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Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys & Fidelity Kastrow on Mark Reeder’s Artist Album (interview)

Fidelity Kastrow / pic:

“Mark Reeder formed the punk band The Frantic Elevators together with Mick Hucknall "Simply Red" and Neil Moss in Manchester, early 1977. In 1978, he decided to leave Britain and move to Berlin . . .” Wiki:

Though in club culture terms Mark Reeder remains best known for turning Cosmic Baby and then Paul Van Dyk into first generation superstar DJs, as his extensive Wikipedia entry shows, his musical roots stretch way deeper, to the fledgling punk scene of mid 70s Manchester.

Rubbing shoulders with then unknown Manchester contenders Joy Division in 1977 (they met at the record shop he worked at in the city centre) he next befriended German contemporaries Die Toten Hosen, engineering some of their first records and key events.

“Reeder had contacts to the East Berlin underground new wave music scene and travelled a lot to East Berlin for concerts,” his Wiki entry about German punk pioneers Die Toten Hosen recalls.

“He eventually helped to bring Die Toten Hosen over to East Berlin for their two secret gigs in 1982 and 1988, the 1982 gig being the first concert by a western punk band in East Berlin, disguised as a religious service.”

Chatting to Skrufff today, his emphasis is on his new album, a compilation of remixes and original productions involving many of his nowadays famous friends and collaborators plus an impressive roster of new producers and cutting edge talent.

“My album contains a mixture of tracks for such high profile artists as Depeche Mode, the Pet Shop Boys, Anne Clark, Bad Lieutenant, Die Toten Hosen, Blank & Jones and synthpop legend John Foxx,” says Mark.

“Many of the remixes have never before released and one of the nice things about the album is that these big names are balanced alongside newer artists such as Echoes, Vanessa Daou, May68, Electrobelle, Spartak and Fidelity Kastrow: and all tracks are in glorious 5.1 wrap-around sound.”

Skrufff (Jonty Skrufff): The album has been recorded in 5.1 surround sound throughout, how big is the market?

Mark Reeder: “The market is obviously not huge at present, as not everyone has a 5.1 soundsystem, but all that will change in the future when people start to get mobiles with a Dolby mobile capability. I suppose making this remixes album in 5.1 is more to do with me wanting to hear my mixes in 5.1. Making it was a huge challenge but also immense fun. Micha Adam (sound engineer and fellow producer) and I had to reassess and re-remix every song we had done, to sound like our original stereo versions, but in surround. I also think we are giving people the opportunity to hear something that isn’t King Crimson, Pink Floyd or Moody Blues in 5.1.”

I know I’m not the first doing this, Depeche, Yazoo, Nick Cave and others have also remixed their albums in 5.1 but they are usually artist albums. This is a compilation remixes album. I guess those who buy LCD or plasma TVs, DVDs and Blu ray players all want to have a sound that is complimentary to their TV. 5.1 is cinema sound, where everything happens around you. So my album has been made to do the same. MichaAadam and I remixed all the remixes we made in true 5.1 surround for a generation of people who in the future will be able to hear 5.1 on their ipods or mobile phones. Mind you, that said, I have taken into consideration the normal stereo listener too, so the tracks are also included on conventional stereo CD.”

Skrufff: What's stopped you from doing a project like this before?

Mark Reeder: Time, money and I had a record label to run and I was too busy working on other peoples’ careers to settle down and concentrate on my own. When I started making music again in my old school synthpop style, I discovered that it was something I missed and really enjoyed after making remixes for Blank & Jones and the Pet Shop Boys.”

Skrufff: Do you have any plans to perform the music live?

Mark Reeder: “I have absolutely no plans at all to perform any of my music live. It would be just too complex and expensive to put a love show together, especially the horror of trying to get everyone who sings on the album to perform their song with me and the thought of having to rehearse it all is just too off-putting to consider seriously. I also don’t think I’m a good enough live performer, I’m a studio person and I feel comfortable in that environment. I love that side of making music.”

Skrufff: Is the album essentially Mark Reeder’s Greatest hits?

Mark Reeder: “Hopefully, if everyone likes it, it will be in the future (laughing). “For the moment, it's more a collection of my remixes made in my retro-modern synth-pop-rock style.” (Sam Taylor-Wood - German Filmstar (Reeders Rundfunk Rmx) (Bad Lieutenant - "Sink Or Swim" Mark Reeder Remix Video)

Jonty Skrufff:

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