Matthias Speck - Interview - Stereo Stickman

Matthias Speck Interview


Matthias Speck launched Mancha Recordings in 2008. He created it as a means of releasing his own music, as well as that of his friends, and any surrounding, musically like-minded people.

Matthias has declared that ‘diversity and expressiveness’ are the most essential criteria for Mancha’s music. The artists pick up the ‘early days’ sound of electronic music, and try to integrate their own impressions into it. It’s all pretty exciting, and there’s undoubtedly a lot to look forward to. We caught up with the Mancha founder himself to chat a little more about the record company and his other musical endeavors. Here’s how it went..

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Let’s talk a bit about your music – first and foremost, what’s the secret behind your success?

I started making music already in 2004 with DJing, using records and CDs. It took me more than a year to learn how to beat match correctly, but afterwards I really enjoyed mixing manually without using a computer. I like it this way down to the present day, because DJing without computers gives me a more direct connection to the music. Pretty soon after I started DJing I also began to produce my own music. My first track was finished in 2005 and became released two years later on vinyl.

Also, in 2007, some friends of mine and me started a small festival in a quarry near Leipzig, named Gratwanderung Festival. This was a lot of fun, and we learnt a lot from it. Artists like Ricardo Tobar, Steffen Bennemann, Nathan Fake, Daniel Stefanik, Lauer; Erobique, Luvless & M.ono, Filburt, and others played at Gratwanderung.

One year later, in 2008, I started my own record label ‘Mancha Recordings’, to release my own music and tracks from musically like-minded friends. Later we also launched another label named Gratwanderung Musik, where we also released records produced by Gratwanderung artists from time to time. But currently our focus is releasing music on Mancha Recordings again.

The next EP will be a record by Rik Elmont. He is a friend of mine for many years, has already released music on Aura Karma Records, and is also a long term member of the Nachtdigital Festival team. He is currently doing some really warm and dirty sounding analogue stuff that I really like. All the tracks have been recorded with an old AKAI tape recorder.

Tell us about your EP..

Back For Good is a project I started to release kind of old school sounding music influenced by 80s New Wave, Electro, Chicago House and Detroit Techno. We called the EP Hello Again because we had a ‘short break’ with Mancha Recordings and haven´t been releasing music on this label for some years. The Hello Again EP is the first record after this break, and is some kind of a ‘reboot’ for Mancha.

That doesn’t mean we want to change everything completely. The main focus is still on having fun with it, but our sound has changed a bit over the years, and there also is a greater focus on the artwork now. Some years ago we just stamped the records and hand-numbered them. This was funny, but after a while you tend to repeat yourself because you can only change the colour of the stamping ink. Now our artwork is done by Belorado, a long-term friend of ours who is doing collages based on old books and photos.

How did you feel when you released your first album Matthias Speck – Zehn, in April, 2014?

I use my real name Matthias Speck to produce music that connects Electronica with classical music, based on instruments like pianos, cellos, violins and contrabasses. After ten years of making music and releasing tracks, I felt it would be time to make my first album. The intention was to bring the range of the music I’m doing together in one album. Some of the tracks are more related to classic Techno and House, like the tracks Alte Tante Techno and Bauhouse. Some others are more experimental, like Konzertreise and Voggenreiter Drum Ensemble. I like doing both, but I think in the future I will do more of the experimental stuff :-).

Where would you most like to perform?

Currently I’m mainly focused on producing and releasing my own music. In March I have released a new EP on Mancha Recordings, and now I work on some remixes of 80s New Wave tracks. DJing or playing as a live act I do just from time to time. When I DJ I prefer to do it back to back with my buddies Belorado or Benjamin Schneider. For me, there is no special location where I would like to play, but I prefer playing in the morning when the sun comes up. I also like DJing for more than 3 or 4 hours, and making music on the radio – because you can play more experimental music there.

Do you set goals for yourself, and if so – in what way?

I don’t set goals, I just do music for fun, to be honest. I also have an ‘ordinary’ job that I really like and that also makes me financially independent from selling music. This helps me to make exactly the music I like. For me, the music thing is only a passion. Of course, I’m happy if there are people who like and buy it, but I´m not planning to make a regular income out of the music.

What motivates you to do your best work?

For me, it’s always that moment when you get the record from the pressing plant, and put it on the turntable – to hear how it sounds from ‘a DJ point of view’. Probably this sounds strange, but it is always a different listening situation from producing the music using gear, guitar and computer, to the moment you play it from a real record for the first time. Probably it is because you have heard many other records being played from a turntable and you can directly compare it to your own stuff. This is ‘the moment of truth’ and I’m always a bit nervous about it. 🙂

Do you have any hidden talents?

Up to now I thought there wouldn’t be any hidden talents. Two weeks ago I started cooking. My colleagues enjoyed the meal, but probably they were on the brink of starvation. What I’m definitely not able not do is drawing and calligraphy ;-).

Tell us about your achievements as a founder of Mancha Recordings?

I like to release my own music and tracks from musically like-minded friends on Mancha. This is fun enough, but of course, it´s always a good feeling when you see that music released on Mancha Recordings is being played by the heroes of our youth – like Âme, Osunlade, Stacey Pullen, and others.

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There’s so much to look forward to; head over and check it all out for yourself. Find Mancha Recordings over on their Website. Find and follow Matthias Speck on Soundcloud, Youtube, and Twitter. You can also find out more about his other musical projects over on the artist’s own Website, plus the official site for Back For Good, and the official website for Gratwanderung Festival. Don’t miss out. 

Rebecca Cullen

Founder & Editor

Founder, Editor, Musician & MA Songwriter

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