More of Hamburg's house royalty to add to the list for the latest instalment, thanks this time to a veteran of the deep house movement, whether he likes the term or not.
Sebastian Doering, these days best known for his work as Lovebirds, has contributed to the house world in its many forms since the late 90’s and reached the heights of cross over success for both his underground and more commercial endeavours, notably remixing the likes of Jamiroquai and topping numerous Dance charts as part of Knee Deep. These days Sebastian is still as active as he was more than a decade ago, making house records best suited for 3am whilst continuing to write songs with more traditional forms and vocalists, which see him regaining that cross over appeal he once did in the early 2000’s, notably with recent singles like ‘Want You In My Soul’.
Basti is in Australia for his first tour under his Lovebirds guise, and he’s recorded his first podcast in around two years just for the occasion. We also grabbed him for a few words..
Where have we caught you and what have you been up to this month?
Right now i´m in Lisbon where I´m taking 5 days off before heading down to Oz! Last weekend I had 3 gigs and that is quite heavy for an old German farmer like me. So I thought I would get some rest before travelling around the world in a week.
You’re out in Australia early next month for a string of gigs for the first time as Lovebirds, but you’ve been here before as a part of Knee Deep some time ago right? What can you tell us about your previous times out here? Does that project and that time in your life feel like a distant memory now?
Yes I think i´ve been to australia 4 times before and I’ve always loved it. Except one time in winter – that was not so nice! But I didn’t get to see more than Melbourne, Sydney and Gold Coast if I remember right so this time I will see a lot more which i´m looking forward to. The Kneedeep times and especially the high times are 10 years ago, that does feel like a distant memory. I have trouble remembering stuff from half a year ago usually …
Your music has never been too far from achieving cross over appeal, more so as Knee Deep but more recently with Lovebirds as well in reaching over a million plays for your latest single ‘Want You In My Soul’. Is that something you’re at all mindful of when writing records, or at least some records?
No I can say I’ve never thought about this a second. It always comes down to the decision: do I like it? like this? or do I need to change something? So it seems I have a very commercial overgroundy taste!
I noticed on your fan page some of the artists you find inspiring, artists like J Dilla, Toro Y Moi, Sade and Minnie Ripperton. Are you the kind of artist that tries to restrict how much ‘functional’ house music you listen to whilst away from work in order to remain inspired? And have you ever had periods where you’ve actually lost interest in deep house all together?
I´ve been producing house (i really think “deephouse” has been extremely abused in the last years) since 1992 so i think its natural that your interest expands. My roots are soul, funk, jazz and all that – so of course i wanna produce this muisc too. Also I think my house sound was always more than producing the perfect layered drumloop beat with some sampled chord stabs … I´m intersted in music and that means chords, arrangement, vocals, songs. To me house can be a bit limited for that intention.
I know there are a handful of really decent record stores in your hometown of Hamburg. Are you still frequenting record shops whilst at home or on tour to dig for new music, or do you source most of your music online these days?
No I went digital when CD burning started. It was the only way to play out tunes that you or your producer friends just sent you. To me DJing is about what music the DJ plays – not from what media. If people love vinly – great, but I totally hate when they feel superior to non vinyl DJs, and i get this vibe very often …
What can you tell us about the new Lovebirds material that you’ve been working on? Will we be hearing any new material from you and your label mate Vincenzo on Teardrop this year? Any other collaborations you’re looking forward to?
I´m currently working on some stuff for Defected, there’s a 12 inch EP on Teardrop coming very soon and I also signed some nice stuff including artists like Volta Cab, Medlar and D-pulse (which is the first track of the podcast btw). There might be some kind of album this year coming too!
We’re told you haven’t released a podcast for a couple of years now, so we’re eager to know what you’ve come up with for this one. What can you tell us about the mix, and who are some artists featuring you want to give a special mention?
Yes i´m a lazy boy .. you get music thrown at you 24 hours a day – that makes me rather say “no not from my side then”. I put all kinds of stuff in this mix, even a prince record/edit! I think it kinda reflects the way i´m DJing too … I hate when the music stays the same vibe throughout a set, and as i said – i dont see myself as a deep house producer or deep house DJ. I play house with soul and what fits around that!
I opened the mix with a future release from a band from St. Petersburg called D-pulse which I signed for teardrop – totally love that tune! and the second one is from my new EP … so theres old and new, deep and soulful in there!
What are you looking forward to doing and seeing in Australia next month? And what else do you have coming up which you’d like to tell us about?
Looking forward to summer for sure, and to australian people and vibes! And good food and wine! Yes – I definitely wanna go for some wine tasting. It´s only 2 weekends so let’s see how we can make the best out of it!! I´m sure this year will be more output (did i release anything at all in 2012??) so hopefully the support will be good!