Over the course of the last two plus decades, the German born DJ, musician and composer Marc Romboy has become synonymous with a soulful electronic music sound that has taken him all over the world. As well as releasing on only the most influential labels, from Innervisions to Ovum and Kompakt to 20:20 Vision, he is also the sole mastermind behind the influential Systematic Recordings label and has been since 2004.
Despite being a key player for so long, Marc is still as relevant as ever and remains right at the sharp end of electronic music. Proof of that comes in the form of his DJ schedule, which takes him from Fabric to Womb and Berghain to Watergate, as well as to not one but three separate Boiler Room shows. All three proved Marc to be a dexterous performer who never relies on obviousness or gimmicks, instead telling truly musical stories that place dancers right at the heart of the action.
We caught up with Marc Romboy to talk about the just-released Systematic Recordings 15 years compilation.
Electronic Groove: Hi Marc, congratulations for 15 years of Systematic Recordings. How do you feel about this special achievement?
Marc Romboy: Thanks for the invite. Well, it‘s not like that I wake up every morning and say: “Hey, how great that my label is 15”. But yes, I‘m proud because I could contribute a number of cool tracks, thanks to my personal taste and of course all artists who have believed in my work.
EG: Talking about the label’s early days. Did you ever think that it would last more than 15 years or it was created without time limits?
Marc Romboy: It‘s pretty impossible to plan such a long period of time. When I was 22 I thought that I wouldn‘t make music anymore when I was 30. I was sure that I would be doing something more serious (laughs).
EG: The compilation brings 15 tracks including tracks by John Digweed, Giorgia Angiuli, Rodriguez Jr, Fur Coat, among others. Would you say that it represents the sounds and style that the imprint has featured over the years?
Marc Romboy: Absolutely yes. The main direction was always techno and house with an emotional message, something touching, moving. But I was always a fan of rather deep and groovy stuff as well. That‘s why the likes of Jimpster, Pezzner and Animal Print are on the compilation, too.
EG: Can you describe how was the artist’s selection process?
Marc Romboy: The classical way: I put together a list of artists who musically address me and then I called them up. I was very glad that even artists like John Digweed, Nick Muir and Jimpster agreed to contribute with music.
EG: Have you tried all the tracks on a dancefloor sound system? Any special mention or comment you’d like to add?
Marc Romboy: Yes. I only release what I have tried and tested before. This is also the philosophy of Systematic Recordings. Releasing music I love and play in my own sets.
EG: How you envision Systematic Recordings in the next 10 years?
Marc Romboy: Hard to say. Basically I want to focus on a handful of great and loyal musicians who don‘t intend to jump from label to label. The number of different artists on the label will be more limited, more recognizable.
EG: What would be your recommendation for the ones that are starting their own label?
Marc Romboy: If you start a label in order to reach a short term success, better forget about it. You must have a lot of patience and stamina, and you really have to love this kind of business. It requires a lot of passion, efforts and loyalty to other artists. If you are to egotrippin‘, it‘s not for you.
“Systematic Recordings main direction was always techno
and house with an emotional message”
EG: Talking about you, how was your last weekend in South America?
Marc Romboy: I really really can‘t describe this in words. I love to travel around the whole world but South America‘s crowd are one of the most outstanding. There was one single moment at Crobar in Buenos Aires when I looked at the crowd and I realized how intensively physical the peeps were moving. I was like wow, how wonderful is this, wow just wow.
EG: How’s your summer agenda looking like?
Marc Romboy: Very exciting. Because I‘m about to start my solo live show, finally! The first three shows will be at Fusion Festival, Astropolis in Brest and Family Piknik in Montpellier. Anticipation (smirks)!
’15 Yrs Systematic’ is already available on Systematic Recording. Grab your copy here.