LWE Podcast 143: Achterbahn D’Amour

Perhaps it was inevitable that long time friends Johannes Paluka and Jürgen Albert would start making music together. Together they have been running their Pumping Velvet club night for some time and with Johannes already prolific through his Iron Curtis moniker and Jürgen making increasingly cool edits as Edit Piafra, it made sense that the pair would wind up in the studio. In early 2011 when Oliver Bristow from Absurd Recordings asked Johannes for some tracks for his off-shoot label Acid Test, he sent the label head a live jam he and Jürgen had recorded. A raw, jacked up drum track that gradually succumbs to blunted swatches of chords, “Your Love” became the first release for the friends, backed by two alternate versions by the Idjut Boys and the slow, methodical plod of “Talking Acid.” An equally impressive follow up came six months later, also for Acid Test and this time with a Skudge remix. This year the pair have contributed remixes for Aaron-Carl, Samuel André Madsen and German pop group Reflekta Reflekta as well as releasing their third EP, this time for the Frank Music label. Little White Earbuds got in touch with the roller-coaster of love conductors to find out more about Jürgen, to quiz Johannes on the up-sides of diversifying from his Iron Curtis day job, and to see what they have in store for their first live set at the upcoming Memory party at ://about blank. Inspired by a recent DJ set they saw, they also put together an incredible mix for us of classic and contemporary house and techno, our 143rd exclusive podcast and sure to be an instant favorite.

LWE Podcast 143: Achterbahn D’Amour (67:59)

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01. Dream 2 Science, “How Do I Love Thee” [Rush Hour Recordings]
02. Octave One, “Nicolette” [430 West]
03. Roaming, “Believe In Reflecting” [Smallville]
04. Claro Intelecto, “Innocence” [Modern Love]
05. Ability II, “Pressure Dub” [Outer Rhythm]
06. Sweet Exorcist, “Clonk” (Bonus Mix) [Warp Records]
07. A Number Of Names, “Shari Vari” (Techno Soul Mix) [Puzzlebox Records]
08. Wired, “To The Beat Of The Drum” (Crash Version) [Rams Horn]
09. Shakir, “Sequence 10” [10 Records]
10. Dan Curtin, “3rd From The Sun” [33rpm Records]
11. Sterac, “The Lost Of A Love” [100% Pure]
12. Ike Release, “Phazzled” [MOS]
13. Kassem Mosse, “No Peace No Love No Unity” [Mikrodisko Recordings]
14. Vakula, “This Is Not Music” [Shevchenko]
15. Mantrax, “Düsseldorf IV” [white*]
16. Patrice Scott, “Motions” (Sunrise Dub) [Sistrum Recordings]

I understand that you guys have been friends for some time. How did you first meet?

EP: As we were both DJing, running our own parties and having mutual friends, it was just a matter of time before we bumped into each other in small town Nuremberg.

IC: And so it happened!

Jool, did you already go by the name Edit Piafra before you guys started collaborating? Were there any other aliases you were thinking of using as well?

EP: Being a DJ in Nuremberg I simply went by the name Jool. The Piafra alias came up when I started to publish some of my edits on Soundcloud. That wasn’t long before the first Achterbahn release came out. Actually I had not planned to use the name for anything else, but then it just happened. I’m fond of making up silly names. Maybe I can use some of them for future projects.

IC: Same here…

When did your first collaborations start happening?

IC: First of all we are long time DJ partners and friends, sharing quite the same musical interests. We’ve been running our own party Pumping Velvet for several years now.

EP: Producing music together was never planned and just happened to start with jamming together in Johannes living room.

Had either of you collaborated with other people before? Was there much adjustment in working out the best way to produce together?

EP: Not really. Around 1995 I used to hang out with a friend of mine who had a small home studio. We were trying to get some acid trance out of the machines. Not sure if we were successful. Besides that I played in a kind of new wave punk band. Recently I’ve been working together with Johannes Albert of Frank Music fame. We’re doing a remix for Iron Curtis’ track “Horses.”

IC: Well, back in the days I used to hang out at friends’ rehearsal rooms; they were into math-rock and hardcore, and I used to play around with their FX-racks and mixers. Ioakim, a proud member of one of these bands, and me started a sort of experimental electro & hip hop project, played out some live shows but never released any music. Recently I did some tracks together with my mate Baaz, which hopefully will come out soon through his Office Recordings. Frankly speaking, I was always a bit afraid of working together with other people besides close friends.
 I tend to lock myself away from the rest of the world to make music. So having Jool on my side as an equal part in that project helps me a lot getting over my usual habits.

You guys are both living in Berlin now. Has living there brought out any different sides in you musically?

IC: I don’t think so. Of course the possibilities of going out and seeing loads of bands and DJs performing here, or just meeting up with people we always were fans of is cool, and definitely has some influence on music. But so has day-to-day life anywhere else on my music.

Johannes is it refreshing for you to step out from your Iron Curtis persona to work on some different material? Do you feel that people become a little bit blasé towards consistent output from one name, that they think they have heard everything that you have to offer?

IC: It is refreshing, indeed! To choose another identity was always the way I lived out different sides of my musical interests. And so it is with the Achterbahn project. Sometimes I do feel that certain pressure from releasing music as Iron Curtis, but I hope the tracks and remixes I’ve released so far showed a good variety and did not bore people. There are a couple of other monikers flying around though…

You guys first come to our attention through the Acid Test release. How did this come about? Did you pitch some tracks to the label?

EP: [Label owner] Oliver Bristow asked Johannes to contribute some tracks to the Acid Test series; and some time before that we had recorded a little live jam, which after some editing became “Your Love.” Oliver liked the track. That’s how everything started. 

IC: We are still very happy and thankful to be a part of the Acid Test family. Oliver is such a lovely and open-minded guy, he is the one who understands what we are doing and who is supporting us constantly.

I understand that you have another EP coming for the label. What can we expect from the Cardbox EP?

IC: It’s going to be two original tracks and a remix. It is some kind of stripped down and weirdish acidic take on house music. A bit different to the previous EPs.

EP: We are really happy that Innerspace Halflife are on remix duty. Their take on “Cardbox” is even more spaced and dubbed out. Hopefully the EP will be out by the end of the year.

You also did a beautiful remix on the Aaron-Carl Tribute EP earlier this year. Did you feel a certain pressure contributing to the legacy of Aaron? Did you discuss the direction of where you were going to take the remix, in order to pay homage to the man?

IC: Thanks! Actually we didn’t spend too much thoughts on the homage aspect of it before and during our remix work. But when the project got bigger and bigger and the record finally came out as 2x vinyl we were really touched and felt honored to be a part of it. We do hope Aaron-Carl — wherever he is currently listening to music — likes what we did as well!

Speaking of remixes, I just came across your incredible remix of the band Reflekta Reflekta. How did that come about and is that set to get a proper release?

EP: The Nuremberg-based band Reflekta Reflekta released their debut LP some time ago. As an addition to that they asked a bunch of local people and friends to remix some of their tracks. And we just liked the idea of reworking a pop song. All of these remixes are available via Bandcamp and Soundcloud.

Johannes, do you find that people are more interested in booking you as part of a duo rather than you as a solo act?

IC: Hm, never thought about that before! Have to check in with my booking agency. Seriously, I try to separate these two projects as much as possible. Achterbahn D’Amour is the both of us. And it’s different!

Jool are we likely to see some solo output from you soon?

EP: I’m not sure if it’s going to happen that soon. I’m constantly working on my own stuff but I have to admit that I’m not very disciplined when it comes to finishing my tracks. Johannes is the poor guy who always has to listen to my output, though. He keeps on kicking my ass and encouraging me to go for it. So let’s see if I can find someone who likes to release my stuff. Most likely that will go under a different (of course top secret) name, I guess.

So you guys are about to play your first live set. What sort of set up are you using to play live and how hard has it been transitioning the studio sessions into a live environment?

EP: Yeah, it was and still is loads of work! We sync both of our laptops and connect them with a 16 channel mixer, some analogue FXs on the send/return and our Jomox drum machine as an additional piece of hardware. 

IC: Most of the music we wanna play out is not released to date or if it is, then it’s heavily modified. And as far as we can say it will be a rough ride!

What can you tell us about the mix that you’ve put together for us?

EP: The mix was recorded after we listened to a set by DJ S-Max at About:Blank in Berlin. Really inspiring! He was playing the warm up for an Arpanet live show and he played lots of early Detroit techno, electro, bleep techno and stuff like that. So some of the tracks in the mix were discovered when doing music research after the party, for example “Nicolette” by Octave One. It also contains some personal all time faves like Claro Intelecto and stuff we’re currently into, like the tracks by Ike Release, Roaming, or Mantrax. As we like to do it, it’s a blend of different things. And we hope you’ll enjoy it too.

And what can we expect from Achterbahn D’Amour over the next year?

IC: Developing the live set: we wanna include our friend Rainer on bass, to finally become a proper band

EP: Some more Acid Test madnessɉ۬

IC: And not to forget: an Edit P solo-release that will make the boys and girls scream out loud!

Paul Corey  on November 5, 2012 at 7:49 AM

I like this. I like this a lot.

AnaX  on November 5, 2012 at 12:35 PM

i love that podcast it is really “classieux” as we say in France.

AnaX  on November 5, 2012 at 1:47 PM

this mix is actually a verrrrry good one, each tunes are f…..g amazing, the overall is splendid, thanks again for the voyage

Simon  on November 5, 2012 at 5:55 PM

great selection! this one’s really really outstanding!

das pöttpourri / 颇特普里  on November 5, 2012 at 8:13 PM

very nice one, especially the last third: “This is not music, this is a trip.” Thanks, Vakula!


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[…] LWE Podcast 143: Achterbahn D’Amour (littlewhiteearbuds.com) […]

LWE Podcast 143: Achterbahn D’Amour is archived this week – Little White Earbuds  on September 29, 2013 at 10:02 PM

[…] of classic and contemporary house and techno contributed by Achterbahn D’Amour. Be sure to add it to your collection before it’s archived this Friday, October […]

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