Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of chatting to one of Cologne’s top young prospects, a Mr. Damiano von Erckert.
The highly anticipated ‘Love Based Music’ LP, out via his own imprint ava. records, hit shelves earlier this month and has already seen a wealth of praise from respective corners of the press realm. Damiano’s talents are on full show throughout the release, blending a rich mix of old and new influences into an eclectic range of styles and tempos. The record is accompanied by a film trailer for ‘Time Sucker’, also by ava. productions, directed by Damiano and friend Hermes Villena.
We chat music, film, label and more below.
Hey Damiano! First things first, how are you, where are you and what are you doing?
I’m fine, thanks. There was a lot of stress in the last 3 months but it was a really good time. Currently I’m at friends place, listening to some special music and answering your questions.
Much on for the rest of the summer?
In the middle of September my LP “Love Based Music” comes out. After that I’m cool and got a bit time for relaxing and see what happens…
So the album, ‘Love Based Music’ – it’s one of the most eclectic collection of tracks I’ve heard in a while – this is surely a reflection of yourself and ava.’s style?
Yeah I think so. You know, this album was not planned in this manner. I mean there was a plan for a LP and I’d started an album project, but not his one. “Love Based Music” is more a collection of some older tracks paired with 2 or 3 new tracks + the Motor City Drum Ensemble rework. Most of the titles were sketches and tracks and at this time I didn’t know what I’d to do with them. But it’s definitely a mirror of mine and ava.’s soul.
You seem to have a real knack for reaching back in to the retro. Do you take a lot of influence from the past?
Yes. I mean that’s the base of all kind of music today. And even the past is influenced by the past. I’m not trying to be a copycat. This is very important for me. I love the old school shit like US House/Techno, Soul, Afro, Brazil and so on. But I think it’s all about how to interpret the old music. And if you try to mix new styles or sounds then I think you produced something which is fresh.
Nice to see a MCDE remix on there, how did that come about?
Danilo is a friend of mine. He’s cool!
You’ve a nice little collective going on over there in Cologne, is the house/techno scene expanding?
Yes definitely! A couple of days ago I played a little open air gig here next to my place in a beautiful park. It’s a small collective of nice guys and they are really into soulful house, disco and techno. A lot of people diggin’ this stuff here in Cologne.
I saw the trailer for the film accompaniment to ‘Love Based Music’, ‘Time Sucker’…could you explain a bit about it and your collaboration with Hermes Katharis Villena Silva? Looks cool!
Thanks! Yeah it was a big experience and a lot of fun but also a lot of struggle too. I met Hermes around 4 months ago to talk about my thoughts making a movie for the album. He’s an artist and made a lot of nice and interesting solo projects and social gatherings and benefit parties with his ‘Come Together Crew’, so I thought he’s the right guy for a project like this. It’s kind a like an art/ b-movie.. We tried to shoot interesting scenes in cool places here in Cologne. There’s no real story; more a sequence of music videos. In retrospect I wish we had more time (only 2 months to realize it) but we’ve created an interesting movie I think!
And your Dad features in the film, has he been a big influence on the creative front, being a DJ as well?
Definitely! He was a DJ back in the days. So I got in touch with house/disco etc. very early. He’s an influence for me, yes.
Is the combination of music and film and music something you’ll be doing for future releases?
The album is ava.’s debut feature right? Much more in the pipeline?
No I did a LP with Tito Wun aka Twit One. It’s called “Mr. Pink, what have you been smoking’?”.. I want to release some more music of my friends and mine.. We will see 😉
What advice would you give to someone setting up their own label?
Be real and stay cool! Motivation, discipline, sturdiness and creativity are the important elements to build up a label. Simple but true.
And finally, where can we catch you over the coming months gig wise?
I’m gonna play on the 21st September at Corsica Studios. Come around and we’ll have a beer!
‘Love Based Music’ is available for purchase on Semptember 2nd via ava. records.