Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Interview: Sleeparchive.

I recently had the pleasure of asking Roger Semsroth aka Sleeparchive a few questions just before he jetted off to Japan to play a couple of gigs. This was what he had to say!

1. First off, I heard a rumour that Sleeparchive is actually two people, not necessarily working together, but both putting things out as Sleeparchive. Any truth in this?

at the moment sleeparchive is only me. i released music by other people a while ago. "infrared glow" was produced by a friend of mine and on "research" is an edit made by another good friend. i asked both to release the music under their regular artist names but both wanted me to release the tracks as sleeparchive.

2. Are you a native Berliner?

yes, i was born in east berlin in 1976. i lived near dusseldorf from 2001-2004 but apart from that time i lived in berlin all my live.

3. What was the first album you ever bought?

i can`t remember my first album. i grew up in the GDR so i was not able to buy most of the music i liked as a kid.when the wall fell in 1989 every east german citizen got 100 marks. from that money i bought "front by front" by "front 242" and 3 "the cure" albums. all 4 records are still in my record collection and i still love all 4 albums. it`s really strange if i think that i have had those albums for 20 years in november this year.

4. How long have you been producing?

i`ve got my first synth in 1990. my mother bought me a yamaha sy55. the first ok track i ever recorded was in 1993 i guess. all before is simply terrible. i really wanted to do music like "front 242" or "leaether strip" but i was not able to do it. so all i recorded was really terrible wave made by an 15 years old kid.

5. Whats your favourite machine/program for producing?

my favourites are still the kr55 and the sh101. i can`t get enough of both machines.

6. Do you produce full time or do you work as well?

i started working again last year. after some years of making music only i was really in the mood to go to work again. it feels great to do something normal for normal money. really often when i play a gig i think to myself that it is a bit strange that i get the same money my dad gets when he works a whole month + my dad works hard and i get money for what i do as hobby.

7. What is your favourite club and/or city in the world to play at?

i don`t have a favourite city or club. playing in the UK is always great. i like the beer the food and the people. also france is always really good. but only for the people not for anything else. when i played the UK the first time i really expected the people to hate what i do. i thought the UK is always about banging techno all time. but i was wrong.

8. And where would you really like to play but as of yet, have not?

no idea.....perhaps the old so36 in the early eighties.

9. Where did the Hardwax connection come from?

i've bought my records at hardwax since 1995. over the years some of the guys became good friends. they also distributed my skanfrom releases before i started working on my first sleeparchive tracks. for techno music it`s still my favourite shop.

10. Are you still doing shows with Pete Kuschnereit?

yes, from time to time. it`s so much more fun to travel together. i think this is one of the things i really hate about travelling. i always travel by myself and really often it is so boring. pete is a good friend of mine and we always have big fun when we share the stage.

11. What do those shows consist of? Are they any different from a normal Sleeparchive set?

it`s different because pete brings his 909 and some records.often he is djing after our live set. so it`s sleeparchive + 909. the sets we play together are more for the dancefloor than a regular sleeparchive gig. and it`s more improvisational.

12. What do you think of the current 'minimal' scene?

i don`t follow it. i don`t like it as much as other music.

13. Why have you never gone down the easy money route of DJ'ing as well as playing live?

easy money? i don`t think so. everytime i talk to a dj they tell me that they play music for the people. so i would be a terrible dj because i would play only the tracks i like. and this can get on people nerves really fast in a techno context. so i think i wouldn`t get any bookings after playing out 3 times :)

14. What artists are impressing you at the moment or over the last year?

i`m more and more back into the music i come from and i like guitar and noise more and more. "sudden infant" was my favourite concert last year. my favourite band is "a place to bury strangers". some weeks ago i saw "wavves". really good concert.

15. Jeff Mills is obviously a fan, seen as how he asked you to be one of his guests at his Womb [Tokyo] residency. How was that experience?

that was amazing. i really like the music jeff mills makes. more the newer than the older stuff. he is a great guy and i have a lot of respect for what he is doing. he dj`d after me and when his set was over after 3 hours i thought "what??". for me it felt like 10 minutes. so i think i was really into it.

16. What inspires you to make the music you do?

not much. i just play with the machines until i get something i like. i don`t think much when i do music.

17. How do you relax away from music?

playing with my cat while watching tv is very relaxing. also cooking is great fun. but however, making music is the most relaxing thing for me. so there is not really a need to relex because i make music in every free minute.

18. What have you got lined up for 2009?

a 10" is coming in 2 weeks and i did zzz010 last month. it was a tape limited to 10 copies i gave only to friends or people i know. i don`t have any further plans. i work on some other projects again. perhaps i work on some new skanfrom tracks... or something under a completly new name. just last week i finished a track for a hungarien fanzine limited to 30 copies.

19. Finally, give me some of your guilty pleasures.

my favourite actor is james stewart and my favourite movie is "it`s a wonderful life". THE christmas movie.......

Many thanks to Roger for taking the time to answer these questions. As Roger stated there will be a new 10" coming soon and I'll just say good luck on finding zzz010! Roger can also be found playing live at Tresor in Berlin on Sat 21st March, and a little further in the future on Thu 7th May, alongside good friend, DJ Pete & Mark Ernestus at Honest Jons in London. So if you're in the area, go see him!

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