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Interview: Sebastian Groth

Written by on 30/04/2022

For our latest interview we had a chance to speak with Sebastian Groth, a stalwart of the modern hard techno scene. Sebastian is a DJ, label owner and a producer who has been releasing music for over a decade.

With the majority of his output focused on his own imprint ReWasted, he has also featured on the likes of Industrial Strength, Kombination Research, and Naked Lunch.

As a DJ and a true entertainer with direct contact to the crowd Sebastian has always a smile on his face and a slightly ironic attitude to his own action. He gave the music genre that he represents the name “Powertechno”, which simply stands for peak time Techno perfect for dark warehouses! Expect to hear tough, driving rhythms with strong industrial influence, cause his heart beats 140BPM or faster!

Read more about Sebastian Groth’s latest releases and his techno style in the interview below.


 

Greetings Sebastian! Thank you so much for your time!

Being present in the German Techno scene for over a decade, how would you say the scene has changed?

First of all, of course, I want to thank you for your invitation! It’s a real pleasure to talk to you guys!

So, here’s the thing: I’ve been known as a professional DJ in Germany for approximately 10 years, but I’ve been a raver – and also a DJ – for almost 25 years. Since back then a lot has happened and changed. It feels like the scene is repeatedly going through a loop. And precisely this cycle went just back to the point where I joined at first in the late 90s.

At that time Schranz and Hardtechno were very popular in Germany and for the first time Hardtrance and Happy Hardcore elements have been mixed into early Hardstyle tracks. Currently I really enjoy this genre blurring process. During the pandemic the German scene renewed itself with a lot of young and energetic people – partying back again at illegal warehouse raves without any rules or limits – I mean, that’s the true spirit.

On the other hand, we have to face this “Business Techno” world which is only full of individuals which are interested in shining bright and making ultimate money – “Underground” DJs in private jets and festivals full of posers and wannabe influencers, as far as the eye can see. But here’s the thing: I’m not worried about this, because the same bubble already existed 25 years ago, at a time when the Smurfs or the Cookie Monster released their own “rave compilation for kids” and the government was join the Love Parade with an own promotion truck next to “the best reality tv stars” – very similar to today, but everything turned and we went back. I just hope that Hard Techno, as we currently face it, remains during the new cycle, because if I have to accept Minimal & Tech House as “the next new underground thing” again like I had to 12 or 13 years ago… OMG, I don’t wanna think about this (laughs).

Of course, I’m just kidding, but my heart definitely beats much more for the hard & dirty side!

As a representative of the subgenre “Power Techno”, how would you say you developed your sound? 140BPM or faster on a dancefloor is what the crowd expects, right?

The funny thing is that I came up with the genre to set myself free from a bunch of other sub genres. Actually, “Power Techno” was just the name for my Spotify playlist. My music has always been hard but funky. I don’t care which genre a track is labeled under, if it has the right energy, I use it in my mixes. Currently the foundation of my sound is Hard Techno / classic Schranz at 140 – 150BPM, but I also use tracks or elements from Tech House, Happy Hardcore, Psytrance or even from 90s Eurodance…

A lot of techno people trap themselves in this mind produced genre tunnel, you know? Like: “I only party to [insert the coolest techno subgenre here], all other genres suck” – I think you know what I’m talking about. In my opinion this attitude is totally stupid and just flat thinking. I always remember an interview from my old hero DJ Rush. Back in the early 2000s he said “I don’t fucking care how you call my music, because it’s not about a name, kids… it is only about the energy, baby!” And for me that is the fucking point. However, because so many people need a label for everything, I just try to classify my own sound as “Power Techno”.

 

Speaking of making music, how does your creative process start? As a producer do you prefer some key element you want to hear in a track?

I always start with building my drums and my basslines. After creating a foundation loop, I usually start trying out things with vocal cuts or melodies. When I find the right parameter adjustments and the funk kicks in, I usually finish a basic arrangement very quickly, but sometimes I also get lost super quickly in the final details. I always try to create maximum floor efficient sound, because I build music primary for myself and my mixes. If I finish a track and it works just as I want it to in my sets, it’s ready to release – That’s my point of view!

 

Your release ‘Full Frontal’ is available on vinyl. What can you tell us about this release and the idea behind it?

“Full Frontal” is the first release on my new sub label “Rewasted Black Series” and already available on vinyl + from May 7th it’s also available on Beatport and shortly thereafter on all other portals. It is a two-track EP written by me including remixes by Charlie Sparks from London, who is one of the absolute international breakthrough artists in my opinion and who is very pushed by Amelie Lens or Possession. The second remix is done by Valeriø Innørta from Rome, also an awesome producer who belongs around the 999999999 guys but is still rather under the radar for many people.

Your ‘Filthy Fuzz’ EP on T-Minus Records was more than noticed. How are you satisfied with the feedback so far? – Track is already 2 month released, think we better don’t use this question

We have noticed your latest collaboration with on ‘Waste’. Tell us something more about the release and how has your collaboration with Markus Weigelt started?

It’s a long story, and I’m sure Markus would tell it differently… He’s from the same small German town like me, but he’s 10 years younger than me, so we didn’t know each other 10 years ago. When I slowly became nationally famous in Germany as DJ, he was just 16 or 17 years old and he often texted me on Myspace – Perhaps you guys realize: This happened a very long time ago (laughs). Markus was like a little fanboy. A few months later we randomly met in a local bar and the evening ended like this: Each of us took an unknown girl to an afterparty at my place, but we had been so busy talking about techno, we totally forgot about the girls and for them the evening ended up differently than expected. After that night we never saw these chicks again, but since then Markus and I became best buddies (laughs). He is a great musical talent, but unfortunately, he is very introverted. That’s why I always try to help him, push him and spur him with my energy. He probably wouldn’t have released a track until today if I hadn’t. Although, if you look at his numbers, like monthly listeners on Spotify, or even his rank in the top 20 of best-selling artist on Beatport, it turns out that he has become one of the most successful German Hard Techno producers of the time. Despite our very long friendship, we have never released a collab together. Even though we talk about music every day and also helped each other a lot with projects. That’s why this release is really special for both of us.

What’s new with your own imprint ReWasted? Any upcoming releases or projects?

New is the sub label “Rewasted Black Series” that I just mentioned when we talked about my release “full frontal”. In the future the label will bring irregular releases of well-known artists in the harder Techno genre. But we have to figure out if the releases will also be released on vinyl, what was the usual plan, but: in cause of the current shortage of raw materials, resulting in the fact that pressing plants usually do not accept new labels or have endless delays. For example, the first release almost took 2 years in terms of production time. So, you see it’s a somewhat long-term process to release music on black gold.

I’m extremely proud of the fact that the ReWasted main Label currently is the 5th best-selling label for Hard Techno on Beatport, ahead of global players and legendary imprints such as Exhale, KNTX, Soma or Suara. Many people probably don’t know the label name at all, yet, but I’m pretty sure, the music we are releasing is known by many. For example, the track “Crysis” by N.O.B.A and Twins Project is currently a real hitter and played at almost all festivals by DJs like Amelie Lens, Charlotte de Witte or Richie Hawtin. However, it is also a lot of work to run the Label, because I almost manage every process by myself – From the artwork to the promotion – And we receive so many great demo tracks so that we can keep a bi-weekly publishing rhythm. Nevertheless, according to demos I had to set a send-in stop, because we are already full of good music over the next 1,5 years. During the next months we will release really great tracks & remixes by artists like: Shadym, Ayoko Mori, Lost Minds, the Enveloper, Zeuz, Basstrologe, Scarra, Siro or the Industrial Techno legend Stormtrooper, who will release in June for the first time since the last 10 years under his legendary alias “X-Tension”.

 

Are you working on new music?

Always! Currently I have a very good time in the studio and experience an excellent workflow. This is not always the case. I think every musician is familiar with the situation. Currently I’m working on remixes for Shadym, Kickrey or Markus Weigelt, and I also have some – as I think – great new tracks that will be finished soon. In addition to that I’m working on collabs with Matt Mus and Stormtrooper. What I’m also really looking forward to is the upcoming start of my new free download “Power Rave Tapes” – series. It will contain never released edits and remixes or bootlegs, that I created for my DJ mixes. And I know there will be a few tunes that some of my followers are definitely searching for a long time. So, keep your eyes and ears open for it!

Where can our readers hear you play in the forthcoming months April and May?

Actually, I’m touring a lot in Germany, as usual, but in April & May I am also in Lisbon or Austria. In addition to that there will be a very big and technically amazing produced livestream called “the Frame | Rewasted Videocast IV” on my YouTube channel on April 30th. Later this year there are already some great gigs planned, but most of them are still a “To Be Announced”-secret… Anyway, I can already announce festival gigs like: Nature One, Ruhr in Love or CNCPT. Plus, I will finally come to Colombia for some shows in October!

But to remain to your question: These are my current live dates:

01.04 Bad Breisig / Glasfabrik

16.04 Lisboa (PT) / Warehouse

23.04 Villingen-Schwenningen / Kulturzentrum

29.04 theFrame – Stream / YouTube

07.05 St. Pantaleon (AUT) / Sakog

20.05 Augsburg / Paradox

21.05 Würzburg / Airport

25.05 Berlin / Osthafen

28.05 Freudenberg / Siegener Rave

 

Thank you so much for the interview! I really hope to see and hear you all soon anywhere around the globe!

 

 

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