With his latest release out on Mother Recordings we sat down with German producer Superlover to get a bit more of an insight into the life of the man behind a true summer groover.
OTB: Music apart, what’s been keeping you on your toes recently?
Superlover: I’ve been doing a few podcasts and other promotional things these last couple of weeks. There are still some things on my to-do list, like new press shots. As we all know, these days it’s not only about releasing good music but also letting people know about it. So that is an essential part of my work too, apart from making tracks.
But it’s good to leave the studio every now and then to air out your brain. Yesterday I took a nice 4-hour stroll with my DJ friend Dunwich, visiting from Brazil, all the way through downtown Berlin. That felt good too :)
OTB: And musically, what’s keeping you excited right now then?
Superlover: Actually, I am about to finish a remix for house music legend Roland Clark. I felt so honoured when I got asked. It’s really exciting to work with his original lyrics and put them into a new context. Can’t wait to play this mix on big speakers.
OTB: So is most of your day music-related then? Is music a full-time thing for you?
Superlover: It’s a full time job, definitely. I think if you want to be really good at what you do, you have to devote yourself 100% to it. Usually I start the day by bringing my 4-year-old daughter to daycare, and then I settle down to work in the studio. Most of the time, I listen to the sketches I’ve done the night before and see if what I did was gold or trash. I spend a lot of time at the computer, tweaking my own tracks and ideas.
Once a week I go to my favourite second-hand vinyl store in Berlin and dig for inspiration. It’s giant yet relatively undiscovered, with an endless amount of records that’s like a gold mine for me.
OTB: ‘Steam’ was probably your biggest track to date. Did it open a lot of new doors for you?
Superlover: Steam definitely got me some attention and put my name on the map. Big names like Claptone played ‘Steam' in every set and gave me their chart support. Purple Disco Machine loved the tune so much he wanted to remix it (and actually did) and Boris Dlugosch, one of my all-time house music heroes, asked me to remix one of his tunes. So yeah, it felt really good :)
But as everyone knows, it’s a short-lived business and you have to come up with a stream of successful tunes to really establish your name. I saw 'Steam’ and its success less like a crowning achievement but more of an encouragement to work even harder on the next releases.
OTB: And what DJs, producers and labels influenced you to make music in the first place?
Superlover: My influences reach back to early-90s house and techno music. Probably too many to name, but some of them are definitely Laurent Garnier (my first record), Jeff Mills, DJ Sneak, Carl Cox, Ian Pooley and later Daft Punk and their associated artists like Alan Braxe, Cassius, Fred Falke and Etienne de Crecy.
OTB: So let’s chat about where you’re from – how much of an influence has it had on you as a person and as a musician?
Superlover: It’s definitely been a privilege to grow up as a teenager in Berlin and have access to its rich and thriving universe of electronic music with the huge variety of clubs, record stores and music events. The step between listening to obscure artists’ Octamed files on my Commodore Amiga, to buying my first pieces of kit was almost seamless. The mid-90s club music in Berlin was mainly harder, machine-like Techno. I loved it and wanted to produce music in that style, and maybe even more machine-like. Check out the first record I ever did: 'Tanz-Generator' (1998, Autist records).
OTB: You live in Berlin, but why do you think the city has developed so many great musicians over the years?
Superlover: That’s an interesting point. After World War II, West Berlin became attractive for artists because the city was affordable, the nightlife wasn’t regulated and there was no compulsory military service. There are probably many more reasons, but these three were definitely a magical combination and attracted a lot of creatives. Even now, the city clearly hasn’t lost its attractiveness, which has led to an accumulation of like-minded people, especially musicians, who shape Berlin’s image abroad.
OTB: How conducive is it as a place to write music?
Superlover: Honestly speaking, for myself it doesn’t matter that much (anymore) where I do my music. I’m focusing on developing my own artistic identity and for that I try to have as little influence from the outside world as possible.
OTB: So your latest release is out on Mother again. Can you talk us through it a bit? What was the general vibe you were going for with it?
Superlover: I wanted to do a record that people would want to play at their pool party and summer festival alike.
I really like the nice and warm summertime vibe in ‘Love Flute’: it’s very melodic and positive, almost anthem-like.
‘Love Machine’ is a bit darker and harder, but not less catchy. I love the guitar riff and the energy of the vocals. Pretty driving and pumping.
OTB: Have you a longstanding relationship with Nhan Solo then? Or how do you guys know one another?
Superlover: I think we’ve known each other for 5 years or so. Our first encounter was at a "Prince" theme party, where Nhan and Chi Than were dressed up like Prince and played Prince songs all night long! That definitely did not spark our relationship :) but Berlin is a small city – and we ran into each other a couple of times again after that. Nhan is a really positive person, always full of energy. He asked me if I wanted to send him some stuff for Mother Recordings. The first thing we released was ‘Steam’ and this is where things started.
OTB: And do you plan to kick on from here again? What else have you got lined up for the rest of the year?
Superlover: Apart from the ‘Love Flute E.P.’ on Mother I have another record coming up on King Street music (NYC) in August as well. Also there will be a couple of remixes released in August and September on the Danish house label Chuggy Trax, a remix for Sex Panda White, and the highlight being the aforementioned Superlover remix for house music legend Roland Clark.
OTB: Do you think house and techno will always remain popular? Do you ever worry that it'll become seriously niche again?
Superlover: I never ever worried about House or Techno being popular or not popular. From an artist point of view it’s about you, not about what the magazines or the people want or what is being hyped.
OTB: Electronic music aside, what else do you listen to in your spare time?
Superlover: Spare time, work time – for me at least, it’s one in the same, seriously. Sometimes though, when I’m in the kitchen, I’ll listen to Berlin’s Jazz radio station. Most of the stuff they play is like elevator music. But every now and then, there is something wonderful to discover like Christian Scott’s deep and moody ‘The Eraser’.
OTB: And how do you rate the current house and techno landscape?
Superlover: This is a huge topic and there are so many aspects. So I will give you just the short version of my answer: 10/ 10
OTB: What 5 tracks are you pulling out of your bag a lot at the moment?
1 - Superlover – ‘Love Flute’
2 - Hanne & Lore – ‘Karma Supra’
3 - Cubus, What Ever – ‘Calypso’
4 - Aussteiger – ‘Bangbao’
5 - Onsra – ‘Funkytown’
Superlover's 'Loveflute' EP is out now on Mother Recordings, available here.