Regelbau's C.K showcases the dreamy sound of Aarhus.
Next up we have one of the core members of the 11 strong Regelbau collective, the Aarhus based label and collection of DJs and producers that have been steadily putting their flourishing Danish house scene on the map. Christoffer Kejlstrup (aka C.K) alongside Mathias Okholm (aka Manmade Deejay) and brothers Milán and Natal Zaks (aka DJ Sports and Central) are the key drivers behind what has become a never ending stream of new labels, releases and collaborative side projects. On top of their main Regelbau imprint, they’re also behind labels like No Hands, Partners and PRS, the production crew Maizena and their own Safe Distribution outlet. In addition to all this C.K has been running his own label 2 Bit Recordings alongside Martin Optic (aka Optic) since back in 2012, with the pair responsible for a whole host of blissful jams under the 2 Bit Crew moniker. We caught up with C.K to get some more insight into the Regelbau story to date, and he’s recorded a near two hour mix full of unreleased material from the crew.
Hey Chris, happy new year! What have you been up to to start the year?
Hey Myles, thanks for having me on MDC and HNY to you too! For the last couple of weeks in the new year I have been finishing my master thesis, worked with our small distribution, DJ’d a bit and played some video games.
Those familiar with your music have more than likely been introduced through the Regelbau collective and label for which you’re a core member. I’ve read that before the label was born you guys used to throw some pretty legendary parties together in Aarhus around 2014-2015, what can you tell us about those and how come you guys have since taken a break from running parties?
Yes so basically I have been DJ’ing for over 10 years now and I have been doing parties in Aarhus since around 2010 with friends in various constellations. Aarhus is a small city of about 300,000 people (It’s nickname is actually “Denmark’s biggest village”). In terms of parties with electronic music on the program, not much is happening unless you make the parties yourself. It is not because the city lacks DJs, producers or people who want to party, but we just do not have a strong foundation for this type of music culturally. Around 2014 we started doing parties with our Regelbau crew, where we brought in different DJs and producers from abroad. Normally it can be quite hard in Aarhus to get a license for selling alcohol and also find spots with no neighbour complaints. Nevertheless we found this old school in the heart of the city that could be used. The owner turned out to be super nice and basically just gave us the keys to the place and we could do whatever we wanted to.
After some time we decided to do a new years party, which ended up being almost too big of a success, meaning we actually did not do any parties together as the Regelbau collective since. I do not know why we stopped after this specific new years party, but I think we realized it was maybe a little bit too intense for all of us. Instead of doing these bigger parties with the big 11-man crew, we now have a recurring night at Jolene in Copenhagen with our No Hands crew. It consists of myself, Manmade Deejay, Central, DJ Sports and our good friend Anders Vendelbo. We are all still doing a small series of parties in Aarhus once in a while, and these are called “Festaften” (Means “party night” in Danish).
Tell us about where the Regelbau label and collective is at right now, and how has each evolved since you guys first came together and released RB01 back in 2015?
For the first two releases we were all eleven somehow a part of the tracks, but we quickly found out that it is too much to work like this. Therefore we decided to split up Regelbau basically in two different sections. One part would do parties and another part would do the label. Therefore we do not see Regelbau anymore as a collective that makes parties and releases records on the side, but instead we see it strictly as a label. It has been a bit hard for people to understand this divide, but we are really trying to convey the message 🙂
I loved the subtle nostalgic nods on your most recent EP for No Hands, another label you’re involved in with a few other members of the collective.. What was the main idea behind this sub label, and what were some of the sounds/feelings etc that inspired the record?
I started NORD Records with my good friend Anders Vendelbo in 2012 and after our tenth release on the label, we became tired of the aesthetic and image we had built with the label. We still felt like running a label, but maybe not with this specific aesthetic and decided therefore to ask Manmade Deejay, Central and DJ Sports if they wanted to join for a new project that we would later call No Hands. Even though the first release was a VA, the label is an outlet for us, where we can exhibit our solo projects the way we want to. Next release comes out in March and is an EP by Manmade Deejay.
As for my record, I was making these tracks at my own house and at a friends place while living in Berlin. Even though it was not intended to make a nostalgic record, I am as a person very melancholic and nostalgic, so it makes sense that the result turned out to be like this. Making the record, I was focused towards constraining myself to use more or less the same sounds and the same techniques to produce different types of tracks. The three tracks are therefore an outcome of this process. This way of working suits me a lot, because I am not the type of person that can sit down and play a melody that is in my head. I need some time to experiment and play around with different elements.
Another new label seems to be on the way this year with PRS, which will see the release of your next EP ‘Intimate Patterns’. What’s story behind the label and that release, and when can we expect the record to be out?
Basically I have had the tracks made for a while and did not want to put those out on a random label. The record did not seem to find in our schedule on any of our other labels, so therefore I decided to just put out the tracks myself. I believe if you can do it yourself, you should do it yourself. PRS01 is out second week of February.
In addition to your steady stream of new labels and solo material, you continue to run the 2 Bit Crew Recordings label alongside long time studio collaborator Martin Optic. What can you tell us about that project, and what do you think it is that continues to make the partnership work so well?
I have been making music with Martin since 2012, where we met on Soundcloud. Even though Martin is not originally from Aarhus, it turned out that he lived in Aarhus at that time and immediately we started making music together. After putting out a few tracks on different VA records, we were a bit tired of all the communication between us and different labels. The process of editing the tracks so they would fit the taste of a specific label owner made us a little bit annoyed I would say. Therefore we decided to just release tracks ourselves the way they are – then we were to decide everything ourselves without any restrictions. I think that is where the strength lies in 2 Bit Crew. That we basically create what we want without any boundaries. I would not say our records are rocket science, but instead records that can be used at all sorts of parties.
What can you tell us about this mix you’ve put together? Any special tracks in there you would like to mention?
The mix consists of all unreleased material from friends and myself. As far as I’m concerned, all tracks are going to be released in 2018. I would like to thank Martin, Natal, Milan, Mathias, Simon and August for their tracks.
What else do you have coming up to start the year?
I am probably going to waste a bit more of my time playing video games. Hehe. Other than that plan to make a lot of music when I am done with my master thesis in February. I am also going to be busy distributing all the new releases we have coming out on the different labels. Furthermore I am DJ’ing in different countries – Since I am going to play in Taiwan in April, I am now trying to setup something in Australia. Hopefully it all works out!