It would seem that German hipster quartet Dublex Inc. is founded on the amalgamation of individualities into a synthesized singularity. This sheds light onto the Dublex sound as hip hop, breaks, funk, jazz, samba and madness are all stirred into the same stew.
Founded in ’00 by Robin Hoffman, Florian Pfluger, Rino Spadavecchia and Felix Stecher, each of whom are DJs, they created Pulver Records and saw their earliest single ‘Tango Forte’ sit at #1 in Germany for six weeks. They then produced their first long-player Eight Ears at the end of ’04 and have released a stack of remixes.
A producer from the UK picked it, sampled our beats and it turned out that he used it to produce a #1 UK hit! We sold more than 800,000 singles at that time
Fly’s Jeremy Balius invited Florian Pfluger to delineate the direction Dublex Inc. is heading in and deliberate the role of coincidence.
It’s now been six months since the release of Eight Ears. In what ways are you still thriving off the album release?
Well, on one hand we’re still licensing many tracks on compilations. On the other hand, it is helping us a lot to find the right way to our next album. You know, when you listen to the same tracks over and over again you get bored with it easily. But there are parts, sounds, instruments and voices I still love after playing it a thousand times. I think the right formula is to build on these moments to create something new and surprising and finding our musical identity at the same time.
Are there specific roles each of you play out in Dublex?
You can’t look at the roles we are playing like ‘jobs’. It’s not that one of us is in charge of the beats, the other one is only programming bass-lines. More important, is the spirit each of us is bringing in. Our sound is defined by eight ears and it wouldn’t be the same anymore if one of us didn’t take part.
You’ve been together for 5 years now. How has the dynamic of the group changed since then?
Of course we are working together more professionally after five years. Beside Dublex, three of us are running the Pulver-label. That means you have to count on each other; there’s a lot of financial things to get straight and stuff like that. But we started as friends and we are still so. I think it is very important to observe certain rules like paying respect to each other, staying interested and keep listening to others’ ideas. And, of course, not to lose the idea behind all this and why we started it.
It seems as if it was by accident that Pulver came to be in that it was a response to not being able to sell ‘A Night at the Blowshop’. But then it turns out starting Pulver has been the best thing you could have done. In what other ways have chance and coincidence helped and shaped the career of Dublex?
There was, and still are, many good people accompanying us on our way. Our distributor (soulseduction.com), our booker (firstname.lastname@example.org), friends and labels like Jurgen Drimal from Vienna Scientists, Kinski and Bjorn from Stereo Deluxe, Heinzi from Sunshine Enterprises, just to name a few. And, of course, all the DJs we met around the world. Sometimes it was like a chain reaction. For example, our first single ‘Tango Forte’ was licensed to the Hotel Costes compilation. A producer from the UK picked it, sampled our beats and it turned out that he used it to produce a #1 UK hit! We sold more than 800,000 singles at that time. This surely helped us a lot.
Since all four of you are DJs and play out quite often, how do you marshall your time to be able to produce? Do productions take that much longer to complete?
Now you’re addressing a problem, indeed. When we produced the last album during one summer, we had to take time out to get together. This time we tried to find possible studio dates and it turns out that we are going to go on a ‘studio- holiday’ in Hungary in September now. We’ve got a couple of half-finished tracks and half-done sketches waiting to be finished and I hope that we’ll get the album ready by spring 2006.
By stating that there is no specific style to Dublex, that different styles are essential to your productions and DJing, are you compensating for 4 different backgrounds and influences, or are you opening up the playing field so that there is never an expected Dublex sound?
No, I think we’re reaching a consensus. This is a very important process in shaping our style. The aim for the next album is not to produce tracks in these certain styles. We’re trying to let our roots float in every single track (hope someone will buy an italodiscoregaaedubacidtachnoundergrounndhiphopsoujazz-album). This will make the result more harmonic and will bring us even closer in a way.
Please discuss the plans for a Dublex remix collection.
You know, we did more than 30 remixes in the last four years. There’s remixes for Rodney Hunter, Kurtis Blow, Malente, Re:Jazz, Sugababes, Chris Joss and Baby Mammoth among many others. The idea was to release a kind of ‘Best of’ collection in winter ’05/’06.
What is in line for Dublex productions? Anything to look forward to?
At the moment we’re working on our next single. It’s gonna be a breakbeat track with these typical Dublex-horn stabs. Vocals will be sung by Ashley Slater. Remember him from Freakpower?
For all news and updates, visit www.dublex-inc.com and www.pulver-rec.com.