Eddie C is a Canadian DJ and producer who, a little over 3 years ago, swapped a remote log cabin studio in the Rocky Mountains for the more hectic climes of Berlin and its world famous club scene. Since then he has been a busy man, ripping up dance-floors in underground venues across the globe with his high-energy DJ performances, releasing a slew of excellent grooves on a wide variety of respected house and disco imprints, as well as setting up his own record label, Red Motorbike. Ahead of his next Berlin show for Kleine Reise at About Blank this Friday (DJing with Tim Blake, Baikal and Hrdvsion), we sat down for a quick chat.
#1 Hey Eddie C! How’s it hangin’ “an ting”? Any new years resolutions lurking about?
Yes mon! Everyting is cool with I seen?
I never really make any New Year resolutions per se, but there are a few things running ’round my brain for sure. Goals are better. I have a piece of paper with goals on it. My wife wrote a nice list of ‘intentions’ above my desk which is in our kitchen. Maybe I’ll take some Jamaican Patois language lessons.
#2 Looking back on 2014, what kind of year was it for you, and what memories stand out from the rest? Any big plans for 2015?
Man, it’s been pretty good I suppose! Can’t complain. Lots of travelling. Although I’m usually full of anxiety and worry as the year progresses, looking back.. yeah, wow.. so many new places and people.. lots of fun. I started using my blog a lot more. My memory really isn’t what it used to be and writing briefly about these short trips while it’s fresh in my mind has really helped. I remember running into your brother once outside Schönefeld airport and he asked me where I was coming from and I completely drew a blank. Scary.
2015 – yes! Is this where I get to advertise? We just finished an album for my label ‘Red Motorbike’. There’s music from me and many of the other past contributors to the label on there. It will be available as double vinyl and cassette. Out in a couple of months I imagine. These things seem to take longer and longer these days.
#3 You’ve been living in Berlin for over 3 years now right? Has the city had any tangible effect on your way of making music, or is the process still largely the same as when you lived in Canada?
Yeah I suppose you come home from a two-and-a-half day party and you want to try and make music suitable for something like that. I do do things a bit differently here. I’m sure the city has had a great effect on me. This is a very inspiring place to live music-wise! It’s wonderful to have good record shops so close to my house.
#4 I’m a big fan of sample-infused music such as your own, before you started making your own tunes, were there any other artists employing this method or a variation of it, that made you want to emulate them? For example was there any producer that made you think “I wanna make music like that guy”?
Sure! I was heavy into the Bomb Squad as a kid. And tonnes of other records from that brief era of anything-goes sampling from 87-91. Later I really loved Pete Rock and DJ Premier, J Dilla and Madlib, Theo Parrish and Moodymann. The usual suspects.
#5 Can you tell us your favourite Eddie C track, and the last tune you can remember having stuck in your head?
Whichever one is the most repetitive. Provided that moment of repeated time is worth hearing again and again. Digging for loops or making something from scratch that’s worth listening to over and over is very interesting to me. Why do we like that?
#6 What’s been the hardest part of Berlin life that you’ve had to get used to since moving here from Canada, and apart from maybe friends or family, what are the things you miss most from home?
Do you want this in alphabetical order? Only joking. But not really. Obviously it couldn’t be more different here than where we were coming from. But I think that it’s quite healthy to make big changes in life. I think what I miss most is the opportunity to escape into the wilderness. And driving. Listening to music in the car. I do love Berlin dearly though.I have no regrets.
#7 Let’s move onto some German favourites: Favourite German food/restaurant? German word/expression? German musician? German bier/drink?
I used to think Markthalle Neun was the best for Schnitzel, but I was proved incorrect this past weekend at Wirtshaus-Zum-Mitterhoffer. Delicious! There are a lot of German words that sound funny to English speakers but are not funny at all to Germans. You’ve probably heard this one, “Schadenfreude”. The act of finding pleasure at someone else’s misfortune. Ah, wait… “Rhabarbersaft”. That was the first time I had a German thought. I wanted “Rhabarbersaft” – not Rhubarb juice. It was a strange feeling. German beer is better than any other beer in the world hands down, no competition. 99.9% of the ‘craft’ beer I’ve tried in my life is terrible. I don’t think beer should be treated like wine. There should only be a very specific way of making it and Germans do it correctly. German musicians? I’ll just give you my top 10 I guess…in no particular order. Can, Cluster, Manuel Gottsching, Kraftwerk, Conrad Schnitzler, Joachim Witt, Pete Namlook, Moritz Von Oswald, Wolfgang Vogt, Harald Grosskopf.
#8 What’s does an ideal, non-musical related, day in Berlin look like for you? Have you taken up any hobbies since moving here?
It has been an interesting task finding new hobbies. I have found great solace in Chess actually, and only in the past few months. Kinda crazy, but I’ve been playing almost every day. It’s good for me because I often make rash decisions without thinking. You can’t do that in Chess. I’m reading a bit more than usual as well. Trying to keep on top of the English language which I seem to be losing touch with rapidly. It’s everything I can do to sound coherent writing these answers.
#9 You’re known as a bit of a fiend when it comes to “crate-digging” for rare old vinyl gems in record stores across the globe, and you once mentioned that you bumped into DJ Shadow while in an old store. What has been your most treasured find so far in a German store?
Yeah I like shopping for records. And I have found some odd ones here. A simple find stands out though – and is chess related! I found an original copy of Manuel Gottsching’s E2-E4 on my first trip to Berlin ever. It was priced accordingly, but it seemed like an appropriate purchase.
#10 Finally, if we could peak inside your head a night while you were sleeping (in a totally not creepy way, I swear), what do Eddie C’s wildest dreams look like? What are your ultimate ambitions yet to be achieved in life?
I have pretty crazy dreams. A lot of dreams of storms. I know I said before that ‘change’ in life is quite healthy but that’s not to say that I enjoy change. In my ideal world there’s a good sound system, a nice fire place in a snow storm, friends, family, food, drink and cheer. I’d really be totally happy to continue in relative variations of what has already happened to me. No idea what will happen though. Positive thinking and living for now. Good advice I think. I’ll probably retire somewhere in the Canadian northwest and/or the Caribbean.
Photo credit: Brena Currelly & Σταύρος Αθανασάκης