Nightclubber live... with Foehn & Jerome at Hoppetosse, Berlin

In line with their label launch, and acclaimed Perfumed Freedom parties we thought it was time to catch up Berlin based duo, Foehn & Jerome. Their residencies at Club Der Visionaere and Hoppetosse have become somewhat famous, known for their versatile sound, and undeniable taste when curating their line ups. Fortunately, if you missed their record label launch back in November we have secured a recording from the night. A hazy night of moody minimal sounds, and hard to find house celebrating the birth of the Perfumed Freedom record label. You can listen to that one here. We also managed to nab the lads for a quick chat...

Congratulations on launching your Perfumed Freedom label. How does it feel to have released the first record?  

Hello and thank you for inviting us to this interview. We've known for so many years now and it's a pleasure to be part of your interview/mix series. Well, we have been doing the Perfumed Freedom events at Club Der Visionaere in Berlin for so many years now and as we wanted to have a platform to release our own music and the music of our friends, we decided to make a label out of it and it feels like the right decision with the right energy and people around us.

Can you tell our readers about the early days of Perfumed Freedom, how did it all begin?  

The early days of Perfumed Freedom were quite simple, we just threw parties at Club Der Visionaere under that name. Based in Berlin for over 13 years, we have been influenced by our surroundings, maintaining a residency with our Perfumed Freedom events and cementing ourselves in the heart of the city's melting pot scene. After a while we decided to extend the Perfumed Freedom umbrella into a record label, releasing our own music and other artists we admire. In the beginning we had friends playing at the parties, but soon we developed the concept and invited artists like Daniel Bell, Sammy Dee, Mathew Jonson, Thomas Melchior, Eli Verveine, Ion Ludwig, Barbara Preisinger, Rhadoo, Felix Hk or Andy Kolwes just to name a few. At Hoppetosse we sometimes team up with Gregor, the boss of CDV to host the "Perfumed Sundays" events. The name comes from Gregor's legendary Perfect Sundays + Perfumed Freedom. Good vibes guaranteed :)

Thanks for sharing your recording with us from your label launch, how was the night itself?  

It was a Sunday at the end of November 2023 at Hoppetosse Berlin - PFFD001 record release party and Jerome's birthday. A fantastic trip! Hoppetosse has a big Boris sound system upstairs and a great core audience, so you can usually expect a powerful night, but this party was incredible. Mathew Jonson live and Jay Medvedeva on the lower deck, Felix Hk, Thomas Melchior and us on the upper deck. Perfect vibes from start to finish, especially the b2b with our friend Felix at the end was insane.

After living in Berlin for so many years, how have you seen things change and develop over the years? How would you compare it to Vienna?  

We have both been living in Berlin since 2010 and there have definitely been a lot of changes. Some things have changed for the better, some for the worse. First of all, Berlin has become popular like never before, so the city is full of creative people and just being a good DJ/producer is not enough anymore. Especially in times where social media management has become such a big part and influence in the game. There are countless good artists in the city and it's getting more and more every day. Somehow it's nice because the overall quality is getting better (not always and everywhere of course), but on the other hand it's also hard because the competition itself is bigger, everything is definitely faster and shorter and there's more rush, trends come and go almost without notice. The Corona times have definitely brought the biggest change in the last time, not only in Berlin.

What we have noticed is that sometimes people come up to us at our party and tell us that they are very happy to have finally heard some real house music again. They say "just like the old days". We see that some parties have moved away from house music, at least for a while, and people have realised that they're missing something - maybe that can be interpreted as a musical development.

As neither of us have ever lived in Vienna, it's not easy to compare, but what we can say is that Berlin is definitely the capital of electronic music worldwide. Endless parties with countless international line-ups, while Vienna has a few but good clubs, well-chosen international headliners but mostly locals in the line-ups. The locals are strong DJ's and producers and we hope that the future will see a bit of a return to the old days when labels like Grow! and Cheap Records were famous. We have a lot of friends in Vienna and are very well connected to the scene. For many years we hosted the legendary Café Sturz party at Grelle Forelle once or twice a month. Now we still try to come back at least 2-3 times a year.

The city is full of great record shops, could you recommend any favourites to our readers?  

For electronic music, Hardwax and Bikini Waxx are definitely number one. Other favourites are Black Round Twelve, Melting Point, Space Hall, HHV, Marla and Sound Metaphors. For Soul, Funk and Jazz it's definitely Soultrade Records in Kreuzberg.

As there is a two of you do you follow a certain process when in the studio? One of you taking care of one aspect, and the other handling different elements?  

Actually not really, we both know and use all the studio gear and take it very freestyle like. No guidelines, no limits, just freedom - Perfumed Freedom…

What is currently your favourite machine in your set up?

We have to separate: we cannot say that the Cirklon is our favourite machine, but it’s the most important machine in our studio setup and it’s always in use. This machine makes everything possible, everything is connected here. It's the heart, the blood and the nerve system of the studio.

We work a lot with samplers. Akai MPC2000XL and Akai S3000XL are ALWAYS in use. We also use the TR909 a lot, especially the bass drum and the hi hats. But also the self built 808 clone from Din Sync. Other sound sources are for example E-MU Proteus 2000, Pearl Syncussion (modded version), Roland Juno 106, Formanta Polivoks, Sequential Prophet REV2 or Waldorf Microwave. We also used to work a lot with Eurorack, but not so much lately.

Effects are also very important and we love our Eventide H3000 and DSP4000 (with custom midi controllers - a game changer, a big one!), the fantastic sounding Loft 450 Delay, the Yamaha FX500, Roland DEP-5 or the Roland RE-201 Space Echo.

Since the end of 2023 we have a new mixer, the Tascam M-600, which sounds incredible and makes quality recording super easy. The mixer is connected to Westlake BBSM-10 monitor speakers powered by an ASR Emitter amplifier.

Can you tell us anything else you are currently working on with the label, any exciting gigs coming up?  

We are currently spending a lot of time in the studio working on the next Perfumed Freedom releases. There will also be one from Felix Hk soon. Besides that we are working on the second release of "TBH", a great project we have together with our friends Alexander Skancke and Henriku.

Can you both leave us with your favourite track of 2023?

Jerome: my favourite track of the year (2023) is "Elbee Bad - This Dream Is Real Awakened Remix". I found the record at Hardwax and played it a lot last year. It is very trippy and I like that. I got some crazy reactions from the crowd and it will definitely be a lasting memory of this year.

Fabian: I’ve thought about it a lot but I just can't decide on ONE favourite track of the year (haha). I really like Fumiya Tanaka’s “One More Thing (Second Part)“ release. Especially the track “One More Thing“ is great, played it many times.

Keep up with the guys on Soundcloud here

Check out the Perfumed Freedom label on Instagram