In The Studio With Ȃme: Deep Delights
This summer, German DJ/production duo, Ȃme, celebrates a decade in dance with the release of its first CD of new material in six years. Ȃme Live [Innervisions] is a typically warm and eclectic affair, with tunes by Underworld, Roy Ayers, Unkle and a host of others skillfully reworked beyond recognition.
Few acts in recent history have managed to balance an underground ethos with mainstream appeal as effortlessly as Ȃme (pronounced “ahm”). “Rej,” recorded in 2005, was a lush, minimal masterpiece that secured their hero status across the globe—but Ȃme’s Frank Wiedemann and Kristian Beyer refuse to dine out on past glories.
With a summer-long residency at We Love…Space, Ibiza confirmed, the Ȃme boys are only interested in looking forward—ask them to play “Rej” one more time and things could get messy. Kristian Beyer explains why…
DJ Times: Your production sound is famously tough to pin down. Where do you belong in today’s dance culture and which artists inspired you in the first place?
Beyer: Basically, we are house guys who have a strong techno influence but, honestly, the artists who inspired us are not from that scene at all. It was actually guys like Brian Eno, Brian Wilson and [Tangerine Dream/Kluster founder] Conrad Schnitzler who really influenced our work at first. The new Ȃme Live mix typifies our sound at the moment, though—it’s on the house/techno border with plenty of our own productions. We always like to produce original music for our sets.
DJ Times: The only downside to scoring a hit as huge as “Rej” is that one song can come to define your entire career—are you sick of playing/hearing it yet?
Beyer: Whenever I get asked to play it now I’ll say: “You wouldn’t ask The Rolling Stones to play ‘Satisfaction’ all the time, would you?” The thing is, you can’t sit down and plan to have a hit. It doesn’t work like that, and the biggest mistake you can make is to try and re-create a “hit formula.” Our artistic integrity is too strong to go over old ground anyway; you need to respect history, but make your mark on the future, too.
DJ Times: Your remix work is in demand like never before, but you seem to be taking on fewer productions these days. Have you tired of adding your own, personal signature to other people’s work?
Beyer: In a way, yes. That’s why we’re so careful in our choice of what to work on now. Very often, the track we were remixing had become our own song by the end of it all—and this shouldn’t be the sense of a rework. We really need to have a love for the original track, as it makes it easier to work with more than anything, and that’s why we were so honored to work on someone like Roy Ayers’ music.