UNISON WAX CREATOR DIEGO KRAUSE INTERVIEW & Mix
- Published on Friday, 21 June 2019 13:57
Berlin’s Diego Krause has firmly established himself as one of the finest purveyors of groove-laden, soul-infused and refined house music in the German capital. His productions are a regular in many infamous DJ’s record boxes with an impressive back catalogue of material on the likes of Berg Audio, his own Beste Modus and Unison Wax imprints (run alongside Cinthie and the rest of the Beste Modus crew) and most notably of late, a double LP on the revered Rawax imprint. Up next is a return to his Unison Wax label with a new EP entitled ‘Bring The Noise’ which has already piqued the interest of the likes of Varhat, Enzo Siragusa, Andrey Pushkarev and Yaya to name a few. Here though we see Diego offering up a slice of what you could hear from him in a club environment with a 60 minute journey through swinging rhythms, murky bass lines and ethereal house sounds.
You’ve got some really exciting stuff hitting the shelves over the coming months, a double 12’’ LP format on Rawax and another release on your own Unison Wax, how did the album format come into play with Rawax, did they just have too many tracks they liked and wanted to release a bigger project from you or was it planned to do something like this?
Actually we were planning on doing a follow-up for the „Pale Blue“ EP I released on the label last year. So I put together 6 Tracks for Robert to choose from but he liked them all and suggested we do a Double-EP or LP. I liked the idea so we just went with it. The tracks were produced within 2 weeks or so and I was trying out a more playful and experimental workflow, hence the title of the LP.
Unison Wax now marks its seventh release this June, the label has acted as platform for your own material predominantly, any plans to expand the roster or will it always remain your own?
I think it will stay like this. I am planning on doing a collaborative EP though, but not sure if it will be the 08 or 09.
You’re a founding member of the Beste Modus collective and also Elevate.Berlin, for those people who may be unfamiliar with this could you tell us a little about what Beste Modus represents and what you’ve all been doing over the past five or so years, as well as the recent launch of the Elevate label collective, record shops and events?
Well, Beste Modus was founded in 2012 when Stevo, Ed and I met Cinthie when she was playing in Berlin. We hit it off immediately and started doing parties all over the city. The concept was a vinyl label that brings soulful and groovy house music for the dance floor and we only released our own tracks. During the past 6 years or so our friend group grew and some of us started their own labels. Stevo and Porter started Certain Circles, Nick Beringer launched Rubisco, I started Unison Wax, just to name a few. To bring it all together and support each other we established Elevate. At first it was only supposed to be a label collective and online shop. But unexpectedly we had the opportunity to get a nice space in central Berlin, that we now use as our shop, stock and office.
You’re a Berlin native, I presume this clubbing Mecca has played a huge part in influencing your sound and style of DJing, could you talk us through some of the influential moments of your formative years growing up in Berlin though. Were there some particular events, promoters or DJ’s from the early years of the developing Berlin scene that played a huge part in your desire to become a DJ and producer yourself?
I started going to clubs fairly late. I come from a HipHop background and didn’t discover the Berlin night life until around 2010. But formative events to me were the Submarine night at Watergate, which was run by Ron Wilson, a good friend of ours. He invited a lot of great US and UK garage house artist to the city and introduced us to the genre. Also very influential were some extended sets by our friends ItaloJohnson at Panorama Bar or when they played solo at the Homopatik parties at ://about blank. There were however so many other moments that in the end played a big role in forming my musical understanding and approach.
Your music seems to resonate quite broadly in terms of the DJ’s supporting it, ranging from more micro house leaning sounds through to more robust deep house and sometimes darker techno aesthetics. What would you cite as some of your main influences when going into the studio, does it come from spending time on dance floor’s and wanting to recreate those special moments or do you take influence from the every day and things that happen to you outside of the club?
I’m always trying to create a certain vibe that I’ve either experienced in the club or in my day to day life.
For me music is about longing so I’m always attempting to build some depth and soul into my tracks. There needs to be a certain narrative to them. Sometimes I’m trying to do a party track just for the sake of it, but it seldom works.
What does your studio set up consist of, are you a gear collector or working mainly in the box and using digital software?
I was working all in the box until very recently. I never was a VST nut though. I always worked with sampling. Mostly old Sample-CDs that still had some character to them. The only Plugins I use regularly are Reaktor and Omnisphere. And of course a bunch of FX. Now I bought a Analog Rytm and it really changed a lot. I love the intuitive work flow and sound of that machine. I’m definitely gonna invest more in gear now.
When it comes to DJing what excites you the most, do you prefer to play a really nice warm up set and deeper sounds or keep things moving in the peak hours? Would you rather play a festival to thousands of people or a dark room and intimate vibe to a hundred?
I’m getting more and more into warm-up sets. It’s definitely something I had to learn to be good at. Setting the tone for a night is extremely important and a big responsibility. But there’s nothing like playing an extended early morning set at an intimate club and taking people on a trippy ride.
Could you tell us of something in your life you find inspiring right now outside of music, maybe a place you like to visit and relax, a book you’re reading to escape, a person you enjoy spending time with to feed your creativity or a movie that’s piqued your interest? Something outside of what you’re known for essentially?
I’m currently spending a lot of time in Paris, where my girlfriend lives. The city is very inspiring to me, especially the architecture. I love strolling around the streets with my camera. I find it very interesting how visual stimulation can feed into my music productions. That’s why at some point in my life I would love to work on movie scores, for me that would be the ultimate musical challenge. Another way for me unwind is to read. I’m not into fiction, but very fascinated by the sciences. Everything from Psychology and Neuro-science to Philosophy and Cosmology. Right now I’m reading‚ Meditations‘ by the stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius.
What’s next for Diego Krause, Unison Wax, Beste Modus and anything else you have planned in terms of shows etc?
There’s a lot coming. I really had a great time at our Elevate Open Air at IPSE, Berlin in the beginning of June. We invited D’julz and my good friend Fabe. We programmed a nice day and night party, outdoor and indoors with the whole crew.
Also I’m very excited about a new label project I am working on. But nothing official yet.
Words by MEOKO