Founded in 1994 by Laux himself, Kanzleramt has been a key part of the German techno scene for over two decades now, and is still going strong. Released last year, Fernweh was his fifth studio album for the label; a year on, a selection of artists now offer their interpretations of a few of tracks lifted from it. Over the course of both EPs, Marcel Dettmann (who makes his debut on the label), Ray Kajioka and Luis Flores all provide different takes on the title track itself, whilst Steve Rachmad has given two different versions of “Shimmer,” and Yan Cook remixes “Neutron.”
The EPs are available both digitally and on vinyl now. Check out an exclusive stream of “Neutron (Dub)” below, with illustration and animation by Christian Kroneck of NEST.
We spoke to label boss Heiko Laux about the releases:
Tell us about the video for “Neutron (Dub)” and your collaboration with the artists behind NEST. Is there a graphic concept uniting the video, the artwork for last year’s Fernweh album, as well as the artwork for the two new rework EPs?
When my former roommate got married I took in some of the guests, so they would not have to drive back after the Wedding. Fortunately these were the NEST guys, and they heard the album then. So already back in 2013 we had decided to work together, and do the video for the “Neutron (Dub).” Christian from NEST has seen the album artwork and had some sort of a remix idea, but as you can see he spun it off quite a bit further!
How were the remixers for both "Fernweh” rework EPs chosen?
I look up the tunes that I play a lot as a DJ, and because of that I asked Luis Flores and Yan Cook. Marcel Dettmann already wanted to do something for the 20th anniversary of Kanzleramt, but his schedule was too busy at the time — I'm very glad he managed for my album! Steve Rachmad liked the “Shimmer” track already way before the album came out. When I played it to him in Amsterdam during 2013, he immediately wanted the files for the song to try out some ideas. Also, I was speaking to Ray Kajioka on Facetime about something else around the time that I was checking out the first remix EP. As he heard them in the background, he spontaneously played his idea of “Fernweh” on the keyboard whilst we were talking, just as a goof. I liked the idea so much that I made him finish the remix!
Fernweh Remixes One features a “Decapitated” version of the title track, done by yourself together with Luis Flores. How did this collaboration happen, and can we expect more from it?
Luis had me come over to his studio to check out the remix he did. As it was already a monster mix, I showed him how I was using just the ”Fernweh” sequences, together with the massive drums from a Yan Cook track in a podcast. I suggested that it could be also a good remix idea and Luis agreed, and that it should be fairly easy, and that we should do it together! I think for another collaboration, we'd just need a trigger.
You’ve recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of both your own career, as well as of your label Kanzleramt. What are your thoughts on the current scene compared with the one in 1994? For you personally, what have been some of the more crucial changes over these 21 years?
Well, techno has grown up. We have the lost white gloves, glow sticks and whistles of the 90's, and are now celebrating techno in mostly dark clothes. For me techno describes how the world was feeling then and now. If people come together anonymously on a dance floor and cheer for a track they cannot possibly have heard before, it gives me a lot of hope for the future.
Concerning the music you choose to release on Kanzleramt, how have you seen your interests evolve?
I couldn't tell you. An interest would require a plan, but I fear this would make me lose touch. A lot of the releases are coming together like soap bubbles attach to each other. To recognize this I have to rely on my gut feeling.
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