Deep in the heart of the classical motherland, two beatheads named Peter Kruder and Richard Dorfmeister are composing some of the freshest styles the electronic music scene has to offer. With sounds ranging from downtempo funk to jazzy drum and bass, K+D must have their ancestors rolling over in their graves.It all started in 1993, when Peter Kruder, then part of a hip-hop outfit called the Moreaus, contacted fellow Austrial musician Richard Dorfmeister, then with a band called SIN, about their striking resemblance to Simon and Garfunkel. They decided to cut an EP, 'G-Stoned', just so they could imitate the classic 'Bookends' cover by Richard Avedon. The rest is nearly history.
In their three years of collaboration, Kruder + Dorfmeister have been continuously busy; however, they have released only one EP. The majority of their work has been one-off singles for compilations and numerous remixes for premier international producers, the likes of which include United Future Organization, Alex Reece, Rockers Hi Fi and Bomb The Bass. Forays into the R&B world include remixes for English vocalist Lewis Taylor and even US gangsta rappers Bone Thugs-N-Harmony.
On The One spoke with Richard Dorfmeister (the one who looks like Art Garfunkel) between sessions to inquire about the status of things at G-Stone studios.
On The One: What are you and Peter Kruder doing these days?
Richard Dorfmeister: We just have lined up a remix for Lamb from Manchester, for their second single, which will be out in February. Then we've just done a Rockers Hi-Fi remix on Warner. So we're kind of busy and we've been really lucky with this compilation we did for this Germany comapany (DJ Kicks), because it went off really big and sold a lot of items in Germany. And it made us really somehow known in areas where we haven't worked before, because they have very good distribution and good marketing. So when we play at the moment in Germany, it's really packed. It's really working out.
DJ Kicks is a tech label and, when they approached us, we met in Berlin and had a talk. We really changed their whole ideology of how to make things, because they wanted to just continue their tech style. We said, "No, not with us. We'd rather do something outside of it, and see the whole thing through another lens, and just basically have more fun." And I think it's been very well-taken by the audience.
OTO: Have you been doing again promotional DJ dates for the record?
D: No, but through this thing, loads of people came along and asked us to do something. But even before this compilation we had been quite busy with Djing all around. It's just gotten a bit bigger than it was before.
OTO: Any plans for dates outside Europe?
D: We've found that it's already quite exhausting to do European things, so if you do America or Japan, it's a real treat but it's extremely exhausting. Also, the main places that the 'DJ Kicks' thing was promoted were in Germany and England, so those are the countries we will travel the most to.
OTO: When can we plan on a full-lenght Kruder & Dorfmeister album?
D: At the moment it looks like it will be finished sometime soon, and then will be released in summer/autumn. It will be more a mixture of styles, and not only a slow beats kind of sound. More drum and bass elements, probably, just more modern somehow. But I can't really tell yet.
OTO: Yeah, it seems like a lot of your recent singles and remixes have
been on the drum and bass trip.
D: Kind of, but at the moment, with Tosca, I return to slow beat things. The ideology, or the silly concept, of this project was always, say, more downbeat. But I mean, I've already got one remix which has jungle elements, and I'm getting another mix next week: it's a jungle mix. So at least for the remixes, there will be some drum and bass influences. I think on the actual Tosca album, it will be more straight beats and kind of strange elements. But no real drum and bass.
OTO: How do you make your music? Is it mostly from samples?
D: What we do is more a mixture of live playing and samples. But the live playing part is bigger than the sampling part. We sample something and then we play around with it and transform it. But we don't take real parts of other people's music because we've gotten away from that completely. It's not really challenging and then, of course, if you sample something you have to clear it. You can do it in a way where you don't have to think about clearing, and I think it's just more creative to make music in a not obvious way.
OTO: What kind of instruments are you using right now?
D: Everything. We use samplers and dub echoes and computers and old analog synthesizers, guitars, bass, everything. Really anything we can put our hands on. Or, what we can afford. We always have been low-budget fans; to just have a good idea and make it without huge studio actions and all these things.
OTO: Do you hire session musicians or do you play the instruments yourselves?
D: Mostly we play them ourselves, but sometimes we have some sessions with jazz musicians around here and record some stuff. That's not very often, it's only like once or twice a year.
OTO: When I think of the songs and remixes you've done, the only ones I
can think of with vocals are Lewis Taylor's 'Lucky' and Bomb The Bass' 'Bug
D: Yeah, you're right. Most of them are instrumental. We'll probably have vocals on the album. But the thing is, even without singers we are able to put together songs that work. Especially if you listen to the jungle stuff. There's no real voice; you just don't need it. It's just too much. It's cool to make a really good track with a voice. But it's very hard and it's very rare, and mose of the time it doesn't work. I don't know why.
OTO: In addition to Kruder & Dorfmeister, you're working on an album for
D: Yes, I'm just preparing at the moment the Tosca LP, which will be a collection of the old tracks plus some new tracks. And simultaneously there will be some remix 12"s with mixes by Fila Brazilia and some other friends like Patrick Pulsinger (Beanfield, Compost Records, Germany), DJ Morpheus (Belgium) and so on and so on. We'll probably do three 12"s or so.
OTO: And who is the other half of Tosca?
D: This school friend of mine called Rupert. We used to go to school together and we met again like three years ago and decided to do something again. It's kind of a side project, the main project is still the Kruder & Dorfmeister thing, where we do all of the remixes and it's a whole group thing. The other one is just another project of G-Stone which turned out to be really good and work well. I'm quite happy with that.
OTO: Now you all grew up in Vienna. Were there a lot of classical music
D: My parents were kind of heavily into classical, but I think Peter's mother was quite very much into bossa nova: she was a singer. But this was more like baby milk things. I think that the main influences came later.
OTO: You were classically trained in flute, right?
D: Yeah, guitar and flute.
OTO: It must be hard to grow up in a place which has always been the center
of classical music and then steer away from that.
D: Here in Austria, probably everybody gets a classical education, more or less. I just got heavily into this flute thing, and I played sonatas and scheilclef. I'm not so much into that anymore, but I still think I can play it.
OTO: What's the scene like in Vienna?
D: It's always like waves. The thing is, if people do something here in Vienna, then there's something happening. But since adjacent labels are really featured in Germany and England, people go there more than play here. So there's a scene, but it's more a friend's label thing. And there are no organized promotions; it's only from time to time and it's not so united, really. Also, drum an bass-wise, I think there's nobody here who has better information than we have, in terms of the new stuff. There are some good DJs here, and it used to be much more interesting for me to check them out than it is today. But international-wise, there are loads of people I would love to check out; in England, the jungle DJs like DJ Hype or Fabio or Grooverider or Roni Size.