Released just one month ago, « Do Pilots Still Dream Of Flying? » is the debut album of Oskar Offermann. He uncovered a new aspect of his music with this first LP, smoother and more elegant, where you can even hear his own voice on several songs. The album was released on Oskar’s own imprint White, a family label established in 2007 for his productions but also and especially to welcome his friends Edward, Martin Zadak, Moomin, Nu, Tristen… For the release of this « Do Pilots Still Dream Of Flying?« , we had a chat with him about his work, his entourage, and of course about this album and his projects. And to accompany your reading, he also provided our 97th podcast recorded back to back with Edward at Panorama Bar, on November 4th.

Version Française -

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- Hi Oskar, let me start with a simple question: what’s up ?
Many thing happening these days. My debut album « Do Pilots Still Dream Of Flying? » just came out, and I have been touring to many places since then. In between I try to answer all my emails patiently, and can’t wait to go back into the studio to continue my work on music.

- It is known that you’ve listened to a lot of hip-hop during your teenage years, is it still the case today ? Can you give us a few names of hip-hop artists that you really like ?
I do not listen to so many contemporary stuff. Just when it’s really good, like Kanye’s last album for instance… besides that it is Mobb Deep, Coflow, Outkast, Gang Starr, Premo in general, Dilla, Tribe, etc…

- Hip-hop must’ve been a major influence on your music and career ? I guess you discovered sampling through this genre of music didn’t you ?
Yes that’s correct. I started producing around 1998 with an Akai MPC 2000XL…I think I still have the receipt somewhere.

- At what point did you start listening to house music ?
I got really influenced by house when relocating to Berlin in 2001. I started to go out more and really got into electronic dance music. In the beginning it was very much influenced by labels such as Kompakt.
Over that I slowly discovered more and more about house music and its origins.

- Did you move to Berlin because of the music and your career or was it for other reasons ?
I had made the plan together with my best homie back then. I think we were around 16 and saw something on TV about the « young and crazy Berlin » and we just thought « wow, let’s move there after highschool ». And that’s what we did. At that time it was also a good anchor to hold on to during highschool… like « next step is Berlin… and then we’ll see. »

- What kind of gear do you use for music production, are you still into old school digital effects ? What about Ableton, I read that you actually started using it not so long ago ?
I started using Ableton in 2009 because I was frustrated with the arrangement of things via the MPC. The first track I produced in Ableton was « Only My Shorts », I just looked it up, and the first versions were actually called « test »…

Besides that I used a Roland Juno, some MFB drum machines, and some 80s effect units. I also have many cheaper drum machines, but for the album, I think I mainly used the MFBs.

- Tell us about Adam Zawadzki and how you guys met…Why and when did you decide to create White ?
We met in school and Adam was very much into design and I was into music. So at some point we decided that he would design my covers one day. Then we started a party called Clic Clac Club in Berlin on the 3rd of March 2003 and he did all the artworks. After that we started the label in 2007.

- The first releases were produced by young artists such as Edward or Martin Zadak, were they already friends of yours at that time or did you have to chase them first, on the internet or elsewhere ?
No we were all friends. And today that is still the core essence of the label. All the main artists have been friends long before we started the label thing. All these people came naturally into my life.

- When looking at your discography and those of your labels, it’s pretty obvious that you particularly like doing collabs, splits and VA releases right ? Is there a specific reason for that ?
I thing the split EP series on WHITE (we call it the « Faces » series), is slightly different from the production collaborations. The EPs make sense because you can show different sounds and bring them together spiritually. It just reflects the variety of music I like as a DJ. For the productions it was a very different approach each time.

- Tell us about your second label called Rimini, do you run it all by yourself ? All the edits released are incredible but there have only been three releases in two years, we would definitely like to hear more of this music…
The main difference with Rimini is there aren’t that many people involved. It is very much DIY, which grounds me very nicely every time I do another release. But since I do it almost all by myself, it takes time and money. I sometimes think about running it more continuously, but then I just don’t get everything together in time. So I just release one record a year. And the funny thing is, they get insanely high prices on discogs now. So maybe it makes sense not to flood the market too much with some projects.

- How would you introduce your debut album « Do Pilots Still Dream Of Flying? » to someone who’s never listened to your music before ? What’s the meaning of the album’s name ?
It is music about the dream of flying I’d say. Flying as a metaphor. Flying as a state of mind. Flying as a stage in your life, maybe. Everbody knows the high of life. And what goes up also goes down. It is all natural. But as an artist or idealist you don’t have a choice. You gotta do what you gotta do. So I’d say « yes » to the question, if pilots still dream about flying! And in the meantime I also talked to some about that issue. :)

- We can feel a more melodic spirit in that album compared to your previous releases, sometimes to the detriment of samples that you used very often on your EPs, was it something intentional or not ?
Oh you think so? hm… I don’t think so at all. I am still very heavy into samples. But I really wanna stop using them for a time period because it bores me… Pilots is the only song not using any samples at all. And I like it very much. So maybe I’ll try to focus a bit more on composing things in the future.

- By the way, is it you singing on some of the album’s tracks ?
Yes that is all me. I’ve always been too afraid of using my own voice, but now I gained a little more self confidence for that. So we will see where that takes me in the future.

- When your debut album was announced I was expecting to find several featurings in the tracklist but there’s actually none, so I guess it was a completely personal project ?
I really had the feeling I gotta say something on my own. I wanted to produce an album for a looooong time now, but I never managed to get it done. It was something I had to do all by myself.

- Are you working on a live set now that you’ve released this LP ?
No, not really, I am a DJ. So what I do is, play some edits from the album and try to remix the tracks differently. But for my work as a DJ I am usually not too comfortable with playing my own stuff. I am searching for the moment of perfection on the dancefloor. Moments where nothing matters anymore and you can forget about yourself for a second. You are just moving along within a room full of people feeling the same as you. That’s what I do this for. And my own music just doesn’t fit into this, because it makes me nervous playing my own stuff.

- What should we expect from you and your labels in 2013 ?
We’ll do stuff with my DJ partner Edward together again. And I want to continue working on my vision of flying of course! Also we have to think about how to reorganize our label… since time got less for everybody. There is also some material for the next Rimini, but it’ll take a moment to bring it all together. And in the meantime I’ll be on the road again and working on some remixes.

- To conclude, can you tell us a few words about the mix you recorded for us ?
Yeah the mix was recorded at our last gig at Panorama Bar. We is Edward and myself. Unfortunately we had some trouble with one record player. First we thought it was the needle, but that wasn’t the issue. So it took us a moment to replace the turntable, so the sound on some tunes sounds really awful. But still this hour represents very well what edward and I are doing as DJs.

Download here : (TAL097) Oskar Offermann & Edward – 19.12.2012

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