For DJ and producer Marcel Herrschaft, the journey into the realm of electronic music began in the mid-90s - to be more precise, with DJ Piet Blank's radio show "1Live-Partyservice". Showing off in the schoolyard with the recorded tapes of the show and sneaking out at night for club visits became a habit. His first record release followed (Megamind - Taub? - Underground UND1043), along with first DJ gigs, his own event series, and last but not least his first produced songs. After a few frustrating years of making contacts via demo tapes with numerous labels, he decided in November 2020, after graduation, to found the label "Pottwerke". Now he has the release of future music in his own hands.
What can you tell us about your inspirations and the creative process of your new single?
Well, if there's one thing that defines Pottwerke, it's a warm sound, owing to working with heavy equipment. My passion for analog synthesizers, equalizers, and compressors started just like my passion for records, in the 90s. I am a passionate collector of old, original equipment. There is a constant background noise and hum in my studio. Machines always drive the room temperature beyond 25°C.
The process of composing for me must consist of physical labor. I scurry from one corner to the other, turning knobs, pushing buttons, or patching cables. Nothing is perfect and preferably nothing is digital. Of course, I don't record to tape, which means I can't do it entirely without a digital DAW. But I try to do most of the composing, mixing, and mastering out of the box. That's exactly what I want to project on my songs, "Esperanto" included. My biggest inspiration is Mauro Picotto with his previous releases on the labels "BXR" & "Alchemy" and Tiesto's releases on "Magik Muzik". In terms of workflow and technique, Robert Babicz is certainly a great role model for me.
What can you tell us about your experience with Spotify and the other streaming and download platforms?
In my bachelor thesis, I already dealt extensively with the strategic positioning and management of a music label in the age of digitalization. I was also lucky enough to conduct several interviews with experienced artists and label owners. Digitization makes the music market accessible to everyone as a supplier. On the one hand, this is good, because it gives every creative person with a small budget a chance to make money with music, even if it is very small. On the other hand, this mass of music makes the market very confusing and the quality suffers.
By eliminating physical media, the ecological footprint changes in favor of the environment, and labels can save time and costs in supplying media and distribution. Labels can expect the Mp3 to be eliminated entirely. They can prepare for this by strategically adjusting marketing and their production because as statistics from the labels and the music association show, downloads are becoming less and less important.
There is a desire on the part of the labels to bring more quality back into the music world, to put labels more in the foreground, and to build up artists slowly instead of seeing them as assembly line workers. Digitization and low barriers to market entry pose the risk of anonymization for artists and labels. However, these are developing strategies to put a face back on artists and record labels.
Through personal interaction with consumers, benefit options through memberships and cooperations with local businesses, a lasting bond, and a familiar idea is sought. Music is no longer at the forefront of revenue streams. Rather, it has become a promotional tool that drives live business as the main source of revenue.
What are your plans for the next months?
My drive is solely quality, authenticity, and fun with music. Originally, I had planned to put out a release every month. But when fun and quality started to suffer under my homemade pressure, I stopped exposing myself to it and suddenly the regularity came all by itself.
Nevertheless, I'm happy to announce that the next EP called "Abofalle", consisting of a slightly heavier acid track and a more progressive techno track, will be released on Pottwerke in early December. This would be the thirteenth release on my label.
For the future, it is planned to discover more artists and to inspire them for Pottwerke. Currently, only one other very talented live musician named Lottzen is releasing with me. But I am not only looking for musicians. Designers and illustrators are always welcome as well. I love to combine the art of sounds with the art of pictures. So designers from the fashion industry, photographers, and art students were already allowed to immortalize their work on five cover arts.
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