Labchat with Patlac

by Isabel Thomson Officer

Having just released his debut album, Patlac is a name you should expect to hear more of. The Hamburg-based DJ, is also an incredibly talented producer and acclaimed remixer who creates nothing but stunningly beautiful soundscapes that we just can’t get enough of.

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An official resident of the famous Berlin Watergate nightclub since 2015, Patlac has been on our radar for some time now. His set at last year’s Oasis Festival in Marrakech alongside his childhood friend Matthias Meyer was a definite highlight of the boutique event as was his performance at The Brooklyn Mirage in New York this past September.

With his sensitive approach to music production and creating special dancefloor moments, we really couldn’t think of a better artist to launch our new Antidote series with this Saturday March 24. Lucky for us he also prepared an excellent exclusive mix to get us in the party groove ahead of his show this weekend.

We caught up with Patlac to chat about the inspiration for his album, his production process, and whether New York or Berlin is where it’s at when it comes to clubbing.

What was the inspiration for your debut album ‘Blinded’?
First of all, I have to say that at that time when most of the tracks were created, it was not clear at all that there would be a ‘Blinded’. I was totally free, and just made music. 
At some point I had some demos and sent them to Connaisseur Recordings. They liked it and we got the idea of it and put them together as it is now. I also can say that it was a kind of process; the tracks that I already had inspired me for the new ones and after some time there was this idea for the album. Overall there was this feeling that I had when I was on the way to the studio and back. I can say the inspiration was completely natural.

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What are you most looking forward to about playing the Fiction party in New York on March 24th?
I’m looking forward to a great night with great music. I really like Cleveland so I am really looking forward hearing him play! I’m also looking forward to a venue that I’m not familiar with and to hanging out with great people. I always have a good time in New York, so I’m sure it will be a good one again. I love the city and its atmosphere; it’s always a big pleasure to be there.

You’re good friends with Matthias Meyer and have known him for something like 20 years. How did the two of you meet?
We grew up in the countryside in a small village - there was not that much to do. Everyone went to the same school and to the same swimming pool in the summer, so at some point you will meet. I think we first met on a soccer field.

Who really inspires you as a producer?
It's hard to define for me who really inspires me. Sometimes I just find new music, discover a new artist or listen to something at home, then I think ‘oh that’s nice, I’m going to try to do something like this’,  or I just play around and notice ‘oh wait, it sounds like this’. Like last weekend - I listened to a basement session from Radiohead on Youtube, and after I thought I have to go to the studio and do something completely free and just for myself. For a long time I’ve been a big fan of Roman Fluguel’s work. I think he is doing something that you cannot compare to what anyone else is doing.

Berlin or New York for clubbing?
Hamburg! No really, it’s difficult to decide on one city because both have their special features. Berlin with its endless opportunities for example, but I also like the freshness of New York or Brooklyn. Sometimes it feels like the people in New York are a bit more open to new things at the moment, but both cities are special and unique places. 

Can you describe your production process. What’s it like in the studio with Patlac?
Everything starts with a coffee. If I'm not working on a specific thing like a remix or I have to finish a track, I just play around. I try to not overthink everything and keep it playful so I press a knob here and there and see where it takes me. Or sometimes I will program a little sequence and build a groove around that. At some point there are these moments where an idea comes up and I keep on working with it. An important point for me is to do always be doing something. Without doing something nothing will happen. Sometimes an idea comes fast, sometimes it takes weeks, but the ones that come fast are always the best!

If you weren’t DJing and producing, what would you be doing?
I’d be a carpenter building furniture, or I would be a florist and put smiles on people’s faces.

What has been a music career highlight today? Have you had an ‘aha’ moment where everything just started to make sense with what you are pursuing musically?
Producing an album was definitely a highlight for me! When I look back, it was always a big thing for me when other people made albums and I'm happy to have had this experience. Now about this 'aha' moment, I am still waiting to discover it! 

What’s on the cards for the future? Do you have plans for another album at some point?
i'm super happy that my first album is finally out. I’m always working on new music and I plan to have some new tracks come out in the near future. I don’t have a plan for another album yet but I'm absolutely up for it. I can't say when that will be though or how it will sound.

How’s your 2018 schedule looking? Where can we hear you play?
It’s looking quite good actually. I will play some gigs in Germany in March and April - Zurich is on the list as well. For the summer I’m looking forward to playing at Castello Festival in the Polish countryside in a beautiful location and a great line up.