if you read my review of mikkel metal‘s latest ep on tartelet, you’ll know i loved it. looking back through my collection afterwards, i realised i had more than a few tartelet records including those by wareika and brandt brauer frick. newer stuff on the danish imprint from muff deep also sounds great, and so i did the only decent thing… tapped them up for an interview…
how did you get into electronic music? was there a scene in your hometowns you were into or did you have to travel or…?
copenhagen is a small city where everyone knows each other. subcultures crossover and its easy to discover new things, even if you are not part of the “scene”.
what was it about electronic music you liked at first? can you remember how it made you feel?
fredski: the first time i really took notice of electronic music was in 95’ when i discovered chemical brothers… it made me feel ecstatic.
emil: i discovered jungle & techno through some older friends in 93’ but didn’t really understand it at first… it made me curious and after some time a started listening – from there i was hooked.
is there a certain aesthetic, style or vibe that has always appealed to you since the start would you say? or have your tastes always evolved more wildly?
tartelet has from the start been a label in between scenes so you could call this a style. we always search for music that in some way relates to the scene we live in or the music that develops it – for instance wareika and brandt brauer frick has been the result of a feeling for instrumental aesthetics and resonance in electronic music.
initially, how did the three of you meet? what drew you to each other?
actually tomas and frederik started the label in 2007… emil joined a year later. tomas and i (fred) met in the cph club scene, where tomas had a lot of connections and was well known. back then frederik was just returning from london and had a vision to build something new… the match of young and old made a playful energy.
emil & fred: we new each other from the country clubs of northern sealand and the dramatic world of horse riding. we used to be competitors for many years until frederiks pony mysteriously died from testicular cancer…
but we don’t speak of the competitions very often because emil is a sore loser with a very bad temper.
if you can, explain why now there are just two of you…
tomas wanted to focus on his own projects with filur and whomadewho and therefore decided to withdraw from the label. rip
and has the label or operation changed since three became two? there can be no majority when it comes to decision making if there are just two of you – that ever an issue?
there are always issues… especially because frederik is like a caveman when it comes to operating electronic apparatuses e.g. emails and using the telephone. besides we almost never agree on anything but somehow always come to the same conclusion – moreover, we are like to drops of water in the dead sea.
was there a strong idea for the label at the start, or was it simply to release your own productions? have values become more important as time has gone on maybe…?
in the beginning we just wanted a platform for our own music… this soon changed and the people around us became the label. we discovered that the talent and inspiration was right in front of us among our friends and lovers.
tell us about the artwork – why is it important? are you art fans generally?
for us the artwork is equal to the music and we put a lot of effort into it.. .all our releases are individual in sound and visual art. and yes, we are art enthusiasts!
and who does the artwork; what inspires or influences it? do the producers decide, or is it related to the music or the titles or?
the artwork is created by the brilliant and mysterious “emperor of antarctica”. the emperor is a complex person with a very complex philosophy regarding patterns and colour combinations, referring to artists such as malevich and sol le witt. he is a big part of the label and an inspiration; we couldn’t do it without him.
there are a lot of diverse sounds released on the label – i wonder if there is anything that ties them all together in your mind? do you even care about that?
yes they are all related by being unique and true to what they are. they all investigate sound in their own way and challenge the listener to dive deeper into their inner space and explore what lies beyond.
so to sum up; there is absolutely nothing tying the releases together and that’s important to us… we love music but hate genres.
how important are full lengths in the scheme of things? they allow for much more of a statement than just eps…
they are super fun but to expensive to produce. in the future this is something that we’ll definitely dive deeper into.
are you friends with all the people you release? is that important?
yes of course we are more than friends; we are family and it has been like that since the beginning. we are organized like a sicilian family and you have be in the circle of trust before we will consider taking you on.. you start low and work your way up.
and similarly, how important is it for you to rep’ scandinavian dudes? do you think about that?
very important and not important at all… do what you do best. this is our vision and reality; we grew up in scandinavia and are influenced by our surroundings but we don’t consider us a scandinavian label… for instance we just signed andrea fiorito who’s an old friend from the backstreets of bari, italy.
emil: we are more like a scandinavian latino label.
how did you first hook up with brandt brauer frick? what drew you to their sound?
we found bbf through paul frick. he sent us his new project he was doing with scott (daniel and jan). it was a project where they recorded sounds and resonance of classical instruments… i hit us on the spot as we were very much into karl heinz stockhausen and john cage at that point…
fred: i felt extremely lucky to discover a contemporary take on this… so i guess we hooked up by faith.
and this latest mikkel metal release is different again for you – a kind of knackered house vibe…
mikkel was connected to us by james braun and kenneth from echocord. james braun is influenced by mikkel and has a profound respect for him as an artist (so do we). in general we consider it an honour to have mikkel onboard, he is a very wise man.
what else you looking forward to?
we look forward to see the tree of tartelet grow, our artists develop and mature with their sound.. this is actually one of the most interesting things of having a record label.
we also look forward to the hunting season.
anyone we should keep an eye/ear out for you’ve discovered?
at the moment we are looking for new stuff such as muff deep – they just released their first ep. it has this sexy disco vibe of a 80´s house party mixed up with a underground party at some basement in detriot..
also there is a young preacherman by the name of samuel andré madsen who is putting out an ep on tartelet in october. his sound is very rough and he is very much into new jersey house from the start 90’s.
last but not least there will be a release with our friend from bari/berlin andrea fiorito who made a monster record for us.