GRINDVIK and SYLVIE MAZIARZ join forces following the Swedish techno giant’s remix of Sylvie’s track ‘Increased’ in 2019. With an accomplished category of releases from Maziarz throughout the last two years, the rising Berlin artist and Berghain regular Grindvik unleash their thunderous 5 track collaboration with none other than the virtuous Second State.
We sat down with Grindvik And Sylvie Maziarz to find out more…
What were you first clubbing experiences like and how did they affect your relationship with electronic music?
I started raving at a pretty early age, I was probably 14-15 when I attended my first one. The scene in Stockholm at that time, beginning/mid 90s, was pretty exciting and healthy. We were on a constant hunt for info on where the next party was at. There were so many new things to discover and that indeed had a big impact on the music I was into, but at that time I had already been making music for a couple of years, and my biggest inspiration source in the beginning was probably mixtapes.
You’ve been involved in electronic music since the 90’s. What has been the biggest change in the scene that you’ve noticed over that time?
As cliche as it is, the internet has made our world so much smaller, for good and bad. I do miss the feeling of finding music that you were looking for for a long time, or coming home with a new record. That kick is kind of gone nowadays, it’s so easy to get your techno fix whenever you want it, but they last as long today as back then. However it’s easy to get nostalgic and there’s so many good things about the electronic music scene today that we wouldn’t have without the internet.
What keeps you motivated as an artist?
It’s like an addiction. I can’t stop, or at least not at yet. I get this tingling unsatisfied feeling in my whole body if I haven’t spent time with music in some days. Yeah I can’t stop, there’s always something to explore, a feeling to catch. As frustrating as it is to fail, it feels as good when you manage to get what you want out of it. Another side that keeps me motivated is that I love seeing other artists evolve in their artistry, and help out if I can. I would say that I spent way more time helping other people with their music than practising my own. I actually even believe that I’ve been way better on mentoring people than getting where I want with my own music over the years. However that has kind of changed now. I was in the process of writing an album a few years back and asked my friend Peder Mannerfelt if he would like to mentor me through the process. Working with Peder made me feel comfortable pushing myself harder and seeing the outcome of it. I’m more satisfied with my writing than ever and Peder and I have kept mentoring each other ever since.
You are now based in Berlin. What was the motivation behind leaving Sweden?
My wife and I met in Stockholm and her sister was living in Berlin at the time. So after visiting them a couple of times, and as we both loved the city, we just thought that it was a good time to try it out.
Your next release is with Sylvie Maziarz. What was it that pushed you to want to work with her?
Sylvie and I met at a gig years back and I saw her name popping up everywhere, she’s the most hardworking and positive person I have met in the scene in years. I just felt that she had an energy that few have, and after playing a track of hers at Berghain I sent her an email asking if she would be up for doing something together.
What was the biggest thing you learned working with Sylvie?
I learnt to be honest to myself about my limitations as a father of three, that even though I want to be available always, my time and energy is limited even if I wish to be different. Sylvie has been extremely patient with me, and has been there when the timing was right. Super thankful for that!
You got involved with djing at a very young age. Tell us, how did that happen?
When I was 14 years old, I got involved in electronic music because of friends. The next summer, I had downloaded the Ableton demo version and started trying it out. After understanding how it worked, I really enjoyed putting sounds together. When I reached 15 I started clubbing and I quickly developed a taste of what I liked. Sometimes I didn’t like the music and thought, “I want to make my own sounds”. One year later, around 16, I started playing in clubs where I actually wasn’t allowed to be, because of my age, but luckily no booker ever asked about my young age.
Being from Berlin, do you think your environment played a role in you developing an interest in Techno?
Yes, definitely! So many people listen to Techno and I guess in Berlin even more people. But I think it’s also my generation, electronic music is now everywhere.
Berlin has been at the centre of the techno world for decades now. Who was it that inspired you growing up and what inspires you now?
When growing up, I listened to softer and more melodic Techno like Paul and Fritz Kalkbrenner. As the years went on I played harder, and developed a darker sound. Meanwhile I am really inspired by female artists like Rebekah, Nina Kraviz and Amelie Lens. These are pure power women and they keep me motivated!
What is your biggest challenge as an artist?
At the moment it’s of course Covid. Nobody knows how long we need to wait until we can party again safely.
You are a member of Berlina für Techno. Can you explain this collective to us a bit more?
We are a collective of 4 people and everybody has a task that we do for the collective. One does the artworks for our events, the other does the videos, another does the booking – my task is the record label. In this way we can support each other.
How did you become involved with Berlina für Techno?
5 years ago the guys booked me several times for parties and we spent some time together. I really liked them and they invited me to their collective. It was the right decision!
Your next record is a collaboration with Grindvik. How did you two begin working together?
Some years ago we met at a party in Magdeburg. Some months later I asked him for a remix, and after that he asked me to collaborate together. I couldn’t believe it and I was so happy – Pär is such a wonderful person, truly the most down to earth and honest person I ever met. I am so thankful knowing him.
Grindvik is an artist who has been active in the scene since the 90’s. Have you learned anything from working with him?
I am really impressed with how he is handling his music career and his three kids. I have learned from him that a very successful music career and children is possible, and that time management is the key.
Techno is currently enjoying a moment of widespread popularity. Where do you see techno going in the future?
It’s hard to say what will happen in the future. But one thing’s for sure: we all will enjoy events and techno so much more after Covid!