We had the chance to chat with the german producer, singer, songwriter and DJ Ruede Halgestein. He started his DJ career in the late-nineties, earned an Audio Engineer Degree at the SAE Institute and became a resident DJ at Watergate, one of Berlin’s most popular clubs. He tells us about his upcoming music his idea of the perfect remix, his favorite studio equipment and much more. Have a great read !
WWD: You’re Berlin born and raised, how has Berlin and the music culture there influenced you as an artist?
No Berlin, no Ruede – I would say. Love Parade, Tresor Club in the early 90s, WMF Club, Ostgut and Cookies in the late 90s and the amazing off party scene in the 2000s influenced me a lot and my home and residence club Watergate too. Berlin and Techno it’s a marriage and I am one of their kids.
WWD: How do you think Berlin clubbing culture has changed over the years?
It became very touristic and commercial, I mean it is still much more underground compared to other cities but it’s so not the same it was 20 years ago. But without all the people coming to Berlin and having parties for days, we would not still have so many night clubs. And they are still cool, even if I think we could have more innovative things going on.
WWD: You sang in a choir, played the guitar and dreamed of having a rock career. How did you then become involved in electronic music?
You read my bio, eh? Haha. Well, a DJ and a Rockstar became quite the same nowadays, isn’t it? Anyway, I was super self confident in presenting myself on a stage when I was younger, playing in bands, freestyle rap and breakdance. I can tell you, I was so bad in most of it! I think I had the deepest connection with Techno because I love dancing and my version of Techno always has strong influences of other diverse styles. So everything melted together like this. I am a copy and paste result of many things.
WWD: As an editor of many music magazines in Berlin, did this have an impact on you starting to learn to produce and mix?
Writing and producing music never had anything to do with each other, I would say. Just that I discovered new music while writing reviews. But that became a little weird and I decided to not write about other music anymore.
WWD: What was your first gig and how did you land it?
Well, the very first one must have been at a high school party. I brought the PA!
WWD: Who are some of your main inspirations and how have they effected your style? Are there any records that have made an impact on your sound?
Really too many to mention. My taste goes from Jimi Hendrix to Apex Twin and from Kate Bush and Korn.
WWD: You’re widely known for your remixing skills. What is your idea of the perfect remix?
Transforming the original to another style or level. I need to have an idea for a remix when listening to the original, otherwise I won’t do a remix. It must show another side of the track in the end. I don’t like it if it’s too far away and even if it is too close.
WWD: When remixing and producing, what are your favourite pieces of equipment and why?
Everything starts by deciding which original elements I would like to work with, mostly I end up with 6-8 things, which I start to play around with. So I need Ableton, that happens often while travelling. Then I take the stems to my studio and start with some drums, using my beloved MFB Tanzbär. Then I start jamming around with some Moog synths and others, recording for a couple of hours.
WWD: You recently remixed Yotto’s ‘Turn it Around’ on Anjunadeep. How did this release come about?
The label just asked me. But a fun fact… I met Yotto randomly at Watergate, he played before me and I had the chance to play my remix for the first time right after his set. He did not know me and I did not know him at this point.
WWD: Is there any particular impact you want to make with your remixes and productions?
I love new sounds and I try to not recreate things again and again and find my one style and sound. So I founded my own label DUAT Records and DUAT Folklore to spread my own vision of sound. I still believe dance music can be art.
WWD: Finally, what is coming up next for Ruede Hagelstein?
I did a very cool collab with WhoMadeWho on Watergate Records, a cover version of Björk’s ‘Violently Happy’. Start working on my new album right after this interview. No more remixes for a couple of months!
WWD: Thanks a lot for chatting with us Ruede !