last week jacob korn was the first of dresden’s uncanny valley crew to release a full length album. you & me is a wholly non-standard house record, with varying moods from deep and dark to bright and industrial. no doubt in park to thank for it being such an undulating ride is that fact each track was made with a collaborator, from chris rau to cuthead via san soda and many more. korn’s fingerprints are still all over it, though the gauzy house aesthetics he’s honed on labels like running back, dolly and of course uc here seem even more complete. not bad for someone who only turned his attention back to electronic music a few years ago, and who spends quite a lot of his time instructing the youth in his local city. find out more about the man in this interview and check thew stream at the end for a taster of what to expect from you & me.
how are you? what’s been keeping you busy?
good thanks. the album is done, some remixes finished, new remixes are in the pipeline as well as the liveset for the album-tour and different workshops.
am i right in thinking you only turned to electronic music in 2007-ish? what brought about the change in direction?
it’s not true, no. in 2007 i came back to the techno/house sound i was beginning in the mid 90´s while having different digressions into more leftfield electronica in the 00´s. the change was inspired by a lot of good house music around that time.
what were you doing/into before then? what music did you grow up around and does that still influence you now?
when a friend and me were starting back then after homework, we were doing hardcore techno which changed to more detroit inspired techno. we went to our first parties which were techno in the first place, but had often several floors with house, electro, drum´n´bass, chillout and even hip hop. later during my studies labels like warp, morr, fatcat, ninja tunes or musical styles like nujazz and broken beat were interesting for me. some are still influential to me.
so how did you enjoy the album writing process now you look back? was it fun, are you totally happy?
in general making music is fun, especially when you are jamming around with other people. so this is the fun part. later things need to be „finished“ which is 70% of the work for such an album. in this time you are quite isolated and things need to be done. barley nobody can help. except for the mixing part i always ask my friends at www.blockstudio.de for their opinion. now it sounds really good to me, especially after pole was mastering it and you listening to it with the little extra warmth on vinyl.
was there a plan for it from the start? did you know what you wanted to do?
not really a master plan from the beginning. i was just collecting works of the last 5 years and discovered that most tracks i liked best, had people collaborating with it. while i never missed the opportunity to jam with people in the studio once they are in town it did not take long to have the top candidates for the album together.
how hard was it working with so many collaborators to make sure the whole album fit together as a whole from start to finish, and wasn’t just a collection of tracks?
as i said before i really enjoy working with different people. so i needed to take care of the whole communication overhead which takes a while but i have had assistance from the label guys as well. to get together kind of a consistent album it needs a special sound-stamp that i was trying to put on top of all that jams. maybe i am not able to do it in a different way so that’s why it sounds kind of the same even when working together with a lot of different artists.
why do you favour collaborating so much? what do you like about it? think you’ll ever go solo on an album?
after several years having spent producing on my own i felt the wish to work with other musicians again. maybe because that’s what music is really about, to create it in interaction with other people? so, over time i started to work with different musicians and i often judged the results as more valuable than my solo work. the reason for that is probably the difference in the process of creation. there are compromises to be made, yes. but at the same time you try out things that you wouldn’t have tried on your own. it’s just so exciting when the result is more than the sum of its parts!
a solo album? possibly yes. probably not. laughs
and it seems to ebb and flow like a club set overall – was that the intention?
maybe. i think it is good to have different tempos and varied styles on an album. it makes the experience for listening more rich. thats what i like in club-sets as well.
was it made with the dancing floor in mind? do your dj sets inform your productions would you say?
i dont dj too much to be honest. i play my own music mostly for livesets. but sure this needs new music all the time and as i said the tracks were collected the past 5 years – it was also the time i was quite active doing livesets in clubs.
it seems an album influenced by lots outside dance music – almost a bit industrial and gritty – i wonder what music you listened to whilst making it and if i am in any way right?
i love dance music for 15 years now. it used to be rougher in the beginning. i still got this i mind when switching the machines on today. beside this you are not able to listen just to dance music all day. i listened a lot to electronica and it turned out from the love for hiphop that i discovered good music from the 60´s and 70´s era, mostly jazz and soul.
how much do you think your location in dresden is an influence on the music you make? its an industrial city i think?
the nickname „florence on the elbe“ would not imply that i quess:) here you are surrounded more by beautiful nature, baroque buildings, history all over, theatres, fine arts, classical music, jazz and some media arts. not really heavy industry, noise and smoking chimneys.
you’re going on tour now, right? what should people expect from you in live-mode?
as i said i am just able to play my own stuff so people would know some tunes but still be able to be surprised hopefully.
what else have you got coming up/are you looking forward to?
i am doing some workshops with school-kids which is really really challenging but also fun. working also with a dance-company on a piece. finishing an diy modular synth and of course more music music music:)
what do you like to do outside of music?
music is everywhere. to escape that i like cycling or hiking. spending time with people, you know. exhibitions, movies, soldering, the usual suspects:)