Berlin-based Lovebirds, has been making music that unites the masses for over two decades now. A well-schooled DJ, whose sound is like taking a trip back to the seventies and eighties but in a gleaming and futuristic spaceship. Real name, Sebastian Döring, has a long and harmonic mixing style that draws out tensions and emotions between tracks. From boogie to Brazilian, original deep house to colourful disco edits via funk, soul and jazz, Lovebirds never fails to take you on a multi-dimensional trip. His timeless productions are polished but with a vintage finish, most evident in the global anthem ‘I Want You In My Soul ft. Stee Downes’ that has been transforming festival crowds into warm and smiling masses, now and since its release. Over the years he’s had outings on Freerange, Buzzin’ Fly, OM, Defected, as well as his own Teardrop Recordings, which started in 2008. He has been part of the legendary Knee Deep, and his edits and remixes of Funky Nassau and Afro Medusa’s Pasilda have been an important moments on the global house scene that we know today.
After a long break of extensive procrastination and studio gear acquisitions, Lovebirds returns with ‘Just Music & Me’. Made some fifteen years ago in his Hamburg studio at the height of his early production period, it was forgotten on the hard drive until his best mate, SIRS (Daniel Klein) began playing it again, and people started asking “what is that?”.
The title cut is a synth heavy, disco, boogie, house joint that’s understated fun at its very best. ‘Straightfromtheheart’, is a mid-tempo 80’s Italo boogie vibe with lashings of luscious arpeggios, and a vocoder hook that drops in the last breakdown for maximum spinal chills. Closing out the EP is ‘For Anna (Onward Journey)’. Dedicated to the late girlfriend of a close friend, born out of random melody sung into an iPhone while taking a walk, the resulting effort is a love drizzled Patrick Adam-esque slow disco healer. With wet delays, catchy lead synths and huge breakdowns, this killer cut works on discerning dancefloors and private after hours alike.
WWD: Hey Sebastian so good to talk to you! Where are you today and what are you up to?
I´m in the countryside in ibiza at a friends villa, its absolutely lovely! I will get some Italian dinner and NOT go to DC10!!
WWD: You are based in Berlin these days. What is it that you love about the city of Berlin?
The slow pace of everything and the beautiful things that all the international people bring to the city!
WWD: Where have you been the last few years? Have you been making music all the time?
I´m in the studio pretty much every day. I love my studio. I made so many tracks in the last few years but was too much of a perfectionistic to be able to let them go. I´m in the process of changing this and planning to annoy everyone out there with a ton of Lovebirds music over the next months and years. Sorry 😊
WWD: Where is your studio and what’s the most ‘important’ thing in it?
My studio is in Berlin Kreuzberg on a floor with 5 other studios. The most important thing that‘s not very sexy is my computer because everything runs through that, the most important sexy thing is probably my Fender Rhodes suitcase Mark 2 which is always turned on.
WWD: Knee Deep. How much of a part has this been in your career?
It was a great time – end of the 90s … the scene was so different and more interesting. If you were into house in the 90s, you really wanted it and had to put an effort in it. Not just click on some follow buttons. Highlights in those days was when some of your idols like MAW or Todd Terry played your music, it felt unreal.
Knee deep was me and my mate – he´s now a big shot in the music distribution and wont come back to the studio. But who knows, maybe i´ll do something under that name again. In the end I think Lovebirds isnt THAT different – I always say its the same ingredient with a little different packaging!
WWD: Did you ever think when you made ‘I Want You In My Soul’ that it was going to be as big as it was? When you were making it, when Stee was singing it, could you feel the bigness?
No I dont think I did. I remember spending ages on the mixdown and I had listened to it for more than a month straight and was so sick of it. I just wanted to move on and didnt expect anything.
WWD: Do you think that vocals play an essential part in anthemic songs? What is it you love about working with vocals?
I mean there are great instrumental tracks but there are 1000 times more vocal tracks. With a vocal theres a person speaking to you and that creates another level of connection. Its never really planned but most of the time I put some music together I think “this could be great with a vocal”
WWD: This new EP is showing a different side to your productions from soulful house to more of a new nu disco vibe. What are all the different sides to you in the music you love and make?
I would say my musical identity is based mainly between 1975 and 1985. And it is everything from soul, boogie, disco, pop (how good was pop music back then??), new wave, synth pop, jazz, Americana, Italo. I have a lot of music to be released in some of these genres.
WWD: How long has the Teardrop imprint been about?
I started the label with my friend Vincenzo, I think the first release was my “Gentle EP” in 2007. There were a few other artists involved but yeah its mainly my stuff at this point. But if theres a good demo by someone I´ll put that out no doubt.
WWD: Talk us through release a little – Just Music & Me..
‘Just Music and Me’ is a very old tune 😊 I think its from 2007! I played it out back then and actually for a long time and it worked great. But I was never happy with the sound. I´ve tried to give it a new mix at least 10 times over the last 15 years but there‘s something about the original. That energy and vibe that you have when you´ve just put it together – its the best, hard to recreate. So what I ended up doing is more like an edit of the original.
‘Straightfromtheheart’ is one of my most recent tracks. I think I got a new vintage Lexicon delay and was giving it a test with my Oberheim OB8. That is the arpeggio in this track. Then I added all the other stuff in an hour or so.
‘For Anna’ is a special tune … Anna was the girlfriend of my best mate Daniel (SIRS) she was very ill with cancer at that time and I went for a morning walk by the river and had this melody in my had. I sang it into my phone like I did a thousand times before but this time I actually did something with it on my laptop at home. I love the epic soulness of this track and now its Anna‘s soundtrack in disco heaven.
WWD: What other projects are you working on right now that you can share?
I’ve started working with an amazing jazz pianist called Uri Gincel 2 years ago. He´s amazing and super wide spectrum. We did some things as a duo but also did a few proper jam sessions with some of his favourite musicians in Berlin. I love this new aspect of music production where I am more of an engineer. But I also have many new projects with various singers coming which I´m excited about.
WWD: You have devoted most of your life to making music. If you didn’t take this path, what else do you think you might have done?
Well, I planned to go into finance but by some coincidence I stumbled into a small record shop in my hometown in Northern Germany in 1990 and I discovered house. My biggest passion besides music these days is cooking for sure. I cook almost every day, when I have a bad day at the studio I go and get some nice groceries and after 10 min of cooking I’m all chill again.