Berlin-based musician and label head honcho Samuel Kindermann [aka Einmusik] is considered to be one of the most acclaimed representatives of Melodic House & Techno, and deservedly so. With a musical cosmos that straddles some of the world’s most esteemed imprints such as Stil vor Talent, Diynamic, Katermukke, Suara, and Bedrock among others. Born in the late 70s, Kindermann absorbed the sounds of Depeche Mode, Visage and Kraftwerk, gravitating to their melodic and experimental worth.
By 2004, he had mastered his core aesthetic as a producer and subsequently entered the German Dance Charts with his single ‘Jittery Heritage'. Contributing further to the progression of the genre, Kindermann launched Einmusika Recordings in 2008; a label that has since operated with flourishing success. In 2014, Kindermann announced the release of his fourth studio album '5 A.M'; presenting a new dimension of scope for his compositions.
Released in 2015, 'I.D.C' served as his follow up LP containing a series of chartered releases on leading imprints like Katermukke and Suara; the included 'Sleep Talk' being voted Billboard’s 10th Best Dance Track of the year. His succeeding LP 'Serenade', provided fans with a very different listening experience, championing cosmic synths and measured percussive work taking the focus.
Einmusik has become a staple act for major international events such as Coachella, Fusion Festival, Echelon, Sandbox Festival (Cairo) and Electronica Festival (Istanbul), however, it is perhaps his 2019 Cercle livestream alongside Jonas Saalbach that stands out as a career highlight. Filmed along the cliffs of Preikestolen Rock in Norway, the pair produced an awe-inspiring set which has since gained over 13 million views. With a halt on live events around the world, Einmusik sought to help the next generation of rising artists; serving as a mentor whilst teaching his craft to producers across the globe.
I hope you enjoy guys :)
Hello Samuel! Thank you so much for your time today :) How are you and where are you in the world right now?
Hey! Thanks for having me! I’m actually on a long weekender in Tulum, Mexico City and Costa Rica. I’m grateful to visit such beautiful places.
So let’s start at the beginning… What kind of music did you listen to growing up? What was the first album or piece of music you bought for yourself and who were your favourite bands/artists?
I grew up in the 80's so this is basically the music with which I had my initial moments. I think my first LP was from Depeche Mode on cassette tape. I recorded it from a friends vinyl and was super proud to listen to it whenever I wanted.
How and when did you first come about the dance music scene? Can you tell us a little about the transition from your musical beginnings to becoming one of the dance scenes must loyal and trusted artists?
I started DJ'ing pretty early and already had my first gig by the time I was 16. This was 1994 and I was a passionate Jungle/Drum n Bass fan. My musical focus was changing a little towards the end of the 90's when I started to produce more and more 4-to-the-floor beats. At that time 'Techno House' had became more vibrant and diverse again and the transition to this scene felt more like coming home. After a couple of years, I knew that this new environment seemed to be the right direction for me to follow considering I was having great success in it.
It's almost 15yrs since you launched your own label ‘Einmusika’ and you have had a plethora of absolutely incredible artists on the imprint such as D-Nox, Lexer, Jonas Saalbachh, and Huminal. Can you tell us how the label has evolved in that time and where you see it
It all started off pretty organically really. At the beginning, I wasn't really within the reach of labels in the 00's, so I had to start everything on my own. Over the years our releases became more frequent and the team became bigger. Today everything is running on a nice solid foundation and most decisions are based around team work.
I really believe that by supporting and nurturing new talent that it brings about a consistent renewal of our scene. This is the key to our success and the format that will guide us
through the next few years.
What does your typical ‘day to day’ look like regarding the label? You must get a tonne of demos each week/month. How much time is given to listening to demo submissions?
As I started to get increasingly more busy and travelling a lot more for gigs, the running of the A&R side of things became a little different compared to the years before. I'm usually back in the office by Monday after a Friday-Saturday gig weekender to be honest. The daily label work is done by Philipp [Knepnich] and Jane who sort through most of the music so that on Wednesdays we can get together to do the weekly 'team listen' to all the new music we get sent.
Before this Philipp and I would search for the best tracks out of our demo emails. Sadly, most
people just randomly send their work in which doesn't always reflect the labels aesthetic and it used to cause delays to our important demo model. So finding the real gems in this mess could sometimes prove troublesome, but we have a system now which is working a lot better for us.
Besides the demos I get sent via email I am always meeting new artists when I’m travelling. We will usually have a little chat after the show and they will give me their music on a USB stick. If everyone on the team is convinced a certain track or EP is going be a hit we will release it.
Will be you be releasing a “20 Years” Einmusik album like you did for your ten year anniversary? How do you choose what tracks are included if so?
We are currently working on some special EPs and LPs by summer next year.
Speaking of tracks, you have produced SO many!!! What do you think of your old tracks now? Do you still like them? Do you have an all time favourite ‘Einmusik’ track and if so, what is it and why?
Yes, I honestly stopped counting them a while ago [lol!]. It's so great though, to see that a younger [newer] generation of listeners are discovering my older Einmusik tracks. Overall, I’m usually most happy with my latest production to be honest. They always seems to be the best track you have ever done, but in actual fact some of them are still shining even after a few years of playing them out. So these kinda 'classics' are also becoming my favourites too. For example, 'Microwave' is already a couple of years old but I’m still playing it in most of my shows .
Speaking about the past for a minute…. Compared to the vinyl era, you must be well aware of the amount of disposable music out there these days. As a DJ and producer do you think it is possible to build meaningful long-term relationships with a particular track or album
Yes, for sure. Music is always related to emotional content in any context. It's in these initial moments that the connection to the music is experienced. It doesn't really matter what media it's on or where it's playing. For example, I’ve been collecting music for the last couple of years through a streaming service and some of the LPs I most love have been there for over 10 years maybe. When you build up this connection to any piece of music that stays with you forever.
Your latest track ‘Arrival’ is 100% the epitome of your signature intoxicating Einmusik melodies, however, I have noticed the label taking on some electronica/breaks kind of vibes lately with the likes of FJ9, Resil and Identical (UK). Should we expect more of this in
future and what artists should we look out for?
Yes, it seems as though 'Arrival' has brought me back to where I started all those years ago! This development came about very naturally and I’m super happy about the feedback I’m receiving for it. Label wise, we always try to present a wide spectrum of dance music and as an old Junglist I’m totally feeling the vibe of this new old breakbeat style.
We have some absolutely amazing singles & EPs from artists such as D-Nox&Beckers, Weekend Heroes, Peer Kursiv & Identical all coming through in 2023. Keep your ears peeled!
I have read that you are quite the classical music afficinado. Do you find listening to classical music helps with the composition of your tracks? What are some of your favourite pieces of classical music?
Modern classical music [especially] helps me to find my inner centre again. It keeps my mind open and it helps me to reflect on a lot of things. So spiritually this kind of music helps me to stay creative and [in a way] helps me create a certain 'atmosphere' in my tracks.
I have been listening to 'Music for 18 Musicians' by Steve Reich and a couple of
Nils Frahm albums for years now. Recently I have discovered a few new artists such as
Hania Rani, Julia Gjertson, Federico Albanese and Koki Nagano. All of them are very promising artists.
Do you prefer to play live or DJ? If so, why?
I exclusively played as a live act for over 10 years, but after the pandemic I started going back to DJ sets. This is how I get the best response from the audience and
how I feel most comfortable right now.
What advice would you give new producers in dance music?
Stay patient, stay curious and follow your very inner approach to music. Any relevant artists long term success is basically based on hard work so never feel too qualified to start from the beginning and experiment.
In closing today Sam, what about gigs, what coming dates have you most excited?
Actually the next months are super busy! I'm really excited about coming back to Australia again for a solid little tour. I'm also playing in India as well and have a big tour coming up in Argentina and Brazil. Along with my usual steady visits to the US.
That all sounds super cool! Thanks so much for your time and hopefully catch you when you head over to Australia.
Sounds good Bean! Thank you.
Links to all things EINMUSIK below:
Ticket link to https://www.interstellargroovefestival.com.au/
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Our next interview will be published on Friday the 6th of January at 7:30pm (AEST)