A Sit Down With DJ Robert Dietz
With acclaimed popularity in the electronic dance world he quickly became one of the most in demand names on everyones lips, beginning his career working alongside peers such as, Luciano and Loco Dice, he has since made his definitive personality known after numerous album appearances, emerging in nearly every renowned club in the scene, and still leaving time to stay true to his individual character and talent.
"As a consumer of electronic music and records I was always very happy to find records where the whole package was on point. Music to work with, for the dance floor, music you can listen to at home and an appealing cover."
How were you introduced to music growing up in Frankfurt?
When I got in touch with electronic music for the first time I was still too young to get into a club, it was more through the media. Music television in the early 90s was the big thing. The first TV-show for techno and house music was aired once a week and we videotaped it to watch over and over again. Another source was the weekly radio show called Clubnight where Sven Väth was a resident.
Whats your top record / track of the moment?
The new Doms & Deykers EP on 3024 is really doing it for me right now. Im totally into the old school rave vibe.
You've released on Cadenza and Running Back, two labels with distinctly different sounds. How did you manage that? Do you style the productions you make to the sound of the label you will release it on?
Actually I've always just made very different kinds of music, especially Cadenza and Running Back, they're completely opposite labels. It's more like that I do what I'm feeling right now and then it goes to a label where I think it could fit. Back in the days with Cadenza and still with Running Back it's based on a friendship so you just show people what you did recently and they might want to release it, but I've never set out to produce a specific sound for a certain label because I don't think that's natural.
When you DJ do you do so to a crowd or do you play for yourself and hope they like or?
You definitely have to find a balance between pleasing the crowd and pleasing yourself with the music you play. You have to educate them, make them following you but give them as well something they want and need. If you just play music for the crowd and you cant identify yourself with it, you can as well work in an insurance company or sell your ass.
You buy vinyl but you say you don't take it on tour with you. Why?
It's not just a question of comfort although of course it's easier to travel with just USB sticks. Not all clubs take great care of their turntables anymore and the soundsystems in general in combination with those turntables. Most of the time when you bring records you can't play them because they sound terrible. Everything is focussed on playing CDJs, playing digitally. I was just getting tired of carrying them around then not being able to play them. 90% of the music for my sets comes from vinyl but I have to make the effort of first digitalizing them at home. It's a bonus that you don't have to check in with any luggage, you can travel just with hand luggage and you can be sure that everything stays with you, nothing's going to get lost.
Talking about the digital revolution: as now everyone with a decent computer and an internet connection can start producing music and even promote / sell his work, do you feel that quality of the releases is going downwards?
Thats a tough one. Of course its a very positive thing that people all over the world have access to the possibilities of making music and expressing themselves through art. But indeed a filter is needed. Pressing music on vinyl is still an ok filter, as it takes a bit of money and more steps to get your product out there. So it depends on which platforms you search for music. Going through the news list of decent record shops will leave you with more music in your shopping bag and less grey hair than going through the tech house news section of Beatport for example!
Media is changing all the time, with vinyl, for example, enjoying resurgence in popularity. Where and in what format will Truth Be Told make its presence known?
As I mentioned before already we will be releasing on vinyl with a 1 month exclusivity and then hit the usual online stores. I think both formats are still very important. I personally still buy a lot of vinyl, even though I dont play them in a club anymore but I collect and it is a great source for music too." A lot of labels at the moment decide to release vinyl only again which I respect but I dont see myself adapt that to my own label and make a kind of exclusive club out of it. Our music is expanding globally and there are so many people out there in the world that are not able to buy records anymore or even have a record player, why exclude them?
And how has your musical taste evolved this year, what has inspired you?
I have to say that Im more and more turning into the techno direction again after this summer, and while working in the studio I totally lost the focus on the four to the floor beat. House had his second spring during the last two or three years, now I think its time to bring some banging and rolling beats back on to the dancefloor.
In terms of your own productions, are you still learning new stuff or are you happy with your skill set now?
I think its like with everything in life, you never stop learning, you never know enough and if you are open minded and interested person you will be always hungry for knowledge and want to learn something new. I would say that I now get more and more into the direction where I want to be with my productions but still far far away from being happy with my skills.
The hottest spot / city in Europe for the house & techno underground
Id say it is still Berlin for me. Youve got so many small parties and events happening all over the city every weekend, plus all the international guests coming making it so diverse and special. But Tbilisi is stepping up its game too!
Is there a particular type of artist you will be looking to work with and feature in future Truth Be Told projects, have you got your eye on anyone in particular?
Im in touch with a couple of producers Ive followed for years, and young and up and coming ones. But for now we would like to keep it quiet till we make it happen.
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