Andre Kronert represents the epitome of the new wave of Berlin techno; his style is analog-fueled, driving, and often improvised. Shaped by his East German roots, he quickly fell in love with the industrial sounds and the DIY club culture that blossomed out of the fall of the Soviet Union’s departure from the region. It wouldn’t be long before a young Kronert began saving his money, building his own decks, and investing his life into becoming one with the music. Two decades later, he remains enamored with all things dark and pulsing, and it’s this passion that has made him a veritable staple in his home country. When not running his imprint Odd/Even or working his various other label endeavors, he can regularly be seen performing at Germany’s most renowned institutions including Suicide Circus, [ipsə], Lux, Berghain, and beyond.
The time has come now for Andre to plot the next step in his career: westward expansion. Across the United States, there’s a growing interest in edgier shades of techno—and Kronert is prepared to deliver. Tonight he’ll be breaking ground in Brooklyn, New York, where Teksupport will be hosting him at a clandestine warehouse alongside Markus Suckut. Info and tickets can be found here.
Before his takeover, we sat Andre Kronert down for a quick round of questions about his main drivers, breaking the rules musically, and what’s in store for him next.
You and Markus Suckut have performed together in the past, even sharing some b2bs. What are the most important aspects of a b2b set in your eyes that will lead to success and flow between the two DJs playing?
Markus and I have known each other for a long, long time. We are close friends and share the same taste in music. We see each other as often as possible and are always connected, as friends do. He’s kind of a brother to me.
Sharing the decks with him is always a huge experience for me. But we know what we do and we know what to play to keep the floor bumping. It’s also always like an adventure because we never talk about what we will play, how we play it and what’s coming next. But it always fits and it’s always a huge experience for me. He is such a nerdy and good DJ, and we combine our skills. Everything is possible, nothing is forbidden. A b2b set needs to have a flow; the audience has to feel we are connected and has to also to feel we enjoy it. Since we share the almost same taste and influence each other so we have exactly this flow in my opinion.
As someone who doesn’t like to read manuals, can you tell us about any cool sound effects or tricks you’ve figured out by simply toying with your hardware (rather than figuring it out in the traditional way by reading the instructions)?
I just work against the rules. I plug cables in a different way, try out things, making wired combinations, turning knobs where others may not turn them. I use over-compression in a tricky way, working with side noises of the machines, using broken tapes in my tape effects and so on. I don’t like “the normal way.” I also use a lot of field recordings, but not as a background. Instead, I tune them or change them into a wired sound.
Curious to hear this from your point of view as a German native – with a seemingly huge influx of international electronic artists moving to the city in hopes of kickstarting their house/techno careers, how have you seen the Berlin/local scene change as a result? This could be in terms of sonic influence, general industry operation, and beyond
The scene is changing a lot. It’s not easy to start something today, but it never was, I guess. There is a lot of “bling bling” going on. People hunt for fame and money. Lots of depression ensues for these types because this music was never made for this “get rich” lifestyle, so a lot of people struggle.
Everyone moves to Berlin but it’s not like back in the days, I think. It takes a lot of elbow grease to make it in this scene; you have to work your ass off. So a lot of people despair. I know a lot who leave this city again. I live 2 hours away in a small city where there are fewer talkers and superficial people. I’m on my own and I’m so happy. Doing my thing. I have three daughters, a small house, a wife, a studio, and silence whenever I need it. I’m happy!
What is your personal key to success and longevity in this competitive industry?
Don’t stop, work your ass off. Believe in yourself. Don’t listen to what others say. And again – don’t stop! There is no key in my opinion. The goal is the way. If it keeps you happy and if you are ok with the ups and downs so its all cool. Just enjoy the small moments and continue. Having honest people around you and people who believe in you beside the music is good too.
Just do it and do YOUR thing!
With techno becoming more ‘mainstream’ than ever before, what are your tips for finding the true gold amid the stream of unoriginal/mediocre music out there?
Believe in yourself. Mainstream means pressure and also heavy limitations. To be honest I have no tips. My goal is the way. My past, my present, and my future. I’m not part of this mainstream. I don’t do music others expect, I have no chart burner but what I have is fun and love for the things I do. Kick the talkers and again…work your ass off. Do your thing. The mainstream is currently killing itself and the ones who never took part will be here at the end cuz we did it not for the fame or the bling bling.
Let’s talk about your newest tracks on Teksupport’s label — what was your process and inspiration going into making these? Which pieces of gear/software proved most essential in their production?
I love the label and its past releases. Nerdy stuff and serious stuff. I just made some tunes as I always do – no restrictions, flow, fun. I did not use a specific kind of hardware. I always use everything. Sometimes I even do only jam sessions and record them. The tracks are minimal and dubby. Heavy grooves hitting chords and some Spycho athmo.
You’re now making your USA debut with Teksupport this coming weekend. How did your relationship with the brand begin, and what are your expectations for the New York crowds?
I’ve known the guys for a long time, like the releases, staying in contact. So it was just a question of time when it came to making something together. The feeling was right and we came together to do this. Having my mate Markus Suckut involved was even more fun and personal for me. It’s a good package, a heavy one.
Looking back at your long career, is there anything you wish you could have done differently? How do you think this would have benefitted you in the long run if so?
To be honest, I didn’t want to make anything different. I just did it and everything was also a lesson, its life. Music business is a supermarket now and I try to keep away from the rules of this business. I just do music and I’m being positive to the people I work with and who accompany me. I stay real.
What keeps your passion alive after all of these years?
The music itself, the friendships, the small unexpected moments. I’m not hunting for fame, gigs, or money. I’m old school. I really enjoy my time in my studio without rules and pressure. That’s why I do so much different stuff. The art keeps m alive. The internal belief in myself and my music. My wife supports me totally too. My family is my fuel.
Odd/Even has grown into quite a reputable imprint over the years. What have been some of its proudest achievements in your eyes? What does a label need most at its beginning stages to get off the ground?
I work only with people I like to work with. There is nobody on board just to push the label. It’s like a family. I release friends, and this is why I don’t want to feel any pressure or restrictions. People who work with me know that I need time for things. I don’t want this pressure thing, the business thing. I want to have fun with the people I work with. It’s about art! I’m proud of every single tune I have on the label. I’m proud on everything and everyone.
Any last words for our readers?
Believe in yourself. Do your thing. Let’s have fun together. Let’s forget the world while dancing and let’s take care of each other.
Connect with Andre Kronert: Facebook | Twitter | Resident Advisor | SoundCloud