A chemical thing

Interview with Efdemin

A chemical thing

18-01-2014 | 11.00

If you’ve been paying attention in the last few years, you’d have no doubt come across the Internet success of live-streaming sites for electronic music. DJs all across the world have started playing to cameras while unenthused onlookers dance around in the background. It is a strange concept and I have always felt it is mar’s the very foundation of a DJ set or live performance. That is until I saw the Efdemin and Cosmin TRG B2B. Their chemistry behind the decks is intoxicating and they will be bringing this show to Trouw for an entire night this Saturday. We got a chance to talk to Efdemin (Phillip Sollman) about what makes this partnership work so well. 
We, here at Trouw have been giving your Boiler room b2b with Cosmin TRG a proper rotation leading up to your gig. Boiler room even suggested that it was one of the best sets of that year. Why do you think your collaboration with Cosmin works so well behind the decks?
Well, I think it’s a chemical thing, a soul thing, and a body thing. Not everyone understands it….

You guys also seem to be having a lot of fun in the video.
That’s also due to chemicals…Boiler Room was big fun!
You are now bringing this show to Trouw. I’ve always found it needs quite a bit of practice, especially if you are doing this all night long. What preparation did you and Cosmin go through to make this work?  
Well, it’s quite a new thing for us too. It’s going to be our premier together in a club without a camera! It is a very delicate thing to do. It only works with certain people and I think the most important thing is listening to one another. I have very good experiences playing B2B with Roman Flügel, Lawrence, RNDM, Steffi and Marcel Fengler. If it clicks and two people become like one engine it can be magical, sometimes scary. Cosmin and I share the same kind of energy behind the decks, listening to the other with great attention and humour and sharing the same love for music.

The absence of the camera is quite an important distinction. Your audience will be there in the flesh at Trouw. Do you think this will have an effect on your set in anyway?
Oh yes, I prefer playing with the crowd in front of me, as I like getting in touch with everyone and getting feedback directly without turning around. Honestly it’s quite strange playing in front of a camera and having people dancing behind your back.
Is there anything interesting that’s popped up in your preparation that you can’t wait to share with the crowd on Saturday?
After three months staying in Japan, I browsed through my record collection and found a lot of old pearls. Some of them I’ll bring to Trouw to share with the crowd. And I have recently finished my third album DECAY to be released on DIAL in March. I might drop some tracks from that in my set. 

There is another musical side to your personality that seems to draw inspiration from artistic concepts rather dance-floor success rates. Will you be exploring this aspect of your musical identity further in the future?
Yes, I will do this for sure, but for now I have to focus on my Efdemin moniker with the album coming up. I am working on videos for the album with a bunch of artists now and when that is done I’ll tour for a while.  

You will still be based in Berlin I believe and I have always found that the city is a bit of a Petri dish for electronic music that especially encourages experimentation. Why do you think this is the case? 
You are right. I felt the same when I moved to Berlin in 2005 coming from Vienna. There’s certain energy in Berlin. It has so many amazing venues and locations where you can see and hear great things happening. But in the last few years I have travelled too much. It kept me away from many things happening in Berlin and therefore I could not take in as much of it as I would have liked. So this January I only have this one exclusive show at Trouw and besides that I would like to explore Berlin and make music in my studio. 
Do you ever exhibit experimental traits into your own DJ sets?  
Over the last two years my DJ sets have focused more and more on the deeper aspects of techno and therefore contained more noisy material and abstract layers. From time to time I drop parts from my huge archive of field recordings in my sets or play some harmolodic free jazz, minimal music or drone music on top of the running groove. But that needs special places like Berghain and a certain fearless mood. Besides that I have been playing some abstract-droney DJ sets in "Der elektroakustische Salon" in Berghain over the last few years warming up for acts like Mika Vainio, Arnold Dreyblatt, Bohren und der Club of gore and others.  Big fun for big ears.  
What direction would like to see your set taking on Saturday at Trouw?  
We will be like two robots setting up a highly seductive stream of music to suck you in and turn you inside out. You better get ready!  

Text: Mischa Mathys