Purple Disco Machine finally released his stunning debut album ‘Soulmatic’ last month and it has capped off an impressive 2017 so far from the German disco producer.
Purple Disco Machine’s debut album ’Soulmatic’ is a uplifting and entertaining listening experience, ideal for both club and home listening, that’s been extremely well executed by one of dance music’s much loved and in form artists. A debut long-player to be proud of.
Not only has the producer delivered a brilliant long-player, Tino Pionek finally made his Essential Mix debut this month too, delivering 2 hours of spellbinding disco, house and everything in-between. He’s also been supporting Jamiroquai for their current UK arena tour, too.
We managed to grab a quick chat with Purple Disco Machine’s Tino Pionek about his new album, working with multiple collaborators and what he’s got planned for the rest of the year and beyond.
Hello Tino. First of all, congratulations on the release of your debut album ‘Soulmatic’ — what’s your overriding emotion now it’s been released?
Thank you! A mixture of pride, satisfaction and relief. It has been 3 years in the making. Pride in that I think that with my collaborators we have delivered something that I can be proud to put my name too. Satisfaction in that it is a great feeling to have it out there now and being promoted properly by the great record label and promotional teams I have around me. And relief that the debut album is now done and I can start looking forward to the next chapters.
When did you begin working on the album? Did it take a lot longer than you expected?
The album has been 3 years in the making really. I had maybe 7 or 8 demos 2 years ago which I thought were ready, but having thought about it some more and taking some advice from my manager and record company people, I decided to wait and keep recording. By January this year I had 12 demos I was really happy with and we went to speak to labels about signing the album at that point. Once it got signed I finished off all the demos, hooked up the final collaborations and added a few more and then chose 13 tracks out of a possible 17 or 18. It was all recorded in my home studio in Dresden, although I did a couple of recording sessions with collaborators in New York and Sydney
Of the album’s 13 tracks, 9 feature guest collaborators, which tracks were the hardest to complete either creatively or logistically? Who needed persuading the most?
Most of the features and collaborations we recorded remotely. I sent the production track over and the vocalists performed the top line on them. Even the Faithless production collaboration did not involve all of us getting into the studio together. However with Crush Club, we did record that together in New York while I was touring there.
The album’s opening track is a collaboration with the uber talented Lorenz Rhode — have you guys been friends for a while?
Yes a while now. We worked together on an EP for Exploited Records in early 2016 and have stayed very much in touch since then. It is great to have him feature on the album and he will be joining me on my album tour for some key shows.
You’re from Germany, a country that’s not exactly known for its love of disco — is it difficult being a disco producer from Germany? Do you get sneers from techno producers?
Ha Ha! Well, it is true that German dance music is best known for Techno but we also have a long and strong disco heritage too (though clearly not as strong as Techno). Georgio Moroder, arguably one of the key disco pioneers, made his career in Munich. He was followed by Silver Convention also from Munich and as disco went more commercial one of the biggest bands was Boney M from Germany too. Though I must admit they were pretty cheesy! We also have a good tradition in disco favoured house with the likes of Mousse T and Boris Dlugosch from Hamburg who I’m proud to say are now my good friends and colleagues and there is a good current scene with the likes of Superlover etc.
With regard to sneers from Techno producers then maybe I do, but generally I hope that other producers respect the fact that I have stayed true to the sound I love to produce and play and have not kept swapping genres. This was difficult after the ‘deep house’ boom as the more melodic music went out of favour on the club scene. However dance music always moves in cycles and I can definitely feel the wheels moving again in the direction of house and disco from the tech house & techno domination of the last few year. This is very refreshing to see as house & disco are simply more melodic and musical than these club tools which is something the scene needs.
Disco is usually a very upbeat genre and I think that dance music should mostly be happy and euphoric and uplifting. Again these sentiments might have gone missing in the recent years! In the disco and disco house scenes there are some great new producers coming through as well as us veterans (!) keeping making strong tracks.There are also some new labels entering the scene and previously tech house labels are being more open minded to signing and releasing disco based tracks again.
You’ve been doing Purple Disco Machine since 2009 — what’s next for you? Are tempted by the freedom of a new alias in the future?
I definitely want to keep going with Purple Disco Machine as I think I have only just started out on what we can achieve. Definitely more albums, remixes and touring as PDM over the next few years. Not sure about other aliases, but I can see myself doing more production and additional productions for other artists in the future outside of PDM.
What made you decide to sign the album to Australian imprint Sweat It Out? Were you not tempted to release it with a label that’s a little closer to home?
They were simply the label that I felt shared my vision the most. It was not really relevant where they were from. I could see from their roster and past successes that they believed in taking electronic artists from the club scene and bringing them into a bigger spotlight across PR, radio and the streaming platforms which felt was the right move for the album I was making. And I have to say that they have been terrific so a good choice.
So what will you be performing the album live in the coming months — it seems like it would work really well in a live setting?
Yes I hope so. I’m still a DJ at heart but I want to try performing the album live at certain key dates on this tour. Definitely involving Lorenz and hopefully a couple of the featured vocalists if schedules permit.