Interview: Pan-Pot

Tassilo and Thomas, together known as Pan-Pot, met at Berlin’s renowned SAE, and were drawn together as they were the only two in their studies, who had their sights set on the sound of techno. Their initial musical efforts placed a primacy on integrating electronic experimentation with minimal stylings while simultaneously establishing the ominous, murky sounds that have since become synonymous with their name. The defining moment of Pan-Pot's career came in 2007, with the release of their debut artist album, Pan-O-Rama

More recently, tracks like "Confronted" and "Captain My Captain" have demonstrated their classic, bold and timeless production style, presenting them as the producers at the top of their game, both sonically and conceptually. Pan-Pot would never be where they are solely based on their productions. When the two aren't spending countless hours in the studio, remixing or creating music, they are touring relentlessly. This is how they have truly gotten to where they are: by touching the writhing, euphoric, dancing seas of bodies at countless gigs every year. Since 2014, they've stepped into a completely new world, by launching their own imprint, Second State. Catch Pan-Pot play at Ambasada Gavioli this Saturday, on the 17th of September, in Izola, Slovenia!

When it comes to techno, Berlin is a brand, associated with a certain sound, but you stand out from the flock. What would you say is the most and what the least “Berlin” in Pan-Pot when it comes to music and approach to club culture?

Thomas: Well we grew up musically in Berlin so of course the scene and music very much influenced us. The vibe of long and crazy nights, this is still the part of Berlin that we stand for and like to experience. On the other side we also have experienced a lot of international bookings where things are bit more organized and on the point, also with clubs having to close at one point. So I think those are the two sides that we stand for, craziness mixed with focus.

I don’t know how to describe this but I love the energy in your sets that is not based on hard banging or excessive noise. Do you follow a certain approach to developing the energy in your production and sets? What tools / elements do you use to create it?

Tassilo: First of all, thank you for the compliment, this is what we try to achieve. With our sets we try to tell a specific story, and this really depends on when and where we play. A beach or open-air set can vary from a club or festival set. In general, we try to develop an atmosphere with a good basic setting and some peaks. At the end it is all about the track selection and we do prepare about sets and talk about it. This is sometimes in the studio, in the car or on a plane.

Producing and playing music as a pair does have advantages, but when you work close with someone, there are times when one gets on your nerves, especially on long tours, or extensive studio sessions. How do you cope with that, so that you don’t annoy each other too much? Do you take, let’s say, a month off from each other once a year or do you perhaps have a day in a week when you don’t communicate …?

Thomas: Yes, indeed we take a month off for holidays, usually in January but also for Christmas to see our families. But the reason is not because we get sick of each other. We actually have a good way of communicating with each other, maybe the secret is that we speak a lot and don’t let small things built up to a bigger issue. And we do share a lot of same interests besides making music, for example sports and going for a run, but we also have different interests to share and it never gets boring on tour.

You’re coming for your first gig in Slovenia, which was always a strong techno dominion and you’ll be performing at Ambasada Gavioli, which could also be crowned as the cradle of regional electronic music culture since the mid 90's. What do you know about Slovenia and AG? Do you gather information about the venue and territory you're coming to play or you prefer to come to a gig, read the crowd and do your magic?

Tassilo: We know AG and that it has a long history in our scene. Usually it would also be great to have a bit more time to get into the culture itself, not only Techno and the club scene, but there's usually lack of time. For the crowd - you can't really prepare. Of course we try to pick out the clubs where we think our sets will get appreciated the most, and so also the can people share our idea about Techno, but at the end every place is different and we like to work by the reaction of the people in the club, and create the vibe together with them.

Right now I’m enjoying listening to your 6-hour set from Amnesia. Are those epic stories reserved only for Ibiza or is it just that you're picking your battles very carefully? Should we get prepared for something like that, take lots of vitamins and wear comfy footwear next Saturday? 

Thomas: Haha, comfy footwear is always a good choice. We can't play such long sets everywhere we go, because this is very exhausting also. We did it now in Ibiza but it was also only once this year. In Berlin we also like to do this at Watergate. It’s always good to be prepared though. :)

What was the worst hangover you’ve experienced and what’s your secret weapon for fighting it? :)

Tassilo: They're all really bad, no? :) Sometimes it does help to not lie on bed, but start to get active again and distract you by doing sports or similar. Also that this is really hard.

Thomas: Chicken soup, no light and lots of water to drink.

By Severin, edited on 15 June 2018