Interview with Marlon Hoffstadt

8 months ago by Matty Adams

We recently caught up with Berlin-born Marlon Hoffstadt and discussed his upcoming appearance at Wankelmut’s People From Ibiza showcase – Wankelmut Presents at Amnesia Ibiza, his latest EP release titled “Coach Mike” and how he likes to express himself musically on his label imprint, Retrograde.

Let’s rewind the tape back a couple of years to your famous collaboration with Dansson titled “Shake That”. This was a huge breakout record for yourself and provided you with a lot of publicity at the time. What was it that you were most proud of about this collaboration and what kind of windows do you feel this opened for you in your career?

I’m very proud of what Dansson and I made of this record music-wise. When I met him in his studio for the first time, I already had a short draft – this was completely different to the final version. We then worked on it, and I learned a lot from these sessions. I’m still happy with this track as I think its a good production. Of course, I can’t really listen to it anymore as I have played it so many times, but the track opened many doors for me and I got in contact with really cool people all over the world.

When I started Retrograde together with my partner, Natureboy Gold, those contacts have been very helpful, so I guess this track in that early stage of my career really opened many windows.

Where and when did you first perform “Shake That”? What kind positive memories does this record bring back for you? What does it remind you of the most?

I really can’t remember when I first performed “Shake That” but what I can remember is that the day when we released it on Play It Down, we would have never thought it would get this big. In the end, it turned out to stay in the top 10 for such a long time, and none of us were expecting that. But it also brings some negative memories back for me. After all the hype and success “Shake That” had, it was very difficult for me to move on with new original productions. I think I had a one year lack of creativity and it first came back about one-and-a-half-years ago when I started to plan and work on “Retrograde” together with Natureboy Gold and Matteo Luis. This track really showed me both sides, success and being forsaken.

Switching gears now Marlon, your latest EP release titled “Coach Mike” on your imprint, Retrograde, will be available on 29th July. Can you please tell us about the story behind this concept and what you were trying to achieve with it?

Both original tracks are built on the TAL Baseline 101, a little cheap VST synth that I found about two years ago. It has a really nice sequencer that allows you to build some pretty bouncy grooves with. This was actually the first EP I produced knowing that I wanted to work on something that I could play in the peak time of my sets.

The title of the EP comes from my favourite sweater. I bought it in a vintage shop about four years ago as I needed something to wear while I was painting my new flat. It’s a sweater from the Denver Broncos and has their logo on the back and a lettering in front that says “Coach Mike”. All of my friends these days know me with this sweater so I thought I might dedicate the EP to him.

This EP features remixes from both Massimiliano Pagliara and The Friend. How do these remixes differ from the original track and which one is your favourite and why?

I really can’t tell which one is my favourite as they both are amazing and so different. Massi’s remix kind of feels like an anthem and when I listened to it for the first time, I couldn’t stop smiling and dancing in my room. I was together with Matteo and Gerrit, and we all started screaming and laughing at each other.

Then one week later, I asked ‘The Friend’ for the second remix. I heard him play at our ://About Blank event in August 2015, he only played original tracks and I was so amazed by his down-tempo techno style that I just had to ask him to get involved. When I first listened to the remix, I couldn’t tell fully what I thought without playing or hearing it in a club. So I played it out and the reaction was incredible. This remix has so much energy that it can be the biggest highlight of your set when you drop it at the right time. So, I love them both and I’m really honoured to have them alongside my original tracks.

Your imprint, Retrograde, provides a platform for the artists to explore music alongside other forms of expression including art and surrealism. How do you like to express yourself with your music and what kind of feelings do you find easier to express with the help of music?

I’m a very emotional person, so for me, music is the perfect form to express myself. It’s also very helpful that I have two projects, my own as Marlon Hoffstadt and also as Tender Games, together with HRRSN. I guess as Tender Games, we’re really expressing our emotional side, it’s more poppy, more melancholic and full of love. My own music is more club orientated. I’m always thinking of how it will sound in my DJ Sets, or in clubs and festivals that I like to go to. So you could say in a certain way, that my music is more calculated. Of course, I’m also producing the way I feel and if I’m in a sad mood, also my own productions become more melancholic and emotional, but overall, this is more functional than Tender Games.

In terms of signing talent and music to your label, what qualities do you look for in an artist or a record for them to be considered Retrograde-approved?
Friendship. Our plan with Retrograde is not only to release original music from artists that we appreciate and dig; it’s more about giving us and our friends a platform to do whatever we want to do and to grow together. I guess, if I would start searching for other producers to sign them to Retrograde, I would never stop as there are so many talents out there. The good thing is that we at least ask them for a remix or book them to our event, even though we’re not asking them for original tracks.

One thing that we can guarantee will gain your seal of approval is the party capital of Ibiza. What do you love most about the White Isle and why?
Haha, I honestly can’t tell as this will be the first time I’ll play and party there. I’ve never been there but from what I can tell, this island must be an amazing place and it is also good for taking a time out and going on vacation, as I heard it has amazing beaches and nature.

On Sunday 21st August, you will join Wankelmut at his People From Ibiza showcase, Wankelmut Presents, over in the Main Room of Amnesia Ibiza. What are you most looking forward to about this performance and why?

As far as I know, I will do the opening so I’m really looking forward to building up slowly for Wankelmut. When he asked me to play at his event at Amnesia, I was so hyped and immediately started to watch live videos on Youtube of other DJs playing there. I then saw how big the room is and that the PA might also be superb, so I’m already looking forward to playing some original, upcoming but also yet unsigned tunes.

Wankelmut is of course an incredible performer. What are your thoughts on Wankelmut as an artist?

First of all, I have to say that we both are friends and that I don’t just like him as a artist, I also really appreciate him as a person. He’s a super chilled and friendly dude, and we used to live next to each other, so we met from time to time. Musically speaking, he already had a breathtaking career and I totally admire how he managed to handle and also evolve with all that hype he had in the very beginning. I have to say, I only saw him DJ once at HIVE, Zurich and that was really good! He brings a lot energy with him and is super professional, so I’m really looking forward to his set.

Marlon Hoffstadt recently released his latest EP titled “Coach Mike” on his label imprint, Retrograde. You can listen to it and purchase it at the links below:

http://www.decks.de/t/marlon_hoffstadt-coach_mike/c7q-0u
http://www.juno.co.uk/products/marlon-hoffstadt-coach-mike/619657-01/