Einzelkind, the artist named Arno Völker, is part of a small collective of producers and DJs within Frankfurt’s techno scene. Known best for their love of stripped-back house and techno, their music is tied closest to Frankfurt suburb Offenbach, and more specifically the region’s best club, Robert Johnson. A number of different crews make up this group of artists: one of them is Völker’s label Pressure Traxx, while others like Traffic and HardWorkSoftDrink share a similar musical ethos.
Though he was making music long before Pressure Traxx, in the last six years it’s the main outlet Völker’s become known for. He’s released seven of the label’s records, mostly alongside co-founder Frost. These typically feature nostalgic 90s-style acid sounds, crossed with raw minimal and breakbeats. Other Pressure Traxx affiliates include Ricardo Villalobos, who joined forces with Völker for last year’s Arnorac EP. Völker returns to Farringdon at Cocoon this weekend, so he sent us a mix drawing from the same dubby house and minimal that make up the label’s sonic identity.
I've given a little flavouring to this mix from what is to come from my labels Pressure Traxx, La Peña and Harlo in the future, as well as some new stuff from my friends. So there is a lot of upcoming stuff combined with some old cuts that I really like and that fit that kinda dubby house mood that is going on in the mix.
What inspired you to start the Pressure Traxx label?
Frost and I went to see Christian Burkhardt in his studio to make some beats. When we arrived in the studio, Christian said OK, we got three hours, then I've got to pick up my girlfriend in the city. Frost looked at me and said “pressure tracks” and I said, OK that's gonna be it. That’s how the label name was born.
That day we wrote Seamless Pattern from PTX002. The idea behind the label in general was that we like to do things exactly how we think they should be done. We had some tracks that we really liked so we decided to do it ourselves instead of trying to find a label, and rely on somebody else. Frost and I go way back. We are a really good team and super close friends so we decided to give it a go.
Do you think there’s a “Frankfurt sound”?
Well, Frankfurt has been one of the key cities when it comes to electronic music for a long time now, so it has always had an impact and important role for our music. Perlon is a label from Frankfurt, for example. But the sound Frankfurt is known for now is labels like HardWorkSoftDrink, Traffic, Pager, Gosu, etc. - it's kind of the sound of the moment, but there always has been a Frankfurt sound.
Of course, there was Omen in the beginning and then Playhouse, then the minimal house thing some years ago. So many things. Frankfurt has always been on the map and nothing's gonna change that in my opinion.
What’s coming up for you and the label throughout the rest of the year?
The next release is Pressure Traxx Silver Series No. 12 by Giuliano Lomonte and me. Shortly after that we are gonna release our first LP by Dario Reimann entitled Dario´s Castle. Then we got a big 12" coming up by DJ Sneak with remixes by Ricardo Villalobos and me. As well as a 12" by Frost and me coming later this year. I've got a release out now on Harlo, the label I'm running with Charlotte T. which features two of our tracks with a remix by Audio Werner so you might want to check that as well.
My first label La Peña is back in full flex. After the great LP by Philipp Boss we got a release by What feat. Eric D. Clark including a remix by Markus Fix and Dorian Paic, followed by a massive 12" by Gari Romalis and Lello di Franco. There's a more US House influenced project that I'm involved in with my brothers Randy Fox and Robin Scholz called Implosive Inc. it´s worth a listen if you´re into proper house music.
Is there anything you're expecting from your set at fabric?
Well it's my third gig there so I expect another night in one of the best clubs in the world with a serious soundsystem and people that live for our culture just as I do.