version -excellent !) I always felt a strong dub/reggae vibe there- what is your impression of this city right now?
SC – From very early on in my career I was much more aware of how multicultural Birmingham was. A proper melting pot. Bands like UB40 and the whole 2-tone scene reflected that. I’ve been lucky enough to return frequently courtesy of Adam (Leftfoot & Hare & Hounds), a relationship that goes back to Leftfoot’s inception 15 years ago. Over that time my love for the place and it’s inhabitants has only grown deeper and stronger. They have an unpretentious and grounded outlook that I relate to as a Hull lad. So much so that I can safely say a large portion of folk that I consider very good friends are Brummies.
You just released an new album, which I think is really strong – you always had a sort of trademark sound – I remember the SOLID DOCTOR releases you did in the 90s and of course the legendary FILA BRAZILIA albums- your recent album is called SAUDADE – the portuguese/brazilians use this expression a lot to describe some kind of soft melancholy- do you feel the same if you would describe the style of your music ?
That was the LP I released last year which was in fact a collection of work from the preceding decade. I had no intention of releasing any solo work during that period as I was busy with numerous collaborations. Then my publisher asked me if I had any unreleased work that had potential as library music, so I sifted through the hard drives and found about twenty songs in various states of completion.
On reflection I thought 12 of those were too good to hand over as background music so I set about finishing a tune a day as a sort of oblique strategy. I was posting the results on soundcloud as I was completing them and in the comments under one of the songs a Portuguese fan just wrote ‘Saudade’. I had to look it up of course 🙂 When the LP was completed I intended to release it as another Solid Doctor LP on the Steel Tiger imprint I co-owned.
Without going into too much detail, that didn’t happen as my relationship with the label broke down. So I touted the LP to about a dozen well established labels but was very disappointed to only received one reply. Which was in fact from your good self informing me that G-Stone was dormant.
Not even a polite ‘no’ from anyone else. Just a pure tumbleweed moment. Considering I’d spent years trying to establish the label and not got anywhere, the added solo LP rejection tipped me over the edge and so I was feeling pretty depressed. When I finally stopped sulking and decided to start my own solo label Déclassé to release it, I concluded a new start was in order and choose to release under my own name, something I’d never done before, and thought the perfect title was the comment the fan had left.
It seemed to succinctly sum up that period. Fortunately that LP did very well and got me back on a few radars. The sense of relief has been quite overwhelming to be honest. The most recent LP ‘EVERLIVING’ is a more positive statement I think. A reflection of where I am now and work that was done in the last 18 months so it’s all fresh.
I remember when I was in Birmingham in the 90s I went with Adam Regan and Dick (that was the time when they did the ROCKERS HIFI stuff – great albums all of them by the way) to see Birmingham City playing against Aston Villa- and it was good to see in what way the fans of the teams are insulting each other (“shit on the villa- shit on the villa tonight…). Are you following the league?
Yes sir. Our mutual love of the beautiful game was an early indication of how much our respective Venn diagrams would overlap. I follow Hull City AFC who in the time Leftfoot has been active have gone from playing in the the fourth division of English football to being promoted to the top tier for the first time in our history. Twice. We’ve also been to an FA cup final and qualified for Europe, two other achievements the club had never managed to do before. An astonishing ride.
You recently are focusing more on your solo projects – are you still doing collaborations with other musicians ? Is there something planned?
I put all my collaborations on hold in 2013 as my energies went into establishing Déclassé. I decided that the best home for work with other musicians and singers would be through third parties and to ditch the assortment of band names Ive released under and stick to my given name.
Tunes Ive done with various contributors are in the pipeline and will be coming out in the next few months on Secret Life, Throne Of Blood, Paper, Afficionado and Futureboogie. The first of the new wave of hook ups ‘We Start Over’ by Steve Cobby & Trudie Dawn Smith came out on International Feel Records in May and proved to be very successful.
Here in Austria the refugee crisis is the most important topic right now..there is an endless stream of people who all want to come to Germany – it seems now as the borders would close sooner or later because it`s getting more and more impossible to take care of all these poor people. What is your opinion about this exodus?
SThese people are being displaced by Western military intervention. For that reason alone we have a moral obligation to take responsibility for their welfare. Also racism or fear of the unknown clouds many peoples eyes to the fact that immigration is ultimately beneficial to the economy. All the talk of places being ‘full’ is ridiculous. What we need is fairer distribution of resources instead of the top elite hogging it all. The combined wealth of the 80 richest billionaires is the same as the bottom 50% of the earths population. That is what needs addressing before any real change can occur.
Let`s talk a little bit about being a producer/musician nowadays- since there is so little money involved in the system now it seems as only the real music maniacs can survive (just because they have to do it…). What is your survival technique?
Yes, it is harder for independents to earn money from music than it was 15 years ago but I think if you adapt it is possible. The standard way to market via label / distributor / shop can be augmented by ‘direct to customer’, which is how Ive managed to survive.
Platforms such as Bandcamp offer a way to retain more of the profits from your work. Saying that I would make music regardless of financial gain. I have done so for almost the last 30 years so I’m not stopping anytime soon. For me it is occupational therapy. It defines who I am. I can’t imagine a life without creative pursuits.
Looking forward to your selection at the Hare and Hounds – is there any good new artists /albums /standout tracks which are influencing you at the moment?
I’m almost willfully ignorant of ‘scenes’ and whats currently on everyone’s lips. I tend to rely on friends recommendations and anything else I stumble across. Preferring to let serendipity take its course and thus avoid being overly influenced by the same zeitgeist as everyone else.
Saying that, I came across Khruangbin on BBC Radio4 last Saturday and was very taken by their sound. I shared one of their tunes on FB earlier this week and apparently I was hanging out with the singers husband at a friends wedding in Croatia last year. Small world…(I wouldn’t like to paint it though)
Richard Dorfmeister & Steve Cobby play Hare & Hounds, Kings Heath this Saturday (14th, Nov, 2015)
Tickets available here