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Paul Traeumer: “To touch emotions or minds, you’ll need passion, joy, and patience”

Berlin-based musician, Paul Traeumer, is gaining recognition in the electronic music scene for his distinctive sound and dynamic performances.

Photo credit: Paul Traeumer – Official

Coming from a classical training background, Traeumer seamlessly combines the roles of an electronic producer and live musician. Unlike many artists in the scene, his musical journey began outside clubs. His innovative approach to experimenting with global underground music consistently pushes dance music boundaries.

His debut album ‘La Vaca Cega’ is a diverse eight-track work, developed over two years. It highlights his ability to reinvent his sound with simplicity, unexpected melodies, and emotional depth.

We had an engaging discussion with Traeumer about his music journey, the new album, and his upcoming projects, delving into the mind of the man behind the music.

EG: Hi, Paul! Welcome to EG. It’s a pleasure to have you here with us. How have you been? What have you been up to?

Paul Traeumer: Hello hello. Thanks, very good, entering this week from our last Kontrapost Label Showcase at Kater Blau, which happened to be a fire event from start to finish. We really didn’t expect it to that extent, even though we had quite some spicy line-up curation already there in the past. There was a group of fans flying in from Estonia for our showcase only – it felt surreal. We are very thankful for these possibilities and, of course, also for all the support we felt that weekend. It feels good that our vision of club music resonates and keeps growing a community of ravers and listeners.

EG: Sounds like good times! First of all, congratulations on the release of your debut studio album, ‘La Vaca Cega’! You must be amped to finally share this one. How are you feeling about this one? What has the initial reception been like so far?

Paul Traeumer: Thank you! It feels like it really was about time to share these works with the world. Looking back on the process of creating these pieces, it feels like a search for movement and a moment, and I wanted to invite listeners on some parallel path of that journey.

Even more, as we at Kontrapost aren’t fans of sending promotions and pushing others to listen to our output by spamming mail folders, I was very happy to receive some receptions close to my heart – as well by some magazines, media, and print, as from dear colleagues and DJs around the globe that got a chance to listen to the DJ sets I performed in 2024.

EG: So, tell us, what can your fans expect to find on ‘La Vaca Cega’? Is there a concept running throughout the record’s eight tracks?

Paul Traeumer: The album for me feels like it’s designed to be listened to as a whole, and I wanted to create an experience that has musical variation while being counteracted by a red line of simplicity and repetition. Like looking through a friend’s music collection, there are things along the way that surprise you, and while maybe at first irritating, it’s just these songs that you will start to love most later on.

EG: What was the recording process for ‘La Vaca Cega’ like? Was the record a long time in the making? Did you have a clear horizon by the time you composed the first track on the album?

Paul Traeumer: It was a two-year-long process of creating and selecting this album, so it really feels like a long-term project. I wanted to produce a record with only original tracks somewhere in between the length of an LP and EP, for years, but just over the last year, the dots got connected.

“The album for me feels like it’s designed to be listened to as a whole, and I wanted to create an experience that has musical variation…”

EG: And ‘La Vaca Cega’ is out via your own Kontrapost imprint. Where is the label at the moment? What can we expect from Kontrapost in the next few months?

Paul Traeumer: We’ve had 12 full releases, all digital up to now. We have regular events taking place in the above-mentioned Kater Blau in Berlin, and from time to time we also set out for external collaborations with clubs in or around Berlin, Dresden, and Leipzig.

The label was always designed as a long-term project. The club music industry puts you in boxes and sells you from there. We took Kontrapost as a chance to move freely with our artists and our ideas – creating a space as much for side projects that come with NDW-lyrics and breakbeats, as for deeper, hip-hop and soul-influenced approaches, or indie dance.

We would love to see the label continue to grow into a safe space for recurring artists, spending time with them along their musical passage – regarding sound design or aesthetics and form. That’s why we also have a colorful bouquet of artists about to be released next. To name a few, that’s Andi Otto, John Parsley, Gun!lla, Geju, and many more. Of course, we will also continue to keep this playground for any experiment that comes to cross our minds.

EG: Are there any plans to perform ‘La Vaca Cega’ in a live setting? Is being able to translate this something that you take into consideration when making music?

Paul Traeumer: I was taking quite some time thinking of a live setting for ‘La Vaca.’ It just turned out, that this year will be a pretty full one, regarding touring as much as producing and continuing to work on the label’s output. Also, now I’m part of an exciting contemporary dance theater project (with the group Los Informalls from Barcelona), where I’m responsible for the music composition and also performing this one live later that year (premiere: September 24 in Barcelona). That’s why I decided to not hold on to the idea of performing ‘La Vaca Cega’ live – however, a live set is of course something that I want to be happening again at some point in the near future.

EG: You are a classically trained musician. When did you “make the jump” to electronic music? Does it require a different mindset?

Paul Traeumer: I guess when I saved some money to afford my first synthesizer workstation and some cheap turntables later on – maybe when I was 15 or 16. I don’t remember exactly. But techno has always been a part of the listening habits of my parents, so I never was far from that world. I don’t think that it has to require a different mindset. Whichever music you make, if you have the goal to touch emotions or minds, you’ll need passion, joy, and patience. No matter if it’s about writing and creating music, or performing a DJ or Live set.

EG: Now, let’s step outside of the studio for a bit…what’s your take on the state of the scene? How do you feel about the implementation of AI? Has any form of AI been used on ‘La Vaca Cega’?

Paul Traeumer: AI really has become a big topic for creating art in general. But what we experience today, is still mostly tools that are operating on a very narrow field, that’s why I often prefer the term machine learning over the over-used AI hysteria.

I think this process is better seen as long-term changes within technologies and industries. If you look into a standard DAW for music production nowadays, there are many things happening that maybe aren’t AI, but are tools and programs that have made producing music significantly easier, and also cheaper, throughout the last 20 years, while often operating on code, which the user is far from understanding.

If we talk about self-operating plug-ins like Portal for example, then ‘La Vaca Cega’ for sure has some of it included.

“The label was always designed as a long-term project. The club music industry puts you in boxes and sells you from there. We took Kontrapost as a chance to move freely with our artists and our ideas…”

EG: Finally, can you provide some insights into what’s next for Paul Traeumer? What can we expect from you in the coming months? Where can your fans catch you next?

Paul Traeumer: Besides throwing events in Kater from time to time, and playing this summer in and around Germany, we are in the process of setting up a little tour in and around Japan this autumn, to which I’m really looking forward.

Apart from that, it looks like after I take a little break from touring the Americas, next winter I will be back to perform some shows in the US, and Mexico and dipping my toe for the first time into Brazil for some collaboration with Xique-Xique (if everything goes as planned, fingers crossed).

Music-wise, there will be an exciting package of remixes for the ‘La Vaca Cega’ album out on Kontrapost, for which I will be sharing some names soon. Moreover, after Kontrapost is out from its baby shoes and walking sustainably, I also want to focus again on releasing some music with other imprints and labels I love. That will happen for example with Tepeme Musica, an exciting sloth and electronica label from Mexico City, where I contributed a track for their upcoming compilation. The same is true for Leveldva, with whom I have worked constantly over the past 10 years.

EG: Thank you so much for your time, Paul! We wish you all the best for the future.

Paul Traeumer: Thanks for the nice talk, all the best!

Paul Traeumer’s ‘La Vaca Cega’ EP is now available via kontrapost. Stream and download here.

Follow Paul Traeumer:  Spotify | Soundcloud | Facebook | Instagram 

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