Traum Artists

10 x Traum = 100
Traum Schallplatten has recently reached it's 100th release and some time ago celebrated it's 10th birthday. Check out what has happened and is gonna happen in one of the world's most consistent and ever fresh techno labels.

Since it's first cult instalment, "Elektronische Musik Aus Buenos Aires" till now, Traum Schallplatten and all it's sub labels has kept being the best and most individual labels of their kinds. Trapez, Trapez Limited and MBF (My Best Friend) are passing the ball for 10 years and they are still fresh, state of the art and delicious.

Riley Reinhold aka Triple R is one of the most important men in contemporary German dance music history and he is also guilty for assembling all those above those mentioned labels. He is guilty for making his dreams come true with his partner Jacqueline Klein. What a guilt that makes us dance for over 10 years and they're still banging! Still fresh, still young, still innovative. Traum Schallplatten still turning dreams to vinyl and MP3. Ten Traum makes one hundred! Check this out!

How does it feel to be 10 or 100 for you and Traum Schallplatten? What has changed during all those years, considering the starting point you have started and where you are now?
Well we are kind of proud that we have kept the label going  and have been able to change the position a bit over the years . I think the general interest for all kinds of different musical styles, Rock, Jazz, Psychedelic, Industrial, House is embedded in Traum on  a very personal basis. I think for some people it is not always understandable what we are doing... but this certainly... is a part of the game. If the label is totally understood... it is kind of dead... a question has always to remain unanswered! In fact... we think running a label which is not predominantly a DJ tool label makes it a lot more difficult. You see we have slowly made our way in the DJ world... and we have taken what other people say risks... but for us it has always been a personal affair and personal mission and dedication.... we have no choice... we have to go this way.

We have with full purpose tried to avoid DJ standards in the past... but we also like some of them so we have opened up over the years. We think we can be grateful that we started 20 years ago Djing electronic music and have the label for 10 years now because when we started there was still a big interest to discover music, to try to find the good stuff within in tons of mediocre music. So people had really to get involved... that formed the character of a lot of people. People with back bones... people with courage. We see now that a lot of this is lost because of digital highways which give access to everything within hours... so music is now served on a silver plate.... it is a different world! We now see the challenge in touching grounds but still staying 100% true to ourselves, I think this is a big challenge... it is a narrow path... and a path which is getting narrower every day. The fact that more labels out there have discovered the path... makes it certainly more competitive.

I think the Techno market itself has become also a job market for people who want to make money for their living so the whole techno market has become more serious. I must say that this makes me sometimes kind of sad. I just spoke to Dominik Eulberg and he agreed, that we had so much fun 10 to 8 years ago, we were fooling around with electronics and it was a great playground. I think from a label boss perspective I must say... that we have to save that playground and protect it!!!!!!!... and at the same time we have to sell records... that is a great challenge as well. I see a danger in putting too much pressure on the situation, but on the other hand we are a label that is famous for discovering new artist like: Akufen, Dominik Eulberg, Oliver Hacke and now Roland M. Dill and Helge well as Bukkaddor and Fishbeck, all 3 from Cologne!....and I feel I have to pass on my experience of over 20 years on to them! But I am careful not all young artist can handle it.

You see our labels are very much a consortium of young people loving techno and doing it, we are not into industry standards. And we have our nice office in the heart of Cologne, we have artist coming here every day. We have also been heavily in to visuals from the start with Yvette Klein's videos and label art work and now we have our own video channels where you can find video my Monokompatible form the art academy in Düsselforf and also from people that work for one of the biggest TV station here in Germany the WDR.

Our video channels are:

We are working now with 4 different artists from Cologne and Düsseldorf and virtually for every record released we have a video coming. For the Tim Green “Mr Dry” we have a famous Japanese artists doing a video which is on our channel..

What are the main elements of your three labels that keep them alive or niche?
Well... I think it is quite obvious Traum is a very personal label as we stated above, it keeps the distance. Trapez is much more inclined with the techno scene and MBF is the label that looks for the more house based basslines and programming. Trapez ltd is changing now a bit... it is sometimes quite nice when you can let it go and it does change directions almost by itself... we are quite relieved that we can sometimes sit back and watch it... although there is a rule in the music business... that you can never sit back and relax. Music is youth culture and the youth never sleeps... we think this is the truth and we are as characters quite ambitious and offer a matrix for that.

What are your expectations from the future regarding Traum Schallplatten, do you have good dreams?
We have good dreams. In fact if we had no dreams we would stop the label. All the Traum crew: Yvette Klein (graphics), Steve Barnes (promotion & mp3), Axel Erbstösser & Jana Heinz (booking), Emanuel Geller (mastering) and Jacqueline & Riley (label owners & A&R), have dreams and make things happen. I think there is a lot in epic music which we love... I just saw some rock concert movies and I love the epic and heavy long soundtracks... I love the weight of it... I think the weight in music has already manifested itself and I think the thick and heavy sounds will be also part of the scene we will be part of.

Do you rely on obsessions? Like your 100 releases came in 10 years which make 10 a year or so. Are you type of guys who only step on the coloured stones and not on the lines or connecting points of the floor...
Well we are obsessed, I think without obsession..we would have been not able to pump out that amount of music. We love the music as a way of communication. I think Jacqueline and I, we are both not really interested in wearing gold chains and drinking champagne in VIP rooms... I like that for 10 minutes and then death knocks at my door and says: you are almost dead. I think live has to bee a constant flow of rhythm..and we are are heavily influenced by the city of Cologne and the people who need to be kicked in the guts to understand what is going on. We have to work here 10 times harder than people in Berlin..because if you are successful here  you are successful everywhere..I think this is a truth with I know people referred to in the 80ies, when I saw Killing Joke and my Bloody Valentine, and Silverfish, Happy Mondays... And all these bands here in Cologne.

What will you say / want to say to your Turkish fans about being 10 and 100?
We would like to thank them for their support. And we want to tell them, we are looking forward to make it to Turkey and play in all clubs there. We are looking for good contact in Turley and if some promoters read the article they are invited to contact us and to make things happen there, because the Turkish culture is a very old and grown culture... the origin of where we all are connected to in one way or the other.

When will you come for a label feature? A big gig?
Yes, make it happen... we will all come and make a big great label party!

Interview: Christopher Çolak
18 November 2008


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