Among the many upcoming labels in Vienna, Schönbrunner Perlen shines in ways befitting to its name. Their first release, a collaboration between Ken Hayakawa and Herb Piper, still has us cheering every time it gets played (not to mention the equally promising SP 02).
And if you take a look at the line-up of Schönbrunner Perlen Label-Night at Fluc next week, you’ll get an idea of just what we can expect in the upcoming months.
All this excitement got us to thinking: We’ve been listening to so much Ken Hayakawa, it’s about time we got to know him a bit better. Which is why we sent him this questionnaire:
Favourite part of the day to create?
Method or madness?
Most influential person?
First musical love?
….Selected Ambient Works by Aphex Twin and many more….
Last musical love?
Hercules & Love Affair – Painted Eyes
One thing you’d gladly live without ?
The “Pausenrap” 😉
Last thing that inspired you?
A strange percussion wood melo shaker I got from my girlfriend
Schönbrunner Perlen Label Night
March 24th, Fluc
After the success ‘Japanese Rose’, the Schönbrunner Perlen crew take it up a notch with their second release which features Oberst & Buchner’s ‘Today I Feel’, remixes and ‘The Devil behind my Shoulder’ by Andreas Buchner on his own.
Andreas Buchner and Sebastian Oberst have their roots in Bavaria, where they started their first band project and experimented with all kinds instruments and musical styles. A few years later both of them found their calling and started buying 12inches and converted to house music. At about the same time they moved to Vienna, became part of the Schönbrunner Techno collective and the result is ‘Today I Feel’ featuring Midimum, the A-side of SP02. Legend says the framework of the song was produced on a very long train ride and elaborated during something they call “a magical night”. Then all they had to do was adding some vocals by Martin Steer, who is also the background singer at Frittenbude, and asking well known photographer Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek for a perfect cover to complete their first release on Schönbrunner Perlen.
Check it out at Schönbrunner Perlen 02 Release Party at Flex on Saturday, January 28th 2012.
If you are into electronic music and living in Vienna but haven’t heard about the Schönbrunner Techno-crew you’ll probably have the pleasure of spending eternity in Satan’s filthy hot pit for missing out. This is because they are a collective consisting of some of Vienna’s finest DJ’s and producers of techno, house and all its sub-genres. They also set up their own label and released a personal favourite of mine and others in 2011: ‘Japanese Rose’.
The person responsible for this track is Ken Hayakawa, but he didn’t do it alone! Herb Piper co-produced the track which is why we decided to roll the 10 x 4 questionnaire across the quiet guy in the background. We recommend you also check out Schönbrunner Perlen 001 Remixed which was released in December and look forward to SP002, which will be released on January 28th.
Favourite part of the day to create?
I love sitting the whole night in front of my equipment and working on tracks and new ideas. Then I completely fall into music and nothing else exists. I even forget to eat and drink when I´m working on new stuff.
First musical love?
As a child I really enjoyed listening to the audio drama cassettes about Mozart, Strauss and Schubert. I think this was my first musical love.
Last musical love?
One thing you cannot live with out?
One thing you would live without if you could?
Definitely the piano.
Love of your life?
Music so far.
The new Viennese based label “schönbrunner perlen”.
A place to create?
One day I want to make a track in one of these typical Viennese coffeehouses. Catch the atmosphere and put it into the music. But till then I´m producing music at home or in Ken Hayakawa’s studio.
2011 has been a game changer. It’s been the end of a rather unpleasant decade and I’m not just talking about the economic crisis. However, I’m really looking forward to the next ten years. We will keep the European dream alive and more, it will be a peaceful union. When it comes to Austria, it’s rather disappointing. At least in terms of politics, this year showed us again that politicians are corrupt – maybe even more than the rest of us.
Then again when I think about music this year has been over the top. I decided to talk to my colleague Stefan Niederwieser, editor in chief of the gap and part time DJ to review the year.
Hey Stefan, how has your year been so far?
Umm OK ish. I think I gained some weight. And some followers on Twitter! I like to think that there’s a connection between those two. I’ve been to Srebrenica and basically took the same photos in the Dutchbat HQ, which appeared in the international issue of Vice Magazine two months later under the title Genocidal Graffiti. But I was too lazy to send them my pics. Some random dude did.
The financial crisis sent shockwaves throughout the world, from London to Athens to Arabic countries. Dubstep went mainstream. Capitalism lost its glamour. Climate change is a topic for sunny days. More and more media outlets are copying from Pitchfork topics. Tyler The Creator and hipster black metal were the most enjoyable anomalies. Markus Schinwald and Thomas Prinzhorn won at the Biennale in Venice. Adapting to my new position was quite a challenge. Daily business kills caring about others. So, it was kind of interesting.
I read your tweet yesterday comparing visitors to the Kunsthalle Wien and people who go to see Austrian films. In your opinion has there been anything special except for Atmen maybe?
Atmen is definitely a film to watch. I’m not part of our film editorial staff for a reason, but I’d recommend Schwarzkopf about being a male immigrant with a moderate rap angle in Austria. And Whore’s Glory. In the tweet I said I was mainly wondering about the low attendances to Austrian movies this year. Quality-wise, Austrian films are still very strong.
Lets talk about music. What are you highlights?
Oh. Destroyer, Gang Gang Dance, Girls, Drake. And umm, we decide which album to feature on what level some weeks before Pitchfork reviews come out. So nah, we don’t copy Pitchfork. No we don’t, shhh. Oneohtrix Point Never, James Ferraro, Oval and Destroyer re-assembled the sonic ruins of consumerist pop in very different ways. Nostalgia still haunted the fields of indie music. And Simon Reynolds wrote a great book about just that. This year in music was mostly about memory and money. And a very good year too.
Did you experience any special nights out?
Oh, you want to know more about the awesome EMA gig she gave at the Waves Vienna festival, in which I’m almost not involved? No, really, the festival was a shitload of work with some very bad gigs and some very good gigs. Like the gig from Viennese noise super group Peterlicker. Or Icelandic Prog-Disco-Baile-Pop-Collective Retro Stefson. And oh, EMA …James Blake at Donaufestival was awesome, so much better than his gig at Primavera festival in Barcelona – which is itself a constant highlight with a killer lineup (event though the new stage harmed some of the special atmosphere). Fennesz did a huge remix of Gustav Mahler, which just appeared just this month in a 9 DVD box. In just the same venue, Chilly Gonzales performed not with, but on the ORF Radio-Symphony Orchestera. He mixes art with comedy, he’s hilarious, even though people hate him for just that. I missed the Suuns gig everybody keeps talking about. For electronic music, Soundframe festival and Runvie presented some very special acts in Vienna.
What about clubs? What’s your favorite of the year? Have you been to the Grelle Forelle yet?
I’d still have to say Pratersauna. They’ve still got the best bookings. The years after the first two, in which they really kept the hype up, will be the interesting ones. Can they get good deals with sponsors and booking agencies? Are they being swallowed up by small costs like lost and destroyed equipment, noise reduction, stupid neighbors, too much drugs or more opinion pundits? Flex went through all that and more, they were the pioneers and still attract lots of people, and tourists. Apart from that, you can experience very decent music in small venues like Elektro Gönner or Donau Techno. We assembled a very broad list of places to go on Foursquare. Check it out here.
And yeah, I’ve been to Grelle Forelle. They’ll have to adapt the spotlight. Having a no photo-no-guestlist-all-about-the-music-policy looks good on paper, but people quickly take enquiries at the door about the lineup of the night for arrogance. Stories like that spread fast and really don’t help in being cool. Much of the electronic scene reacted to the opening with a lot of prejudice. But like in so many cases, you have to get involved to change things if you don’t like the way it is. Grelle Forelle has one of the best sound systems in town. It’s very reachable on weekends via metro. And being tolerant about people who don’t look exactly like you helps if you want to have good night there.
I know you think The Wire is the best TV show ever. But do you think there is anything worth mentioning this year?
Oh, this was me lamenting on a personal level about a domain, in which I allow myself to be unjust. I guess I shouldn’t do that, as I’m basically frustrated, because I have too little time to delve into all these kinds of different TV shows. I simply have no clue about TV shows in 2011 and stick to the last best one I know. The Wire is awesome. Apart from The Daily Show and Colbert Report.
Did you see Fauner Consulting yet?
Nah. No. Shame.
What else is there to say? Wanna recommend something? What did we miss out?
Electro Guzzi this autumn. Soap&Skin next spring. There are a lot of new labels starting just now in Vienna – watch out for Luv Shack, Leap Records, Schönbrunner Perlen, moun10, Luv Lite Recordings and The Loud Minority. And let’s not forget Elevate festival in Graz, which isn’t just your random headliner-festival, as it also has a very international program and great lectures. And oh, I want to say hello to my Mom and Dad!
I remember a summer morning in 2008 – at least I guess it was 2008 – when we went to an afterhour party at Hundsturm in Margareten. Although it must have been 8 or 9 in the morning the sun was already burning and it was even hotter in the basement of the location where the music was pumping. As always is Vienna the police turned up quite soon and small groups of people went their own way, either to the after-afterhour or to bed. It has been a great morning hosted by the guys who called themselves Schönbrunner Techno Bande back then. Afterwards I kinda lost track of the collective, but when I look at the video for Japanese Rose I ask myself why.
Shot and directed by the same guys spoofed a Barbara Streisand event to vent their anger about the strict closing hour politics, it gives you an idea of how musical genius Ken Hayakawa and his friends spent their summer. Best of it all: the track, which is produced by Ken and his colleague Herb Piper, is romantic and touches you right where your heart is.