Robosonic partners with Gang Starr’s Big Shug in the ‘Ghetto’ hybrid. His latest release builds on Shug’s raw verses with the infectious beat it sets. This powerful hybrid of hip-hop and house-tech blends seamlessly. These two worlds, visually presented with a series by street artist Joshua Smith. We interviewed the man behind the track, creator and talked about this latest release. “
When and how did you get your interest in electronic music?
I remember when I was buying HipHop records – about the age of 15 or 16 – I stumbled over some more abstract beats and electronica. I would also get some Drum’n’Bass and Breakbeat records. Moving to Berlin 17 years ago opened my mind for House and Techno and I got to understand rave culture better over the years. I’m grateful for all the travelling with the music, so I was not too stuck in a Berlin bubble. Still curious.
How did you decide to dedicate your career to production?
I kind of started early to make records. I must have made my first vinyl record while still in school. So there was ambition but not really any career and paid gigs yet. Back then when Robosonic was a duo still, Sacha and I decided to give it a more dedicated shot while and after studying. Those were years of playing many many shows in all the notorious Berlin underground venues for not enough pay. This is when I learned the lesson that I’d have to make a bunch of relevant records, to make this my job.
What is your criterion when you are producing? What inspires you?
I’m a sampling man. I love to cut and chop things that I like, I love to quote other music and weave it together with my feeling for groove, texture and all the ingredients. Of course it can be sessions with my instruments, other musicians or vocalists. Like going to record with a rapper that I was listenting to back in the days, is good motivation to produce a real Robosonic beat, that would still match the rapper’s vibe or legacy.
What was your criterion when producing your last release?
It was exactly like I said before, when Big Shug of the Gang Starr Foundation came to record he brought inspiration. I prepared a beat, which is pretty techno, but I still made room and variations for him to write rhymes. He also casually told some stories in between the takes, which I also recorded. I used some of those outtakes to spice up our track “Ghetto”.
How do you assess the journey you have had and what were the reasons that led you to start it?
I’m thankful, I’m stoked I was invited all around the world to share a musical message of love, peace and unity. So respect to the real supporters, the people receiving that energy. Making a living of my music was a dream I started to chase at some point. That can be nerve-wrecking, but so far it was challenging and rewarding in equal measures. Kept me alive. So no regrets.
Could you recommend a set that you are especially proud of it, and that we can see on your Soundcloud or on YouTube?
I’d say for Club music and the style of my gigs it’s just my new official Mix-Compilation for Armada Subjekt.
For Downtempo/Electronica I recommend the Outtakes – Season 1 which I produced and released under my name Cord Labuhn
Or if you just want to sleep through in times of Corona crisis, you can download the 3-hour long “Sleep Out” mixtape HERE.
What can you tell us about the scene of your city? What would you improve?
In Berlin? I don’t know. The scene is huge, fragmented and diverse. Out of range for me to judge. That’s beautiful. But also the struggle is real. There is a lot of exploitation (and self-exploitation) of artists and more generally spoken the ‘creative class’. The capital is putting pressure. Power to the people.
Finally, what can you tell us about your present and future projects?
Difficult times now to predict with the reach Covid-19 has. My world tour is definitely postponed, my US visa on hold, my release on Defected was scheduled for now, it is postponed. But I have music coming out steadily, the Black Out Series on my label Outtakes is in full effect, also the merch, a new towelscarf is coming, I will try some new things on social media, all that streaming & broadcasting thing got more relevant now since we all can’t hang and party. I have a very HipHop inspired album in production with dope artists and some singles signed. Come support and follow, there is a lot of love in this. Gracias.