Marlon Hoffstadt is back. His new EP ‘Crumble’ — which he made with production pal, Racquet — is an emotive and deeply grooving cut, set for release on Dutch music-blog-cum-imprint, Deep House Amsterdam. With support from Ame, Sasha and Tensnake, ‘Crumble’ is backed up by two stellar remixes from Amsterdam local (via Canada) Poupon and German producer, Andre Lodemann.
We’ve always had a lot of love for Lodemann — this gem we blogged in 2012 is still a stunner! — so naturally our attention was pricked, as well as Hoffstadt’s work under his other well known moniker, Tender Games. On the brink of what might be Marlon Hoffstadt’s best EP yet, we thought it a good time to sit down with the producer, to talk top albums, Berlin nightlife and what’s next.
We’d like to start by asking about your association with Suol. How did that come about? About 3 years ago I met HRRSN and we worked on some tunes. We then decided that we should do an album together and ran into Chopstick & Johnjon, the A&R’s and owners of SUOL Music. Now I have my studio next to Chopstick’s and Johnjon’s and to the SUOL Office, and we are working on a few things together.
And Tender Games? What’s the idea there? As I said before, Tender Games is a project of HRRSN and me. We decided to start a new alias, because the music is quite different to what we are producing with our solo projects. Tender Games is funky, souly and a little bit poppy, but also everything we want it to be; sometimes its more housey sometimes more garage. We just do what we want and that’s the good thing about SUOL, they are open minded to everything!
How does working alone differ to working with HRRSN from a productivity perspective? Working with HRRSN means that he plays the piano to find a theme and that he writes the lyrics. As soon as he has found something we are trying to put that into a beat and a sound that fits us. When I’m working alone, I always know where to go, cause everything is just in my head. That doesn’t mean that it’s better working alone. For me, it makes it more fun working together. Also it’s just different, HRRSN brings many other genre influences into our productions. I grew up with house, he grew up with folk, R&B and garage.
What do you see as the future of your music? How has it changed since you first started producing? I can’t answer that. I don’t know what my future sound will be like. It changes so fluently as my knowledge grows so fast. There is so much more to learn and with all the new stuff I know, and also my attitude changes. But I guess it will always be a little bit poppy, because I think you need to have emotions in your songs!
The artwork on your DHA release is really striking. Do you think people pay as much attention to the art these days? Unfortunately not. I think the attention of customers for art, music and film is really short. All these medias have a short life. People are listening and watching to so many new projects every day that they forget about the stuff they heard or saw one week ago. This sounds sad, but I think thats one of the negative effects of the internet.
I gather Germany was hugely influential to you also? Where did you go clubbing when you were younger? Haha, I started clubbing when I was 15. Me and my friends went to clubs like “VCF” or others like this. I don’t know if they still exist, but back in the days it was great! If I would have experienced the Berlin nightlife so early I wouldn’t have started DJ’ing either. Berlin brought me to House!
“It’s not so much fun partying in clubs when I’m not DJ’ing there. I’m more into bars and some beers outside at a park or something like that.”
Do you still go clubbing or do you avoid clubs when you’re not playing these days? Uh, no! I try to avoid them as often as possible. Maybe when friends of mine are playing I’ll join them but for me it’s not so much fun partying in clubs when I’m not DJ’ing there. I’m more into bars and some beers outside at a park or something like that.
So what are your favourite places to play and dance in Berlin? When was the last time you were blown away by a DJ? KINK Live at Watergate: This was wicked! He played upstairs in the big room and I it was just incredible. He is such a talented producer and his live set is wicked. He interacts with the crowd and has so much fun, he always smiles when he plays. So nice!
So do you reckon the Internet is a good or bad thing for electronic music? Or maybe a bit of both? The internet has helped me alot to build this little hype that I’ve had with ‘Shake That’. I think Blogs and YouTube Channels became so important for musicians. Also Soundcloud and Spotify are very important. All these platforms, websites and services help musicians to gain their focus and traffic, but it also makes it available for everyone else, which leads to a massive spam. I think I receive about 30 to 40 promos a week. And thats just a short piece of what’s coming out, there is so much new music and I think this is just possible because of the internet.
You’ve got Andre Lodemann doing a remix on your latest. Have you been a fan of Andre’s for some time now? What did you think of his remix? We once played at a SUOL Showcase at Watergate, and besides his fantastic music he also is such a friendly guy and a super talented DJ. I really enjoyed his set there, so yes I’m digging all his work and it was a great honour to have him as a Remixer. PS: I love the drop after the big break… it’s a real club banger!
Aside from music, what do you get up to in your spare time? I’m a movies and series junkie. I have a big wall and a beamer in my room. I’ve watched so many series and movies over the last two years that it’s not possible to sum them up. But honestly there is not much spare time left. Besides working on Marlon Hoffstadt and Tender Games, I’m also starting a new label again. But more info very soon.
“From time to time, Berlin stresses me quite hard. Not that I don’t like it here, I think it’s one of the world’s best cities, but it’s very touristic these days.”
Where are you living right now? What’s it like? What are your favourite and least favourite things about the city? I’m still living in Berlin. I’m living close to my studio which is quite nice, and its not too far to the airport. But I guess it’s quite hectic here. From time to time, Berlin stresses me quite hard. Not that I dont like it here, I think its one of the worlds best cities, but its very touristic these days.
If you were stuck on a desert island and you could only bring 5 albums, what would they be? And why? Caribou ‘Our Love’, Jungle ‘Jungle’, Kendrick Lamar ‘Good kid, m.A.A.d city’, Kendrick Lamar ‘To Pin A Butterfly’, Mount Kimbie ‘Cold Spring Fault Less Youth’