LWE Podcast 180: Sven Weisemann


He hasn’t quite been releasing for ten years, but there is everything to suggest that Sven Weisemann is a true veteran musician. With four albums to his name and about 30 single releases, the prolific producer has become a constant presence in electronic music. His deep, dubbed out techno and house he puts to his own name is almost instantly recognizable for its honed aesthetic and sheer quality. His late night, granular, downtempo Desolate project has enjoyed its own success, his two Desolate albums openly influenced by the sound of Burial but taken to its most haunting, beautiful conclusion. Weisemann’s 2009 album, Xine, introduced another side to the producer, that of composer. Sitting somewhere between experimental soundtrack and modern classical, Xine featured Weisemann’s considerable piano playing prowess. LWE reached out to Sven to ask him more about this side of him, to find out about his new album, Inner Motions, and to get the lowdown on his various pseudonyms. He also mixed our 180th exclusive podcast, a brilliant but surprising mix of tough, weathered techno that stands in contrast to his usual deep, melodic style.

Download LWE Podcast 180: Sven Weisemann (71:02)

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01. Antigone, “Menace Of The Species” [Concrete Music]
02. Psyk, “Lowdown” [Nwhite]
03. Curve, “Falling Free” (The Aphex Twin Remix) [Anxious Records]
04. Stephen Brown, “Valente 2” [Realtime]
05. Outboxx, “Thrashing Groovester” (Edit) [Idle Hands]
06. Phil Asher, “Raining Sound” [Archive]
07. Mr. G, “Sunday Blues” (Kasper Remix) [Bass Culture Records]
08. Borrowed Identity, “Painted Clouds XIII” [Mistress Recordings]
09. Traktor, “Traktor Mood” [DIN]
10. Dario Zenker, “Hype” [Vakant]
11. Fumiya Tanaka, “Bossa” [Torema Records]
12. Strand, “Bloated” (Juggernaut Mix) [Frictional Recordings]
13. DJ P.Funk, “Can’t Boogie” [Strength Music Recordings]
14. Substance, “Relish” [Chain Reaction]
15. DJ Qu & David S., “Nite Ride” [Strength Music Recordings]
16. Âme, “Kuma” (Edit) [Sonar Kollektiv]
17. Substance & Vainqueur, “Surface” [Scion Versions]
18. The Vision, “Detroit: One Circle” [Metroplex]
19. Sascha Rydell, “Rude” [Fachwerk]
20. Scan 7, “You Have The Right” (Accapella Mix) [Elypsia]
21. Basic Soul Unit, “For Some” [New Kanada]
22. Fumiya Tanaka, “In The Darkness” [Torema Records]
23. Lucretio, “Where Are You” [Restoration Records]
24. Fumiya Tanaka, “Pitch Black” [Torema Records]
25. Morganistic, “Leaf” [Input Neuron Musique]
26. Gingy & Bordello, “Iron & Water” [Turbo]
27. Andrea, “Hera” [Ilian Tape]

Your bio mentions that you were pretty young when you started DJing. How old were you?

Sven Weisemann: I started at 12, bought my 1st record in mBEAT record store in Potsdam; it was Jeff Mills, “The Extremist” — Tresor 23.

And at what age did you start producing music?

I started in 2001 with producing music, I guess at 17. My first release came out in 2005.

I understand you are a self taught multi-instrumentalist. Did you begin playing before or after you started producing music? What methods were you undertaking to teach yourself?

It was all at the same time. I started with piano playing and acoustic guitar and I used just my passion and my feeling for how to play these instruments. Of course there were some influences, like composers of soundtracks and stuff like that, but the important thing was my passion. I love the piano as an instrument with a great sound, range and the design.

You performed a very impressive concert at ADE last year just on the piano. How much of a symbiosis is there between your different disciplines? To what extent does your piano work inform your electronic work and vice versa?

This isn’t far from each other because I combine every time different elements, acoustic sounds with electronic sounds. I like to have life in my tracks with a dynamic sound aesthetic and a warm feeling.

Do you play with other musicians as well or is this side of you strictly a solo thing?

I prefer to work alone; but sure, it is also a good experience to work with different artists together. I also like to work with singers or other musicians, especially for my Desolate project, but I like to keep this spontaneous.

So you had your first release as Weisemann on Styrax, which is a great label to have a first record on. How did that come about? And actually, were there any aliases you were using before you started under your own name?

I started directly with my real name and my 1st track coming out because Thomas (owner of Mojuba) said to Steffen (owner of Styrax), “Here, give this guy a chance,” and that’s it, we put “Deep Direction” on the V.A. with Shed and Don Williams. Some weeks later came a license request from Lawrence for the Groove mix CD for my track, and really close to this I also had my first Mojuba release out, the Vibe EP.

So as Sven Weisemann you’ve released two albums to date: Xine and very recently, Inner Motions. What were the ideas you were using going into the making of these albums?

Xine was just a spontaneous project. I produced for my Shade EP on Meanwhile two intro, outro tracks. The Meanwhile guys liked it but the choice was a two tracker for this EP. Month to month I had tons of fragments and I called the folder XINE. One of those days I created the idea and the journey for an album; I composed some new material and finished old fragments. Inner Motions consists of tracks from 2006-2008, really old productions, the only thing that I did was some little change in the arrangements and sounds but I created this journey from old tracks and I called this INNER MOTIONS.

You can hear as well on your Desolate project quite a difference in the two albums you have made. Where do you feel this project is headed?

Desolate is a project with that Xine feeling but more into electronica, darker and with beats. You can hear a lot of influences from soundtracks, Burial, and classical stuff. I’m working on my third album right now, but the sound and feeling is different; it’s more a development to bring this project to another level… I’m excited.

How does your music under the Phidias name differ for you from that as Sven Weisemann?

Phidias is an moniker for more ruff techno stuff and also for atmospheric electro productions, I have finished just now a new tune for the FDF RAW series.

Before you “came out” as Jouem there was a bit of mystery surrounding the alias, though quite a few people rightly suspected it was you. Was it a conscious decision to try and keep that alias secret? Do you have some other names in use that we’re not aware of yet?

A good question. I started Jouem specially for Thaddi, the guy behind Just Another Beat and I wanted to keep it secret. But you can’t hide your own aesthetic of sounds and your style of your arrangements and stuff like that. Jouem is a different sound universe but it carries my handwriting. Later I had a concept for a new series for Mojuba; this episode consists of 8 parts. 3/8 is coming soon.

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

This is a real special mix because I put a lot of my old roots into, is more deep techno orientated with fast mixing but with a flow. This mix is recorded with two decks, one CDJ Nexus, and a Rodec MX180 MK3 limited.

Listening to the mix it seems like you DJ a bit harder than the music you usually make. Do you find that you’re naturally suited to making deeper tracks? Do you ever desire to make some really slamming techno tracks?

Yeah exactly, I like to surprise all the promoters with my energy and different styles in my sets, I prefer the journey in the mix. My productions are for the most time really deep, warm and atmospheric, but I’ll release some bangers, also, keep your eyes and ears open.

What can we expect from Sven Weisemann and his many aliases over the next year?

I hope a lot of good things: working on my new piano album, third Desolate album, a couple of remixes and of course the Jouem series.

ongama phika  on October 14, 2013 at 11:04 AM

I have listened and played deep for 19 years now I never came across something like inner motion nd >jouem great stufff sven

mimiq  on November 11, 2013 at 11:14 PM

Jouem episodes are amazing. Super proud to own both 1/8 and 2/8.


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