Marc Faenger Interview: M-Nus, Little Helpers, Living in Dusseldorf and New Technologies
Marc Faenger is finding himself in lineups beside the biggest names. He is now one of the members of the M-Nus family, making appearances at clubs and festivals all over the world. Who is he and where does he come from? We asked him.
Can you please tell us about your background, how you got to Dusseldorf?
I live in Düsseldorf since 18 years now. It’s located near Cologne and a lot of other semi-big cities and it’s fucking beautiful. The infrastructure is great, i have an international airport and a train station in front of my door and everything is quite reachable within a reasonable amount of time. Also my residency at Studio Club and other regular spots like the excellent Heinz Gaul, Odonien & Gewölbe are in near distance, so this is convenient 😉 I thought however of moving to Berlin a few times, but as of now, this plan hasn’t evolved to something real. Maybe i’ll give it a shot in the near future to see how it works out. A lot of friends and colleagues are there, so it is tempting.
Tell us about your connection to M_NUS & Enter.
This connection grew somewhat organically. Rich started to play out some of my earlier tracks quite massively during his sets, sometimes his Twitter-feed contained so much as 6 different tracks of mine in one session and obviously i was super stoked that one of the most influential figures of contemporary techno chose to include that much of my work. Soon after he started this, i received a email from his then active booking agency clonk in early 2013 with a request to play at ENTER.Ibiza as well as one from himself, which of course blew my mind. I can’t think of a more exciting development for a young and upcoming artist as this. So of course i said yes and that was the start of an annually repeated ritual as i played ENTER. for the next three years in a row until the event started it’s hiatus on the island this year. What followed was a massive amount of gigs with Rich and the M_NUS crew all over the place, including ENTER.Miami, Fabric London, Cavo Paradiso on Mykonos, Sonar Barcelona, Watergate, Weekend Club, Fuse, Pollerwiesen and many more. Touring with him and the gang really invokes a family-feeling and a super-relaxed atmosphere, love the people behind the machinery to bits. The next logical step after playing several gigs with the M_NUS-family was to put out a dedicated EP on the label, which was my ‚Origin EP‘ in late 2014. I’m massively grateful to Rich and his ongoing support for my work, as it really elevated everything for me, career-wise. People tend to pay a lot of attention to what he`s recommending, also because he doesn’t do it that often.
What about Little Helpers? What do you think about the idea behind the label ?
I love it so much! Little Helpers is one of my faves since they started, the minimalist approach and the concept behind the label struck a nerve for me. I always was interested in morphing my DJ-sets into something more than just playing two records after each other as i tend to get bored quickly 😉 So Little Helpers-records are perfect for that purpose, acting as glue in the mix or sometimes as full-blown, outstanding monsters of tracks. Really happy to contribute to such a fine imprint for the second time now.
How did you approach the producing process of your upcoming release on Little Helpers?
My production process slowly evolved towards recording long takes of hardware jams, using gear like an MFB Tanzbär, Elektron Analog Rytm, Strymon El Capistan Tape Delay, Moog Minitaur and others. I record stuff through my Allen&Heath ZedR16 (which is an analogue mixer that also functions as my soundcard) into Ableton Live and edit the track from there. The EP consists of 7 tracks and i tried to give it a broad approach, sound-wise. There are some techy & trippy tracks on there as well as some more straight forward, stripped down techno tracks and a more experimental intro.
What the future holds is as much of a mystery to me as to anybody else but i appreciate the hard working people in the DJ-industry who keep inspiring us through their development work
Music production is first of all a creative process. Considering the fact that LH releases are first of all DJ tools – how much “room” is there left for creativity? Do you think the technical requirements of these tracks/tools come on the expense of creativity?
No, i think they force you to really focus on the few elements you`re working with and hopefully get the most out of them. There is some processing involved, effect-wise, but i try to not overdo it, too, as the concept of Little Helpers should allow the DJ to add his own sound signature to it.
Technology and technical progress of the last decade had a significant influence on Music industry, DJ’s and in general terms on DJing as a profession. It actually made it much more approachable and easy. Some will say that as a result some characteristics and skills (mostly technical ones) that formally caused big DJ’s to stand out are no longer a factor. Would you agree? What do you think the future holds for DJing as a profession?
Good question and an important one, too. Generally speaking, i have the opinion that first and foremost one should master his craft and never stop improving. That includes being able to mix on a regular set of turntables (which i did for the better part of a decade) as well as CDJs. If you then decide to take it up a notch in terms of creativity and switch to Traktor, that´s completely fine (if you still can use more traditional DJ-media when having technical issues). Traktor enables me to perform on 4+ decks simultaneously, which is a huge influence on my sound. It´s so much more fluid and interesting to have the option of using several sound sources. To me, nudging the tempo of two tracks is far from an artistic skill, it is a simple and time consuming task, nothing more (and one that, once learned, becomes second nature). Lots of people who tend to glorify this seem to do it for the purpose of seeming ‚real‘ for whatever reason. I prefer using the exciting possibilities of modern technology. The cabling part sucks, though 🙂 That said, i think it’s important to stay humble and keep questioning yourself. I spend a lot of time in between gigs working out what i can do better, what changes i can apply to my setup and what could make sets more interesting. What the future holds is as much of a mystery to me as to anybody else but i appreciate the hard working people in the DJ-industry who keep inspiring us through their development work. A good example is Richie Hawtins new Model1 mixer, which doesn`t follow the traditional pattern of a regular DJ-mixer rather than focusing on working with frequencies. Improvements like that (and the marvelous studio-grade faders) are what make a difference to me when performing.
You can follow Marc Faenger HERE