4-5000 hours in the making… Rawtekk’s second album Here’s To Them is one of the most interesting, stark and innovative albums released in the bass realm this month.
Courtesy of Med School, Here’s To Them is the German duo’s second long player and shows the husband/wife partnership exploring even more unchartered, hybrid pastures between genres than ever before. A real ‘listening’ album that could also blow minds when delivered live, we caught up with Christine, one half of the operation to find out more.
We also copped the first view of the album’s lead title track. A clunking, industrial strength halftime gem, it’s the perfect entry point into Rawtekk’s unique world and pluralist approach where all ideas, conclusions and solutions should be considered en route to the final destination…. To the point most project files will comprise over 4GB due to the amount of creative departures they take.
Here’s to Here To Them…
Immense, right? Get to know more about Rawtekk, how they work and where they’re coming from….
You’re a married couple. This must be incredibly intense at points…
For both of us music is the main way to express ourselves. That’s why we started our corporate business based on music about eight years ago and work 24/7. We also did that before, but as single fighters. About nine years ago we found out that we are lucky to understand and value each other, that we love to support each other and that we always learn from each other.
Always focusing on evolvements and sharing the same vision is intense for us. We are very similar in world views, philosophical approaches and matters of taste. That makes things easy and productive. We’ve always felt different and misunderstood in our life being un-adapted to others and all crazy about making music. That’s why it feels as if we hatched into the same cocoon. The most intense feeling in our life is the fear of losing each other. So our dark sides are intense also. It’s almost impossible to find any free time. It demands a lot of discipline to not continuously talk about our work. When we try to go on vacation we’ve always had a pitch or job coming in and even if we would like to reject it we can’t, because we can’t afford it financially and would lose that client. We are trying to be on vacation right now, but yesterday it happened again.
All couples argue – even loved up ones. What do you argue about? Is it the really trivial stuff or really heavy musical stuff? Or classified?
Sometimes we argue if one of us develops tendencies into an extreme self destroying direction and the other one realizes that, but can’t stop it and feels helpless about it.
We never argue about music or art, but we always discuss how to improve our music.
To me Stefan is the most peaceable person. He always sees something good in me. Even if I was full of shit he would find words like sweet or cute to describe it.
You mentioned your corporate business. Tell us about some of the jobs in this capacity of your life….
Creating sounds and drum kits for Steinberg’s Groove Agent 4 was a huge project last year and probably the most voluminous job we ever had. We started recording, collecting and designing about 600 different typical Rawtekk sounds to choose from including kicks, snares, hats, percussion, synths and sound effects…
Then we created 30 drum kits focusing on creating d&b classics and basics and some subgenres like neuro funk and neuro hop, electro and electronica. Those drum kits have about 350 patterns which work as a whole song and as a single loop also. Steinberg said that they liked the idea to let it be a signature kit and so we called it Neuro Mindset made by Rawtekk.
How you complement each other in the studio?
It depends if we are working on jobs, Rawtekk or other projects. In my opinion Stefan is a genius mainly and indefatigably composing the big final sound and perfect groove of the whole song framing that noisy and raw sound while usually my emphasis is on recording, composing, arrangement, working on lines, sound design on single parts, lyrics and voices.
Let’s talk about the album…
We tried to develop a journey through manifold places with a distinct and unique sound. We wanted to be open, wholehearted, honest, elaborate, giving and radical. Picturesquely spoken we finally wanted to present a gift pack of music in a toast to “them“.
Personally for many years we’ve created music with a deep, maybe dark or raw and still sensitive approach. Our deepest wish and urge is and always was to touch listeners and maybe add something to the way people perceive the world.
We believe as we grow up we gain the ability to think and put everything in a greater context and we hope this album contributes to that.
You’ve mentioned a pluralist approach in previous interviews… This idea of embracing all ideas must be a headfuck when actually trying to hone down a track to a final version.
We hope that in this globalized world in the future the connection of different styles will be accepted and appreciated by the audience, because we love music in all its facets and have never liked limitations. That’s why we like to be experimental in music and we feel that today the scope of the listener already is much broader than even a few years ago.
Our album is an attempt to express our values within a society full of values that seem to be in conflict with each other. For us it was important to write straightforward, but yet complex songs about life, death, exhaustion, recovery, strength, truth, force, technology, genuineness, sensitivity, sensuality and altruism which all hopefully result in love as the highest value. For us trying to hone down a track to a final version is an act of self-love and altruism at the same time. It demands a lot of willpower to finalize a track and sometimes it seems to be beyond the capacity of the body.
What are the most important things you learnt from your debut album Sprouted & Formed and applied to Here’s To Them.
Right now we are a pretty high, because we’ve never been happier with anything than with Here’s To Them. We tried to integrate more surprises and twists within a track, because we want music to be exciting and we never wanted to have a loop or part be too long, even if we loved a part we restricted ourselves. The goal was to put every idea into a nutshell and to always question if that song really needed this or that. Our process might be rather an evolutionary process. We create as much variation as possible – the more the better and we create an abundance of sound. To us music is a lifelong research for new limits that we try to extend.
The Rawtekk sound is one that lends itself to a live experience… Are you touring the album at the moment? Can we see you in the UK?
The release was a little late for summer bookings. That’s why we are hoping to start touring in autumn when the club season starts and hopefully we will perform in UK!
Finally… The future! What’s in store for Rawtekk fans?
We think that Audeka are such great artists! As well as our collaboration for the album – called Extinction – we also worked on other songs with them for their album and our collective’s release: MethLab // 2 on Bad Taste Recordings called Samurai. We are preparing plans for the next phase of Rawtekk later this year – you will be hearing a lot more of our music in future.
Here’s To The Future: Facebook / Soundcloud / Twitter