Patric Catani exists as one of Germany’s esteemed veteran DJs through a unique combination of dazzling versatility in working with differing producers and an ability to maintain a strong personal badge in each project. He’s a figure who’s been around since the early days of Hardcore and has remained not just relevant as the years have passed but has forged numerous cutting edge projects. Over the years he’s managed to export his musical skill into many different fields, such as featuring with the acclaimed hip hop group Puppetmastaz.
His ability to juggle appearances on such a wide number of artist’s tracks has given him a strong following and respect across various genres. The trademark characteristic of his style is wealth of disparate sounds which he employs to a vibrant embellished quality to his dance-friendly tracks. He’s a producer whose complex sounds often resist any particular tags and who, on top of this, personally discourages such definitions, maintaining his credo is simply to create enjoyable dance music. We got the chance to talk to him about his career so far and about his upcoming album Blingsanity, a stellar new work out now on Keep It Business with an amazing cover artwork by Dicey and available to download here.
Patric will also be appearing at Berghain Kantine soon for his album release party.
LSD: One thing that’s so impressive about your back catalog is, first of all the amount of work, but also the sheer range of styles you’ve worked in. Why do you think it’s important for an artist to embrace and work in a wide range of different music styles?
Patric: I guess somehow it keeps me alive, it’s nice to experiment with fresh influences and keep enthusiastic about my work. Very often it happens that I finish one release and already get other ideas that I want to try out next. Branching out is a very strong motivation for me, even though I stay faithful to my 808 and Hip Hop influenced bounce music that I’ve been producing for many years now for several bands and for my different projects.
LSD: Expanding your work beyond music into art and theatre has also been a characteristic of your career; what attracted you to the idea of working outside of music?
Patric: I’m a big fan of text and story based work, the first experience I had with that was my Flex Busterman album, writing a whole story booklet together with Gina V. D´Orio. Later on I released quite a few tracks on Mille Plateaux that already had a taste of soundtrack influences, later on I started a story based project with Paul PM that got released by the New York Rap label Wordsound/Blackhoodz. Very often I find it more interesting to explain reality through fiction. A story, even a humorous one, can be much stronger than a completely realistic approach, and in my opinion by far more interesting.
LSD: How did you first get started inputting computer game sounds into your music?
Patric: The funny thing is that I made all my first records on a more or less gaming computer called Commodore Amiga, even the album released by the Beastie Boys on Grand Royal and many others for several years. With the Flex Busterman album I simply used the machine what it was originally built for..
LSD: Your work has been described as having cartoonish sounds and a Dadaist energy, do you agree with this?
Patric: Yes, but it really depends on the project. I guess Dada works in part for my text-based rap stuff but also a general attitude of not being scared of doing confusing, some would say outrageous, genre mixes. A lot of music on my Soundcloud and various side projects are just “unfiltered”, and I think a world full of narrow salesman pigeonholers would be just very boring. Regarding the cartoon influence it is really something that comes easy to me. Doing video game music for breakfast is fun
LSD: Your songs typically have a very ‘full on’, ‘busy’ vibe to them; why do you think it’s important to have so many different sounds going on at once in your tracks?
Patric: Good question! I don’t necessarily think so and actually on my new Blingsanity album there is a sort of maximal minimalism going on. Some of the tracks like Dreadlock Medusa and various other tracks really have just a few elements but still the depth plays an important role.
A lot of popular electronic music that I hear makes me “hear away”, and very often I think that I would not dare to send out a track that has only a bass drum and a few preset space sounds. I guess since I listen to a lot of different music genres all the time, I have a certain need to combine those energies.
LSD: You also have so many sound bytes from films and soundtrack scores, how do you decide when you’re going to include a pop culture snippet? /what inspires you to include certain sections?
Patric: On my Blingsanity album, there is no sampled melody except a few little snippets in “Poor Boys” and “Family Circus”. Both add a strange nostalgic and rather warm atmosphere to the songs even if both have that sort of mystic touch that I appreciate. In the case of the song “Poor Boys” it was very special for me to record it in winter, in my guest flat, in the Black Forrest, Germany, while doing the Elementary Particles theater job. I really think you can hear that it is recorded in winter and I always like it when retro and futuristic worlds collide.
I also do other remixes and mash-ups which you can find on my Soundcloud and those are usually just for fun projects and not being sold anywhere. I enjoy hunting for interesting but also rather absurd material, luckily the world is full of that.
LSD: Who would you say has been the most interesting artist you’ve collaborated with?
Patric: Hard nut! Can’t really point that out, I gotta say. I most of the times really enjoyed collaborating with different people and also for very different reasons. There have been beautiful moments with the female Rapper MC Shade who suddenly blew me away with a super nice Blues Soul voice, and with lively storytellers like Gina v. D´Orio, Chris Imler, Angie Reed or Max Turner. Rapping puppets, sensitive and fragile mermaids and Canadian music lumberjacks… It’s been pretty amazing to have had all of those experiences.
LSD: What was it like coming back into the studio to record a solo album again?
Patric: I tend to produce stuff all the time really. The very nice thing was that I could skip place between Bucharest and Berlin during the last two years and I could free my mind a bit from my normal studio surroundings. I recorded quite a bit on Ableton and finalized those sessions back in my studio. The Blingsanity album actually came together in a few years and after having done various other musical explorations it was nice to find this more “minimal” and analog approach again. The production itself is a conclusion of my past electronic sound and the different bounce / hiphop productions I’ve been doing for many years now. I also found it nice to make an instrumental bass album but make it as lively as a rap album, and to still just leave all the ego rap crap on the side.
LSD: Overall, the past few years have seen House artists grow in terms of mainstream popularity, do you think Hardcore will witness a similar resurgence or turn towards mainstream attention?
Patric: At least I could imagine really fun stuff the (future) kids generations could come up with. Until a certain age going frenzy is important I guess. When I did more Hardcore in my youth days there were some compilations that sold about a 100.000 copies.. Those things come and go – look at Kap Bambino, the dutch jumpstyle kids or even a few trap tracks, they adopt a lot of the old school hardcore styles I think. I’m pretty happy I lived that 90s time and can work on different things nowadays.
LSD: What do you think the effects of the appearance of ‘celebrity DJ’ types (of the electro house variety typically) headlining major festivals across Europe and North America will have on the electronic music industry in the next few years?
Patric: I think the effect is very noticeable already, yet everybody chooses his/her way to play and to survive as an artist. Avatars and Avastars.. Underground and mainstream have always coexisted, the notions are even desuet nowadays. There´s a Freddie Mercury in me too, but it´s hidden deep down inside. Haha.. No, but seriously I think there will always be a sort of mass entertainment section and a percentage of listeners and festivals that find other ways of financing their life(style).. If I see a documentary claiming that David Guetta connected the (as they really said) white European music and (black) American Rap music I think it´s simply ridiculous, since many people did collaborations and worked on exactly that sort of exchange way before him. If you keep your ears open, there’s no reason to be worried…
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