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5th March 2016

Q&A: Kölsch

Kölsch’s melodic album outputs bravely reject dance music’s throwaway culture. Matthew Staite talks to him about his writing process and friendship with Joris Voorn

We’re looking forward to your set at SIDEXSIDE. You play back to back with Joris Voorn a lot. Can you tell me why you like playing together, and how this relationship came about?
Joris and I have known each other for years. We are really close friends, and we have spent hours talking about music that we love and inspire us. From these talks, one day, we decided it would be fun to try a Back2Back set. It worked out really great, as we compliment each other very well. Since then we have been doing it, maybe 3 times a year. It’s always something I look forward too.

As a DJ, you play sets all over the world. What is your favourite country to play?
I don’t have a favourite country, every place has something magical and special to focus on. For instance, French people have an incredible energy level, they just go nuts from the moment they enter the club.  German crowds are very cultured, and I can get away with playing some very experimental records. English people love melodies, so they’re a match made in heaven for me.

What do you think makes the perfect party for you to DJ at?
Open-minded people, and a killer system. That’s all I need.

You’ve released two studio albums, and I love how expansive and melodic they are. Do you think you will release a third album? If so, what direction do you see the album going in? Are there any new sounds that excite you?
I’m actually slowly working on it. I’m trying to take it in a very musical direction, and experiment more with live musicians. It’s super exciting. The concept is already done, but I’m working on the structure.

What inspires your music? Does being on tour and visiting new places inspire you at all?
Of course it does. I love producing on Airplanes; it always feels like I’m part of the future, producing music for the future. It’s also a great time to focus, and really spend hours on pouring emotions into my music.

When I listen to your albums, it feels like I am on musical journey, do you spend a long time thinking about the structure and feel of each album?
Every album I’ve done, I’ve spent a lot of time on the concept, and the execution. It’s super important for me that it is a good listening experience. I’m very happy you noticed.

With so much music available on the internet, it feels like dance music has quite a throwaway culture? Do you agree with this, or are the albums you release going against this trend?
I feel the problem with the throwaway culture also stems from a lot of producers themselves. If you bang out thirty tracks a year that mainly consist of loops and white noise, how can you expect anyone to invest in your work. I am convinced, if you spend time and focus your money and energy towards producing the absolutely best you can, people will respond to it and support your work. I can say that I have probably around 30 tracks in my vault, that I have decided not to release. They were not good enough. My audience only deserves the best of me.

Is the underground culture that influenced your music the same as what it once was? 
The beauty of culture is that it is ever-changing. It’s just as beautiful that inspiration is also ever-changing.

How do split your time between writing new music and going on tour? Which do you prefer? 
I feel they belong together. There is no touring without the producing, and there is no producing without the touring. I really love days in my studio where I can finish off and mix songs I’m working on. But also, performing and interacting with the audience is an absolute pleasure.

Kölsch perform back to back with Joris Voorn as part of SIDEXSIDE at London’s Tobacco Dock on Saturday April 2nd. Our preview of the event can be read here.

Last remaining tickets are available at

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