Klartraum's label has been going strong for over a decade now
Earlier this year, Lucidflow celebrated their 10th anniversary. Their celebrations were remarkably low-key, taking the form of a simple four-track vinyl EP – but then if you want things loud, brash and in your face, Lucidflow probably aren't the people to ask!
Rather, the Berlin stable headed up by Nadja Lind and Helmut Erbritsch (known collectively as Klartraum) has spent the past decade specialising in the kind of deep, dubby minimalism that finds fans among the house and techno communities alike. Originally intended as a vehicle for Lind and Erbritsch's own productions (both individually and as a duo), over time the label has expanded its remit and put out tracks and remixes by the likes of Riccicomoto, D. Diggler, Spettro, Helly Larson, Deep Spelle, Paul Lorraine, Rishi K (RIP), Justin Berkovi and many more.
It's also spawned two sub-labels: Sofa Sessions, which focuses on more chilled-out deep house, ambient and lounge tracks ("as well as my binaural ambientation drone music," adds Nadja), and Im-Moral, a home for slightly tuffer-edged techno and minimal releases. To date, the label has put out a total of 175 digital and 10 vinyl releases, with the latest – the Kamadelo EP from Jor-G – landing in stores this week.
Despite all this activity, Lind and Erbritsch continue to run the business single-handed (well, double-handed), which doubtless keeps them extremely busy! But Nadja kindly took some time out to answer our questions anyway, and here's what she had to tell us…
What were your reasons for setting up Lucidflow in the first place?
"We set up the label in 2009, originally just to have a platform for our own (Klartraum, Helmut Ebritsch, Nadja Lind) musical output."
Deep techno, dub techno, minimal… there are lots of ways to describe the kind of music Lucidflow releases. But how do YOU describe it?
"Timeless classy soul-touching detailed future old-school dub and deep techno high-end mastered ear candy! We don't care much about the mainstream or what's the flavour of the season. Music either touches our souls or not.
"Demos have to convey a certain standard of production skills and sound quality, but more importantly the music has to touch my soul/body in some way, either through a driving, danceable beat or because it's interesting through intelligent use of chords, melodies or sounds. Deep music. No annoying synths nor vocals. But how can you convey in words what sound is like for you?!"
That said, Lucidflow seems to have been putting out a few harder/more uptempo releases of late. Is that a result of your own changing tastes, a business decision to expand the label's reach, or…?
"It's a decision simply built on goosebumps! Our tastes have always included harder/uptempo music if we feel the vibe. We both have always loved and also produced some more forward techno tracks: my last solo production for Lucidflow (on the 10th anniversary vinyl) is a bit faster, and so were my recent releases on Klimaks Records/Noir Music and Paper Jet Recordings (with D. Diggler).
"The record I'm currently working on with Jam El Mar (aka Jam & Spoon) is also pretty techy. And for the past year I've been playing a weekly techno show called Skuzzi on DI.FM and other stations, along with Spettro."
Where do you see Lucidflow tracks ending up: are you strictly thinking of the club scene when you're making A&R decisions, or do you envisage having a lot of "home listeners", for want of a better word?
"Both! We also like to sign music for our compilations – such as Lucid Moments, Deep Space Night, From Dub Till Lucid Dawn and Dark Matter – and there are so many occasions to listen to certain music: chilling at the beach, climbing mountains, sitting in a park with friends, while you're travelling…"
A lot of labels are moving into the 'events space', hosting label showcase parties, festival stages and so on. Is that an area Lucidflow is currently active/has any plans in?
"Not really. In October last year we premiered our Klartraum Live concert in a beautiful church in Berlin, accompanied by VJ team Akusto Optik, who lit up the whole interior of the church with 3D visuals to celebrate 12 years of Klartraum Live. That was magical! But we've no plans to start putting on Lucidflow events – at least not in the 'usual' club environment.
"On the other hand, we do have some special plans for Klartraum… but I can't talk about the details just yet."
You celebrated 10 years in the game earlier this year – that must have been a good feeling?
"Of course! Ten years: so exciting. For the anniversary EP we worked with some of our favourite artists, and since then we've put out more great music from Patrick Chardonnet, Hernan Bass, Jor-G and Dub Taylor, AKA Tigerskin. So it's been a good year, with plenty more to come!"
Lucidflow has, quite truthfully, been one of my personal favourite labels in recent years… but spread the love! What other deep/dub/minimal techno labels should I be looking out for? Who's out there that you see as kindred spirits?
"Thank you very much for the love, this feels wonderful!
"There are definitely plenty of kindred spirit labels out there who are also releasing quality music. Some examples would Seven Villas for the more deep house spirit, Soma Records for the straight techno vibe, or Hernan Bass's strictly minimalistic label Krad Records."
Finally, what else is going on in the world of Lucidflow and Klartraum that iDJ readers need to know about?
"I want to thank all our listeners, fans and artists for ten beautiful and exciting years. We keep on Lucidflowing!
"Klartraum-wise, we plan to release our Burning Man 2019 live set soon, as well as some other goodies. So stay tuned, for instance by subscribing to our YouTube channel. It really makes a huge difference if you play Lucidflow music on Spotify, add it to playlists, share it with friends and on socials, leave comments and buy our music in shops and record stores. Without our music lovers, we wouldn't be here!"
Words: Russell Deeks
Jor-G's Kamadelo EP is out this week on Lucidflow
Tags: Lucidflow, Klartraum, Nadja Lind, Helmut Erbritsch, Riccicomoto, D. Diggler, Spettro, Helly Larson, Deep Spelle, Paul Lorraine, Rishi K, Justin Berkovi, DI.FM, Jam El Mar, Akusto Optic, Tigerskin, Patrick Chardonnet, Hernan Bass, Burning Man, deep techno, dub techno, minimal, deep house, deep tech