Nico Plagemann [Kollektiv Turmstrasse]: Poland has never disappointed me! – interview
A few days before the YAP event in Poznan's club Tama, we asked Kollektiv Turmstrasse's Nico Plagemann about new music, explorations as an artist, the Polish crowd and many more.
The favorite collective of the Polish audience
Kollektiv Turmstrasse is a project founded in 1998, by two roommates, record collectors, and music production enthusiasts from Hamburg: Christian Hilscher and Nico Plagemann. The result of several years of the duo’s work was the release of the EP New Weakness in 2004 for the netlabel No Response, for which the duo also recorded their debut longplay Verrückte Welt two years later.
Kollektiv Turmstraße – Freiflug
Later, it was time for more releases: for Diynamic Music, Ostwind Records, Baalsaal Music, and Connaisseur Recordings. The remix of Federleicht’s track On The Street brought a lot of publicity to the project. on the compilation albums Renaissance: The Masters Series Part 11 and FabricLive 51: The Duke Dumont.
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Bezpieczne i proste zakupy
Kollektiv Turmstrasse – On The Streets (Kollektiv Turmstrasse Let Freedom)
The third album (and so far the last longplay in Kollektiv Turmstrasse’s achievements) Rebellion der Träumer from 2010 showed the potential of their music going beyond the club sphere – there is a lot of inspiration with Icelandic electronics and songs with a downtempo rhythm. Tracks from this release have been acclaimed and remixed by major artists from major club labels such as Cocoon, Get Physical, Soma, Poker Flat, Defected, Systematic, and Traum. In the early 10s, the duo had the pleasure of remixing tracks by well-known figures from both the club scene and the concert and festival scene, such as Trentemøller, Hot Chip, or Terry Lee Brown Jr.
Kollektiv Turmstrasse – Schwindelig
And the year 2015 has come – there is no denying that it was the most breakthrough moment in the history of Kollektiv Turmstrasse. A few months before the premiere of their EP on Diynamic Music, Solomun played the title track Sorry I’m Late during his set in the Boiler Room. The rest is history!
Kollektiv Turmstrasse – Sorry I Am Late (edit)
In 2022, after three years of silence, Kollektiv Turmstrasse returned to the stage with new music, but without Christian Hilscher, who left the project. The new YAP EP presents a rather unconventional sound – it combines what is known from their music – mixing house with melodic and minimalist techno, as well as exploring new sounds. For a few months, Nico Plagemann is touring Europe with a series of YAP events – we asked him a few questions before returning to Poland with his new music.
Kollektiv Turmstrasse – interview with muno.pl
Adam Dąbrowski: Last time we were talking 8 years ago. What changed in Kollektiv Turmstrasse from this time?
Nico Plagemann: Oooooh, a lot! It would be easier to tell you what hasn’t changed! Constant change is a good thing! Standing still would be terrible! I was a lot in the studio and produced a lot of new music; some were already released, and way more is coming soon – the new album is finished! I’ve also started my label with Not Sorry Music, where my YAP EP was released recently, and the new album is coming later this year. And then we also started the amazing YAP events with editions in London, Berlin, Amsterdam, Hamburg, and, of course, Poznan. That’s so much fun! The events are envisioned and curated by myself; I am playing there with DJs and live acts that I love, such as Roman Flügel, Danny Daze, Alinka, Dusky, Impérieux, Isolée, Terr, and many more. And then, of course, there’s another significant change: My long-time partner Christian left the project. We had a wonderful time together for many years; Christian had a huge impact on the project – but at some point, he didn’t feel the same way anymore; all the traveling became too exhausting, and he couldn’t keep it under a hat with his family and all that. That’s why he left the project in 2020.
Your new project – YAP, it’s an exploration of different styles in club music. Do you think that part of the exploration and an open mind for new is the most important thing in music production?
Nico Plagemann: As a musician, producer, and live act, I’m always trying to take the next step musically and artistically. I always want to develop my sound further – and luckily, I’ve always managed to do that. The current music of Turmstrasse sounds much groovier than it did a few years ago. I don’t like to categorize my sound, but I feel quite comfortable in the genres of house, breakbeats, and electronica. I am always open to new influences; I listen to so much different music from the most different genres.
Kollektiv Turmstrasse – YAP
What’s your definition of „new music”?
Nico Plagemann: New music is music that has been produced recently – nothing more or less. New music is not necessarily better or worse. And new music has nothing to do with styles or genres. I love mixing old-school elements with super-fresh influences. It’s great that classic house sounds and old-school rave techno are back – this is a fantastic inspiration, and whenever you combine things, new things are generated.
You played a lot of times in Poland – could you tell me about your experience in this country? What impressed you the most, or what things disappointed you?
Nico Plagemann: First of all, Poland has never disappointed me! I have always liked Poland very much! I have met many passionate people who love electronic music, push the scene and uphold its ethical values. Great clubs, great parties, musically highly educated ravers. That’s why we had to add a YAP event in Poland to our schedule!
In the history of music, a lot of artists and bands just hated their opus magnum, the biggest hits. For sure, it’s a huge promotion, but in another view, one banger could cover any other (possibly better) works of artists or bands – like Radiohead’s Creep. In this case, what do you feel about the Sorry I’m Late massive success?
Nico Plagemann: I am happy and proud that so many people are enthusiastic about the track. That’s something nice! Music is an emotional thing, and if I can move people with my music, then that is the greatest reward. Lately, I don’t play Sorry I’m Late that often – but I’m sure I’ll drop it again now and then when it’s a good fit!