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Jackmate: “I try to focus on timeless styles, and find labels that think the same”

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Jackmate reates music that works in all settings and transcends genres. His openness to a wide range of sound is what has both made him a widely loved favourite, but also someone who operates in his own parallel musical world. We had a chance to talk to him, so enjoy your reading and check out his latest releases.

When and how did you get your interest in electronic music?

Must have been around ’83 or ’84 when the first Street Sounds Compilations came out. At the same time there was a sound called Neue Deutsche Welle, which is an odd mix of electronic beats and German Schlager (Folk). I was always interested in the sounds of the drums, and at the time couldn’t imagine how they made these electronic beats. In ‘84 I got my first synth and a Roland Dr Rhythm Drum machine, and from there things started to make sense.

What have you been doing with your time in lockdown in your city or country?

I have a medical condition so had to stay in lockdown for most of the time, so I rearranged my studio, and made a lot of new tracks. I also did some online jams with friends, and basically caught up doing all the things I’ve been planning to do for a long time.

What separates the style of your Jackmate and Soulphiction aliases?

Jackmate was my first ID, and I release under the name since 1996. It’s based on my taste for the sound of Chicago house and the minimal/jazzy techno of Detroit and Frankfurt. I consider it my techy side and it’s for tracks purposefully focused towards the dance floor.

I started SoulPhiction a bit later, and it started being my outlet for anything else I produce… anything ranging from downbeat to house. Often, it’s the name I use when working with vocalists and different musicians. Of course, it is dance music too, but not functionally as structured for DJ’s like my Jackmate stuff is.

How do you assess the trajectory you have had and what were the reasons that led you to start it?

The trajectory of my career in dance music has highs and lows. I never really wanted to be dependent on the “music biz”, but it turned into my profession quite quickly. I try to stay relevant with what I do, but not to care about trends or hypes that are a flash in the pan. I try to focus on timeless styles, and find labels that think the same.

What was your criterion when producing your last EP?

After a Jackmate release on Ripperton’s Tamed Music at the end of 2019. I ended up doing a full Jackmate EP on Matthew Herbert’s Accidental Jnr, and that was released earlier this year. These releases where both well received, and I felt inspired to properly reinvigorate my Jackmate moniker that had previously lay dormant for quite some time.

I sent Tooli some stuff, because he wanted to start the new label 18437, and said he was open for everything techy. So I sent him a mixed bag of tracks with some housier minimal tracks, which is a sound I also plan to play live… if Covid leaves any clubs still in business by the time we get a vaccine.

Could you recommend a set that you are especially proud of, and that we can see on your Soundcloud or on YouTube?

Lately I did some lockdown Soulcasts, where I just record myself listening to a mix of recent purchases, old ‘45s, and new demos… basically, just great music that uplifts me in these sad days. They are super fun to put together, and it’s nice to play music that isn’t so club focused, so I plan to release them on a monthly basis via SoundCloud and my other pages/websites…

What can you tell us about the scene in your city? What would you improve?

Stuttgart was very relevant up to 2010, but then slowly turned into a city where night life is mainly business based, and there’s only a small number of clubs that still have a personality. There’s some clubs still doing their thing, but Covid is making things very hard for them, and state support is very limited. Stuttgart is the conservative heart of southern Germany, so many local politicians see nightlife as trouble more than culture, and their restrictions making it hard to run a Club.

Finally, what can you tell us about your present and future projects?

Following my next EP on 18437, there’ll be some more Jackmate releases coming up. I recently did Remixes for Crazy P, Javonnte and Jonna, as well as Peletronic. Those are coming up soon via K7, Lumberjacks in Hell and Fortunea. End of the year there’ll also be a Soulphiction EP on my own label Philpot.

We’ll see what happens with Covid, and I just hope everyone takes good care of themselves, as it’s important to stay safe… your health is more important than any party!!!

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