Matthias Tanzmann is of the most recognisable names when it comes to tech & deep house. Having emerged onto the scene almost 20 years ago, Tanzmann has continued to find new ways to push the genre forward. Whether it be through his now famous Ibiza residencies or the exploits of his very own Moon Harbour brand, Matthias Tanzmann has established himself as one of top DJs and label heads when it comes to tech & deep house. Ahead of appearing at Familia’s masked ball event at Egg London on the 13th of February, we caught up with the man himself to talk Moon Harbour, long sets and more.
Thanks for joining us Matthias, how was BPM in Mexico this year for you?
It was great. Music, sun and palm trees in January, what could be better.
You’re going to be playing extended 6 hours session, in fact a repeat of a similar marathon session at Egg back in 2014, which went down incredibly well. How do you psyche yourself up for such a long session and do you have an idea what you’re going to play?
Extended sets like these are always something special. I am usually booked to play 2-3 hours on gigs. On some festivals the slots are even for just 1 hour. When I get to play longer, I spend a lot more time to prepare my sets. I don’t like to keep playing the same tracks over and over again, so I have to go through a lot of new music before those nights.
Your sets have infectiously upbeat percussion, which keeps the crowd grooving throughout. Was this a sound that’s always attracted you and were there any people that you could say influenced your sound in the formative years of your career?
The US west coast house music of the late 90s and early 2000s was a strong influence to me. But also English producers like Swag. I have always been into groove and percussion.
Tell us about the first venue you went to as a customer that you would say helped inspire you to do what you do.
Honestly, DC10 had the biggest impact on me. When I first walked into the club I was blown away. Back in the days there was a signature sound of the club. The music Loco Dice and Tania Vulcano used to play on the terrace.
Your track No Sleep was a big tune of last year for you, how did the idea come about? Was it the vocal hook idea first or the driving percussion that started the creative process off?
I started the track on an overnight flight from South America to Europe. I was experimenting around a bit until I suddenly played that bassline over the keys of my laptop. That was the initial idea of the track. The vocal came in later.
You’re always on the road, do you ever produce away from home on the move or do you store your ideas up for the studio?
I start working on things while I travel, collecting ideas and building sketches. But I need my studio environment to round things off.
As well as a producer you also curate your own label the famous Moon Harbour. When you do your label showcase nights do you find it’s the perfect opportunity to try out new material you’ve been sent?
Yes, and not only there. I am playing demo tracks on all my gigs. That is one of the big advantages of the digital DJing age. But even if I enjoy a new demo and it works well on the floor, it doesn’t necessarily result in a signing.
You have a loyal team of talented artists who forefront everything from weekly radio shows to showcases whilst flying the Moon Harbour flag on their networks. How important would you say is it for brands such as yours to have consistency with the artists that are represented?
To us it is highly important. We consider ourselves a family at Moon Harbour. The 15 Years anniversary tour that just finished has proven this once again. We had a great time on the road all together. And we evolve and grow consistently as a family.
This will be your third Familia event at the venue. Familia gets a large number of London based Europeans attending, a high ratio of Spanish and Italians. Can you feel different vibes from floors depending on who the nights mainly attract? Latin people are of course known for their love of rhythm and fiesta in general, would you say that statement is true?That is absolutely true. Spanish and Italian crowds are the most enthusiastic in Europe I would say. And London brings nationalities all together.
We’re at the start of the year, have you set yourself any goals this year and your label too?
I would like to finish more music at the studio again. I just took a few days off in January for that. Moon Harbour is going have the 100th EP release soon. That is something I look forward to.
Finally this date at Egg falls on Valentines weekend, the party has a masked ball theme. Would you say Matthias Tanzmann is a romantic?
He certainly is.
Thank you very much Matthias, we can’t wait for your set!
Interview by Egg LDN
Photos courtesy of Ryan Dinham & Tom Dachs
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