The Internet be like: “That Berlin hype is over!” We’ve been hearing that for the last how many years now?! The reality is that cool music from Berlin keeps on coming and it doesn’t seem like it will stop anytime soon.
The latest release on heavy rotation is the self-titled LP from a duo called Yeah But No (producer Douglas Greed and vocalist Fabian Kuss). The album dropped November 9th via Sinnbus.
What’s the best way to describe this tech-infused oddity? Well, it’s definitely got a little bit of club in it – polished production, heavy kicks, juicy baselines, a great sound design, the whole nine. But, overall, it’s a very, very emotional record – one that seems to revel in a deep, though very subtly rendered existential angst. It’s also very sexy, sensual, but also self-conscious. In a nutshell, it’s an honest, artistic exploration of what it means to be a sensitive human being in these overloaded, fragmented, and fast-paced times.
We caught up with frontman Fabian Kuss for a brief, but revealing chat:
Hello Fabian! So, why did you decide to name your project Yeah But No?
When we were in the deepest part of our production process for this first album we always tried to kick each other in the ass. We tried to flip each other’s ideas as often as possible and to see where that would lead to. That’s why ever so often we found ourselves saying: yeah – good idea – but no. And then we tried again.
How did you two meet and what was the initial musical spark that led to this collaboration?
We met five years ago when Dougi was looking for a singer for his live techno project – It was supposed to be only for two gigs. I got a call from Mitchi, a percussionist, and he asked me if I could imagine being a part of this techno band. I had no clue what this meant. I gave it a try, went to Dougi’s studio in Jena, and we had a good time. We had our first gig in Brussels and when we were preparing for the main stage gig at Fusion Festival in 2012, he asked me if I wanted to become a singer in the band for good. I said yes, and from then on the journey continued through dozens of techno clubs and festivals around Europe.
We also worked together on about 12 vocal features for his minimal tracks. During these years we came up with a lot of musical ideas that led away from the dance floor and more into the electronica direction. It came naturally. Song structures like verses and choruses and more harmonies and melodies made it clear to us that these attempts wouldn’t fit into the Douglas Greed type of thing. So we decided to put all these songs into a new project and to make a proper album.
Is it true that your studio is currently based in the same building as infamous Katerholzig/Bar 25 club (in Berlin)? If so, what’s that like?
It is true, although it is not exactly the same building – rather the whole compound is newly built and it includes the Kater Blau as well. Actually, it is the club and next to it is the new complex where we all (including Acid Pauli, Oliver Koletzki, Marco Resmann) have our studios. It is indeed a very nice area to be working in. And if you get stuck with an idea you just go downstairs grab a coffee, meet some fellas, and hang out by the Spree river. It’s a little bit like a small artists village, including a winery, a bar, a cafe, a yoga studio, and a music school. Basically everything you need for work and beyond. Of course, on the weekends and when the weather is good this place gets really crowded.
What do you both think about Berlin becoming this clubbing hotspot in Europe? How has that changed the scene, if at all?
In general it is definitely something that Berlin really profits from. Of course, one can argue that the old-school underground scene is not the same anymore, but it’s still there, just relocated. In Berlin you really feel that electronic music has become mainstream because everybody goes clubbing. Berlin has become an adult Disney Land. Some like it, some hate it. It makes me kind of proud that all these people come to my city and have a good time.
Your new album is now out in the world. What can listeners expect from it?
Fifty minutes of pure melancholic electronica joy. But also 50 mins of joy, pain, and a lot of work.
Have you started writing any new material?
Sure, we´re always collecting ideas. But for now it´s all about touring and promoting the album.
What’s next for you?
We are going to play an album tour next spring and hopefully play a lot of festivals during the summer season in 2018.
Written by: Jen Dan