23 February 2018 by Daniel Davis Goff
Spending Time With – Emanuel Satie
Emanuel Satie landed in Australia last weekend for a bunch of shows. This week sees the Berlin producer take over Adelaide and Melbourne for the weekend. With a bit of time to spare, we caught up with Emanuel to talk remixes, his European summer and where to party when in Berlin. If you haven’t had the chance to catch Emanuel Satie tune the tables best get yourself a ticket.
Earlier this year you were in Australia for the ‘Knee Deep’ tour. By all accounts, it was a hectic few days in the country (losing your belongings and missing flights). What were your highlights of the tour?
Oh my, yes it was an insane weekend, I have a couple more rockstar stories to tell now. My highlights were the 2 open-air gigs itself though. Melbourne was in a phenomenal setting, with the racecourse on one side and the skyline on the other. Especially later with the sun going down, it was very special. Everyone played great sets. The Sydney show, again at a racecourse was absolutely mental as well. I couldn’t stay around for too long because I had to leave for another show, but judging from the pictures it was a wild festival-like party with a crazy sunset.
This time around the venues are more intimate, what do you look forward to when playing Australian shows? With the exception of the Knee Deep tour, your tours consist of shows in Tasmania. What draws you to want to play down there? As not many internationals head that far south.
The Australian crowd of course. Love the vibe of the people here. Open minded, friendly, down to party and a lot of people really know their stuff. I always feel very welcome here, it’s almost like coming home now. The country itself is also beautiful. Same goes for Tasmania. At my first tour, it was the last stop on a Sunday in Launceston. I didn’t expect much as the party was on a Sunday night, but it was one of the highlights of the tour and the perfect finale. People went all in, we had a packed venue and the hosts were great. Can only highly recommend Tasmania to my colleagues.
The European summer looks to have been a massive few months for you. You just played The Social in England with a massive line up. What were a few of your favourite sets and why?
It was so much amazing stuff going on over the summer, it’s hard to pick only a few. I toured all over Europe, Brazil, Argentina and Africa. My highlights were playing with Luciano and Nic Fanciulli at the new Hi Club in Ibiza, playing Ants at Ushuaia, playing a b2b set at Watergate with DJ T. For the Get Physical birthday playing a lot of special rave classics. There was a legendary night in Cologne at a small club called Odonien where just everything was right and I ended up playing another b2b set after my original playtime that I still can’t remember. Argentina is always special, parties there are always packed and people show me a lot of love. So much more that would be worth mentioning but let’s keep it short.
What other creative or not so creative outlets do you pursue outside of making music? From those outlets who inspires you and why? Does it translate back to your music in any way?
Music takes up a huge part in my life, I’m obsessed with it and don’t spend much time doing other things. I’m getting more and more into modern art and find inspiration in going to museums when I’m touring. Checking out what amazing things other people outside of music production, admiring their level of creativity and craftiness inspires me a lot and makes me want to up my game constantly. I’m also into boxing and mixed martial arts. I was competing in boxing myself until I was 19 and found out about raving haha. People like Muhammad Ali, Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor are like artists to me, they just chose a much more physical and competitive way of living their artistry. Also, the kind of confidence and mindset they have to develop to be as good as they are in fighting is very interesting and inspiring to me and this is something I’m translating into how I approach music as well. I make my best music when I’m calm, focused, inflow and without fear and doubts, like a good fighter. The mental game of making music is much more important than the technical game in my opinion.
You have noted that early inspiration to you, as a musician is the Motown era to Stevie Wonder through to Wu Tang chief the RZA. How did this shape your ideals of production when starting out?
It has to have funk, groove and warmth in my music. I’m not into clean and sterile productions at all. I also really like the sample aesthetic that RZA uses. Vinyl crackles, some dirt here and there and a heavy bottom end. This is something you can definitely hear in my music.
From Late Night Tuff Guy’s ‘I Get Deep’ to Claptone’s ‘I Write Your Name’ you are a remix wizard. What draws you to work on a certain song? Do you have a set process for remixing? Or is more of feeling out the song and rebuilding it in your own way?
Oh thank you, remix wizard sounds amazing haha. It usually is either a really good track with elements that I would like to play with or an artist or label that I respect a lot. I vary my process, it always depends on the track. Sometimes I will just focus on one element that I dig a lot and build an Emanuel Satie track around it. That’s what happened with the Claptone remix, where I just used the vocal and the rest was me. Sometimes I will just improve the track a bit and imagine how they could sound better in my sets, which is what I did with the I Get Deep remix for example. I basically just added more drums, made the kick fatter, added a stab and built bigger breaks. I always try to be flexible in my approach and try to find out what gets me the result I’m looking for in the end.
You are an artist that releases your music across a range of labels. Why do you prefer to spread it across different outlets? Compared to releasing on the same one or two labels? The latest EP ‘Voodoo’ is a very different sound to say ‘Come As You Are’ but both released through the same label.
I don’t really overthink that, I make the decision on who to send music when I got the finished track in my hand. I guess there are too many people I like to work with to just stick to 1 or 2 labels. On the other hand, I also keep going back to the same labels as well. As you mentioned I did a 2nd EP on Nic Fanciulli’s Saved Records this year. Last year Come As You Are went really massive, it was in the top 5 of the most Shazamed tracks of the Ibiza season in 2016 and did very well on Beatport as well. So obviously we all wanted to do a follow-up, but I didn’t want to repeat myself and instead of churning out Come As You Are part 2 I made something very different, darker, more techy and more experimental. It’s important to keep things fresh when you want to have longevity.
For the non-German nationals most of us only know of the notoriety of Berghain. Where else in Berlin is worth partying for the night or the weekend?
I really like Watergate, I play there a lot. I can especially recommend the Waterfloor with view on the Spree during the week, it’s a more Berlin crowd and the music and vibe is always great. Another really fun one is Sisyphos, it is one of the most popular venues in the summer with many floors and a party that lasts from Friday till Monday. Another one of my favourites is CDV. The music is deeper and more minimal than elsewhere in Berlin, the dance floor is partly over a canal and partly in a very small open room that looks like a kitchen. True music lovers go here and it’s already buzzing in the early evening, so the perfect place to chill after a studio session or before a night out.
Friday 13th October: Young Tokyo @ Sugar, Adelaide
Saturday 14th October: Thick as Thieves @ My Aeon, Melbourne
Saturday 14th October: Sooki Lounge, Melbourne