Âme: No Déjà Vu

The inclusion of Larry Heard’s creepy-as-hell ‘Déjà Vu’ on the fourth installment of Innervisions’ Secret Weapons series was a masterstroke in maintaining the vitality of an already much-cherished part of the label, but while Kristian Beyer and Frank Wiedemann have almost certainly been inspired by Heard’s tones and textures over the course of their career, it’s difficult to see them taking much from the lyrical sentiment of the track.

In their relatively short career Âme have been amongst the most forward thinking production teams in the business, with a series of releases that have played a huge part in establishing the Innervisions label as a safe-haven in a sea of ill-considered and disposable clubtracks. In 2007 they contributed a track to a compilation of songs which soundtracked a ballet performed by Staatsballett Berlin at Berghain. The track, Fiori, remains one of the jewels in the crown of Ostgut Ton’s back catalogue, and I can recall John and I both having it on rotation on our iPods on a train from Warsaw to Berlin around the time it came out. Lame story, but true.

I caught up with Kristian in the run up to his appearance for Warm alongside Dixon at The CAMP last month to find out a bit more about what he and Frank have been up to, and what’s in store for the coming months. They have also risked the wrath of The Dictator by allowing us to stream the new Âme 12” nearly 2 weeks before its release. According to Kristian the new release is their tribute to Marcel Duchamp, but to me it mainly sounds like doing a solo in an abandoned warehouse. Either way it’s unmistakably the sound of the big boys coming out to play, and there’s the tiny weeniest hint of a vocal on the A-Side, which is new for them. You can check it out below the interview. (EDIT!!! The Wrath of Dixon struck and we had to take these down – permission from Kristian but he didn’t get it from the boss. I’m planning to play one of the tracks at SD5 though so come and hear it then if you’re reeeeaaaalllly desperate, which would be a bit weird.)

This interview was originally published on the Warm blog. I’ve also included a couple of Innervisions posters (the Ame one at the top and the other one at the bottom) which I posted to the Warm blog last year, just because I remembered them and they’re pretty cool. They’re by Anisha Peplinski who does a lot of design stuff for us at Warm.


Tell us about how you came to meet Frank and how Âme began.

We met through the record store where I used to work before it became my own shop.

Did you both come from similar musical backgrounds?

That’s hard to say as there are so many different kinds of music that we like and also that we used to like… I was probably more of a techno kid and Frank more of a soul guy when we first met.

You’re both quite well known – and this also is true of Innervisions in general – for taking a long time over all your releases… What’s the process like when you guys work together in the studio?

It’s quite hard to satisfy ourselves. The process in production is getting harder and harder as we learn and experience so much besides making the music, so we want to put that into the final product too. Being very critical and trying not loose the natural fun in making music is another thing you are confronted with. At the end I am happy with that as I can still look back to our old stuff without being dissappointed.

As head of Innervisions along with Frank and Dixon how do you guys go about selecting the music you’re going to release?

It’s quite similar to the studio work as there are always long, tough – but prolific – discussions. This is where our project name “A Critical Mass” comes from.

The 4th chapter of the Secret Weapons series just came out. What is the process behind putting those releases together? You’ve had some big names so far (Larry Heard on this one, Francois K’s Nina Simone remix on Part 2… Is it difficult to get tracks like that licensed?

Actually not really, you just have to find them at the right moment sometimes.

You’re doing the next Temporary Secretary mix for Innervisions. Can you tell us about that? Are you approaching it any differently to mixes that you’ve done in the past?

As with all projects there should be something new with every new CD you are doing, as there are so many DJ mixes out there and we dont want it to be just another one. I don’t want to say much more as there is always a process behind it and we’re just at the beginning of this.

What have you been working on recently? You’ve just finished work on another 12″ with Dixon and Henrik right?

We worked on our new twelve inch as Âme which is dedicated and based around our appreciation for Marcel Duchamp. There is also another Schwarz/Âme/Dixon release in the pipeline and hopefully the CD for our silent movie soundtrack of “The Cabinet of Dr Caligari” will see the light of day soon, and there will be a super limited vinyl package of that available in our webshop too.

Will there still be a live A Critical Mass CD following on from the 12″ that came out earlier this year? Do you plan to do any more live shows with that project?

Everything we do together is part of “A Critical Mass” so there is a lot of stuff coming out in the future but I dont think we will do live shows again similar to the one we did last year.

What with the collaboration between Ame and Staatsballett Berlin and recently your work on a new soundtrack for Robert Weine’s ‘The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari’ is it fair to say that collaboration is something that you and Frank both thrive off? And can you tell us a bit about that soundtrack?

Yeah of course we want to do more stuff like that, but music for films or for the theatre is something a lot of artists want to do, so it is a tough market to break into. But we like the idea of reaching out to a different audience. The sound track for Robert Wiene’s movie we will hopefully perform in some selected spots around the world that are not directly linked to the club context. So probably it will be in some museums or cinemas.

You’ve recently been in the studio with Nicolas I:Cube… How are those sessions coming along?

Frank and Nicolas have been in the studio for a couple of days collecting ideas and doing jam sessions so now everyone is working on the tracks on their own. We will see what happens, but i think there are already some great tracks on the way.


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