Snuff Crew: “The masks are just a show element”
Snuff Crew are definitely familiar to listeners that like some good old acid and Chicago breeze. Their releases on established labels like International Deejay Gigolo Records or Playhouse have, of course, helped the familiarity.
Womb in Tokyo, Solyanka in Moscow, Sonar in Barcelona and many other important clubs and festivals have already experienced the Snuff Crew live session and there have been no complaints. It’s definitely time for their first visit in Vilnius. The visit will coincide with the start of Wormhole, a new series promoted by Pupa and Calli and conceptually very close to the essence of Opium club.
September 28th it is, and before the event I decided to talk to Snuffo and Zwo about their music and career. I didn’t take the masks off because it’s more fun that way. And good mood is definitely number one item in this project.
5 years is a solid age for an electronic music act; woud you say you are an established act? What career points have been the most important for you?
Well, under the name Snuff Crew we are making and performing music since 2008. But both of us already produce tracks since the 90s under different names and solo projects.
Important in our career were for sure the first releases on vinyl, the gigs at Berghain and in Japan, our own label Snuff Trax and of course our now coming third album “Behind The Masks” on BPitch Control.
What did you produce before?
We produced other sorts of dance music but also worked together on acid and techno tracks before we started Snuff Crew. We like to do different kinds of music from experimental/noise stuff to acid, techno, house, dub, electro and much more.
One of the tracks in your debut album was called Berghain, what are your feelings towards the club? Have the feelings changed since 2009?
Berghain is still a very special place and we enjoy it every time there, as clubbers and as performing artists.
Your third album is due October; I've read it will be the most conceptual so far. How can one interpret the name of it, “Behind the Masks”? Is your sound more naked in it?
With this album we want to show some more aspects of our music love. Of course Chicago house and acid house still play a big role, but on this album you also can hear tracks with songs arrangements and lyrics as well as a hip house tune and some oldschool electro. We consider this work as next step for us. But it does not mean than we will give up our love for jamming livesets and more puristic jackin tracks and remixes.
Did you choose to work with BPitch on this rather than Snuff Trax to get more attention to the album? Will Snuff Trax remain your ground for the singles, or will you focus on the artists you like there?
The plan was definitely to find a bigger label for this album. A label that is experienced with promoting and releasing artist albums. We think we have made a good choice with BPitch Control. This whole project was definitely too big for our little Snuff Trax imprint.
On the other side do we not really release much Snuff Crew tracks on Snuff Trax. At the moment it’s more an outlet for music of friends and people that we like. But no, we do not accept demos for Snuff Trax, hehe!
Do you use any analogue machines in your production to re-create the oldschool acid sound, or do you prefer the modern technology?
We produce most of our tracks with software and also play live with computers and controllers. We never have made a secret out of this actually. But in our studios you find some nice hardware too. Especially Zwo of Snuff Crew bought again a lot of gear in the last 12 months. But we use the analogue equipment for other projects and also like to jam with other friends.
What was your first encounter with Chicago and acid house, when was it? What made you stick to it?
On one side it was on German music television and radio in the 90s, on the other side there were some parties where Chicago House and Acid was played what influenced us a lot. The old recordings from WBMX radio shows from the 80s also had an impact. The fact that this music is really pure and honest is what we love. It makes you jack, it lets your body move and brings a lot of euphoria to the crowd.
Do you feel a lot of competition around you, both friendly and not exactly so? Is it hard to pursue a career in a city as full of good producers as Berlin?
We do not live both in Berlin. Only Snuffo moved there a few years ago and feels really good there between the crazy nightlife and lots of creative projects. But when he moved to there Snuff Crew had already a name in the scene and so it was not so hard to get in contact with a lot of nice people and promoters. But to move as newcomer to a city like Berlin and to hope to get directly gigs and fame will definitely not work.
And for sure there´s also competition because a lot of artists live there, but on the other side it cam be inspiring to meet so many interesting people every day and every weekend there and to have found an own place in the local music scene that allows you a lot of freedom.
When you spend time in the club before or after the gig; are you without your masks? Do people still recognize you or you can party unnoticed?
At our gigs we often like to arrive early at the clubs and to see how the night starts and develops, what vibe the DJ before us creates and so on. The masks are just a show element. We put them on before we start to play. After the set we are always happy to get rid of them. You can´t imagine how sweaty masks and jackets can be.
How is the music of Snuffo different from Snuff Crew?
The sound of Snuffo is more diverse with influences from various styles. Chicago House does not play such a big role as in Snuff Crew sets and acidlines do not appear. The way of performing the music live is similar to Snuff Crew, as it is also a jamsession with sounds and loops.
Tell me about the Croatian label Burek, how did Snuffo get signed there? Have both of you played in Croatia?
Snuffo was looking for a label for his “Missing You (All The Time)” and Burek was one of the labels he contacted. Friends like KiNK and Humandrone already released there so it seemed to be an exciting label. And they really liked to bring the record out. But neither Snuffo nor Snuff Crew have played in Croatia yet. We hope to get booked to there next year.
You were in Estonia last year; the live set was amazing I think! Are you frequent guests in the Northern/Eastern parts of Europe?
We would love to play more often in the North and East of Europe! Maybe some more promoters read this.
More facts about Snuff Crew in this Slices edition of Electronic Beats:
Snuff Crew @ Facebook
Snuff Crew @ Soundcloud
D.D. 2004 - 2016
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