Tassilo Ippenberger and Thomas Benedix, Pan-Pot’s duo team, have launched a twisted and somber techno career since their inception in 2005. Their official debut, “Popy & Caste“, from their debut artist album Pan-O-Rama, has set the stage for dance music that turns conventional techno on its head. More recent hits are “Gravity” and “No One Knows.” Pan-Pot’s duo met in Berlin, but they can now be found touring the roads. Through their original songs and remixed tracks from other artists, they supply dance floors with the sounds of house, techno and everything in between. In today’s interview, find out more about Pan-Pot!
How about we start off with a little background. Who all is behind the Pan-Pot project? How did you meet, and how did you start your career?
- Thomas: We are Tassilo Ippenberger and Thomas Benedix. 2003 we met at the SAE (School of Audio Engineering) in Berlin, where both of us were the only ones who liked Techno music. This is how we started to get to know each other make music together.
- Tassilo: The starting point was when we booked Anja Schneider to one of our events in and shortly after in 2005 mobilee released our “Popy & Caste” EP.
How conscious was your shift in musical development? Speaking of the gradual change over the years from Berlin’s ever-present House and minimal techno to the tech house sound of today. Was that an organic development or did you sit down and decide to change at some point?
- Tassilo: No that just happened. Everybody develops his style and skills right? For us there was never anything planed or a fix decision. When we think about music we just produce what we like.
- Thomas: …and we still are into Techno and are developing those sounds.
Did you have much in the way of help starting your careers? Did you have mentors or anyone to take you under their wing, or did you claw your way up from scratch?
- Tassilo: Mobilee was a big help in developing our career simply because they always supported us and gave us a great platform with the label. It was also the first booking agency that started to get us proper gigs.
You travel fairly often because of your career, correct? What are some of the more interesting places you’ve been to so far? Tell us some of your fun travel anecdotes.
- Thomas: It gets more and more traveling but we love to go to other countries! The mobilee rooftop events at Sonar in Barcelona always stick out as we have all of our friends around and a great time. Once in Hololulu we played on a sailboat party for 50 people and the shuttle boat, that was meant to bring us back to the island broke down and everybody was quite wasted so my brother and myself had to sail back ourselves to the harbor with 4 meters high waves.
- Tassilo: and in Gent girls started to throw their bras and thongs onto the stage and Thomas took one and wore it while DJing. We were young.
Fans are pretty much always curious what type of music their favorite artists enjoy. What are some of your favorite tracks or artists?
- Tassilo: I grew up with Hip-Hop but it luckily changed to Techno when I went to my first Rave. but I like all kinds of music.
- Thomas: same here. There is too much good music out there to be limited to one style but my heart beats for Techno and Tech-House.
Producing for Mobilee has allowed you to work with many different artists. Would you say that their influence has changed your sound in any way? How, if so?
- Tassilo: well, every influence changes our sound, not only other artists we work with. It can be nature, traveling and other cities, sad or happy moments and special clubs which influences what we do. But there is always this specific Pan-Pot style we want to keep and like to carry through.
Tell us about Slam. What was it like working together, and what’s your friendship like?
- Thomas: Slam and us met when we all were picked up from the airport in a tiny car and went on for a long drive. We had a lot of fun and it was a great honor that we were the ones to remix Lifetimes, one of my all time favorite tracks!
- Tassilo: And the whole Soma crew is great. They often ask us to play at their parties in Scotland and we invited Slam to Berlin. We will play quite a few gigs in Germany together too this year I think.
Walk us through building a track. What’s it look like?
- Tassilo: We use Logic and arrange our tracks all way through. There is no fix process though.
How does your standard setup look like when you’re performing? What do you use, and how do you set it all up?
- Thomas: Right now we use Traktor, several X1 controller and the Korg Electribe app with an iPad. We like to combine live elements with a proper DJ set and this setup gives us all the possibilities to do this.
Which of your records is currently the most played?
- Thomas: you mean in our sets? We play the new ones of course but also love to dig out the older ones and integrate them. And within some sets it is always exciting to test new things, which we currently work on but which have not been released.
How were your SONAR experiences? Can you tell us a bit about them?
- Tassilo: the first time we played was at a beach party and we were afraid because we played much harder than the DJs before us. But the people loved it and we only got great feedbacks so that was a great start.
- Thomas: its always a lot of fun to meet all of our friends and party with them, especially at the Mobilee roof top party of course. We always stay there for some days and check out Barcelona and other great parties.
We can see that after the success of “Captain my Captain” you’ve gone ahead with the collaboration with Cari Golden. So what can you tell us about your new single, “The Gravity”?
- Tassilo: Correct,its Cari’s voice on “No Body Knows”, its the second track on our Gravity EP. We wanted to do something little less Techno with her so thats the result. And Gravity is the first track, pure Pan-Pot sound and some nice voice by G-Tech. Safeword did two amazing remixes for this one.
About Pan-Pot – The Documentary. What can you tell us about Sebastian Radlmeier’s film?
- Thomas: each year mobilee release the back to back compilation series where every artist does something special. Now that is was our turn to mix it and because we always have our cam with us when we are on the road the ideas came up to include a DVD.
- Tassilo: Sebastian started to follow up around and collect amazing footage, not only from us touring but also from where we grew up, went to sound engineering school, etc. It gives people a little insight into our lives and shows who we are and what we do. We haven’t seen the documentary ourselves until it was finished and are very happy with the result!
We have to ask. Do you prefer vinyls or CDs, and why?
- Thomas: We use Traktor and X1 controllers to be flexible and integrate live-elements but actually in our technical rider we also ask for turntables because sometimes we also bring vinyls.
We asked before about the music you like to listen to, but much of the time artists like to mix different types of music together. What music do you listen to outside of electronic? Who are your favorite out of genre artists?
- Thomas: right now Solar Quest and film music for me.
- Tassilo: I like classical music a lot right now when traveling and Alternative when working out.
How about if you tell us a secret? Something you’ve never let out before.
- Tassilo: then it would not be a secret anymore right?
- Thomas: there are some secrets at the end of our DVD.
Pan-Pot Back to Back Mix – 16 min teaser
Pan-Pot BerMuDa Special Radio Fritz 05.11.2011
Article by Anna Kec