Exclusive Interview: Five Minutes With… Patlac

Prolific DJ and producer Patlac has been dabbling in electronic music from an early age. His outlook on the dance floor is one of a place for mutual listening and sharing, and this is certainly reflected in his sensitive approach to music.

Having garnered attention with both his production and remixing, Patlac has a string of releases in his wake. He has released singles on labels such as liebe*detail, Soulfooled, Baalsaal rec, and 60 Hertz.

His latest EP, Rodeon, via Mood Music, was released earlier this year and has been well received for it’s syncopated beat and majorly uplifting synth work.

We caught up with Patlac to chat about his music, and his love for Hamburg…

Hi there, how are you and what are you up to today?
Hello, thanks I’m fine! It’s a common grey Wednesday morning in Hamburg and I’m using the day for answering emails and listening to some new music!

To those not familiar with you, how would you describe your sound?
I would say it’s between house and techno – melodic with a kind of of deepness.

What are the 5 albums that have influenced you the most?
Hard to say which have really influenced me. But the ones I mostly heard and still like to hear are:

Eight Miles High – Katalog / Klang Elektronik
Ricardo Villalobos – Alcachofa / Playhouse
Move D – Kunststoff / Source Records
The Notwist – Neon Golden
… and many more

For compilations or dj mixes:

Daniel Bell – Globus Mix vol. 4 (The Button Down Mind Of Daniel Bell) / Tresor Rec.
Miss Kittin – Radio Caroline Vol.1 / Mental Groove

Which other artists are you into at the moment and why?
As a DJ I try to listen to a wide range of music. I always try to look left and right and not focus too much in one direction. There is so much great music outside and I always find great artists that I have never heard of before. But my current favorites: I am really into Red Axes, Fort Romeau or Kornél Kovács. It’s deep and energetic, with these kinds of playful sounds – really interesting. And it’s not a secret that I’m a big fan of Roman Flügel and Dorisburg since ages.

Are there any key pieces of equipment that you are using to define your sound?
Usually, in all my production I use the sounds of the KorgMs20, Monopoly, Jupiter8 or Arp2600, but I have to use them as a plugin. As hardware I use an old Roland Mc-303 and a “long borrowed” Yamaha Dx200 (Thanks Harm Bremer) from time to time.

What would you say some of the challenges artists face today in the music industry?
I think the biggest issue is to deal with all the different impressions. To find out who you are and where you want to be as well as not putting too much pressure on yourself. I think that’s not easy at this time. In my eyes the urge for success has grown so much that quality is often lost.

Where do you gather songwriting inspiration?
I try to go to the studio every day. It feels strange for me when I’m not going in. Most of the time I’m just playing around and the inspiration comes while playing. I never have a specific melody idea in my head when I go into the studio. It’s more a kind of a mood I want to implement. These moods can come from everywhere – for example sometimes I’ll get my inspiration from biking to the studio and catch different impressions seeing people on the way to work, or from the the upcoming spring in Hamburg.
And if nothing works, I say to myself “do something totally different” or “today I’ll make a track which could be the first or last of a club night.” Finding inspiration is a constant day to day process in my life.

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting your music together?
As I said before, most of the time I start just playing around. Maybe with a melody or a sample, I found. After that I start building something around, adding a groove or the opposite. I would say it’s a step by step thing. When I have enough content which fits together I start thinking about the arrangement which I usually record live in Ableton first and then post process, mix and finalise.

You’ve previously suggested that Hamburg produces a wealth of deep house artists because “the city is more subdued and has a beautiful melancholy. For example, the harbour always gives you a kind of longing for far places.” Do you still feel this way? How was the Hamburg scene evolved in the last couple of years?
Yes I’m still feeling this! It’s a more slowed down here than in other cities. I also still have the feeling that “Hamburger’s” are always in motion. New clubs and events are coming up all the time. The scene is doing it’s one thing without waving a Hamburg sign all the time.

What’s the best gig you have ever done and why?
There is no single one I want to define. I would say the best thing is when you feel that your music corresponds to the mood of the dance floor or connects you with the people. It gives you the freedom to play and keep on going! Ah, and of course when everybody is happy!

And the worst?
When you didn’t find the connection to the people or feel totally misunderstood! And playing with a bad monitoring!

If you had to choose between never playing live again, or never being able to release music again… Which would you go for, and why?
I’ve always seen myself more as a DJ than as a producer. So if there was still enough good music out there to play, I’d choose to go out and play! Maybe produce secretly…

If you weren’t a musician what would you be?
As a trained carpenter, I would maybe build furniture or windows in houses. Or open a flower shop.

If you could perform alongside any other band or artist, living or dead, who would it be?
Playing a warm up for Radiohead could be interesting!

Tell us about your upcoming projects and releases?
Later this year two remixes will come out, one for Masaya on Chapter24 and one for Christian Löffler on Ki Records. And I’m close to finishing own material for an EP, hopefully for the Summer/ Autumn.

How are you feeling about 2017? How do you think musicians will be affected by the uncertainty and upheaval the world is experiencing right now?
I am absolutely terrified with what’s currently happening in the world. We musicians shouldn’t be influenced by [current events] and should not stop thinking free. Music should have no rules or boundaries. I hope music will not be affected by all of this.

Finally… In a perfect world, what are you up to at this time next year?
Hopefully sitting here healthy and happy answering an interview like this and looking forward to the next gig on the weekend.

Catch Patlac LIVE!
26 May–27 May · Moskvich Bar · Kharkov, Ukraine
15 June · Moodmusic Rec / OFF WEEK, Barcelona, Spain
23 June · Harry Klein ·Munich, Germany
27 July–30 July · Because We Are Friends Festival 2017
19 Aug 19 · Odonien · Cologne, Germany
15 September–17 September · Oasis Festival 2017 – The Source Marrakech · Marrakesh, Morocco
05 Nov · Kater Blau · Berlin, Germany

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