Panthera Krause has to be one of the in-demand producers of the moment. With releases and remixes on labels such as Riotvan, Uncanny Valley, Lobster Theremin, Connaisseur or Souvenir the Leipzig based producer and illustrator has a keen eye on the scene’s musical development. Shortly before Panthera Krause’s remix for Melokolektiv‘s track ‘Between Us’ Robert, how close friends call the ‘Punk’-loving artist, took some time to sit down with Torture the Artist to chat about Rilke’s poem ‘Der Panther’, his struggle about the necessity to be creative in both of his jobs and his preference for a ‘I-don’t-give-a-fuck-feeling’.
Torture the Artist: Seeing as you’ve chosen ‘Panthera Krause’ to be your DJ/producer name, are panthers your spirit animals? If not, what is and why?
Panthera Krause: Ha! Great question. I just spent the last hour reading about spirit animals and now I’d have to say yes, panthers and big cats are my spirit animals. But the name Panthera comes from one of my favourite poems, ‘Der Panther’ by Rainer Maria Rilke.
Torture the Artist: When was your first date with electronic music and what made you decide to go on a second?
Panthera Krause: I was a child when I had my first date with electronic music. My father had this record of Klaus Schulze – Elektronik Impressionen and it there was such magic in this music that i was totally fascinated after just one listen. I guess my second date was later with Autechres Gantz Graf. And again it was the magic, the taste of unknown worlds, that made me go for a third and fourth date. But, I like to date other kinds of music as well.
From time to time I try to imagine a track as a picture or an illustration as a song.
Torture the Artist: Being an illustrator, a graphic designer and a producer means you must have a lot of unexpected creativity slumbering within you. Do these fields compliment each other?
Panthera Krause: Yes, it definitley does. Not in a very obvious way but in all fields, the process of working is pretty similar. There’s always the creative process of having an idea and trying to bring this idea to life.
Sometimes I make a track or an illustration in a very short time and sometimes it takes weeks and several attempts to finally realize that it wasn’t a good idea in the first place. From time to time I try to imagine a track as a picture or an illustration as a song – helps me to gain a different perspective on the problem. And often I determine when I had for example a puristic period in making music, that I wanted to be seen in the illustrations too. But at the moment I make much more music than illustration.
Torture the Artist: The fact that you more or less have to be creative every day can be exhausting or tiring. How do you give yourself a break?
Panthera Krause: That’s a good question and I really would like to have a straight answer for you, but it always depends. Sometimes making a cup of coffee is enough, and other times I need to complete switch ideas and projects, or listen to a different genre of music. And then sometimes nothing helps and I need to just go out and meet with friends. I find it’s not usually the situation, it’s the reaction to the situation. When all else fails, I like to head somewhere else and leave my daily routine. At the moment I’ve been trying out doing things the other way around, even if it makes no sense.
Torture the Artist: Since you are quite present in a lot of artistic fields. What do you find challenging in these fields?
Panthera Krause: Uh yes, there are so many things I’m not good at. Music wise it’s the technical side of producing. I’m not good in mixing and all this sound engineer stuff. For me it’s annoying to check if frequencies are well balanced and to build effects or even to set LFOs. And I’m not good at making breaks when I work.
Torture the Artist: In which year of your artistic creativity could you imagine to live again, and why?
Panthere Krause: I’d still choose the present. While it’s attractive to imagine living in another time period and making music when everything was so new and incredible, I appreciate where and who I am now. Through all the experiences I’ve had and mistakes I’ve made, I now have a clearer vision of what I want and what I would do for it. It’s something that feels good, but I had to learn it.
I miss this intense give a fuck or don’t give a fuck-feeling.
Torture the Artist: What subculture would you like to be part of, if no one could see?
Panthera Krause: Punk – and it’s ok if everybody saw me. I grew up with Punk music and from time to time I wish to be more part of this scene. I miss this intense give a fuck or don’t give a fuck-feeling.
Torture the Artist: What would a video for your remix for Melokolektiv‘s track ‘Between Us’ look like?
Panthera Krause: I imagine a nice summer day on the coast of Croatia. We see two blankets, some books, fruit and clothes lying around. It looks like there’s a couple enjoying themselves but you can see nobody. Suddenly, an intense storm shows up and the leaves on the trees begin to tremble. No rain, but everything is being blown upside down. Slowly the storm disappears and right before you see the first sun ray return, the video ends.
Torture the Artist: What does a track have to have for you to remix it?
Panthera Krause: It depends. I always look up to vocals and harmonic or melodic stuff. But it’s important that I get an idea for a remix while I’m listening to the track for the first time. Sometimes it’s just the sound of an high hat that gives me an idea or I imagine a pad sound that appears, and sometimes I like the track but I have no vision of what to do. I decide by intuition.
The reason for me to leave a club is the kind of energy the DJ provides.
Torture the Artist: Name three types of tracks that make you immediately leave a club.
Panthera Krause: There is no single track that has the power to make me immediately leave the club. When I’m up for dancing, I really can dance to bullshit music. The reason for me to leave a club is the kind of energy the DJ provides. If I can’t feel the energy or if somebody plays boring and predictable music then I will leave.
Torture the Artist: Apart from producing music under your Panthera Krause moniker you are also a bandmember of Marbert Rocel and Karocel. Producing club music is one thing, producing tracks with a song structure is another. How does the process of producing music for either one of the aforementioned differ, and do you prefer one thing over the other?
Panthera Krause: Producing songs is not so far away from producing club music. You want to say or express something and therefore you need to work on things like sounding, climax or instrumentation. I’ve started making music by producing songs and listening music. And at home I mostly listen to songs, than to tracks. So it’s a bit easier for me to imagine a song than a track. But both are part of this whole music thing, like there is not only techno nor only country music. After a week of producing club music I like to be in the studio with my band, working on songs and not thinking about if the intro of a track is long enough to mix it. And the other way around. It’s a bit like these music and illustration thing. I need both.
Torture the Artist: Imagine you had a clone of yourself that could do your work for you. Which field would you assign it to?
Panthera Krause: Nice idea! If I would have a clone he definitely will do all my mail and social media stuff for me.
Torture the Artist: Show or draw a picture that describes you the best.
My heydays are still going on.
Torture the Artist: Have you ever been a hipster and when were your heydays?
Panthera Krause: I’m pretty sure that I wasn`t a hipster. <winks> But my heydays are still going on.
Torture the Artist: When coming into your apartment, going straight to the kitchen, opening the fridge and pressing play on the music device of your daily choice, what food dish would you cook out of the groceries and what track would accompany the dish?
Panthera Krause: My kitchen is tiny, my fridge is empty. For this reason I have my own pizza named Panthera Pizz on a menu of a restaurant down the street called Pekar. The Pizza is with sucuk, onions, picked paprika and persile. But by returning home for a glass of water and some cigarettes you will find Ripperton’s – No Love Lost Remix of Van Hais Dernier Amour on my music device.
Torture the Artist: What‘s the illustrator of your choice to do a graphic novel about your life?
Panthera Krause: If I could go back in time it would be Moebius. If that’s not possible, it would be Robert Deutsch, an illustrator from Leipzig. I’m fascinated by the worlds he creates.