[Music & Interview]: Schlammpeitziger

 

Music & Interview
Schlammpeitziger

 

Introduction:
Schlammpeitziger is the moniker of the German electronic artist Jo Zimmermann who lives in Cologne. His early reputation was built on his inventive use of cheap Casio synthesizers. The name is inspired by the amphibious fish Schlammpeitzger.

 

Interview:

Hi, Jo.

Thanks for this interview and nice mix of own productions. I discovered your music via a mix of Electronica tracks by Martin Gore (Depeche Mode) in 2001. The mix contained a lot of stuff I started to follow then but your track was one that got my bigger attention. So let‘s start with the first questions. What music did you listen to in your youth? When did you start with producing? Who inspired you? Did you have any other music projects you started before Schlammpeitziger?

Hi Jürgen. You’re welcome!

In the 70ties I was a big KISS fan (I´m born 1964). And in the early 80ties i changed to Wave,Disco and Electronic. Very important for me in this time were Bands like Residents, Telex, Bene Gesserit, Chris&Cosey, Der Plan, Andreas Dorau etc..

In 1986 I bought my Casio CZ 230 S. But really making tracks was around 1989. There was one projekt before Schlammpeitziger it was called Hal´s Dream. It was with a drummer, a guy with sampler and synth and me. We had 2-3 concerts here in Cologne and we split in ’91. They wanted me to learn notes.

And this was not my idea of making music. So Schlammpeitziger was born.

 
Schlammpeitziger 1
(Schlammpeitziger playing at a live gig)
 
Your releases were on small labels like Entenpfuhl, A-Musik, Pingipung, Sonig. How did you get in touch with these labels? Did you produce stuff after signing a deal or did you select the finished tracks for them from your drive? How did you select them? Why did you choose cassette and vinyl only for your first 2 releases?
I met Frank Dommert / Entenphuhl / Sonig in a pub. I was DJ there,and he liked the music I was playing.

He and some friends of him had a band that was called Kontakta. There was Georg Odijk (Founder of A-Music), Markus Schmickler (a musician), Carsten Schulz (musician), Monika Westphal (musician) and Hans Jürgen Schunk (musician) and Frank Dommert. They worked with Contact Micro Prepared Instruments like tables, windows etc.

And we all became friends. After listening to my tracks Frank made my first Release Erdrauchharnschleck on tape in 1993. There was no offical deal, no contract. Me and Frank selected the tracks from the tape. It was an easy yes or no system. Cassette was a easy option to bring out music. So we took this.

The second release Burgfensterrytmuskuckloch was a split LP with Masters Cosmic Music. And they had money for Vinyl. So they made it. And I was very lucky about it! My first vinyl. It was on the label Gefriem run by Jan Werner (Mouse on Mars), F.X.Randomiz and Joseph Suchy (another musician).

 

Schlammpeitziger 2
(Schlammpeitziger Promo Pic 1 2018)

Talking about your tracks…. How do you start a production of a new song? Where do you find the inspiration for them? Many tracks sound quite funny to me – with a funny melody or feeling.
I just start with a bassline or a melodyloop or a beat. And then collecting more and more loops, sounds and melodys. This gives me the inspiration in which direction it should go.

After this I start with the arrangement. And normally a track is finished after 2-4 weeks.

For me the tracks are not funny,i would say in a good or simple mood. But there is also a lot of melancholy in it. My tracks mostly did not get in people by hearing it just 1 time. If you want to find more listen again. I don´t pack them in a aggressive costume so people maybe find it funny. And it´s a lot of work! And that´s not funny.

 

(Video “Zwischenzischbericht”, 2000)
 
Your tracks & records have also funny names. How do you create them? Have they any deeper meaning at least for you? Do you have them all in mind – so you know what track it is when someone name it?
The titles, yes. Some are word constructions and some are direct in my mind.

The new record “Damenbartblick auf Pregnant Hill” is this view on that hill. This music was played while they looked at this hill. In my mind for sure!

Often I listen to finished tracks again and again and then I find things inside that bring me to the title/meaning of the track.

I think a can remember a lot of tracks but not all. That’s the problem when you have to much children!

 
Schlammpeitziger 3
(Live picture of Schlammpeitziger)
 
Like mentioned above I discovered your music via a Martin Gore mix that was broadcast on Viva (a German music television at that time) which was also used for the Exciter tour. Did you know about the mix before it was on TV or played at the concerts? What do you think about the mix? Did it create some extra attention for your releases so the sales grew?

I know there was a mix, but i can´t remember what was inside. That´s nearly 17 years ago. And my brain has not get better.

No I didn´t know something about it before Daniel Miller send it to me. No there was no extra attention or sales grew. Only god knows why.

 
The mix made by Martin was not the only connection to Depeche Mode. You also made a remix for their single “Freelove” in 2001. How did you get this job? Many electronic artists are fans of DM, inspired by them or at least respect the output. What about you, are you a fan? What‘s your DM favourite production and why?
Daniel Miller just asked me. And so I did it. And it was paided very good.

And “Freelove” is a nice song.

Do you know Boyd Rice and Daniel Miller – “Cleaness and Order”? This track was a fantastic reason to do it! This track was very important to me! So it also was a thank you Daniel Miller for this song. No I’m not a DM fan. But they have my respect. They are still there!

 

(DM remix and the track “Mango Und Papaja Auf Tobago” used in our special “Depeche Mode & Their Remixers (Part I)”)
 
Back to your own stuff: you have a strong relationship to A-Musik, a record store in Cologne, a concert venue, a mailorder, a label. Could you please tell us something about this relationship? When and how it started etc…
Look Question 2 and: We are still friends. Sometimes I’m in the A-Musik shop or we meet at friends or concerts. It’s family.
 
Schlammpeitziger 4
(Schlammpeitziger Promo Pic 3 2018)
 
For me your sound is part of what I have in mind about electronic music from Cologne. What do you think? What defines the Sound Of Cologne? What differences are there compared to the music scene in Berlin etc.
I have no idea. I really don’t think about this. It is what it is!
 
For your live shows you work with an visual artist Ulrike Göken. Please tell us something about this. How do you develop the ideas,how do you make the films? Any plans to upload the stuff to youtube or other platforms?
Me and Ulrike are doing the videos since 2003. Right now we are developing ideas and cut videos for the new record. Means: 8 tracks – 8 videos. Later on we put some on youtube.

So over the years and between the records we collecting material we filmed. We film everything that is interesting for us – normal weired stuff. Or we ask other people if they want to make something.

Like for the track Damenbartblick, KotaUska from Ukraine gave us their great photos and we made a video out of it. We were friends on Facebook and we liked their photos so much so we asked and they said yes.

Great collaboration.

 

(Video “Damenbartblick”, 2017)
 
Wow already the last part of our small interview. You are just about to release your new album “Damenbartblick auf Pregnant Hill” on Bureau B, a label that released stuff by Andreas Dorau, DAF, Kreidler, Krautrock veterans etc. How did you produce this album? Why will it be on Bureau and not some of the labels you worked with in the past? And special story you connect with the album already? And what‘s coming next?
Was not so small at all. Like always at my “Auf dem Brett Studio” I work with computer, ipad and a Alesis Synth.

At the beginning it was very diffcult for me to make a next record after “What´s Fruit?”. This record was standing in front of me like a wall. And i had no idea what’s behind it!

So there was some month in a very bad mood, frustration and personal bad things.

I can hear this in tracks like “What i got”, “Angerrestbay” or “Smooth Motion Kaukraut”. These are very dark or sad tracks for me. But better times came back! So “Ekirlu Kongo” or “Bock Bounceburg” are good examples for this change. And finally I mixed the record with my old friend Mucki.

He has a great studio in Bergisch-Gladbach near Cologne – Mohr Music. That was also very important for my music! He understands my music very good.

Then the record was ready but my label before Pingipung didn’t like it. So i was there without a label after 24 years. That was very frustating. But Jan Werner (Mouse On Mars) had the idea to ask Bureau b. So I have sent the tracks and they liked it.

And suddenly I had a new and very good label! Very nice people are working there! The collaboration is very good!

And I’m on a label with my heroes like “Der Plan” or “Andreas Dorau”. Great!

Special album story: look above.

I hope a lot of concerts will follow now! And there will be 2 unreleased tracks on a split maxi next year.

 
Jo, Thanks for this nice interview & the beautiful mix 🙂
 

Recommendations:
album “Damenbartblick Auf Pregnant Hill” on Bureau B
album “What’s Fruit?” on Pingipung Records
album “Vorausschauende Bebauung” on Sonig

 

Exclusive Mix:

 

Tracklist of Exclusive Mix:
01. Schlammpeitziger – Keine Sitar
02. Schlammpeitziger – Mango und Papaja auf Tobago
03. Schlammpeitziger – Honkytonk Schlickummpittz
04. Schlammpeitziger – Verhörspielquäkerseat
05. Schlammpeitziger – Prä-Digitaler Volksstuhlhänger
06. Schlammpeitziger – Frag nicht nach Nord-Süd-Fahrt
07. Schlammpeitziger – Bassbestie´s Blässe
08. Schlammpeitziger – Verkleinerte Vergrößerung
09. Schlammpeitziger – Hagelslaag Süchteln
10. Schlammpeitziger – Schneid ein Stück aus der Zeit
11. Schlammpeitziger – Damenbartblick
12. Schlammpeitziger – What I Got

 

Websites:
Schlammpeitziger

 

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