Today we interview Diego Krause, who is a Berlin DJ, Label co-founder of Beste Modus Records and – disclaimer one of the publishers of the traxx24 blog.
Diego Krause is a 25-year old dj/producer who was born in Berlin’s eastern districts. After years of producing hiphop, he made the switch to house-music and currently entertains dance floors with a close-knit collective of kindred spirits, organizing parties and releasing records through the newly founded Beste Modus label. One of the Co-founders is berlins well known Cinthie.
Diegos music is influenced by Detroit and Chicago House, Garage House, Tech House and everything that is underground and raw with occasionally performing a live-set together with stevn.aint.leavn.
Q: When did you begin making electronic music?
A: Hm, i think it was when i was 14 oder so. a friend introduced me to fruity loops and i was listening to dr. dre, snoop dog and stuff like that at the time. also started rapping and everything, and was in desperate need of new beats. because i already rapped on all the instrumentals i got from my idol rappers.. so it began as a necessity but then really quick developed into a passion. i quit rappin and did beats. a lot of them. maybe one per day i can’t remember. but i still have a hard drive full of them. there are thousands.
Q:what/who inspired you?
A: That is hard to say. I started goin to clubs when I was 21. I didn’t really know what i was listening to, when i stood on the dance floor. I just knew that it really overwhelmed me. The intensity of the music and that everybody was on the same vibe. But i think the first time, when i really went up to the DJ to ask, which song was playing was when i heard Forward Motion of Hot Natured (Jamie Jones). So i went home and looked up all his music and thats where it started. the quest of finding new records. and started to read and find out all about the history of the music. where house came from and all that.
Q: What made you switch from hiphop to house?
A: I’m not sure. it was the time.. i was kind of bored of hiphop and didn’t know where else to go with it. And it was the time when i first went to clubs. So one thing led to another and i fell in love with House Music.
Q: How was your grasp of the audio engineering & production at this time?
How did you learn producing? Is it all self taught, from
the internet and tutorials or mentors and teachers?
A: Most of it is self taught. When i started doin beats with fruity loops i didn’t know about tutorials on the internet and all that. I just sampled stuff and put it in there. and tweaked around til it sounded about right.
then i started using Reason, which was really easy for me because i thought it wasn’t that big of a deal to rethink from fruity loops. later i went to a audio engineering school and learned a lot about analog studio equipment and Logic as well. At that time i felt really safe to use any software within a little time of learning. so ableton live was a cake walk.
Q: Tell us about your setup.
Are you using mostly software or hardware these days?
A: I had some hardware back in the days. Kinda had to sell it though. Now i’m just using software and samples.
Q: What are your five favourite instrument and effect plugins?
A: I just started using the new ableton live 9. so i have to rethink a lot of my work flow and plug ins i will use in the future, since it has a lot of improvements. for example the new graphical EQ. i used to use the Fabfilter ProQ for that. i really like the MeldaProduction Mastering Bundle but i am only “scratching the surface” there. For Basslines i often use Rob Papens SubBoomBass or Blue. The B4 organ of NI is a goldie as well.
Q: What’s been the hardest sound or effect for you to get?
A: If you are talking production wise. I had a time when i really was into all the ed banger stuff. Mr Oizo and Justice for instance. It took me weeks to get that side chaining sound going on. And i read everything about it on the internet. it was a hell of a quest.
Q: Who are the artists who have influenced you the most right now?
A: I would have to say Kerri Chandler was the most important. I’m really into all the old school stuff from 93 right now. But like i mentioned people like Jamie Jones influenced me over the time. Subb-an is one of them. Jordan Peak had quite an impact on me. just to name a few.
Q: What is your typical work schedule like?
A: I like to start out with a drum groove. and then go through my sample library or create a new sound, put it on the keyboard and jam for hours. sometimes it only needs ten minutes and the melody is there.
sometimes i quit, saving the drum groove, waking up in the morning and continue from there.
Q: You´re the co founder of the beste modus label. What are your experiences
with running a label these days? How did it all start?
A: Beste Modus started out as a crew. We were 4 guys producing music and had just started to DJ and to do parties. After about one year we met cinthie, who is a local hero in Berlin and she’s been around for a long time. We got along very well and she invited us to a lot of her gigs. And came to our parties as well. After a short time she suggested to do a label. And we loved that idea.
Q: How do you promote your music?
A: We actually don’t do a lot of promoting. We only do vinyl releases which are very limited. 300 copies of the first one. And send around MP3 Promo tracks some weeks in advance. And upload previews on sound cloud. That’s about it. Facebook is our main tool to get in touch with the listeners. And we have a kick ass distribution ‘Diamonds and Pearls’ that do a great job.
Q: What social media or websites do you use to promote your music?
A: Facebook and Soundcloud.
Q: What kind of acts are you looking for to release on beste modus? Do you accept demos?
A: Right now Bestemodus is exclusively about our own music. We are 5 producers and we have a lot of music goin on and a lot of stuffed planned already. We don’t accept demos at the time. But we will see where we’re heading.
DJ & Live
Q: Let´s talk about djing and live gigs. Do you remember your first gigs?
How were your first experiences with finding and playing gigs.
A: First time DJing was in austria. I think i used a turntable first time that time. some hours before the gig at my friends house. But it kinda worked out immediately. Though i forgot to turn the cross fader at that night. Messed up big time. But it was a cool experience over all. My friend who was playin kind of pushed me in the cold water. which was a good thing to do of him.
Q: Was it complicated finding a booking agency or clubs to play at
and how were the first gigs received? What´s it like on tour for you?
A: When we started doin our first parties as Beste Modus Crew. it was really hard. In berlin there are so many crews and organizers. It will take a while until you are getting taken serious. So our first parties were at small party cellars and Bars. We thought it would be the best way to do parties our selves then to wait until we get booked. and that worked out pretty good. It took us about a year, til we had to opportunity to do parties at clubs that we liked. And when we met cinthie, it became easier, since she knows a lot of people in the city. and when we started the label and released our first vinyl, a lot of requests came all over germany and even in europe.
Q: If you could only take one piece of gear on the road with you besides your laptop, what would it be?
A: Well i guess i would need a keyboard to play my melodies.
Q: What is your favorite animal?
A: I like Bears i guess. maybe wolfs.
Q: What would your personal dream life look like?
A: I would love to make a living of my music, have a successful label and push other young talented artist in the future. Thats all i want. Do not need a sports car or a big crib.. as long as i can travel a lot.
Q: And what would be your worst nightmare scenario in life?
A: To get really sick.
Q: When we interview you in one year, where do you see yourself?
A: I hope BesteModus will be a big deal, and that a lot of people can foster from that.
In a parallel universe
Q: If you weren’t a musician, what would you be and why?
A: I think physics are extremely interesting. Especially astrology.