To Disco Heaven and back in 60 minutes! This kind of trip has been prepared by The Robot Scientists – duo who run label Emerald and Doreen Recordings and always surprises with their cosmic and energetic podcasts that transfers you to parallel universe of disco, lights, movements and ecstasy. Don’t miss the chance to travel there with freshly recorded mix for Quixotical Mix series by the ONLY and TRUE Robot Scientists!
Thank you, guys, for accepting the invitation to record a mix and answer some questions for our Quixotical Mix series!
1. You guys haven’t met each other for twenty years, till 2008. What were the circumstances of the meeting again and starting this incredible music journey that lasts till present times?
-> It was quite special: Markus worked in Düsseldorf and Heidelberg the years before as Product Manager for a large travel tour operator and even a larger business software company, Stefan always worked
in Saarbrücken at an insurance company. When Markus’s wife got pregnant, they decided to move back to Saarbrücken. The first night they went out to eat
something, they picked a Chinese restaurant because they had some discount coupons from a friend – and just that night, Stefan was there too!
Markus asked Stefan what kind of music he is currently listening to, and Stefan said, “a lot of the old 80s stuff actually”. Markus got the “I-Robots” italo electro disco classics
compilation two years before as a birthday present from Eric, the third Emerald & Doreen guy, and was still totally into it. Apart from that, he had just
started to use discogs to expand his record collection of 80s underground gems. So Markus said to Stefan, “come on, we do a DJ project, I have some ideas”! Then Stefan started to dig as well,
we met several times in the coming months to record our 19 Musica Da Batticuore mixes, after we set up our MySpace page, and the journey began…
2. When you were teens, have you ever dreamed of being so popular in the music scene and even running a record label?
-> We definitely dreamt of being DJs because we loved the electronic dance music back then so much, Italo Disco, extended 12 inch mixes of our favorite
Synth-Pop and New Wave Dance tracks, but running a label was kind of far away back then, we were simply too young to care.
Markus loved the NDW, New German Wave, which was big in 1982, Italo in 1983-84 and later on the punkrock and indierock/pop scene, especially during the years 1985-92, and all these years, he was blown away by this parallel
universe of creativity, far away from the mainstream radio and TV sound, with all the amazing smaller labels like Mute.
The decision to start Emerald & Doreen then came quite spontaneously in 2011 to make this dream come true.
3. Was it a struggle to adopt your 80s music style to the changed 2008 music taste and scene?
-> It was a smooth transition. Markus was into IndieDance since the 80s anyway and loved Electroclash and FunkPunk in the early 2000s, Stefan was into New Beat before, both were vinyl collectors, so the NuDisco revival was a logical evolution which came naturally.
A bit it seemed like the producers worldwide first listened to the old school tracks from the Cybernetic Broadcasting System for example, and also our
Musica Da Batticuore mixes, they got inspired and created new electronic disco tracks – which we loved as well. That was almost like a self-fulfilling prophecy and great timing.
Back in those days, we bought more and more new vinyl records and the number of old tracks in our mixes decreased steadily.
4. Do you have any rituals you must do before gigs?
-> Markus is pretty nerdy regarding the track sequencing especially if it is a bigger gig, so we both select the tracks we want to play and then, some hours before
the gig, Markus does the sequencing work to prepare the set, taking care of things like moods, keys, vocals, energies, vibes, genres and more. As Stefan is nearly perfect at mixing, be it vinyl or digital,
he usually does more of the mixing during the gig. Teamwork all the way, to provide the best experience possible for our audience. This is a professional
attitude we think, even though we do not have a booking agency yet, but it is more fun that way.
5. Can you advise the three most important things that young producers / djs must know?
-> We are not yet real producers ourselves, but from our experience as DJs and label makers, we would say, first, listen to the best artists, tracks and productions out there to get the
best inspiration, then listen to them really tightly and try to deconstruct how they were done, reverse engineering so to say, and then, third, do your thing, cross borders, and do not rush things, take your time, and try to create
tracks that really mean something to you, ideally with some catchy vocal part that sticks in the heads of the listeners. There really is too much rushed stuff out there.
6. What you’ve been up to, lately?
-> We are thinking a lot about how we can improve the label in terms of becoming able to turn it into a real business one day. We are still too small because we focus too much on very young artists and emerging genres,
maybe we try to change our strategy, we will see. At least we have seen that even in Germany, some big old classic Techno labels like Get Physical, Watergate etc do now release the music we
are putting out for years now. It is great to see that we are always cutting edge, so maybe we can do a Daft Punk release one day because they want to get back to the roots again, haha.