Filed under: Interview
Riley Reinhold started DJing way back in 1984 and continues to wow the crowds not only from behind the decks but from almost every medium possible. You may have heard of a label called Traum, or Trapez, or the latest My Best Friend, all three are run by Riley. In addition to these labels, he has his own magazine De:Bug.
Before becoming the boss of these labels, he was a resident at some of the biggest clubs in Germany. He also worked the Kompakt Record shop where he furthered his ear for quality music.
With so much top talent like Dominik Eulberg, Extrawelt, Alex Under, and so many more, Triple R can feel right at home with all these artists.
HigherFrequency was able to catch him on a rare free moment to talk about his labels, his stomping grounds and of course the future.
Interview by Nick Lawrence (HigherFrequency) _ Introduction by Len Iima (HigherFrequency)
HigherFrequency (HRFQ) : Exactly how do you go about choosing what music to release on all of your labels?
Triple R : My experience of 20 years of DJing… my work as a journalist reviewing about 4000 records between 1995-1999, doing my own show at a radio station…gives me a sense for music.
HRFQ : People are often talking about Berlin but we don’t hear so much about Cologne even though it is the home of labels like Traum and Kompakt. Does this make you angry or frustrated at all?
Triple R : Well, we live here in this Roman city and we have influenced the history of techno in this city for now almost 20 years. I remember when I did my first techno party in 1989. We are in a way married with this city. We know of the disadvantages but also of the qualities which we do not want to swap with any other city in Germany. You must come to the cities at the river Rhein to experience the friendly Franco-Prussian mixture which they stand for. Cologne itself is a jazz and rock city with a great past as we had groups such as CAN which reflected the improvisation in electronic music and jazz fused with rock music structures. I was heavily influenced by post-Can group: Dunkelziffer, which played 3 hour sets with monotone drumming of Jackie Liebzeit, Damo Suzuki on Vocals and many guitarists playing feedback sound in the Velvet Underground fashion. Also African influences were common in this post-rock/new wave fusion music which took place in the Stollwerck Chocolate Factory in the 80’s when I traveled to Cologne to witness the madness of the town which brought the Beatles their famous haircut, designed here in Cologne by a female hairdresser. At the current there are new initiatives as the WESTPOOL with its club GEWÖLBE where we are featuring our artists SLG/ Live, The Silent Jeffs, Alex Under, Cosmic Sandwich, Break 3000, Dirt Crew, Oliver Hacke, LAX, Shinedow, The medieval heaviness lies in the air, the centre is crammed by bars and pubs, so club culture is not the main interest of the town.
HRFQ : You’ve been involved in the music industry for over 20 years. How does the current scene compare to years gone by?
Triple R : The scene has obviously changed as times have drastically changed. The design and the aspect of sound design in music have also changed the scene here and the people. Many people like techno today, including the mainstream. Techno is no subculture anymore..few know where it comes from, but that is fine because they bring something new. With the digital world, few things are still secrets, information becomes items you trade to be part of “the scene”. Hippness is more than ever an important marketing aspect in music. Parties/promoters today must offer a lot more of entertainment since the clubbers of today demand more in one go. 15 years ago a pure kickdrum was bringing 700 people to scream. These times are over and everyone knows that!
HRFQ : A lot of trends come and go but what’s the most exciting thing happening in electronic music at the moment?
Triple R : We can only speak about ourselves since this is a world of its own. Next year we are celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the TRAUM label…so we are releasing a special on TRAUM in a limited number, you can only obtain for a couple of days and directly through the label. Still the exciting thing for us is to sign artists and to build them up and work with them for years and see the development. We are happy to see that our exclusive artist Dominik Eulberg got successful worldwide through our releases and that he will be a main force for the future on TRAUM. He will release several records on Traum this year also a remix of a track by Jesse Somfay. We also are happy that we work with a lot of German producers now. Through that direct relationship we can work more closely and in tune with the DJ scene, which in the past we have not always done. We are excited about our first double MIX CD of music on MBF we have licensed from all our favorite minimal labels worldwide for a MIX by Martin Eyerer and Oliver Klein, who as well will release two 12” after theirsuccessful ‘Kairo’ 12″ on MBF this year.We are also looking forward to the comeback of Oliver Hacke on Trapez this year and the SLG remix double remix 12″ with full power support from our Trapez artists.
HRFQ : You’ve had a lot of jobs that most people would consider quite cool, not only are you a DJ, producer and label owner but you were also a co-runner of De:Bug magazine. Was all this quite easy for you to achieve or did you have to put in a lot of hard work?
Triple R : I bring with me a lot of love for music in general to start with. So I wrote a lot about music linking the music historically to music from the past or similar music. But after 7 years of writing about music I had to quit because I was running out of adjectives and metaphors to describe music. I am still a co-owner of DEBUG but since 3 years have really concentrated to work with 5 people for our labels, the main force being Jacqueline Klein all artist know because she is the mastermind behind so many things. The journalistic work has helped me to run a label with 80 different artists still maintaining a leitmotiv running through all of the releases over the last 9 years. As a label we took it step for step, rather slow but steady… we were not aiming at making money with music right away. The second thought was to live off it. So the art in music was much more important than any pragmatic aspect and it still is this way.
HRFQ : What do you think have been the main reasons for the success of your labels Traum Schallplatten, Trapez and My Best Friend?
Triple R : The quality in music and the independent spirit!
HRFQ : What we can expect in the future from the Traum Family?
Triple R : You can expect that we will work in depth when it comes to techno. We will have a continuous relationship with our artist and will also discover new artist since that has been a main philosophy of all our labels. We will put very much effort on MBF this year and the success of the first months has shown us people are getting it. We also plan to book more artists internationally through our TRAUM booking agency, put up more showcases internationally. We will very soon release Extrawelt ‘Doch Doch’ remixes through two separate 12”, there will be a remix record also of Dominik’s “Limikolen” 12” on Traum by an artist we will not yet announce. We have another strong artist duo to appear in June which will perfectly fit to TRAUM . We will release a double 12” SLG remix record with the best artists we have on Trapez as for example Sandiego from Milan and Oliver Hacke’s comeback with a brilliant remix and more….Gabriel Ananda will do a Trapez record for us as well. Last but not least I myself will release 3 records on MBF ltd _cine this year. I have made the decision after working with different producers and friends since 1995 when I released on Disco B my ‘RED FLARE EP’. Starting in may 2007 with: “RILEY REINHOLD-LIGHTS IN MY EYES” (MNBF LTD-Cine12013) my way of bringing cinema and techno together with panoramicsounds…which Dominik Eulberg is charting right now and Jeff Samuel was into as well, as the two people I have played the tracks to. Setting up exciting label showcases through our TRAUM booking, as we have set up our biggest TRAUM party in Berlin for the 31.03.2007 in Berghain/Panoramabar with: Extrawelt (Live) Minilogue (Live) Dominik Eulberg Triple R aka Riley Reinhold Jeff Samuel Larsson The biggest party we will do in Cologne will be at the C/0 Pop festival in Cologne at the 18th of August 2007 with Dominik Eulberg. SLG /live, Triple R, and many more DJs to be announced
End of the interview
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