In Depth With… Deo & Z-Man Sep24


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In Depth With… Deo & Z-Man

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Deo & Z-Man are brothers from Hamburg with Italian roots. A musical past influenced by countless genres, their sound is most definately unique. With a release just out on Jeudi Records, we dropped in on them to find out more…

How has your year been so far? What’s been keeping you busy?

Very mixed. We had a couple of nice releases on labels like Hafendisko, O*rs and Mozzarella Rec, a lot of nice gigs, then Deo broke his elbow. We moved into a new studio and got cheated by the summer, because the summer hasn’t been in hamburg this year.

How long have you been producing and where do your early inspirations come from? 

We started as a HipHop band in the late 90s. Since than we constantly worked on beats and had fun with a lot of genres- from HipHop, TripHop, Drum’n’Bass, Techno to House and Disco. Our biggest inspiration comes from East- and West coast Rap music, labels like MoWax and Ninja Tunes and in general by the sound of sampled records, dusty synths and drum machines. It’s definatly all about the vibe, not the genre.

So what sort of music did you grow up with then? And when did you become interested in house music?

We are very cliché and grew up in a family which made their living out of music. As kids we were always surrounded by music: Rock’n’Roll, Italo Pop and Latin-stuff. We felt in love with House because it brings all the lovely vibes we are addicted to onto the dance floor. Besides that house parties are the best parties to hang out.

Was there one moment where you realised this is what you wanted to do then?

No. We are hedonistc guys and we always do what we like only. At some point we were already in the middle of a making-music-life. We had no plan, we just slided into it.

So how did you learn to make music? Did you take classes? Or just through trial and error on your laptop?

Yes, we are trial and error guys, we don’t really like to read manuals. Besides we are in love with the machines because you can’t dance in front of a laptop. To us it’s a bit boring to sit in front of a screen fighting for the mouse to work out ideas. We love to switch on our machines and just jam around till we have an idea which is strong enough to work a song out of it.

How long did it take until you got to a stage where you were pretty assured with your sound?

It took some time to find out how things work. At one point we learned how to handle studio equipment and mix sound so we could work out our ideas how we wanted them. But the true challenge is the ideas itself. If you don’t have good musical ideas your technical knowhow is useless. It is always more important to have nice ideas than the ability to mix down songs. Except if you like to sound like 80% of the other producers out there. Boring. Besides that it’s a never ending process to be assured with your sound. There is always something you wanna do better the next time.

What challenges are you faced with at the moment from a music point of view? How would you like to improve yourself as a musician? 

The biggest challenge is to ignore all these wack ass DJs and producers everywhere and not to get depressed by how the industry works. It’s very sad to see that a frequently updated Instagram account is more important than the music itself and that musical ideals and values are nearly gone. For us as producers it’s the mixture of musical skills and technical setup. It just has to grow. Steady. Like everything in life.

From that point of view, which track of yours was the biggest challenge to put together?

We’ve made a couple of hundred tracks, so we don’t know. It’s always more difficult to make more musically inspired tracks than minimal dance stuff, and in our opinion it’s more difficult to make happy music. Hitting some melancolic Moll chords is much more easy than doing some kind of happy music which doesn’t sound like dumb chart tracks or child music. Working on our debut album‚ ‘No Bullshit‘ was probably the biggest challenge – to sort everything and stuff, but at the end the most annoying work was to do all this industry-stuff like interviews, charting, podcast- not really making music but somehow neccesary.

And you’ve just had a release out on Jeudi Records, tell us a little more about the EP, and what did it feel like to be able to release on such a reputable imprint?
Releasing music is always a gift and it feels really good to do it on an imprint like Jeudi. We’ve known the guys for a couple
of years now. It seems that it has come to this. The tracks on the ‘Thugs Lake EP‘ were all made in our last studio where we sadly recently moved out because the whole building was demolished. There is no special idea behind the EP, just the result of having fun during jamming.

What do you see as the future of your productions?

Hmm, we got a lot of ideas how to pimp up our studio but the future is more about how to keep up making music as interesting as long as possible. We don’t have goals like become an A-class DJ or something like that. We just know that we want to make music till we are old. So it should’t get boring.

And what else have you coming up that you’d like to shout about? 

We’ve got a nice EP coming up on our homelabel Hafendisko. It’s called Rambrendt EP‘ and features dope remixes by Panthera Krause and DJ Kaos & Superguru. Also we are working on our next longplayer.

Deo & Z-Man’s ‘Thug Lake’ EP is out now on Jeudi Records

Grab it here –

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