No.34 in the Sinchi & Friends series is Markus of the Robot Scientists . The man who does it all… label boss, music curator, DJ, vinyl collector. Usually we say a few words about the mix but in this case we think he says it best himself, intrigued? you should be 🙂
‘ Its a mixture of different styles I love including some Cosmic, Balearic, Shaman House, Ethno Disco and New Wave Tech Dance. This mix has a tropical, spiritual, magical feel and a lot of great, inspiring tunes and sounds. Hope you and your listeners enjoy.’
1) Who are you?
Hi, I am Markus Schneider, one of the three guys who run Emerald & Doreen Records, one of the two vinyl collectors and Djs behind The Robot Scientists and the curator of the Something Spæcial podcast series.
2) What have been your highlights from the last 12 months?
We worked with many talented people from diverse stylistic backgrounds and from all over the world on the label. My favourite releases were the darker new wave disco releases from K-Effect, Pardon Moi, Tulioxi, FLXXX, Freudenthal and the awesome remixes from the Peter Zimmermann tracks. An unexpected highlight was that fashion designer Elisabetta Franchi licensed one of our tracks for her new online Spring/Summer 2017 campaign and a video with supermodel Toni Garrn. This felt so professional. We still do all the music as a hobby in our spare time but if we get more deals like that, we might go pro one day 😉
3) What do you have lined up for the coming year?
We kept our slots quite open for the year so far to be flexible if new talent shows up. I personally feel the need for more positivity after two very dark years. We need solutions now that Trumpocalypse has happened. Therefore I might be inclined to release more forward-thinking, ethno, psychedelic, spiritual music as I think the solution for the mess on this planet is tightly connected to more spiritual approach to everything, to a unity consciousness, togetherness in action, not a ego dystopia. Let’s wait and see. Therefore we already have scheduled a Sinchi Collective release which I really love and look forward to.
4) Which track in the mix is your favourite right now?
I love Phillipi & Rodrigo – New Beach a lot because it is such a great, unique and well-done mixture of styles I love, shaman house and tropical electro disco funk which has a tradition in the favelas of Rio. I remember some great tracks emerged from the “Favela Booty Beats” series a decade ago.
5) What is your favourite track of the last 12 months?
Hard to say. I loved all 44 which I put in my best of the year mix.
My “style favorite” was Autarkic – Rotation! Rotation! (Red Axes Remix) and my personal tune of the year if it comes to “singing along” was Stephan Eicher – Nice (Headman/Robi Insinna Rework). We had a lot of fun with this.
6) What is the last record you bought?
A 2002 classic which was still missing in my collection, FPU – Crockett’s Theme which includes Tiga’s White Linen Vox from Ocean Drive, two real Electro Classics on one 12 inch.
7) Who or what are your biggest musical influences?
The first two Depeche Mode albums, early Bobby Orlando productions, the darker side of Italo Disco, the electronic side of Daniele Baldelli’s Cosmic sets – and everything NuDisco since 2006.
8) Do you have a ritual before you start playing or straight after?
I invest too much time in preselecting by far too many vinyl records. Haha.
9) Who is your favourite DJ? Not including yourself 😉
I really love the Multi Culti Transmissions, especially Dreems sets are my favourites currently.
10) Tell us about 3 DJ’s / Producer’s we may not know but should be looking out for?
Difficult question because it is hard these days for newcomers to become “famous”. I really love Somerville & Wilson productions, Freudenthal is amazing with his solo and the Pardon Moi project and Hivern artist JMII as well.
11) Best advice for anyone coming into the scene, either as a Producer, DJ or Promoter?
Start doing your thing on soundcloud, bandcamp, expect nothing, do what you love, be a nice person, say hi and connect to likeminded people. If you live in a big city, try to set up a regular event series. Then you can invite Djs from all over the place. It is hard if you are in a niche or living in a smaller city, but worth the try. Do some releases on several labels, remix cool tracks. Then try to get a booking agency if you find the time to travel. If it comes to releases – rather invest more time than less into the production of a track as there is enough mediocre stuff out there that keeps people from finding the real gems.
12) Do you think the gap between the mainstream and the underground is getting closer or further apart? Is this a good or bad thing?
What is mainstream today? Some youtube channels? It is a strange time we live in, it is definitely great to see that everybody can easily produce and release music, but people don’t care enough I think, on the consumer side, on DJ side. They just take everything they can get for free which is all. There is more and more music available, so the share for the “underground” is getting smaller and smaller as people don’t dig for gems but rather follow a fake “Sunset House” profile with mediocre tracks.
13) What’s your opinion on the importance of roots , traditions, respecting originals and sources? Should all music be open source and open to editing or do you think cultural and artistic misappropriation is an issue?
I have a professional background as internet/software product manager, this is my main job, working on inventing new cool tools for a better world, currently finalising an ethical crowd-promotion platform where people can share green projects and companies which donate to a good cause in return. I hope there is soon a way to track which original piece is used where in which edit, mix, podcast, youtube video, whatever – and then the original rights owner and the new producer, DJ, curator and platform will all make some money off it. In this scenario, everybody benefits financially. This would be fair. I don’t like the fact that curators like Djs, podcast hosts, radio hosts, labels etc do not earn anything although they give that music a smaller or bigger stage. This needs to change, and then the copyright issues should not be so complicated anymore.
14) Due to developments in technology and software, there is so much which can be done to change a track to the tiniest detail, how much do you use this in your sets? Can too much technology be a bad thing?
So far, I don’t use technology a lot, apart from using it to create my digital only mixes. I also do vinyl mixes, actually most of the time I use vinyl, but technically, they are a lot more difficult. I like all new technology that makes it easier to create new things. Being creative is a great goal for every day so if your output is making you and maybe even others happy, great. 🙂
15) Favourite art besides music? French, Spanish and Scandinavian cinema
16) Favourite writer / scientist / painter / philosopher? Daniel Pinchbeck (“How soon is now” is one of the essential books of 2017!)
17) Favourite out of genre music? 432hz meditation sounds 🙂
18) One piece of music you can’t stand? Death Metal in general – does not fit my energies at all
19) Bad DJ good records or Good DJ bad records? Both can be great, first for the great music, the latter for the great skills. Two different things. I am more a selecta in the vein of John Peel than a skilled DJ although I try to combine both…but great records first, this is always a must as I have so many of them.
20) Favourite way to unwind? Chilling or spinning records on a Mediterranean or Caribbean beach
21) If to live in a lost civilisation or culture, which one would it be? Atlantis on Earth. But I truly believe in reincarnation and also in reincarnating from other worlds and dimensions, and I think I lived on the Pleiades and would like to go back there when this Earth trip is over.
22) Blissful ignorance or harsh reality? I have chosen harsh reality in 2007 when I stopped my IT career to be with my family, to do what I love (The Robot Scientists among other things) and to try to change the world to the better. Still working on it, also on making a living with this approach, haha. It is hard, almost impossible. Not only therefore I think we need to change the economic system. We for example need a basic income for everybody. We all should be allowed to be able to live a decent life in safety, health and freedom, no matter where we were born, where we live and what our talents are. And btw, you only live once, so don’t be a robot all your life! 😉
23) What makes you smile? Homer Simpson.
24) Ultimate aspiration in life? Use my energy, talents, ideals and values to change the world to the better, bring nice people together to do something great and make many people happy along the way, with better music, better experiences, better actions. Travel a lot (which I didn’t do in the last years), be a good husband to my wife and dad to my 10 year old son.