Super Flu‘s entire approach to music shows that they are having a lot of fun. With track names like “Beyonce Bukkake” and “Beautiful girls have large handbags” they immediately destroy the traditional image of ‘serious German DJs’. But behind that image Feliks Thielemann and Mathias Schwarz have worked hard to create their own, contagious style of house. With their creative glue and sublime production they have been turning heads consistently since their first single in 2005.
Milestones along the way have seen them included on Lee Burridge’s Balance Series mix and signing a number of singles to the respected labels Traum and Herzblut (the first release on Herzblut that wasn’t label head Stephan Bodzin). What’s more, they have done it all without the ‘easy Berlin tagging’ that so many of their contemporaries have had. Instead, these German boys hail from the east in Halle (Salle).
They released their debut album, Heimatmelodien (literally, “Melodies From Home”), in March this year. It was published on their own label Monaberry and the first single, Oktavlachs, features the most amazing video clip. It breaks the usual drifting fantasies that fill dance music videos and replaces it with Thielemann and Schwarz as the centrepiece. Their lips, faces and ears are made to move in time with the beats and it simply has to be seen to be believed. It’s pure fun and these German boys want you to have it to their music.
What’s Halle (Salle) like as a place to live?
F: Halle is small, a bit dirty and not very exciting as a city. To the outsider, it might look like just every other average town with a population of 200 000 people. Many call it the “Gray Diva”, but it is the most beautiful city for us.
M: Yes, we have everything that you need to survive in this hard techno world. Our friends, our families, an airport and above all, all the comfort and silence that allow us to concentrate on our stuff. And in case we really miss the big city feeling or the DJ gossip, we can reach Berlin in just one hour.
Did you grow up there and was music a big part of your childhood?
F: My music education started at an early age in one of the oldest boys’ choirs in Germany. I think I was 6, when I wrote my first note on paper. And since then I cannot imagine my life without music.
M: I also started some many years ago to travel in our region to play in clubs and to try out to be a DJ. In the beginning I was playing cassettes, later vinlys… And at some point our paths crossed.
What inspired you to start creating music?
F: It is hard to say when it all started. I remember for example how I did my first recordings with Grandpa’s Herbert old tape recorder. I must have been around 7 years old. And later on I had my personal tape recorder and later a computer and I experimented by myself. After some time there were even things that I was happy with. But there is an artist, who has influenced us both a lot and this is Matthew Herbert.
Is this your philosophy of creating music? “Is your equipment rubbish? Trust your intuition, tickle the max out of the old stuff and squeeze inspiration out of everything you can lay your hands on!” And if so, would we find a studio full of old synths, squeezy childrens toys and strange objects for making noises? Perhaps even a reel to reel?
M: We have a small studio in the outskirts of Halle, where we go occasionally. There we have a number of selected instruments, effects, sequencers and beer. We believe it is very important to limit our opportunities, so in a way we are pushed to explore few instruments/effects, etc very intensively, which really helps us to be creative on the other side. This applies to everything else – be it a music program or a place to live in.
You released your debut album “Heimatmelodien” earlier this year. Tell us about the creation and inspirations behind the record.
F: The process was not very long, not like in the case of other artists. We rented a small house in Jonkoeping, Sweden for two weeks, where we hid from the world. We took our most important utensils from home and it was there, where we enjoyed life in its most pure form and we collected ideas. We had to pick wood for the fireplace, we went fishing and in the mean time we improved our instruments and software.
M: The complete material consists of different loops, recordings (for example we recorded the splashing of the water on the stones in the saune = white noise) and melodies, which were then mixed in our studio in Halle.
Have you been happy with how the album has been received?
M: Yes, absolutely. There was so much positive feedback from all sides. Even people who usually don’t listen to house and techno expressed a positive opinion. It is great honor for us and shows us that we did not do everything wrong.
You have a very fun feel in your promotion and your artwork. I wonder.. how would your best friend describe you if I asked them?
F: I believe that our artistic identity is not much different from what we are in reality. We are not trying to create a certain image, we want to be as real and honest as possible and reach high degree of authenticity. We have fun in life and in our music. Why shouldn’t we show this to the world?
Speaking of fun.. Who produced the Oktavlachs video clip?! It is a wonderful idea – very different from the usual dance video.
F: We like to give a personal character to our tracks – either through the right track name or through a video. Everything happens spontaneously though. We come up with some general framework, we call our friends, get an old camera rolling and it all starts to flow. We don’t need producers, who try to develop their scrip at all costs.
What are your Top 5 tracks at the moment?
Rüde Hagelstein – Emergency
Caribou – Sun
AndHim – Patty Sue (Super Flu RMX)
Veitengruber – Last Train
Oliver Klein & Kolombo – Chica Chica (Loko RMX)
What are your plans for the rest of the year and into 2011?
M: We will be taking good care of our labels Monaberry and Sunset Handjob. There is a release planned with remixes by Format: B and Dapayk and in the beginning of next year, there will be a new EP on Monaberry.
And, last but not least, what are your top 5 tips for Australians visiting Germany?
- go to the “Fusion Festival”
- eat white sausage with bretzel and sweet mustard
- visit “Charles Bronson” in Halle
- say yes to everything
- drink beer
Super Flu are touring Australia this month:
Check them out in Melbourne TONIGHT at Likes Of You: