Generally I have the feeling that I used to be very constant with the music I produced, although there was a time when I was a bit more deep and a bit more into pop music.
Stimming may be one of the most musical DJs and producers worldwide. Without giving a damn about what his colleagues are currently playing in the clubs, he focuses on high quality studio productions and solely live sets. The musician, based in Hamburg, is part of Solomun’s label Diynamic since right from the start. ‘Feuervogel’ and ‘Eiszauber’ are co-productions from both of them. In Spring 2016 Stimming released his latest album ‘Alpe Lusia’ which he produced in the middle of pure nature: the North-Italian Dolomites. By listening e.g. to ‘Pressing plant’ you also hear natural, organic influences like cow bells. We were lucky enough to talk to Martin Stimming at Harry Klein, Munich.
You are with Diynamic for more than 10 years now. How would you describe your musical and personal journey with the label?
This year is also my 10th Stimming anniversary! That’s huge and travelling together with the guys…we did a lot. Once I lay in bed in Miami with H.O.S.H, naked! Of course, those are the best stories and we don’t know how that happened anymore. But I believe H.O.S.H didn’t really like it.
But yes, before Stimming I was ‘Gebrüder Ton’ for one year. Generally I have the feeling that I used to be very constant with the music I produced, although there was a time when I was a bit more deep and a bit more into pop music. That all was a kind of niche for me and I am constantly increasing my own niche. However the Diynamic sound is more involving in a direction towards what is currently being played at huge events. To me, this is more or less a frame. My productions are mirroring my personal journey that gathered pace somehow. Maybe a bit too much.
In an interview you mentioned that personally you prefer listening to harder music. Right now, which artists or labels would that be?
Right now I am listening to a youtube trip hop playlist, including some old school samples overlaid with an MPC beat. I could listen to that for hours. It’s like elevator music with the aesthetic of the 70ies, cutted in loops. I like starting youtube and listening to it for like 5 hours. But this is actually exactly the opposite of ‘hard music’. I don’t really know who I should name.
In environments like here in the club, a lot of functional music is being played. Functional in terms of making people dance. There is also functional music for the typical relaxed couch day with redwine and smoking a blunt – although I don’t drink and toke indeed – respectively not any more. In private life I am also not going to clubs any more. Honestly there are not many colleagues I really would love to hear.
But coming back to the questions, the last artist I intensively listened to was Ash Koosha, an artist of Ninja Tune. This guy produced some really heavy digital stuff with arrangements that are rather unusual, squeaking and quite rough.
The motto on your Facebook page says ‘music for the searching’ – what exactly would you like to express with this sentence?
What I mean is concretely the search within the depth of the sound and by that I mean another soul, which you can recognize in music. Similar to the soul you recognise in a writers’ figures in which you can find yourself. This can be very relaxing. Mirroring the counterpart that has the same feelings about something or the same view on things.
Your last album ‘Alpe Lusia’ was recorded in South Tyrol, in the Dolomites. We also love this area, surrounded by the massive mountains. In some tracks you can hear that you got influenced by the nature there, e.g. with the cow bells in the background. How did this area influence the sound you produced?
The album I produced before “Alpe Lusia” was produced at the Baltic Sea side. That wasn’t by far as cool as in the Dolomites. I believe most likely mountains convey a feeling of greatness, grandeur and wisdom. Maybe this surrounding gave me an idea of something bigger and greater.
Did you already have some of the melodies in your mind before you traveled to Italy?
Yes, of course, only two of the songs arose there. I took my idea folder called ‘Ideenreichtum’ with me. In that one I collect melodies that suddenly come into my mind. Out of that I created some tracks. E.g. the orchestra on Saibot: I played with that melody for 5 years and suddenly after 3 weeks I finished this track. This is quite impressive and insane somehow, because you’re sitting there alone on 1,5 km height with nothing around you except 3-4 hikers a day. Finishing this track nearly coped with this greatness of the area. Because also it’s not that easy not getting kind of weird up there. What I did every second day was hiking up to a lodge and eat some Italian-Austrian Gnocchi in butter sauce, topped with parmesan and every Sunday I also went for a hike. All in all I felt really like a conservative and structured person, going to work from Monday-Saturday.
Last but not least: your forecast 2017?
Everything will be different. The music will be different. Not that functional for the club anymore, but focusing more on the music itself.
Thank you Stimming for this fantastic, spiritual and in-depth interview! We are now looking forward to traveling to the Dolomites and South Tyrol soon.
Camera by Upclose Pictures, thank you guys!