Berlin based duo The/Das announced their sophomore album Exit Strategies last week, which will be out on Dj Tennis‘ label Life And Death. With their latest work The/Das follow a more club oriented path adding a more housy approach to their music since the duo considers their project ‘happening mainly in clubs and electronic music festivals.‘ Nevertheless, Fabian‘s magnificent voice gives the key ingredient to some of their latest cuts. Torture the Artist spoke to the duo about the making of Exit Strategies as well the creative process and The/Das‘ favorite food dishes.
For our second album we added some house tenderness to our repertoire.
Torture the Artist: You are releasing your sophomore album ‘Exit Strategies‘ in September. Can we expect some more ‘Techno Tenderness‘ or is your music going to go into a different direction?
The/Das: I think for our second album we added some house tenderness to our repertoire, with still some technoesquiness lurking here and there. By 2015, Anton Feist had already left The/Das and long time collaborator Philipp Koller aka Thomalla took over – hence the added housiness.
Torture the Artist: When did you start working on your upcoming album and where did most of the ideas for the tracks on the album arise? For example while touring, in a specific country, in your hometown, or a place you regularly attended etc.
The/Das: Most of our ideas happened past midnight in late summer of 2016, though some of the tracks, Put Castle, Drug Dilling and Moon for instance, already started way back in Palenque and D.F. So these tracks weren‘t touched or worked on for a year or two and finished together with the new material that we were creating specifically for the new record in our wonderful studio in Berlin Wedding.
Torture the Artist: Even though you have already released two EPs on Life and Death (Fresh Water was released back in 2012 and Outfashioned, one year later) your first album Freezer came out on Sinnbus. Why have you chose to go back to Dj Tennis’ label, Life And Death?
The new material came out way more electronic and club-inspired then our debut, it felt like the perfect match to team up with Dj Tennis.
The/Das: We are still pretty close with our friends from Sinnbus and very happy to have them on board for project management and publishing, yet, but since our new material is more electronic and club-inspired than our debut productions it seemed like a better match to team up with Dj Tennis again.
While the new material came out way more electronic and club-inspired then our debut, it felt like the perfect match to team up with Dj Tennis. We had been jamming out with him a few times in our studio last summer so it felt like a natural process to not only have the musical exchange and his input again, but also his labeling hand and mind. Last not least we see The/Das happening mainly in clubs and electronic music festivals.
Torture the Artist: What‘s everyone‘s task when producing a track? For example, who writes the lyrics, who composes the melody of a track, etc.
The/Das: All tracks on our album are composed by both of us and approved by both of us.
Torture the Artist: What artist would you like to remix a track of yours?
The/Das: We were trying to get Kettenkarussel and Dorisburg to do a remix for us. Galcher Lustwerk decided last minute he’s to burnt out to do it, but him, obviously. Luckily DJ Bone contributed a remix for our upcoming EP, so him for sure.
Torture the Artist: Imagine that making music is a long-term relationship. Describe your first date?
The/Das: A bit shy, and German maybe, while being careful to give each other enough space to experiment, overall very focused and professional though – eyes on the prize, fingers glued to knobs and faders.
Torture the Artist: If you were to compare your music with a food dish, what would it be, and why?
The/Das: For starters a fruit salad made of baby bananas, kiwis, nashi pears and macadamia nuts on pumpkin seed oil for sneaky freshness; as a main dish, probably a bunch of El Parnita’s tortillas for pure enjoyment of family recipes and tradition and everything natural, very loving and happily palpitating, held together with melting huacan cheese and clean eye watering spices for that extra bit of good energy and as dessert heaps of tiramisu + café corretto for everything Life And Death and Krakatau.
We want to create an atmosphere of letting go and dancing.
Torture the Artist: What do you want your audience to experience during one of your concerts?
The/Das: We want to create an atmosphere of letting go and dancing.
Torture the Artist: Name three tracks or artists that are in your playlist while you are on tour.
The/Das: Dorisburg, Sun Ra, Moomin.
Torture the Artist: Fabian, you are not only the lead-singer of The/Das but also a DJ. Do you prefer doing one over the other?
The/Das: We are both DJs and we both love to do both… In fact one without the other would feel wrong. Playing live sets teaches us a lot about our own sound and is very focused on a rather short moment in time while playing the records of others expands our minds towards electronic music in general and works best if happening for hours and hours.
We draw most of our inspiration from travelling, and everything surreal and artificially artistic.
Torture the Artist: Living in Berlin Wedding, how much of an influence does your neighboorhood have on your music?
The/Das: To be honest Berlin Wedding is not a very inspiring part of the city. It sometimes almost feels rather disturbing to go for a lentil soup break here. I would say we draw most of our inspiration from travelling, and everything surreal and artificially artistic … basically the stuff happening in our heads when colliding with films, books, images and sounds and the ideas of friends.
Torture the Artist: As you’ve played your part in the music business for quite a while, do you feel more like an actual player on some kind of court, like a spectator, or a constant referee?
The/Das: I think Philipp and me have always been outside of any kind of scene, maybe secretly hoping to be part of some kind of play. In the end it’s all about the music anyway – this beautiful thing that’s merely free-flowing when- and wherever it feels like it.
The/Das’ Exit Strategies will be out September 8th on Life And Death.