This week we had the pleasure of chatting with the mighty Moerbeck, who’s one of the most influencing and interesting techno artists in the scene.
Hi Lars, thanks for accepting our invitation and please introduce yourself to our readers.
Hi, my name’s Moerbeck. I’ve been DJing and producing Techno music for 8 years and I’ve also been heading the label Code is Law where I present creative and soulful techno by selected other artists and myself.
Being born and raised in Berlin you must have seen and experienced a lot as a child and teenager, can you tell us what is was like growing up in your hometown? How did growing up in Berlin influence your music?
I was a Kid of the German revolution because of the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was an incredibly exciting time, because there were so many unknown things spilling over from the other side.
I grew up in the graffiti scene and in the 90s everything was still unguarded, chaotic and basically east-Berlin felt like a big adventure park.
When I was 14 I was already going to clubs like Bunker, E-Werk and Tresor, cause, even until today it’s still pretty normal to go to Techno partys even as a Graffiti-writer. Those experiences inspired me so much that I started producing Electro music with an Mpc and a couple of synths, at some point.
Between when Berlin’s techno scene first appeared compared to what it is nowadays, what would you say has been the biggest change in the scene that you’ve noticed?
The first thing that comes to my mind is that there were just not a lot of tourists in the clubs. It was more party crews from Berlin and it’s neighbouring cities. Also the scene these days is very short-lived and the music has mainly gotten dark. Generally it didn’t exist in such a high amount either.
You grew up with various influences during your childhood as: hip hop and techno.
Why did you, as a producer, rather go in the direction of techno?
Like I said, I was always going to Techno partys even in my Hip Hop days. We would meet at Graffiti get-togethers, had a few drinks and then went out together.
Eventually I was only going to techno partys. It was there that I met people like Subjected from Vault Series with whom I started producing Techno.
Let’s talk a bit about your label ‘Code Is Law’…
‘Code Is Law’ has created its own musical identity.
How did you get to that point?
‘Code Is Law’ represents Techno the way I feel it. That’s how I also select the Demos for the label. If the music can conjure an emotion in me, I consider signing it on the label.
I don’t go by what’s hype right no. I try to feel it and then construct the EP. In the end, everything has to harmonize, the Artwork, Tracktitles and the music… every artists should have their own voice.
How would you describe the type of artists you ultimately curate on ‘Code Is Law’?
Do you strictly look at quality music or is there a wider philosophy or approach to artistry something you look as well?
Well first I check the music and if I hear that it’s special in some way or makes me feel something, I will look at their Facebook profile for example. How do they show themselves on the internet, are they doing it in a cool way and are they sympathetic?
That’s pretty important to me. The good thing is that Instagram and Facebook tells you a lot about a person, that helps me quite a bit.
You are primarily releasing on your own label.
Is it a conscious decision to not release on other labels?
Looking back do you think having your own label made difference in terms of solidifying your sound identity by having complete freedom and control?
Yeah, mainly I do release on my label because of the freedom it gives me and the way that that takes the tension out of my production process. But I do like making music for other labels as well when that happens, but honestly, I think I’ve only ever sent out one Demo in my life. The rest came to through friendships or requests.
Please, walk us through your music production routine. Is it always the same or do you have different approaches?
In the beginning I used a lot of analogue gear, nowadays it’s more 50/50 between that and computer. Honestly I don’t care, if it sounds good it, it sounds good.
But I did build myself a little jamming Corner at home with an MPC Live. I use it to kinda get away from a screen, also it’s very refreshing to be able to work in two places.
What are areas of your writing process at the moment that are particularly challenging to you and how does the notion of originality come into play here?
Please feel free to expand on some of your recent projects and releases.
I always have the urge to sound different. If I would produce something that is only functional I would fall asleep instantly. The upcoming Code Is Law 017 of mine, that’s coming in 2019, I produced completely at home. To me, that record is an evolution of the classical Moerbeck sound. It’s definitely very trippy too.
Every artist evolves in terms of their sound and thought-process as time goes on.
Over the years, how do you think you have changed as an artist, compared to when you first started out?
I haven’t changed, I’m still your regular old Moerbeck!
Let’s speak a bit about the state of techno in general and vinyl specifically – both in Europe and abroad.
What do you think of the vinyl revival of sorts and especially in the techno scene?
You know what, I’m not so sure if Vinyl is really having such a huge revival right now. My sources tell me that the vinyl sales for techno have massively gone down. But there are more and more labels coming that all release vinyl.
But there are note more buyers coming ..on the contrary actually. I hardly know anyone still buying vinyl, which is kind of a tragedy…
Thank you Lars for giving us insight into how you balance your personal and professional life.
You’re very welcome, enjoy the podcast!