The latest edition of the ‘In Conversation’ series sees When We Dip catching up with Mia Lucci, the mind behind Get Physical’s tastemaker imprint Kindisch. In addition to running operations at the label, she has also proved her might in the studio with a string of impressive releases for the outfit in recent years. But she hasn’t stopped to look around! February 3rd sees a brand new EP titled Screenplay dropping on Kindisch. We got the story behind the record, her drive to keep tearing down the boundaries and her thoughts on modern music consumption.
Tune into Mia Lucci live with an exclusive new mix for the When We Dip radio-show on Ibiza Sonica – Thurs, Feb 2rd, 3pm EST / 9pm CET.
WWD: Thanks for joining us Mia, Happy New Year!
Thanks for having me guys. Happy new year to you too.
2017, what do you hope to make of it?
We have a baby on the way so the touring has been put on hold for now. Its been a double blessing because its created more time for me to be in the studio and focus on running the label. If our little girl (its a girl!) is a breeze then I hope to return to touring relatively quickly, make it to Ibiza for the summer and continue with rolling out label showcases in Berlin and other parts of the world. There are 2 completed EPs, both coming out early this year and with any luck there will be 3 more releases and a couple of remix projects by end of year.
You’re starting strong with a three tracker on Kindisch. When did you put the tracks together and where was your focus?
The first EP was written in October of last year after the Burning Man Festival. I had to be in NYC at this point so I set up a little studio while I was there. I wanted the EP to reflect a more classic house sound with some quirky elements. It was one of those projects that just worked.
How do you go about assuring that the label continues to push its own boundaries?
Our releases to date come from feeling. Its not a magic formula of any sort. What comes out on Kindisch is a reflection of where my label partner Philipp and my taste is at a given point in time. I’m no bible, but my sense is that the success of any successful label is this authentic undertone and that it’s constantly evolving. In 2016 Kindisch was about down tempo music with ambient elements and this year it will be more along the classic house sound. One thing we are constantly looking for is music that is authentic. You can hear it when you listen to it. When a producer sends us music we can tell if the music has been forced or copied, or if it is truly their own. As artists we all struggle to find this authenticity. It’s a really difficult concept to explain. But I think most artists understand what I’m talking about.
It’s really clear if it’s music that has been created from a place of genuine authentic taste and feeling, not because they are trying to be or produce something that they’re not.
Using a blank canvas to create something unique, intricate, sophisticated but also something that moves people is truly a skill.
With regards to running a label, I’m not sure I have the secret to success here ☺but finding and releasing the type of music I just mentioned is how we plan to continue to run Kindisch. We spend a lot of time working with a range of different artists in the studio and are constantly listening to new stuff. Music that resonates with us on a personal and creative level, that’s interesting and timeless or it captures a certain time period and also reflects this intricate, sophisticated and mesmerizing sound that Philipp and I love. I think when we create music we have an opportunity to leave a legacy. We want Kindisch to be this platform from which our artists can leave not just an independent legacy but a collective one as well.
WWD: Your work behind the scenes at the label has been to great effect. It’s a budding imprint with an increasing following. How did you first get involved and what does your current day to day include?
When I moved to Berlin 3 years ago, Philipp and I were going through music from the back catalogue of the label. We had a million lengthy conversations about the state of the underground music scene, the music being released and what we felt was missing and needed. We knew that Kindisch had real potential but because of the demands of our sister label Get Physical it had taken a back seat. We discussed that with a little more love Kindisch could become something special. We partnered up (also with our other partner Roland) and started to take more active control of the A&R. That’s essentially my role with the label. Curating the music direction and showcases. We have an amazing team of people in our Berlin office. The guys work really hard. Everyday. We’re very lucky to have them.
WWD: Can you tell us a bit about the vision behind Kindisch?
Other then it being an opportunity to leave a creative legacy in the art and music world, simply put, we want to contribute to creating memories, experiences and plain and simple fun. We want to capture moments in time that are creative, but also to reflect music that is timeless. The human race can sometimes focus too much on all the things wrong with the world, if Kindisch can relieve a little of that negativity through our music and showcases then our job is done.
WWD: What does Kindisch represent for the Get Physical family?
The label is fortunate to be so closely tied with Get Physical. Other then sharing back office systems, the two labels sit very independently of one another. In the same way GPM has developed its own musical ethos, so has Kindisch. Its very similar to a brother sister relationship. Both labels have the same parents (for example, the use of the same back office systems) and both share certain qualities and values (including releasing good quality music) but both also live very separate lives with very separate goals (for example, the type of music we release, the types of friends and followers we appeal to and the types of characteristics and qualities we embody). And like most brother sister relationships, at times there is an overlap.
WWD: Would you have core beliefs or pillars yourself when it comes to the successful running of a label be it artistically or operationally?
Artistically, the whole authentic standpoint remains a really important one for me. Even though I know it can be really difficult. For me included. But we should try to avoid fitting into anyone else’s mould – creatively (and a general life lesson☺☺). Not to get too spiritual on this but sitting in silence and listening to that inner voice of who we really are and what we really are feeling at any point in time is how authentic music is created. And as with anything it may change over time. The incessant noise and criticisms of corporations looking to influence and also people around you can be a difficult thing to ignore at times. But as an artist, you have to do it. Just ignore it or simply care less. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a constant battle for me too, but it is definitely a way of being I try and live by. Out of the head and into the heart a friend of mine used to say.
On the flip side, when it comes to running a label from an operational standpoint it doesn’t have to be structured. In fact, its probably quiet the opposite. I think having established systems and a good team of people gives you a better chance at surviving in what can be a very fickle industry. Kindisch is lucky in this sense.
WWD: This is a topic that intrigues us at the moment – the lasting value of a track or a composition in electronic music seems to be diminishing by the second in terms of listener consumption. As a label boss, how do you view this situation?
Tell me about it ☺ This is an issue I have been battling with ever since we made the transition from vinyl to CDs, USB and Laptops. For better or for worse the underground music scene is flooded with music each week. As an average from the last 2 years a recorded estimate of 20,000-30,000 tracks were released each week on beatport alone. There is an ability for listeners, DJs and aspiring DJs to consume so easily. The care that used to exist with purchasing a piece of music no longer exists. 10-15 years ago if you wanted to have the best music collection you had to be the first person at the record store on a Tuesday morning (or be friends with the guy/girl who was working there). Music was at an age where vinyl was special and in limited supply, it was difficult to replicate (if possible at all for most) and your choice of new tracks each week was limited to what you could afford or what was in your closest store. It was also much more expensive then downloading a GB of music for free from your friends.
Because of technology and ease of access to music and releasing music, consumption has been cheapened, as it’s no longer this special sanctimonious ritual where you invest time to psychically hunt for new music. On the other hand, I love that this shift in technology has removed the barrier that once prevented talented and otherwise undiscovered producers and DJs from being recognized. It has provided a more accessible avenue where they can release the music they make and access crate-full’s (or folders full) of music affordably and perform to a crowd if that’s their dream.
This is part of the beauty of Kindisch. Its provides artists with an opportunity to be recognized that would otherwise remain undiscovered and without necessarily having to be in “the scene”. In this sense we are 100% about good quality authentic grass roots music.
WWD: Is there any solution to reverse the process or for re-creating that value in the eyes of the end listener?
The value of music for me came from those moments when I was on the dance floor and the DJ played something that blew my mind. I didn’t know where it came from or what it was. It just moved me. This mystery was dissolved with the advent of apps like shazam and the increased ease with accessing music.
A solution to creating that air of mystery again is by going back to vinyl only releases so that your specially selected bag of music cant so simply be shazamed and re downloaded at the press of a button. For me also, a little more of my time will be spent in the studio to create and remix music specifically for my sets so that there is something more unique to include. Some producers nowadays are also producing music and holding onto it for at least 10 years before they share it. It might sound selfish, but reality is no ones complaining when their mind is being blown on the dance floor by something they have never heard before. There is always magic to mystery. And if neither of those options options sit well with you there’s always the Live route.
WWD: Does this issue impact on how often you decide to release as a label?
We have an audience that’s hungry for music, so even though music is more quickly consumed, and in and out of trend faster than it has been previously, it’s a very hungry crowd and we have so much music sitting in our office. Perhaps you could say it would be selfish not to share it.
WWD: Music wise, what else can we expect from you as an artist in 2017?
What I am enjoying right now is classic house and techno. My music is progressively getting harder, with more complex drum patterns, percussions and a lot of quirky organic FX elements. Exploring increased use of various pieces of analog equipment in an experimental way is also adding its own little spin to the music I’m working on.
Thanks guys for this. Interesting questions. Appreciate it a lot ☺☺
Mia Lucci – Screenplay EP is out February 3rd on Kindisch Records