Behind the Beat: Torsten Kanzler

Following his stellar release ‘Makro’, which dropped on his own imprint of TKR, Torsten Kanzler stopped by to talk further about this exhilarating collection of tracks and the life of a record label head.

Only The Beat: Where did the inspiration stem from for this EP and how does it differ to the past writing experiences?

Torsten Kanzler: I get my inspiration at the weekends in the club, either during my set or while the other acts are playing. When I’m in the studio the next days, I try to transform those emotions and experiences into music. It’s hard to say how ‘Makro’ differs from past productions. I try to top every previous production with the new one. Hopefully I will succeed with Makro as well.

OTB: How does the sound itself differ from your earliest productions?

TK: My last album ‘Analog System’ already showed that Torsten Kanzler changed sound wise. In the meantime I am working with more analog sounds. My actual productions follow the rule ‘less is more’, being slower and less packed, focusing on a good, dynamic sound.

OTB: What do you think prompted a change in your sound?

TK: I really don’t know. At some point I started buying analog production systems. The different way of working associated to those new systems and the powerful analog sound influenced me a lot. Maybe it was another production or set from a different artist that got my attention. I think in general, that a constant development is important.

OTB: Have you ever experimented in different genres of music while in the studio, would you ever run a side project?

TK: Yes but just for remix purposes. This summer I made a remix to a rock track by Kamarad Meyer Musik and a remix for the band 3viertelelf, who attended at Bundesvision Song Contest with the original. That has been a great challenge but there are no further plans so far.

OTB: This EP features two remixes, how did you go about selecting who would work on your tracks and what are the reasons behind choosing the artists involved?

TK: I already worked a few times with Sven. I appreciate him as a friend and like his productions a lot. With his interpretation of my song he showed again that he is a good remixer. His mix is definitely my favorite track on the EP. I am really excited to hear his new album. Arnd (Drumcomplex) has been on my remix-list for a long time. His releases have been in my sets ever since.

OTB: So delving a little further into TKR, why did you decide to set up the label and how do you think has benefited your career in music?

TK: I think it’s every DJ or Producer’s dream of having his own record label. Plus it’s not always easy to place your productions on other labels. Sometimes it’s the A&R who doesn’t like my sound or they just don’t want a redneck like me – hahaha! Well, I just wanted my own imprint, where I can develop my sounds and live my musical preferences. Label work might take a lot of time but it’s always a lot of fun to say: “Hey world, this is the techno the Kanzler likes!” I would probably have launched a label anyway, without being a DJ

OTB: How does a normal week for you look like, how often do you spend in the studio etc?

TK: Torsten Kanzler lives a very disciplined life. Being a proud father for 14 months I appreciate a well-ordered daily routine. I get woken up by my daughter at 5:30 AM. After having breakfast I go to the studio at about 3:00 PM if I am not working on a new album that is. Then I might be in the studio overnight. In the afternoons I enjoy family life. That’s how my weekdays fly by. It’s not always easy to handle but thanks to my girlfriend everything works out fine.

OTB: What is your most treasured piece of equipment in the studio?

TK: A signed Helge Schneider & The Heavytones record. I love this man for his humor and his music.

OTB: How has the playing live changed over your career, do you still like to keep it traditional with vinyl, CDJs, etc. or are you looking to bring in more technology?

TK: I am not a live act since a live act always produces his music completely himself. I might be close but a live act is a total different thing. I play with four decks in Traktor and Maschine and am using other producer’s tracks. The advantage is that I can remix the track live and individually. I rarely play the original version of a track.

OTB: Who is your biggest inspiration to date and why?

TK: I am getting my biggest inspiration from the crowd on the dance floor. My setup is influenced by Chris Liebing. His way of playing and the power in his sets fascinate me and therefore inspires me.

OTB: What is next for Torsten Kanzler, gigging, releases, the label etc?

TK: The last weeks of the year are already fully packed. I am booked every weekend. The highlight will bet he New Years Party at the Butan in Wuppertal. There will be 2 more Torsten Kanzler releases this year. The first one will come December 7th on UK label Silent Storm with a DJ Emerson Remix. The second release will be a Flug Remix, coming December 14th on Driving Forces. In between there will be two remixes for Disatle on TKR and PoyPoy on favor. That’s it for 2015 then.

Makro is out now and available here.



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