Apnoea give us an insight into their upcoming release on Stripped Down Records, their creative processes and their earliest musical influences.
Hey both, it’s great to be speaking with you today and welcome to MI4L. Where are you chatting from?
Hey! Thanks a lot for your invitation and nice speaking to you too. We both are based in Germany, Marcus is from a small village called Essenheim, which is near Frankfurt, and Mark lives in Rinteln, which is about 500 km from Marcus studio and near Hanover.
How has 2022 been for you so far?
Since Covid we’ve been working solo in our two studios, trying to re-define our sound and where we want to take Apnoea. Networking is very important to us and our music, so we have been to lots of clubs and festivals to interact with people. On top of that, we remixed Ken Hayakawas track Hollow Ghost, which was released on Stripped Down Records.
Next month sees your return to Stripped Down Records with ‘I can’t take my eyes off you / Empty Streets’, which is eagerly anticipated following your ‘Phnk EP’ back in 2021. What’s the story behind this release?
All of the tracks on this EP were produced during lockdown. We think you can really feel the mood and atmosphere that was present when being locked away in our studios. We liked the phrase “I Can’t Take My Eyes Off You“, so we ran that through some speech-to-text software, which sounded great with some special fx. We wanted to use only field recordings and microphone studio recordings of percussion and unusual sounds to build the beat, groove and atmosphere.
“Empty Streets“ is more of a tool-based track containing mystic voices and vocals. For us this new EP is a cool package for listening purposes, DJs and Clubs. Thanks a lot to the Stripped Down Records crew, who always believed and still believe in us and our musical work.
Previously, you have both been producing and DJing under the alias 2pole, where you focussed on a heavier techno sound. Apnoea came to light in 2020, what was your reasoning behind this project and the change in sound to more melodic house and techno?
It’s always difficult to produce different styles of music for a single project. The techno community is very picky and doesn’t tend to look left or right. That’s why we thought it’s about time we start a new project with deeper, slower and more moody vibes. But we still produce 2pole sounds, which we both like too!
Combined, you have over 40 years of studio experience. What is your process like when producing and how has it changed over the years?
We both have different studios where we live, but we both work with the same DAW: Ableton Live. Our process is to work file-based on a cloud server, so we are able to re-edit, remix or record new bits and pieces to a song. Our studios are both quite packed with analog gear and we like to record these instruments and effects. Workflow changed a lot over the past few years and we bought a lot of new equipment (because we are gear nerds). The whole music making changed, because we are working outside of the box, which defines our new sound.
Who have been your biggest musical influences?
We have a lot of musical influences. The most prolific being; Massive Attack, Depeche Mode, Yello, David Bowie… and of course Kraftwerk.
You have played in some of the best venues across Europe, including Berghain & Cocoon Club. What venue would you most like to play in that you haven’t already?
Our music is very popular in South America as well as Asia. We do not have any preferences. We like to party with a nice crowd, who loves our music – that’s what we want!
What do you both like to do in your spare time?
In our spare time we are doing music, music and music! no, really. Next to that, Marcus is playing badminton in a team and Mark has got a dog, who keeps him fit.
Where can our readers expect to see you the rest of 2022?
You should watch our instagram page for latest news, dates and forthcoming releases. We hope to see and meet all of you very soon!
Apnoea ‘I Can’t Take My Eyes Off You / Empty Streets’ is out 30th September on Stripped Down Records
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