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INTERVIEW ROBERT DIETZ : . When I saw this little beast [Roland TB-303] for the first time it was over for me…
Robert Dietz was born and raised in Frankfurt, Germany and started his DJ/producing career seven years ago. Since then, his productions have been released on world-renowned labels, such as Cecille Records, Saved Records, Cadenza and Desolat. In 2014, he released the Sweatshop EP on Loco Dice’s label, showing everyone that his music was all but mainstream.
In the meantime, Robert Dietz also became an Ibiza regular. Last season, he showcased his skills in some major clubs of the island, including Sankeys, Pacha and Space alongside Loco Dice, as well as playing his tracks in a lot of different countries and prestigious clubs.
Robert Dietz has reached a turning point in 2015, when he decided to create his own imprint, Truth Be Told. As if it weren’t enough, he toured the USA in March, confirming his status of internationally acclaimed artist on the House music scene.
Robert : Everything started in the early nineties through older friends, radio and music television. We taped everything we were able to get and bought our first records. I remember going to a techno record shop for the first time when I was 13 and everyone was looking at me like “what the hell do you want?”. Around a year later I was hanging out at a place of a friend I was skating with and this older dude came over and brought his 303. When I saw this little beast [Roland TB-303] for the first time it was over for me…
C&P : In March, you went on USA tour and in the meantime, you launched your own record label, ‘Truth To Be Told’. Were those two projects linked in some way?
Robert : We were working on both projects simultaneously but without the intention to present them together. In the end the first release of the label happened around the same time the tour kicked off and we decided to run it as a package. It was a great tour with 12 stops all over the United States.
C&P : An extensive month-long tour spreading your good vibes all across the USA must be unforgettable. Could you share your best memory(ies) with us?
Robert : All of the gigs were really good this time, especially an after hours set I played with Seth Troxler in San Diego or my first time at Brooklyns “Verboten” was special.
C&P : When you play on different continents, do you feel like you have to adapt to your audience and if yes, to what extent? Are European and American House music fans different?
Robert : This rather depends on the people and the club than the countries. Sometimes you can get really surprised by a city or country. But in general it is about the education of the crowd. Sometimes they understand, sometimes you have to take them gently by the hand and guide them where you want to have them.
C&P : Do you have a favorite club/city where you feel like the public really gets your music?
Robert : There are a lot of those. Even so in the main capitals which have big music scenes and a big club culture people are more open minded, like London, Berlin, Paris or New York of course.
C&P : Let’s talk about your baby, ‘Truth Be Told’. Where does this name come from? What kind of music do you want to promote with your label, and what is TBT’s philosophy?
Truth Be Told popped up in a few conversations – and I felt connected – it’s the kind of thing that stuck in my mind. Naming things isn’t really easy – it’s short and sweet and makes sense; the label is about two friends coming together, no pressure, just being honest and real. Like someone you wouldn’t lie to because it would be too obvious – he knows you and your lies too well.
The philosophy is to just do what we really feel, visually and musically.
C&P : You chose to establish your label in Berlin rather than Frankfurt, your hometown. As both cities have a very dynamic electronic music scene, why aim for Berlin?
Robert : It wasn’t a choice to be honest. I moved to Berlin for private reasons last year and started to work with one of my oldest friends again with whom I’m running the label.
C&P : The very first release of your imprint is a 4-track EP called ‘Radio Raheem’. Amongst the 4 tunes, you’ve made one in collaboration with Eddie Fowlkes and another with Markus Fix. What does it feel like to produce music for your own label? Is there any plan for the TBT002 and how often would you like to release records?
I know from a lot of other labels I’ve been releasing on that their schedule is quite busy and then, you’ve got to wait for a release to happen, sometimes up to a year. Of course if a label gets more and more popular and you start to receive all this incredible music it is difficult to get everything out but I prefer to keep it open and spontaneous at the beginning. But of course it is great to have your own little creative platform where you can decide everything on your own, from the first kick drum till the last artwork element — that’s our ultimate fingerprint.