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Interview: Tube & Berger and Juliet Sikora, Kittball Records Founders

Internationally known for productions and DJ-sets from Tube & Berger, Juliet Sikora and P.A.C.O.; Kittball Records is a platform for the artists to release tracks of their own and others they are into, bringing you the “Kitt” from their favourite tracks.

The label has been releasing House and Tech House tracks since 2005, by artists like Timo Maas, Ida Engberg, Ante Perry,  Jay Lumen, Teenage Mutants, P.A.C.O., Paji, Turntablerocker, among many others. A typical Kittball release can be recognized by the fresh sound, deep bass and a tiny pinch of irony.

We met with founders Tube & Berger and Juliet Sikota to talk about their history, latest releases and label philosophy.

Electronic Groove: Hello, thank you for joining us today! Could you tell us a little bit about how the collaboration came about between you when you started Kittball Records? Can you remember the first moment you met each other?

Juliet Sikora: Hey, thanks for inviting me 😉

We are friends since many years, of course we met for the first time in the nightlife. Tube & Berger headhunted me from another label and asked me if I want to be a co-owner. Of course my answer was, YES DUDES!

Electronic Groove: Can you each tell us a bit about how you first got into producing? What were some of your biggest inspirations when you started out?

Tube & Berger: We started as a Punk band in the early 90’s before we got hit by the big rave wave a few years later. Bands like Daft Punk, Underworld or The Chemical Brothers sounded like a fusion of Techno & Rock n Roll to us and that was the sound we wanted to make. We were totally hooked and morphed from Punks into Techno Punks within days… Or hours.

Electronic Groove: How do you go about selecting artists to sign to Kittball? Do you each have different things you look for?

Tube & Berger: The ideal is when we all immediately agree to sign an artist but this doesn’t happen too often. Great examples of acts we love and that becamed core artists of Kittball in the past are Paji, Purple Disco Machine or Return Of The Jaded. Getting signed to Kittball is actually pretty simple… Produce great music and be a nice person.

Electronic Groove: The collaborative single you created ‘Set If Off’ was a massive success, would you say this was one of your collaborative highlights? What releases would you say you’re most proud of on Kittball?

Tube & Berger: Yes, absolutely! ‘Set It Off’ moved our careers and the label to a higher level and of course is one of the Kittball releases that made us proud and happy.

Electronic Groove: Would you say that you’ve all learnt a lot from each other over the years? Have your music styles changed or developed at all from when you first launched the label?

Tube & Berger: We constantly learn from each other and we never get tired of discussing the future of the label and House and Techno music. Yes, of course our music styles change again and again as we see electronic music as a very dynamic thing. That doesn’t mean we like or even understand every new trends but it’s cool and necessary to reinvent yourself from time to time.

Electronic Groove: (Juliet) you’ve been creating music for the last 10 years, as a female DJ & Producer, have you ever found it harder to make a name for yourself? Although it’s a much more open-minded industry now, did it ever used to hold you back at all?

Juliet Sikora: Well, I’ve been Djing for 17 years, producing for 10 years. When I look back in the past, it was differently harder to get accepted in the scene as a female DJ. It was, and it is still a masculine domain but these days we have higher appreciation and acceptance, that makes things much easier.

Electronic Groove: (Juliet) What was the music scene like when you were growing up in Poland? What were some of your first experiences with electronic music?

Juliet Sikora: I can’t say much about the music scene in Poland; I was three years old when we moved to Germany, but my first electronic music experience was, funnily enough, a Jean Michelle Jarre cassette from my father, which he bought in Poland before we left. I loved the music as a child, and I’m pretty sure it influenced my music background.

Electronic Groove: (Tube & Berger) You’ve both been friends for a long time; did you both have very similar music tastes when you were growing up? Can you also tell us a bit about what the music scene was like growing up in a small town in Germany?

Tube & Berger: We both have our roots in Rock music and especially the Punk Rock scene was big in our area but everything changed when we went to our first few raves. Discovering new music wasn’t that easy back in the 90’s because there was no proper internet. We started collecting vinyls and sometimes had to wait for weeks to finally buy a record we desperately wanted to have.

Electronic Groove: (Tube & Berger) If you both had to name one of each other’s favourite releases, what would they be? Do you ever help each other when creating a new EP or track?

Tube & Berger: It’s definitely Larry’s Garage. We hammered that tune for months and we think it’s Juliet’s best work so far.

Electronic Groove: One of your most recent projects together was your remix of Kurd Maverick’s ‘The Rub’, what’s it like remixing a track together? Do you work together in the same studio whilst remixing a track?

Tube & Berger: All 3 of us loved the original from back in 2006 and even if it was hard to improve on the original we had very cool studio sessions while making that remix. Juliet came over and we started from scratch and most if it was done within a few hours but it took a little longer until we finally finished this beast of a remix 🙂

Electronic Groove: What’s next for the three of you? Any future collaborations on the horizon?

Tube & Berger: Nothing specific is planned yet but we’re sure there will be another collab soon. We are working on our second album at the moment and we’re pretty sure that there will be another collab with Juliet on it.

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