"I’ve always loved music and wanted to excel in the industry"
Charly Schaller has an honest and sincere career. Her musical selection and good judgment has dared borders. We take the opportunity to interview her.
Hi! Where can we find you right now? How did you start off your day?
I’m in Munich right now where I played for a live streaming at Harry Klein a few days ago. It’s 9am in the morning and I just woke up. I’m at my friend’s place where I’m staying for the time. It seems to be a really beautiful day and the sun is shining through the window. Later today I’m going to meet my Mum for a long walk in the park as she lives in Munich, too.
What was your first foray into the world of electronic music?
I think the first electronic music that I properly listened to was Paul Kalkbrenner. I still love his Berlin Calling album actually. I then listened to the more commercial stuff like Klangkarussell or Marek Hermann when they got big. I also enjoyed Electro-Swing (E.g. Parov Stelar). When I started going out, I actually started going to Psytrance parties and festival. I still like Psytrance, but Techno is my big love.
When did the idea of starting a project begin to take shape? Has it always been something you’ve wanted to do?
No, I thought my life would go very differently. I used to be really ambitious at school, managed to do really well in my final exams and managed to get accepted at the University of Cambridge where I studied Philosophy. My dream then was to do Asset Management, work at a bank and move to New York at some point. That was always the big goal of my life. During my time at Cambridge however, I visited my best friend from home who had moved to Berlin and went to Techno clubs for the first time. I immediately fell in love with the music and always went back to Berlin in the term breaks. I think at some point when standing on the dance floor in real ecstasy I thought: I want to be this person behind the decks. The idea began to take proper shape when I decided to move to Berlin after my graduation. I’ve always loved music and wanted to excel in the industry.
Which artists have your interest these days?
Rikhter, MRD, SRVD, Anetha, Ancient Methods, Eomac
Are you particularly permeable to your environment, creatively speaking? If so, how does it influence your dj focus?
I really love music, I listen to music the whole day. The first thing I do when I wake up is put on a nice song to get the day started. So I get a lot of inspiration from the music I’m listening to. I’m a big fan of Psychedelic Rock - Pink Floyd is the love of my life.
For sure, talking with my DJ friends about music and listening together to the latest tracks we found and playing b2b is also a great source of inspiration.
Would you like to share a set? Can you tell us more about it? When and how was it recorded?
I would like to share the mix I did for Hör Radio. I was super excited when Jeremy aka The Brvtalist asked me whether I wanted to be part of his Showcase. I’ve been a big fan of his stream on Soundcloud for a while, so was honoured to get the opportunity to be part of his Hör Radio showcase and express myself during these difficult times. I have to say I was super excited at first when I started playing with the camera right in front of me. But in the end, it was a great experience that I enjoyed very much.
What makes a good mix to you?
It’s difficult to tell apart from the obvious points that the mixing and build up should be good. The artists I like most play very different styles and some of them have track selections that are totally different from mine. A set can be great for me through its build up and the brilliant technical skills of the DJ - Ben Klock would be an example- or a set can be great due to its diversified and interesting track selection - Fiedel would be an example.
For people that have never heard you play before, how would you describe your sound to them?
I always find this a difficult question, but would say my sound is defined by the brought variety of different Techno genres that I like and thus include in a mix and by rough and harmonic mixing. I use the vacation to try to make my mixes tell a story and I am taking great care that the tracks I mix together fit harmoniously.
So what music are you currently obsessed by? Have you picked up any records recently that you have been playing in every set or have been listening to every day?
I’m obsessed with Anetha’s track Candy From Strangers. It’s the track that I always put on first when hanging with friends. What I love is the latest records from SRVD and MRD. Both feature a lot of tracks with great vocals and I am obsessed with vocals.
Sugar & Anetha - Candy From Strangers
You have a really eclectic sound when mixing, what has influenced you to be so musically varied in your approach?
I’m lucky that I’ve always been able to enjoy very different kinds of music in my life. I don’t just listen to one or two genres, but like Metal, Classical Music, Psychedelic Rock, Pop, Reggae, Disco... The same is the case within the genre of Techno music, I like lots of different styles. In my sets I don’t have an idea in mind what style my set is supposed to fit to. I want to be able to play everything that I like by taking great care of which tracks I put in a row and I think I succeed with this approach :)
What is/are your most favourite acid/techno record(s) of all time and why?
I love Vedomir - Musical Suprematism (Marcel Dettmann Remix)
Moteka - Lost Drum Tape 1
Room 506 - Drop Out.
How do you deal with C19 confinement with your work? Has this situation influenced your creative perspective? What social and musical implications do you think this situation can lead to?
I’ve been using the additional time to be creative and put more thought into production. I didn’t start producing my own tracks too long ago, so there is still a lot of new things that I can learn, new plugins to discover (recently got Omnisphere, can highly recommend it) and techniques I can improve on. That’s what I’ve been doing a lot recently.
Furthermore, I started producing only with Ableton, but was always interested in including hardware in my work flow, too. On the one hand, because of the sound quality and technical side, on the other hand, because working with hardware and doing automations by turning knobs is for sure more fun than using the my laptop’s keypad. Up to now, I was often going to some friend’s studios to record audio with their gear, but due to the lock down, this wasn’t possible anymore. So it was the best time to get my own gear :) So I recently bought a Roland TR8S and am looking into Synthesizers now.
What tracks would you recommend us to liven up the confinement?
I think two things: You should definitely listen to tracks that lift up your mood. A great one is LSDIVAS ON XTC (ketia's bitch blend).
But also use the time to maybe broaden your horizon and listen to more experimental tracks that you maybe wouldn’t have given much attention before. Sit down and listen to the latest Ancient Methods album in a row and just enjoy the music.
What makes you happy?
Being with my friends and family, travelling, good food, sunlight, listening to music and dancing
Can you tell us something about your current or future projects?
I’m very much looking forward to my first release in June!!! I’m super excited that Alan Fitzpatrick is going to release my track ‘Moonshine’ on his label We are The Brave. It’s going to be on a various artists release with many other great artists.
Furthermore, I’m currently sending out demos of my finished tracks to further labels and am curious to see where they will find a home.
Finally, I’m working on a series of streamed content and can give more infos on this soon ;)