The multitalented Berlin-based DJ, studio producer and sound designer Florian Meindl is an artist renowned for his technical prowess. After fourteen years of international performances Florian has collaborated with some of the best DJs in the world.
Meindl now returns to his established imprint label FLASH Recordings with his sophomore LP in three years Collide. A collision of analog and digital sounds that will take you on dark techno journey of “nights you don’t sleep” and “all those moments” that make you “forget the world”. The WeekID spoke with Florian Meindl about his new album Collide, his Riemann brand expanding into Kollektion, Modular and Live as well as his thoughts on Berlin Techno.
How is it like for an electronic music producer to be living in the techno capital of the world?
I enjoy it a lot because there are so many creative, cool people around me and I can meet them easily because I’m based in Riverside Studios, which is located around Schlesisches Tor, the hotspot of the electronic music industry. You can find companies like Beatport, Native Instruments and Ableton around. I also enjoy other aspects of the city like all the parks, restaurants and clubs. I love Berlin, it’s my city of choice!
We don’t see Tecnho as a fashion that completely changes every year, but more as a timeless genre, like Jazz.
Why do you think “Berlin techno” is the most accepted techno sound around the clubs?
On one hand because of the solid Techno institution Berghain and record stores like HardWax, but also because so many people come together with similar creative interests and this has formed a big culture around Techno music. We don’t see it as a fashion that completely changes every year, but more as a timeless genre, like Jazz.
Techno music is on the rise, however, another popular genre is EDM. How do you feel about it monopolizing the commercial club scene; and what does Electronic Dance Music mean to you after all?
I don’t care about EDM, it’s a parallel universe where I do not exist. As far as I’m concerned most of it is the same kind of music like Eurodance was in the 90’s, which didn’t grab my attention, neither did it represent my attitude. There is nothing in common with Techno except that it they are both produced in a similar way and they are played in clubs.
It’s been nearly three years since the official release of your debut album “Waves”. What have you been up to since then?
I was quite busy! The main thing was perhaps my transition from digital only to -almost- full analog production, but I also brought my label FLASH Recordings forward and established a few core artists like Heron, Avgusto and The Welderz, who are doing really great at the moment. My loops and samples label Riemann Kollektion also continued inviting guest producers like Phil Kieran. The Riemann brand also got some more family members like Riemann LIVE and Riemann Modular, where I teamed up with an electronic engineer to release Eurorack Modules by the end of the year.
You are officially back with your second full length album “Collide”. Is there a concept behind it?
It’s not really meant to be a concept album. I see it as my second album which represents my current productions, packaged into an album where all tracks have their own place and all make sense together. However, I’m keen to produce concept albums in the future, I find it very interesting.
On the namesake track “Collide”, you have collaborated with the UK-based producer Jamie Anderson. What’s the connection between you two?
The obvious connection would be that we are studio partners. He moved to Berlin and was looking for a studio, and I was searching for a studio partner to fully occupy it. I tend to work at night and Jamie is more like an early bird working daytime. But it turned out to be much more than just a studio sharing. He brought many interesting pieces of gear like the Roland 303, 727, 808, 909 and Juno synths etc. and in addition we are totally on the same wavelength in both mentality and music taste, so we started collaborating a lot. We had many jam sessions with analog gear already and the outcome has been amazing so far – I think I awakened the Techno producer inside him a bit – you can expect more collaborations from us in the near future.
A few producers have started releasing their music in more unconventional formats. Why did you decide to release your album also on a USB stick, isn’t it just a geeky medium between download and vinyl?
Yes, it is a bit geeky but it’s quite practical because it can also be used as a normal USB stick, as well as it fits perfectly in a wallet – but there is also another reason. It includes the studio master files on it which are in 24-bit WAV format and therefore are very large. You can not find them on the online stores, as they do not sell them.
I teamed up with an electronic engineer and our first module will be an affordable stereo compressor!
I saw you have got a huge vinyl collection at home. Why are you not playing them in clubs? Have you noticed a decline in demand on vinyl-based mix sets? Has the laptop taken over the role of the dj?
If there would be a decline in demand of vinyl-based mixes, I would start to play them out again. I love doing opposite things. I actually started playing with vinyls, but made the transition to Traktor when the international bookings started to come in as it was more convenient for traveling and there were functions like looping which I still love and use in all my mixes.
Other than a highly successful producer you also own an equally successful loops and samples label. Tell me about your sound design label Riemann Kollektion and the connection to Riemann Live.
Riemann Kollektion was founded as a little project when I was studying music technology in London in 2006. At that time most sample libraries were distributed via CDs or DVDs and what producers would do was to copy them and never use these DVDs again. The download speed was fast enough at that time and it was possible to distribute them online via downloads, but not many manufacturers did this because they had their own structure and they were maybe too slow to change this.
So, I was one of the first who offered loops and sounds online at Sounds2Sample which has much later been taken over by Beatport and is now called Beatport Sounds. Riemann Kollektion instantly became very successful, but also because I established a new concept, which was to invite guest producers. The first ones were Pan-Pot, Ramon Tapia, Martin Eyerer and the next one will feature the French techno producer Leghau.
Riemann LIVE is my new vinyl only project, which should be available as a full analog live act soon. It’s more like my technical toolish side that’s why I connected the name – there will also be Riemann Modular at the end of the year which is a Eurorack Module company. I teamed up with an electronic engineer and our first module will be an affordable stereo compressor!
Collide is now out on FLASH Recordings.