The Platform of Tiefshwarz

Their father was the one who showed them the way into music. He was the one bringing all kind of records and old tapes home. That's how the two brothers from Tiefschwarz became interested in music. They listened to all kind of music, from Beatles, Rolling Stones, jazz, music of the '50, everything that dropped in their hands. And now they have become well know all over the world as Djs.

Alexander and Sebastian Schwarz. They came from Germany and they formed Tiefschwarz in 1996, with Peter Hoff, an important member of the production team. Tiefschwarz, which is German for "deep black", is a mixture of their last name and their love for deep house. Resident Djs in a German club, travel all over the world, do remixes, have albums...this is just to see a little of their activity as artists. Even this year was great. A new album was finished, they did three new remixes for Madonna, Depeche Mode and Roxy Music, a compilation for big festivals in Germany, "Time Warp", they started their own label Souvenir, and, of course, the Fabric compilation.
Besides their work as resident DJs, Ali and Basti have been travelling together throughout Europe and overseas since 1995. They've played at countless major events and the most popular clubs in both Germany and Switzerland (Zürich, Geneva, Lausanne, Bern, Basle, etc.) as well as in major foreign cities, such as Miami (W.M.C.), New York, Washington, Melbourne, Sydney, Prague, Sarajevo, Amsterdam, Brussels, Antwerp, Rimini, Stockholm, London, Leeds, Sheffield, Ibiza, etc.

We're really looking forward to our Souvenir label. The future idea, it's not a brand new idea but it's the DJ work, the production and to have the triangle, the label platform.
If we are to talk about the German music scene, in the two brothers' opinion, it's doing really great. "It's incredible. There are some phenomena, almost like a religion. When you see some minimal parties, people are trapped; it's turning into rave tourism thing. Whatever the DJ does, people scream. (...) But the music scene is much more than only the minimal scene. Years ago it was France and before that London. Right now it's Germany and we're really happy to be a part of it", Ali says.

Their new compilation "Fabric 29"

Their most recent compilation and a very successful one indeed is the latest installment of Fabric, the 29th. With this mix CD, the two brothers wanted to give a little demo on how they do their sets. And it turned out to be pretty good. "On the Fabric CD we actually wanted to have a Tiefschwarz DJ set squeezed into 70 minutes. A whole night squeezed into 70 minutes like a little journey into a Tiefschwarz set. We wanted to keep it clubby, not too leftfield or too you know how, we wanted to do a proper club mix, a DJ mix. That's why we're here for Fabric, that's what we love about Fabric and so we tried to do that for the mix CD as well", options Ali.

"Fabric 29" is a Tiefschwarz tour-de force. The brothers worked it out over fourteen tracks, perfectly placing their mixes to drain every bit of action from each emotive cut. Listen out for popping beats, warm bass-lines, strangled vocals, waves of EQ and floor-thumping rhythms. Too charged-up to be minimal, too clued-up to be commercial, this is Tiefschwarz in a statement-making mood.

Against Final Scratch

In what concerns the technique they use for mixing, it might be said that the two brothers are a little old-fashioned. Asked what they prefer to use, Ali and Basti proved to be totally against Final Scratch. They prefer doing it the old way because they think it's more secure. "We use 60% vinyl and 40% CDs. Of course it's good because you have much more available, but Final Scratch, not yet. It's not for us. It's a little bit unsexy and it's still quite insecure. We're happy with vinyl and CDs", agree the two member of Tiefschwarz.

The producers

When it comes to talk about the battle between performing and producing, Tiefschwarz says the two go along just fine, but there are a few differences. Basti states that producing is "just like in the club", but Ali thinks that producing "it's you and your creative work and it's much smaller interaction. Just you and your ideas basically. Sometimes you want to make it like you are in a club. You turn up the speakers, or you make a drink and make a little party in the studio, but basically one thing is you and the crowd and the interaction between you and the crowd. And the other thing is like you behind the doors, sometimes you turn off the lights, whatever. If you're in the studio you miss DJing and if you're on the road you miss the studio. So actually it's both great."

Features Archive


The Platform of Tiefshwarz

July 29, 2006 at 10:03 PM CEST


Bianca Balan

Feedback welcome

Come to think about the press, until now it has had a good response to Tiefschwarz. No bad things said, only praises. That happens maybe because the two brothers try to look good in front of the press, because they consider the press feedback very important, especially when it is a positive one. "The press, it's not totally surprising, we're really happy and we're kind of honoured that there is a big interest in Tiefschwarz but actually we work for that and so I think it's good to get something back. We've been getting a good response and good press for years and years now. And that's something which makes us really happy. Because that's something that happens, there are other big artists and they get good press all the time and they deserve it, but sometimes they drop, but that hasn't happened to us yet, knock on wood", says Ali.

Tiefschwarz's future

As for the future of Dj-ing, they think vinyl will slowly fade away. The only ones who will still buy it will be the collectors. The Djs won't use it anymore. Dj-ing will become more technical. "I think vinyl is dying. I think it will be like analogue photography. It'll always exist for like collector's items and stuff, and it will not completely disappear but the main crowd will change. It'll take downloads, or things burnt to CD or using computers. That's the future. In fact, it's happening now. Vinyl will not disappear but it's fading away. But if you grow up now, your DJ collection or your record collection will be on hard drive", is Ali's opinion. "Same with record shops, record shops are dying as well. Your keyboard is there and that's easier", completes Basti.

Come to talk about their future, they try to think positive. They see themselves on tour and working at their label to improve it. "Hopefully it's going to be a bright future. We're really happy. Another hang over, another airport, another lounge, another you know. We're really looking forward to our Souvenir label. The future idea, it's not a brand new idea but it's the DJ work, the production and to have the triangle, the label platform. To feature different Tiefschwarz music, different alter ego projects of ourselves, feature some friends and new talents. And of course there are many other DJ labels, but it's more for ourselves to create this platform and use the network we've built for the last few years, and kind of create a brand. You can do so much more than only release records and dance music. There's so much more you can do if you have a proper brand."

Special thanks to Danna Hawley at Fabric London.

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