This week we caught up with Rebar, the joint venture of Berlin- and Dresden-based Andreas Pionty and fumée grise. Together they run "made of CONCRETE" as well as being the driving force behind "Körper" a party series which started in April 2017.
Their latest release, a stunning three track EP entitled Rebar 001, is out on their eponymous label, available on vinyl only.
So tell me about your name Rebar, and the name of your label, are they linked?
We wanted to link the name of our label "made of CONCRETE“ and our DJ/producer project, so we decided to name after the metal in reinforced concrete. We thought, that this is exactly what we’re doing (as label owners) with the label and it fits really nicely to our sound and the music we like to create. Our second self-titled label "Rebar“ is than even more linked to our artist name.
How did they two of you meet and what made you decide to collaborate?
That is a funny story, we met each other around 2010 at a gig we were both booked for in Dresden . We had to play a spontaneous back 2 back set even though we didn’t know each other. One of the turntables was broken so one of us played with vinyl and the other one with CDs. After that experience we stayed in touch became friends. Over the years we talked randomly about doing a label and after the label was born we did some label showcases. We still played under our solo names mostly, but in 2016 we had with the label a b2b showcase where we played together again and this was actually the moment were we decide to do it on a regular base under one moniker.
And what made you decide to launch a label?
Our label is called "made of CONCRETE“. We don’t really remember where the name came from, but the idea was there before the concrete label idea. In the past we had a lot of conversations around the topic of how music should fit the room and this is how the name popped up. As we both also shared the dream to run a platform to release music of friends and artists we like, we decided at one point to turn the name we had already in mind into a label. It was just felt right to do it at the time we did it. With the "Rebar“ label it’s also a quite spontaneous decision. The thing is that "made of CONCRETE“ is now three years old and has a sound it stands for. With the label "Rebar“ we also want to release music from us which would not fits to "moC“ and this is why we decided to create a platform were we can do whatever we want.
You also run a party if I’m correct? Tell me about that.
Yes that’s true. Currently we run two party series. Since the label start we’re doing our label nights in different cities in Germany and Europe. At this night next to our label acts we always invite friends and artists we like. Till now we invited acts like Markus Suckut, Henning Baer, Andre Kornert or Andrea to name just a few. The second one is a queer party series called "Körper“ which we do at the TBA Club in Dresden. There are many people travelling to other cities like Berlin or Leipzig to party and feel at home at events with this background. With "Körper“ we try to give them a place in Dresden to feel free and accepted like they do in Berlin for example.
Your first release is vinyl only if I’m correct – are you both vinyl purists?
On "Rebar“ we release only on vinyl that's right. On "made of Concrete“, we also release on digital, but yes, as DJs we would call ourselves vinyl purists. At the moment we play 100% with vinyl. Sure we always have USB sticks with us as backup as you never know if the technic works like you wish. All vinyl DJs know the problems with turntables in clubs!
So after this current release – what have you got planned for 2018?
In March we release our track "Morning Routine“ as part of the "Winter Camp 4“ compilation on ETUI Records which comes out on vinyl+digital. We’re really happy to be part of this release exactly in the year of the label’s 20th anniversary.
Currently we’re also working on a remix for Marco Bruno which should come out on "made of CONCRETE“ in April.
After this we will start to work on another "Rebar“ release which hopefully comes also out in 2018. Let’s see if we’re productive enough.
Will you be releasing on other labels as well?
We want to release on other labels too but currently we’re focused on new productions for our "Rebar“ label. On "made of CONCRETE“ we’re going to release remixes only that we can keep the focus here on our label artist.
Do you plan to bring other artists to your label?
For "made of CONCRETE“ we are always looking for new remixers and guest artists but our "Rebar“ imprint will stay as playground for us. So no other artists or remixers planned.
I’ve been really enjoying what I’ve heard from the first release from Rebar – how would you best describe your style of music?
For us and our productions our aim is to always surprise us and our listener, so we somehow hope that we will never have a fixed style. We don’t want to be stuck in a specific genre, we just want do what ever we like to do. Sure in our core their will be always a connection to the Techno music as we mostly play Techno sets, but you never know. Maybe our track #1.2 was just a beginning and soon we might play lot more of this kind of stuff…or it was just an "accident“. We don’t know.
How was your current release made, did you start off with an idea or were you just jamming and then eventually pieced the track together later?
For this release we had a quite clear concept in mind as we had a bunch of field recordings we wanted to use for the whole EP. But the way how the tracks sounded at the end was just jamming. This is actually the way we try to work. Using field recordings as fundamental elements to tell a story but the direction of how this story get’s told just happens in the moment.
What does your studio setup look like?
The studio setup we use for these sessions is a basic one. In general we work with Ableton, the microKORG synthesizer, NI Maschine and of course a fieldrecorder
Do you have any unusual pieces of equipment?
We don’t know if it’s unusual, but we often use also our smartphones to record sounds.
Is there anything you would like to add to your studio setup?
Not really to be honest. We’re fans of a quite stripped down setup.
What does 2018 look like for you in terms of DJing out and about?
The first big thing for us is our label night at Salon, zur wilden Renate in Berlin on 17th February. We’re happy to celebrate here our third label birthday together with our guest and the label family Roberto Clementi, Alex S, Toni Dextor and May Hirokawa.
We will do some more parties in Berlin and Dresden this year and the rest we will see. The year just started so we’re quite excited what comes in the next month.