Interview: 5 minutes with Thomas Maschitzke
Interview by Moritz Grosche
“Like many others, Thomas Maschitzke contracted his passion for deejaying not only because of the music itself, but because of a huge interest in new ways of making music and the desire for mastering these ways. Nevertheless, the music was a rudimental element in Thomas’ life since he was able to walk. After years of piano practice and because of a certain affiliation with Hip-Hop, he eventually exchanged the piano with a microphone to become an MC, because entertaining others was always a priority for the young artist. But at the same time he also got in touch with the excessive and legendary night life of Berlin.”
“Thomas Maschitzke rapidly came to the conclusion that only electronic music in its essence is able to create pure hedonistic satisfaction without any conventions. Because he is thoroughly an entertainer as well, it was clear that his place was behind and not in front of the decks and so he established his project Thomas Maschitzke in 2012. His sound is most likely located in the deep-house section, but its powerful and dreamy melodies paired with catchy beats give proof, what a one-of-a-kind artist Thomas is. In 2016, he released an in-house production for Suspekt Records and Rawls Music, right after releasing a remix on Submarine Vibes. Since then, it seems that the workaholic cannot be stopped – thinking of his personal highlights, his live-sets at Ritter Butzke and the Sonne Mond Sterne festival, and releases on Hamburger Imprint Geistzeit, for example. But not only on his own, Thomas is able to create an incredible vibe. Together with his friend and label colleague Pete Stefanov, he started the live electronica-duo PATH in the beginning of 2018.”
We caught up with Thomas Maschitzke on eclectic inspiration and studio experiments:
(Be sure to stream Thomas Maschitzke’s latest single ‘Lantern’ on our very own brand new TechnoGround channel below!)
Hi there, how are you and what are you up to today?
I’m fine, thanks! The weather in Berlin is freaking me out a little bit, but there is nothing I can do about it. Right now, I’m back from a meeting at the Ritter Butzke Club in Kreuzberg to schedule our upcoming event.
To those not familiar with you, how would you describe your sound?
It’s a mixture of straightforward and deep beats, combined with catchy melodies and some kind of lunatic effect sounds in the background. I think the combination and diversity, but anyhow focusing on one direction, is the key.
What are the 5 albums and artists that have influenced you the most?
Kanye West – Yeezus
Prinz Pi – Neopunk
Howling – Sacred Ground
Guy Gerber & P.Diddy – 11.11.
Paul Kalkbrenner – Berlin Calling
What other artists do you really like at the moment and why?
Actually I am not really into listening a lot of electronic or techno music, despite the producing and gig-preparing time. I really love folk rock and hip-hop. But recently I discovered the sounds of Christian Löffler and HvoB, great musicians with an astonishing touch of sensitivity in their tracks. The tracks of the Swedish rock-band Friska Viljor are also on my playlist at the moment.
What are some of the key pieces of gear you use to write your tracks in the studio? Or do you prefer to use software and plug-ins?
For me it is important to feel comfortable while producing. I tried a lot of different things: to work only in Ableton Live (which I am using only, by the way) and with plug-ins, to work on a lot of external equipment like drum-machines and synths. That really was a tough time, because I did not know how to come along, in that moment it did occur to me that I got stuck, but afterwards I realized that I didn’t, because I learnt to improve my workflow a lot. So right now I am a big fan of producing in the box, because It can make things so much easier, because you can work everywhere, but I also love my synths, to work with them is always fun because in some cases they are setting a frame of possibilities.
Has your arsenal of equipment changed much since you first started?
Yes, completely. I started with working only on plug-ins, then I tried a lot of external stuff. But then I sold nearly half of my external equipment and started to work with like 4 hardware synths on a small desk, which I often use for jamming, because I realized I only want to have stuff I will use, because otherwise the hardware is only a big waste of money. Especially the Roland machines and the boutique series are pretty helpful in that case, because it is really handy and I can use it easily live, too.
Do you enjoy playing to an audience or working in the studio?
I reaaaaaally love to play my produced tracks live. To play tracks, which I produced just a few hours ago and to gauge how they are working on the dancefloor really is a big plus point. But I also live to work on new tracks for weeks while just playing DJ sets, to really concentrate on the producing. So I really love both of it the same way.
If we gave you the budget to put a line-up together for a mini-festival, who would you book and where would you play?
Honestly, I would love to curate the line-up with my friends and musicians I know or I worked with, because I know a lot of really good DJs and producers, which deserve a lot of more attention, than other artists. But they have no big name, not yet, or do not work with a big promo agency and that is why nobody cares about them. Unfortunately it is always only about putting the big names on the sheet and not focusing on the music.
Nevertheless, I would love to get Frank Wiedemann & Henrik Schwarz playing there and maybe I would join them on a little live jam.
If you weren’t a musician what would you be?
Do you have any information regarding upcoming releases, projects, DJ mixes or collaborations in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?
My Dementora EP will be released soon on the Hamburger label Geistzeit, there is another track coming on a Geistzeit compilation and a remix on Suspekt Records in May. Recently I started a second projekt called PATH with a friend of mine, which is located in the electronica/ ambient genre. Our debut EP called Ashes just hit the stores and right now we are working on our first liveset for this year festivals.
For more information follow Thomas Maschitzke on Facebook