Nineties German Techno DJ starts family, gives up DJing, attends trance party (Fusion, 2001) and suddenly his passion for music and DJing is reignited. Enter the world of Iono head honcho, Matthias Sperlich.
Today the label stands firm as a consistent releaser of quality progressive psytrance. In July Cape Town gets to hear the full catalogue of unreleased dancefloor fillers as Cubixx (Matthias) entertains us at Trinity [Multiverz, 26 July]. We chatted…
Iono has come a long way since its launch back in 2005. Was it a hostile industry to enter into?
I think like every industry, when you start a project, a label, you have to fight for everything and prove yourself along the way – no shortcuts! You have to make an effort to have your tracks appear in shops and there are matters of politics and distribution and so on. With time people, artists, party organisers and other record labels start to trust and respect you and acknowledge your existence and contribution to the scene. It is nevertheless an on-going project and once you’ve reached a certain point you cannot afford to let anyone down. I am happy to have such a creative team that enables me to continue innovating and reaching new goals each period.
I’m sure you must have received many ‘dodgy tracks’ hoping to be released. Today do you get a steady flow of top quality submissions to choose from?
I think the main difference is that I try to keep top notch artists which I can pretty much be sure will produce awesome music. This actually helps with the filtering process and helps me concentrate on other stuff.
”… you would expect new artists to try and push the limits but what I see is the opposite – more of the same and less courage to break the norms.”
How do you feel about this progressive ‘psy-tech’ which is being produced by a lot of ex ‘full-on’ psy producers?
Well I think it is a predictable wave and I fully support whoever produces creative and unique progressive sounds regardless of his or her background. I do, however, feel that there should always be a sort of balance in the amount of artists spread across the so-called genres and this massive movement towards progressive is something that creates inflation in one area. We live in dynamic times, I am sure there is a new trend bubbling beneath the surface.
You must receive a lot of promo submissions every week. How often does someone brand new pop out of the pile and make you go ‘wow, now this is good and original!’
Well unfortunately I have to say that with new artists it happens no more than approximately 3 times a year. This is odd as you would expect new artists to try and push the limits but what I see is the opposite – more of the same and less courage to break the norms.
Cubixx – the DJ; You used to play techno in the 90’s. Do you still listen to the genre at all and do you think it has progressed from the 90’s?
I quit listening to this music when my son was born in 1999. Two years after I was at Fusion festival in Germany and fell in love with this magical music (trance).
Has progressive trance progressed from the late 90’s – the days of Intact Instinct, Atmos, Son Kite, Yumade, Haldolium and others…?
From my perspective I don’t feel much has progressed since then and that was precisely the reason why Iono was born – to fill the huge gap of innovation and progressive (the genre and the adjective). Personally I felt that the passion and soul of this genre (in its very broad sense) had been lost or at least substantially deteriorated and this is why I decided it was time to bring new blood into the neighbourhood.
What’s the most exciting piece of music you have heard this year so far?
Oh that’s easy! E-Clip – Human Instinct, Egorythmia & Sonic Entity – Chemical Reactions, Suntree – Lolita! You should have a listen to these gems as well.
Excited for South Africa? You know the guys quite well here. Will your gig at Trinity be your first visit and what is your impression of the scene here?
I am very excited about my first visit to South Africa! From what I know and heard, your scene is pretty big and lots of cool people. I am very happy to have the opportunity to finally come and see the South African crowd and promise to bring extra special vibes and beats to the first date.