SHA Interview // Pan-Pot
With T In The Park only days away, the return of the infamous Slam Tent will soon be upon us. The line-up is as mouth watering as ever with Sven Vath, Orbital, Joris Voorn, Dubfire, Erol Alkan, Paul Kalkbrenner and Maya Jane Coles amongst the names coming together to celebrate with their Soma hosts over the weekend. Making a welcome return are German duo Pan-Pot so we sent Craig to get their thoughts on the festival and what else has been going on for them lately..
Hello Tassilo and Thomas and welcome to SHA, how are you guys today?
Thomas: Couldn’t be better, thanks!
Tassilo: All good. Relaxed and ready for the interview. How about you?
I am great too thanks! You are coming back to Scotland this weekend to play on Sunday at the T in the Park. Are you excited about making your Slam Tent return?
Tassilo: Oh yes very excited! Seeing Slam and the Soma crew is always a blast. We just played together with them at Sonar in Barcelona.
Thomas: Scotland always feels like coming home and T in the Park is an amazing festival, I can’t wait.
You already have close links with Slam and the Soma family and recently remixed Slam Lifetimes as part of the Soma 20 celebrations. What was it like to be involved in this major milestone for the label?
Tassilo: For us, it was a dream come true being able to do a remix for Lifetimes as we both seriously LOVE this track. I just remember Thomas an I sitting in the car on the way to a gig many years ago and we listened to it 10 times in a row, both singing the lyrics. Back then we already said we would love to do our own version of it.
So, as we’ve been friends with the Soma crew for some time now, we kind of asked them – in the Soma 20 years anniversary context – if we could do a mix of Lifetimes and they all said yes. We felt like the happiest boys around when we got the stems and started working on it.
You grew up in different states of Germany, Thomas from Brandenburg and Tassilo from Bavaria. How different were your childhoods and how did you both get to the point where you were heading to Berlin where your paths would first cross?
Thomas: Usually people from Brandenburg and Bavaria could not be any more different in their mentality, also keeping mind 40 years of being divided into a posh West and the poor East But we were quite young at that time and what connects us is that we are both from quite small cities.
Tassilo: And we both love Electronic music, thats why we met at the SAE (School of Audio Engineering) in Berlin almost 10 years ago. We both moved to Berlin round about the same time which also connected us.
Pan-Pot first came into inception after this meeting at Berlin’s SAE. I read that from here, you both threw yourselves completely into music and wanted to do nothing else. Were you always totally confident that this is where your future lay?
Tassilo: Yes, by not thinking about it We did what we really wanted to do. By the time we started to produce music, we really wanted to make our living with this. And we worked hard to achieve it.
Thomas: And we were at the right spot at the right time when we met Anja Schneider and Mobilee.
You met Mobilee Records boss Anja Schneider through booking her for a party in 2005 and before long had your debut track Copy And Paste released on the label. Tell us about this stage of your career and meeting Anja?
Thomas: This was the starting point of our career really. We met Anja at this event we organized ourselves with amazingly around a dozen people showing up. It was our first event as promoters so we did not have much experience but we booked Anja and had a lot of time to talk to her.
Tassilo: And then they released our first track on Mobilee. You never know what would have happened if we had given it to another label but we were very lucky Mobilee picked it and as it was their second release, we had he chance to grow with the label.
Your debut LP followed, Pan-O-Rama. Who and what was inspiring your music at the time and how has the developed over the Years?
Tassilo: Pan-O-Rama was produced and released in 2007 during the “minimal” hype. Most of the tracks are dark and stripped down with a big focus on effects work and sound design.
Concerning our development I would say that we went more towards Techno, still with a kind of darkness in it but definitely more dance floor orientated and better produced
More recently you mixed the sixth edition of the popular Back To Back compilation series from Mobilee. What is the story behind this compilation and the behind the scenes DVD, Pan-Pot ‘The Documentary’ which is also included in the pack?
Tassilo: Every Year Mobilee picks an artist to mix the Mobilee Back To Back compilation and each artist does something special to it besides simply mixing tracks into each other. Because we made some funny short videos when we were on tour the idea came up to make this a little bigger and more professional. This is why we made this short DVD showing our lives and what we do.
Thomas: But of course there are also two great CDs in this package with selected tracks of mobilee and with a special Pan-Pot mix including new versions of our older tracks and new, unreleased sounds.
Back To Black also comes with a global tour. What tour dates are you really looking forward to and why?
Thomas: There will be a lot of great festivals during the summer, I think around 20 festivals, with T in the Park being a very important one of course. But also Awakenings in Amsterdam, Time Warp in Italy or Sonne Mond Sterne festival in Germany which will be highlights I think.
Tassilo: And we are playing for Carl Cox and his night at Space Ibiza for the first time. Only heard good things about this!
Your dj sets are enjoyed the world over, a fact backed up by your placing in the Resident Advisor DJ polls in the last two years. In 2010 you were 53rd and last year you climbed up to 42nd. What is it that makes your sets so special and loved by the fans?
Thomas: We found our niche between Tech-House and Techno and just love the music we play, which I think shows at our gigs. And we like to entertain a little, so rather than just standing behind our decks we party with the people. Tassilo likes to give away shots so make sure you have a place in the first row then we play if you want free drinks
Tassilo: We never plan our DJ-Sets. Thomas buys the music he likes an I do the same. That kinda keeps the playing fresh because you always have to react in a Back to Back set.
Finally, you will obviously be busy with the tour but can we expect to see many more releases this year?
Tassilo: We are spending a lot of time in the studio and things are in the making but we don’t want to commit to any releases yet….