Just back from his US tour, deck wizard Mathas Kaden returns to Egg London, this time with Paracou, a collective of the freshest DJ talents around. We talk exclusively to Mathias and the Paracou members about what they've been up to ahead of their first ever appearance in the UK for Familia at Egg LDN on 12th March.
Mathias you are on the road hitting Canada and the major cities in the United States and 12th March in London will be your first European date in a little while. Taking your sounds to different continents must be rewarding but at the same time challenging to be away from home and your studio for a period. Do you find you have to psyche yourself up for a time on the road such as this?
Not at all, I’m already pretty used to traveling for a long period of time and I always find it very exciting and interesting. For sure it’s hard to leave home, but I can’t wait to be on the road again and I’m very much looking forward to this trip which I’m gonna start in the USA and after that I’ll be back in London.
The last time you played Egg was a live set in October and this time you return with Paracou, which will be the first time you collectively perform in the UK. Can you tell us about the band of DJs, when and how it was formed?
The idea was formed 2 years ago with my old friend Oliver and we now have our good friend and booking agent Janine on board so we are complete.
There are a bunch of really good DJs here in the region and I really wanted to help and support them. With my experience over the past 20 years I really wanted to start up something on my own. We are not a band, we are all independent DJs with different types of music, but we’ve somehow became a little family. It’s very unique that we are all playing together at the same club, normally we are all at different locations. The performance at Familia in the UK is really special to us since it’s the first Paracou DJs gig in the UK, and I’m very excited to see my idea come to life.
Mathias you mainly release on the Freude am Tanzen label on which your latest album Energetic was released on last year. As well as playing together do you foresee Paracou studio presentations in the future?
Absolutely, I can totally see Paracou presentations in the future. I think it’s a great start and I will do my best to make it even better. Looking forward to many great years.
Lydia we've been listening to your mixes and we're looking forward to your set very much. We saw you posted that it will be your first time playing in London, and apart from your set is anything else on the agenda whilst your in town?
I'm really looking forward to the event and meeting the Familia and Egg Ldn people. I've never been to London before, although I’ve wanted to several times, and the Paracou Familiy stay in town 'till Monday, and thanks to Janine, who’s been to London quite often, we'll hopefully get to see some nice spots. I'm pretty excited!
Lydia you have released on the Kling Klong imprint, as has Mathias, was that the initial link between you both or did you know each other previously? How did you meet?
Mathias and I have known each other since before my first release on Kling Klong. I owe it to him, that the Kling Klong heads listened to my tracks in the first place, liked and released them. I’m still very proud of it and thankful to Mathias for making that connection.
I've admired Mathias’ DJ-ing skills and choice of music since I saw him play the first time, and I'm certain that I’m not the only one. About three years ago we got into contact after frequently meeting up at events, and so it all started. Mathias is a great guy and I've learned – and still do – so much from him and it's because of him, I am surrounded by such a great gang named PARACOU!
Franz! your sound is House based with funk and jazz in it's influence, how did you come to be drawn to these sounds in particular? Were you a jazz and funk lover before you discovered House? What came first or did it all come at once?!
I was really influenced by my long term friends who were really into Hip Hop and Funk and I came first in contact with house and techno at the Muna club. Then everything mixed up but I don’t have a good explanation why Jazz is so important to me - I just like it.
Franz! You recently performed at the 'Rave On Snow' event with some of the biggest artists around, tell us about that experience, looked like quite something to be part of!
Rave on Snow is again and again a great experience. I always get to know loads of people there, and of course meet other artists. There is a joint artist dinner before everybody plays, which brings everybody together. Also there’s before and after the gigs party-hopping and visiting and seeing each other play on the different floors is absolutely great. It’s just a geat fun weekend and that’s why it’s so interesting for me: party together with other artists and a great crowd.
Jamy, you have released on labels such as OFF Recordings and some other well respected German imprints but before entering the world of electronic music you were trained classically. Would you say your training as a musician has aided you in when making tracks and even playing out?
Yes that’s right. Playing the piano and keyboard aroused my interest in sythesizers and electronic music. I then started collecting vinyl and I got more more into techno and house until I was asked to become a DJ. From playing in clubs, I also began producing music, and I used the piano and keyboard basics and I combined harmonies and sounds that fitted together. I also have several other projects that are more designed as listening music than to be played in clubs. Sometimes these influences come to fruition in club music, as in early productions like ‘Only Me,‘Jazztime’, ‘Jamila’ and ‘Que Pasa’ from 2006 and 2007. These influences can still be heard in remixes like the ‘Jamy Wing’ Crashed Chair Remix“ but often all this happens rather unconciously and unplanned. Those tracks are mostly more house or tech house productions. I still love to produce experimental or techno tunes, too. Producing is just like playing in the club: All things happen with the feeling of the moment. Hence, it is difficult to put me in only one section, for I have such a broad musical spectrum.
Jamy, how was the open air showcase session in Jena with Paracou?
I really like our Paracou showcases, because I love the whole Paracou family. Everything is so familiar in our music scene. We like, help and support each other and nevertheless, everybody musically wise is their own character. The mixture of all of us is finally what makes it great and I’m really looking forward to what this year will bring. I am really excited about playing the Familia party in Egg London as not only is it my first gig, but also my first visit to London too.
Max, your style is techno and the tougher side of house. Were you a vinyl collector before you stepped inside a club or where there any stand out trips to venues that inspired your sound and helped shape your collection?
First of all I got a lot of music from mostly older friends including many different sets and mixes from different artist. I was sixteen and didn’t really know about all the different kinds of electronic music, which all sound similar at the beginning but after a while I discovered a deeper view, I tried to separate all the styles and roots by going to different clubs and venues, and of course, Muna was one of my first club experiences. I was seventeen and had a sublime experience with Magda playing a set that night, which I still have in my iTunes library! Naturally there were many nights with loud music (and some festivals) before I started to collect records. With age I changed my style of music and got more darker and even more rhythmic but my influences are still the same.
Max, tell us about your involvement with Muna, are you involved with the venue and Muna Radio also?
I got my first gig at Muna in 2013, because Mathias (Kaden) was interested in me and saw some musical potential or talent. So, I became a resident DJ of this fabulous club and community and haven’t looked book since.
Finally, Mathias the date you're playing on 12th is Familia. You've created a family of artists with Paracou, would you say there’s something unique about playing regularly with other like minded artists and do you believe that unity and feeling transcends to the dancefloor when the artists are at ease with their company and environment?
I’m very proud to travel with my own crew outside of Germany for the first time and we are so excited to perform at such a well known club like Egg Ldn. I’m definitely very happy to be behind the decks with my friends and I do very much believe that people on the dance floor do feel it when DJs are happy and at ease with their company. And I sure this is going to be one of those nights.
Interview by Familia
Photos courtesy of Mathias Kaden & Familia