Interview with Rampa / October 2012
From 2009 on, Germany’s Rampa has made a name of himself through his label Keinemusik – his own DIY cosmos that encompasses not only a label but also crew of likeminded DJs, producers and friends – the core of which is made up of Rampa, fellow producer &ME and Adam Port, David Mayer, Reznik and Monja.
October has been a whirlwind introduction for Rampa to the Defected ranks, with his debut on the label ‘Everything’ feat. Meggy quickly followed by his remix of Sante’s ‘Homegirl’ which follows later this month. Earlier this week we chatted to him about the ethos behind Keinemusik, spirituality and making tracks over Skype; here’s what was said on the subjects.
^1 Your remix of Sante’s ‘Homegirl’ and your own single ‘Everything’ are released soon. Can you tell us a little more about what inspired you to work on these tracks?
‘Everything’ comes with a vocal by Meggy. Working with her always ends up drunk so i guess you can call the inspiration vodka and wine. The ‘Homegirl’ remix developed in two parts. I did the vinyl-only version of the remix really quick. It was one short but flowing session but later when i played the remix in the club i found some things i wanted to change. So i was suuuper happy when Santé came up and told me that the record would be rereleased on Defected as it gave me time to fix the first remix! In the end i did a little bit more tuning than i thought but I’m super happy with the final version now.
^2 Your label Keinemusik is not your average record label. Can you tell us a bit more about what sets it apart from others?
Keinemusik is more a crew than a label. I started it a long time ago with my roommate at that time. It was a ‘just for fun’ project… we did some parties and bullshit, that’s about it. Later on – as i made plans with &ME to start a label out of our crew – we were searching for a label/crew name and I remembered Keinemusik. Monja Gentschow was working as a bartender in a club were i was resident DJ. We became close friends and had like a million drinks together. I saw some of her drawings and I loved all of them so knew right away that she had do all of our artwork. The first release came in 2009 and since then we have released 16 records. We have a straight crew philosophy which we follow: it’s only us releasing on our label. It’s fun! We just moved to a new studio rooms and we are all happy and thankful about how successful the whole thing became.
^3 Where do the names Rampa and Keinemusik come from?
So Rampa has spiritual roots. I read a lot of spiritual books and i am very interested and inspired by spiritual/psychical stuff. Anyway a good friend of mine gave me this book from Lobsang Rampa. I adopted the name, cut the Lobsang because I think Rampa sounds cool, ruff, maybe even a little spiritual and it also fits to my skateboard background because in some languages it means to jump ramp. Keinemusik means literally ‘no/not’ music. It comes from my mom; she likes to say that techno or house (also punk, hip-hop… I mean anything she doesn’t like) is not ‘real’ music. So I thought “mom’s always right!” So I do Keinemusik.
^4 You’ve collaborated with a number of different artists over the years. Which of these are you particularly proud of?
My first collab was with Nomi from Hercules & Love Affair (now Jessica 6). We met through a mutual friend in Berlin and then later in NYC again. She liked my stuff and of course I loved hers. So we did a single on Rebirth called ‘Inside’. We are currently working on our album at the moment…news soooon! The collab with Hollis P. Monroe was special for me too because we never met in real life. He wrote me on Facebook or Soundcloud that he was super into one of my older tracks…at that time I was playing his ‘I’m Lonely’ track all the time, pretty much every set. So at the end we made a track via Skype which was super fun!! I’d send him some ideas, he’d pick one, add new elements in a few different versions, and I choose my favourite and add something new until we had the finished record. It was always exciting to come home and check if he sent some new versions. At the moment I’m working with Fritz and Cedric from Azari & III on some new songs. We played some shows together and then they came to Berlin to party and hang out… I’m super excited about the tracks we recorded!! I love both of them and I’m really looking forward to making music and having fun with them in the future.
^5 If you could work with anyone in the future, who would it be?
Ufff.. there are so many people I would love to meet and work with. Method Man would be dope!
^6 You have produced a lot of hip hop in the past. Are you still creating it today? If not, why? Does it influence the electronic music you produce?
I produced a lot of different sounds and genres. Hip hop is definitely still an influence. I like ruff and dirty beats, but I’m also into mello and pop stuff. I think there’s no specific influence for anything on earth. Everything influences everything else. Some of my biggest inspiration comes from skate videos… I watch them so much!
^7 Where do you hope to see yourself and your label in 5 years?
The future takes care of itself… I don’t wanna think about it.
^8 What’s the best and worst thing about your job?
Best thing: I’m free to do what I love. Worst thing: I get wasted way too much.
^9 You’re a veteran of Berlin’s underground music scene. How would you say the clubbing scene has changed over the past 10 years?
A lot of clubs have changed, especially Watergate which became really really good! It’s now one of the most important clubs. Other places like Stattbad Wedding developed too, it’s a beautiful place! In terms of the scene, it’s hard to tell because I’ve developed too and back in the day I saw everything from a different point. I was so young and everything was big and new and crazy.
Anything else you’d like to tell us about…?
Life is good.
Sante ‘Homegirl’ is out 22nd October – listen and pre-order here.