Our last stop for 2017 is our first for the summer… so we decided to go out with a bang. All the way from Berlin, we welcome Ballroom Records’ very own Markus Binapfl and Alexej Hilz – together, known as KAISER SOUZAI. With only a week before they touch down for their 2017 Australian tour, we sat down with the guys to talk past / current production inspiration, the house and techno scene in Berlin and their infamous HYBRID show.
Join Kaiser Souzai, Thankyou City and Victor Y alongside a massive local lineup at New Guernica on Friday, December 8th for our biggest show to-date.
So how did you guys meet, and what made you decide to produce / DJ together?
We met at a party in Berlin… Alex was warming up for Markus. We had some friends in common, and after a couple of drinks and a 6-hour set at ‘Ritter Butzke’ two weeks later, we decided to launch the Kaiser Souzai project. The rest is history!
What are you most proud of in your career to date?
Holding on to the idea and vision, sound and development of Kaiser Souzai. New projects tend to give you a hard time, particularly with low fees, rejections etc. But quality wins in the end!
Who, or what, inspires your production?
Kaiser Souzai’s roots lie in the art-rock era from the 70’s & 80’s. Bands like Yes and Genesis inspire our sound. New inspiration comes from the likes of Sasha, Maceo Plex or Enrico Sangiuliano.
Can you tell us a little about your hybrid / live show? How does it differ from a standard DJ set?
The ‘hybrid’ show is an exciting combination of a DJ set, plus live percussion. We’ve tried and tested it many times… and it works like a charm. People love live percussion action.
What advice do you have for amateur producers / DJ’s in the scene?
In our opinion, we think it’s better to grow your network and artist profile before spamming people with your music. Don’t get us wrong – sending music out is a great step to get you recognized, but if you have a good angle or network connection, it’s makes it a lot easier.
What were you listening to when you were growing up?
Alex: I’m a BIG Queen fan, but I also grew up with R&B and Hip Hop, listening to Biggie, Snoop and Dre a lot. Right now, it’s Spotify on shuffle (and Kaiser Souzai’s new productions of course).
Markus: The Beatles, YES, Genesis, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Jeff Beck..
What’s the best thing about the house and techno scene in Berlin?
The sheer infinity of events, clubs and raves. If you want, you can party 24/7, 365. That’s also the worst part about it...
What has been your favourite gig, ever?
We have two! In a club, it’s ‘uberhaus’, Beirut. For a festival, it’s ‘Nation of Gondwana’.
What is the best thing about being electronic music Producers / DJ’s?
The freedom to create your own path. You’re in control and navigate yourself in the right direction – even if you sometimes have no idea where the ship is sailing.
What can the New Guernica crowd expect from your set on the 8th December?
A lot of unreleased material! Our album “The Planets” is finished, as is our upcoming EP on Funk’n’Deep and two EPs on Ballroom Records. So get excited, it’s gonna be epic.