In the Middle with Moomin
Moomin, known for his understated, chilled-out house music, will be gracing the decks of Leeds’ Distrikt this Friday. Starting off in Kiel, near Hamburg, he initially began music production informally, cutting his teeth through experimenting with friends’ DOS programmes and Fasttracker software. In 2011, Smallville Records released his debut album ‘The Story About You’, a roaring success which was followed by ‘A Minor Thought’ in 2016.
He has since been booked for sets all around the world, and has carved out a reputation for eclecticism in his sets. Having played at Flux in 2015, this will be his second visit to Leeds. We had a quick chat with the man himself ahead of the event.
I hear you have a new release coming out soon, I was hoping you could give us a bit of insight on it, how will this differ to ‘The Story About You’ and ‘A Minor Thought’?
Yes my third album, it is scheduled for the beginning of the next year. ‘The Story About You’ and ‘A Minor Thought’ were house music only. On the upcoming one, there is a bit more variety, ranging from jungle & DnB to house and hip-hop.
You said in an interview with ‘Inverted Audio’ that you like to express yourself in a silent way, and that ‘A Minor Thought’ represented that. How does this new release reflect you?
I meant it in a general sense 😉 so it reflects all of my productions.
Your productions are well crafted and calm – they don’t impose on the listener. They can be played out, but they sound just as good just sitting on the sofa relaxing. Even though this is what you’ve become known for, would you consider producing something away from this? I heard you tried making a few jungle/dnb tracks in the late 90s, and apparently lost the mini-disc to a friend. Would you consider reigniting these roots?
Yes, definitely. I try to never stick to one kind of music… so on the upcoming album there will be a few jungle/DnB tracks.
You’ve described how you lost interest in German hip-hop around the turn of the century. You have mentioned before that this was due to the commercialisation that came in. Could you expand on this?
Well back in the beginning and mid 90s, hip-hop was the culture for me. For me to obtain a pair of Adidas superstars, I had to take a train to the next big city, because they were not available in my town. There were no baggy pants – you just had to buy trousers in an extra large size! If you saw someone on the streets with Adidas or Pumas, you just knew he was related to that culture.
With you being from Kiel, with the nearest city being Hamburg was this part of your decision to go with Smallville, a Hamburg based record label?
When I started to make music, it was never my plan to release anything, basically I just made it for me. (Then) things with Smallville happened by coincidence I would say.
Your music taste has changed and developed a lot over the years. In the past, you’ve cited your dad as a particular influence, as he was the man who got you into artists such as Booker T and The Shadows. In the 90s I hear it was a British radio station, which led to your discovery of a lot of hip-hop. How do you currently discover new music?
I like Bandcamp a lot… it is such a great platform for finding new music in all genres, plus you can support the artists. I really like that concept, that’s why all my closer digital releases are only available on Bandcamp.
You draw upon inspiration coming from hip-hop’s Diamond D, sample master DJ Shadow, and to the atmospheric and peculiar sounds Boards of Canada and Aphex Twin. Who is currently pushing boundaries and inspiring you?
Some of my current favourites are Wun Two, Hubert Daviz , Flo Filz and HulkHodn
DJ’s put in a great deal of effort into searching record stores, recently there has been criticism towards groups such as ‘The Identification of Music Group’ and other online groups. These groups, allow members to share tracks which they like, and to identify tracks from other artist’s sets. You have said before that you use the internet a great deal in discovering music. What are your thoughts on said groups?
I’m not really familiar with these kind of groups, so I can’t judge the criticism. But when there is a platform, where people share tracks they like and help to identify tracks from other artist’s dj sets… why not?
Moomin will be brought to Distrikt on the Friday 25th November by Catch Recordings. With this being a free event, be sure to get down early. Follow the link below for the Facebook event:
Image credits: Odd Fantastic