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Interview: Stefan Obermaier

today20/04/2023 11

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We sit down with Italian Austrian progressive talent Stefan Obermaier to discuss his latest release ‘Ina / Voy’ on his Drift Recordings imprint. We discuss label management, Stefan’s inspirations and of course the music…

How are you, how has the year been so far?

I’m good thank you, the year has been very productive so far with some good gigs and releases, so I’m very grateful.

Tell us about Drift – What is the musical outlook and vine of the label?

Drift is my own label, which I created in 2012. It’s my playground where I have the opportunity to release what I want, whenever I want.

What is the motivation? Why do you run it?

A main motivation is that I have complete artistic freedom and can release stuff I’m in the mood for at that moment, without having to adapt my sound accordingly. When you release at other labels, sometimes there is a one year wait until that track sees the light, so at Drift I’m much more flexible. Also, the whole working on the release process is fun, maybe not on a regular base, but at least once in a while.

What are the best and worst bits about having a label in 2023?

Releasing my own tracks and having solo responsibility allows me to learn something new with every release, as the process is dynamic and always evolving. Generally, I think there is way more to do than in previous years, especially when it comes to promotion and social networking. On the downside is, of course, the almost non-existent income from the streaming platforms. On the flip side, it’s always great to see the number of plays and its outreach, especially when a track generates good exposure.

How did you hook up with richard dorfmeister at first? Why does it work? What have you learnt from working with him?

As we were both living in Vienna our paths had to cross at some point. It started when I did a remix for his Tosca project, from there on we started to do some remixes and collaborations together. Richard’s sound has always influenced me when I started doing electronic music, I think we have a good flow together.

What inspired and influenced your new release on drift?

I guess it was just something that I was in the mood for in that moment, bit more of a nu-disco sound with an organic positive sunny vibe.

What is your current studio setup like? what gear, hardware and software is in it?

Besides couple of analog gear like the Juno-60, Moog Sub37 etc. I work mainly in the box and love to be able to do that from everywhere. My centerpiece is Logic Pro, besides all kinds of softsynths and effects of course, but I also reduced quite a bit in what I use, trying to stick to the stuff I really love and know best.

Are you thinking about setting, clubs, dancers when making tune for just your own emotions?

Of course, these things are in the back of my mind when working on a tune, because there is nothing more inspiring to me than people who are connected to the music, whether it is in their homes or on the dance floor. Usually, my indicator for a good track is when I start to whip on my own while producing it 😊

Where is your best environment as a dj? A small dark club or a huge outdoor festival stage? late at night or early so you can play slow and eclectic?

I honestly prefer smaller to mid-sized clubs as I am way more connected to the audience and able to feel the energy on the dance-floor. You normally don’t have that on bigger stages where the audience and the main soundsystem is far away from you. Having said that though, playing for thousands of people of course has its own kind of magic.

What else have you got coming up?

I have quite a number of exciting things in the pipeline right now ranging from EPs, remixes and collabs, so stay tuned!

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