What have you been up to recently, what’s on your personal schedule?

Well basicly the usual: work for Permanent Vacation, produce music and djing.
The beginning of the year is usually quite busy with the label as we have to prepare the releases for the coming month and we have to decide which music to release. This is often the hardest part. We also reached our catalouge number 200, which we gonna celebrate with a compilation in spring and also with some surprises we wanted to do for a long time.  I also started meditating, which sounds a bit corny, or at least I thought so for some reason, but it actually helps me quite a lot to focus and to calm down.

What are your strategies as a label to adapt to the changing habits of music listening?

This is a good question. I think we are still in the figuring out process and don’t have definite answers yet. The only concrete thing we did is that we are not producing CDs anymore. At the moment I have the feeling that every platform and format demands its own ways how to present the music. Which makes it a bit more complicated to prepare the releases. We will see what the future brings. We’re definitely looking at exciting times. Lots of things are changing and lots of the rules that were common are not applying anymore. Which is also the case for promoting the music. But in the end I think the only rule is stick to your basics, release the music you love and you believe in and find a way to present it in the most suitable way. 

Under today’s circumstances, would you decide to start a label again and why?

ha funny. I often ask myself the same question and I don’t know the answer. But probably I would do it. But also proably in a different way from how we did it back then. When we started we were more orientated on the approach of “classic” labels like Ninja Tune, Warp, Mo’Wax which were the ones we grew up with. Labels with a wider artist roster and a more eclectic approach to music. I remember often buying compilations from the labels because it was great value for your money and you were able to play a lot of the tracks on one night, which was a big advantage instead of having a record from only one artist. This could be the reason why we are always released a lot of compilations throughout the years and still do. Afterall our first release was a compilation. 

Your artist roster has apparently expanded naturally. How much is strategy, how much opportunity?

Mostly it is a natural progress. Different influences appear on the surface at different times and sort of atomatically dictate the direction we are heading to. If you have released and listened to a lot of music from one genre your feel more drawn to something different at a certain point. Music can reach us on different ways, whether we get it sent or we ask people for it or we meet somebody somewhere and exchange ideas. I am happy that we have signed a lot of new artists for this year with exciting new interpretations of the vast field of dance music.

How do you keep up your enthusiasm for running a label?

I guess it’s the enthusiasm for music that keeps you going. Finding new music and new artists that excite you. I don’t think that the story is over yet. Every time you think everything has already been told something new comes along and keeps you on the edge of your seat. That keeps the A&R process interesting. Also to develop together with the artist the best way for the release can by deeply satisfaying. But also the everchanging technical progession forces you to keep up with things and don’t get to comfortable. I actually enjoy that constant evolution.

Since you’ve been producing a lot lately: What are the next steps until the Super Bowl halftime show?

At the moment I am toying with a couple of things to see which corners are worth illuminating musically for me. I am also trying out a few new things in which format to present the music. Less music at once, but maybe a more frequent output is definitely something I would like to do at the moment. After doing some remixes I will have tracks on compilations for sone other labels and I am working on new releases for Permanent vacation, which will come later this year. 

Schöne Grüße,
Benji

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