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Tensnake: Man of the House

Crèche's opening head-liner Tensnake talks Gatecrasher, Ibiza and Prince.

Marco Niemerski, aka Tensnake, shot onto the commrcial radar in 2010 with his summer hit Coma Cat. Though respected in underground circles long before that, he has since ridden the wave of his success to become one of the most exciting producers to come out of house musics revival over the past few years. Going from strength to strength, he released his début album 'Glow' back in March to rave reviews, and the infectious record that featured MNEK and Nile Rodgers quickly climbed into the top ten in the UK's dance album chart. A far cry from the minimal dance that Germany is so well known for, it sees the Hamburg native explore a more melodic, pop-infused side of house.

With the kind of success most bedroom DJs can only dream of, it's no surprise that Tensnake is spending so much time behind the decks of Ibiza this summer. He joined John Digweed and MK at Pacha's Insane opening party, in the first of five appearances at the Friday night fiesta, and most recently he headlined the first two weeks of new club Gatecrasher's underground night, British import Crèche. The opening saw him join the Brummie brand's creators Alexis Raphael & Cozzy D behind the decks with Boddika and fellow house heavyweight Breach, whose set Tensnake assured us was nothing short of amazing - an opinion we're more than happy to take as gospel.

Your next chance to see the man in action is this Friday, when he'll back entertaining Pacha's main room, followed by dates on the 22nd August and the 19th September. He'll also be joining Skream and Route 94 on the 13th July to help celebrate club giant Space's 25th Anniversary - we hope he likes confetti.

But before he continues his Ibiza take over, we caught up with the German king of house to pick his brains on collaborations, life after Coma Cat and, of course, this little mass of land we call Ibiza...

What is it about Crèche that made you interested in playing there? Have you ever been to one of their nights in London before?

"No I haven't - so it's all new! But I was very impressed by the sound system and the venue at the opening, there's nowhere else in Ibiza like it and it's a super young, up for it crowd."

Is there anyone else on the Creche line-up that you personally are really excited about seeing?

"I don't know much about the future line-ups, but Breach played an amazing set last week. This week Huxley was on the bill as well. He is not only a nice guy, but also always plays proper house sets. Every time I hear him I am amazed. I think the crowd dig him a lot."


VIDEO | Aftermovie from the Créche opening party, featuring an interview with Tensnake himself.


You used to be on the other side of the business, working in music promo - has being on the other side effected how you work as a DJ or producer?

"Not much. It only means I know how an album campaign works, for example I worked on the first Daft Punk album at a German promo company, so it was interesting to see how that record developed."

With your recent album Glow, you've spoken about how you've moved towards a more pop sound - is this what people can expect when seeing you DJ?

"My album was much more of a home listening experience , I think, DJ sets are where you will hear me play stuff like the Duke Dumont remix of Love Sublime or maybe even a totally fresh and unreleased remix of Pressure done by one of my fave UK DJ/ producers at the moment."

When you finish a song, do you normally have a feeling as to whether it will do well or not - for example did you expect the massive success you had with Coma Cat?

"I think I know when I have made a good track, but whether it does well does have a lot to do with radio, and in the UK BBC Radio 1 in particular. I get a lot of support from Pete, Zane and Annie Mac, which is great. But you never know how well a track will do out there. The most important is, that I am happy with the track when it goes out. With Coma Cat, when we got on the playlist at Radio 1 things really went up a gear. I owe the career that I have now also to the success of that record!"

You've said before that you've been coming to Ibiza since you were 18, and that when you first came Space was still open air. In your opinion was Ibiza a better platform for showcasing dance music back then or now?

"It's bigger, brasher and brighter now – I don't think anyone could or would deny that. I think as a DJ/producer, you HAVE to be playing in Ibiza, even if it's only a couple of times a season. It's still the epicentre."


"You HAVE to be playing in Ibiza... It's still the epicentre."


Here here! Recently there's been a huge shift toward house - especially commercial pop inspired house - something you can see reflected a lot this year in Ibiza. Where do you think dance music will move to next, and where would you like to see it go?

"I think the house music revival is here to stay for quite some time, to be honest. People like Breach, Huxley, Midland and many more, their journeys (as DJs) have only just started!"


MUSIC | A minimix of the whole Glow album by Tensnake.


You've already worked with some massive names including Lana Del Rey and Nile Rodgers – what do artists like these bring to the creative process? Is it very different when you work with such strong creative characters?

"I am very fortunate to have been able to work face to face with people like Fiora, MNEK and Stuart Price; creating a vibe in the studio is where the magic happens. Stuart works very quickly, MNEK and I co-wrote the song Pressure which is about to come out as a digital release on Beatport with an amazing Special Request remix, and Fiora and I will be performing together at Melt festival this summer. As for the strong characters - yes, you never know what's going to happen until you try, plus you always learn a lot from them."

Who would be your dream artist to work with next if you could work with anyone?

"Hard to say but it might be Prince."

Now that's something we'd like to see! How do you get inspiration for putting together a song - do you have to be in the right mind set or place, or does it come easily to you?

"It's definitely harder to make music when you're constantly travelling – to be creative, you have to be in a good place. My home studio in Hamburg definitely works – most of Glow was created there."

And finally, you have a busy summer of gigs lined up - what are your plans beyond that?

"Making my second album for Virgin!"


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