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Robert Babicz Blows His Own Way

Author: Mario Sanchez
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Robert Babicz has been around the techno and acid house scene since many of us were still in grade school learning about the Cold War and the fall of the Berlin Wall. Back then he was known as Robert Acid, Sontec, or by any of his other abundant assumed names. Currently, he is still hard at work in the studio doing mastering for the likes of Martinez, releasing his own productions on labels such as Systematic, Kompakt, Audiomatique, Punkt and Treibstoff and continually playing live around the world. Robert Babicz's latest full length LP, 'A Cheerful Temper', is out now on Systematic. TranZfusion was able catch up with him before he heads down to Australia for a quick long-weekend tour of Sydney and Melbourne.

Hi Robert, greetings from Melbourne, how have you been doing- How were your gigs in Ireland and Belgium over the weekend-
I am doing fine. Now I am working in the studio. Last weekend, I was in Dublin and at the Fuse Club in Belgium. It was great. The people in Dublin were even a bit more excited. The last…12 months or so have been really busy. I am playing live nearly every weekend, so I'm constantly on the road and Monday through Friday I try to make some music, so it's a seven-day week.

You have been in the scene for a long time, dating back to the early '90s. Back then you were producing acid house and techno, how have you adapted/evolved over the years to remain a mad producer who is still very relevant in today's scene-
I started making music in 1990. My first record came out in 1992. I don't know, I'm just a freak - I am really addicted to music, so it's my life. I have to make music - if not, I would die. It runs in my veins, absolutely.

Is it true that when the Berlin Wall came down, you looted analogue equipment, special effects machines and EQs from the German Secret Police in order to start your studio-
Yeah, that is true. I am always searching for stuff that maybe could help me in the studio and sometimes you are a lucky person! Nobody has this gear.

Do you use this vintage gear to accomplish the high quality of sound in your productions and mastering studio that is not possible with computers alone-
Definitely, the main thing is technology. Most producers in the past had many synthesisers and analogues, but not many people had mixers, good output gear, good EQs and compressors. I think the scene is changing now, getting more into really quality sounds. Nothing is more boring than just 'computer only music'. I produced with computers and I love plug-ins and things, but I still record everything on my big tape machine and work with my stuff there, because it really sounds different. There is a big difference - everything is coming alive when you work with this analogue stuff. It's interesting for other people to get an idea of what is possible with this equipment. You make music with different flavours every time.

At last count you had about 17 monikers, are they for different moods/musical styles or do you use them to hide your true identity from the authorities-
In the early '90s, it was hard to make different styles and different types of music under one name. It was really not possible and, after all these years for me, I say 'fuck off I am Robert Babicz!' I am an artist. I do my stuff and you can like it or not.

It seems that anything good is consistently being exported from Germany and with you presently touring behind your latest full-length LP release 'A Cheerful Temper', would you say Germany is the new Detroit for DJs and producers-
I think promoters are telling me that Germans are the best producers at the moment. I am not a DJ. I never DJ'ed - I had my first live act in 1992. I even borrowed instruments. At that time, when I made my first record, a friend said if you want you can have it for two weeks. I had absolutely no clue about music and technology. I recorded some tracks on tape at home - wh