Sascha Dive: "Frankfurt is my hometown."

Sascha Dive combines sound production full of blackness that skillfully sublimated the influence from Detroit House which works really well with the tight, groovy rhythms and beat programming of modern minimal to get the rawest mixture of Deep House. 

With Christian Burkhardt, Reboot, Robert Dietz, Einzelkind and a few others, Sascha Dive is one of the house producers and DJs from the Frankfurt area, who broke into the wider circuit from 2007 onwards. The hypnotic bongo-house from Ricardo Villalobos, minimalist reduction and psychedelic playfulness à la Perlon spurred much interest within the clique, nevertheless, the New York House of the early and mid-nineties was more important to them. With Sascha Dive, the influence of the American House is directly felt, as he developed his own approach to process samples and his loop-oriented sound.

Dive Deeper!

In 2010 he released a very strong and acclaimed debut album "Restless Nights",  a well-thought-out artistic concept about the night, about its phases, about characters and situations. Also, minimal music that passed through Detroit House and Deep House released on his own label DeepVibes is an indicator that Sascha helps lead a quality underground house sound of today. 
DJ set built with carefully selected records regardless of old and new has seen him perform all across the spectrum of clubs he always wanted to be a part of as an artist. However, Sascha Dive is not only taking his sound and vision to the world's finest of the dance floors. Dive released a vast amount of productions and remixes on high-class labels such as Tsuba, Freebase, Raum...Musik and many more. So it's no wonder that vinyl master Sven Väth signed Sascha to Cocoon Artists and Cocoon Recordings.

We talked with Sascha about his hometown, his DJ friends, and his artistic aspirations prior his EP release on Oblack which is due in April...

Hi Sascha! Let's start with a little reflection on the past year. Could you maybe share with us few tracks that never left your bag?

Yeah, there were some great releases in the last year. Amongst my favorites are the re-releases from Silverlining Dubs - simply amazing, the remix from Anthony Naples for Jesse Outlaw, Delano Smith`s Album "Detroit Lost Tapes" as well as some of the records from Politics Of Dancing. Not forgetting, of course, the Edit from Martinez Brothers for Joe Claussel.

Your music is focused on the dance floor. You mentioned before that you produce all kind of music, also a bit more experimental and ambient stuff… Will there ever be a time when you will feel like you want to show that side of your artistic creation too?

That´s the plan. I am currently working not only on club music but also trying out a few new ideas. I find that you can put some good ideas together in an album format and to that end, my next album, which I plan to release this year, will indeed include tracks which are not strictly Club Music. That said my main focus remains on Deep House Underground Music.

Could you tell us a bit about your studio gear? We've seen that there are a lot of instruments and analog pieces in there. How has it evolved throughout the years?

I first started with a really small number of analog equipment and then later on, when my carrier was going in a positive direction, I was able to add some items that I was really interested in. For example one of the first items was the SE-1 & Moog (good for basslines which I really like to use). Following that, I added some Waldorf instruments (for Stabs, Pads & Chords) and one of my most recent additions has been the Dave Smith Pro 2 synthesizer which, I must admit, is an absolute bomb for sound quality and much used in newer productions. 

Please explain your process when working together with a label for a release. Do you finish your tracks first and then search for a suitable home for them? Or do you make a track with a label already in mind and try to make it specifically for them to fit the sound?

When starting to compose new tracks in the studio I generally have an idea in which direction it will go. However it sometimes also goes in a totally opposite direction! Whilst putting a track together I sometimes have an idea on which label that track could fit whereas with others it is a case of finding a label after the track is completed. More often than not I send finished tracks to labels that I know or already work with.

After being signed to Cocoon Artists by Sven, would you say it had a big influence on your sound? Your sound was always a bit more raw and deep, but not too techno-ish in some ways. How did you manage to balance it so well?

Difficult to say really as I tend to think that it just comes naturally out of my internal rhythms! I love both the deep & raw music as well as the tech-house/Detroit-ish techno stuff. You can hear in each and every one of my productions my "trademark" sound. I believe that it is important to have your own trademark sound.

Frankfurt obviously had a great impact on your beginnings… Throughout the years it has seen many artists emerge and propel themselves into the wider circuit. Do you feel it is important to stay connected and help each other? We noticed you collaborated with many artists from the area, released their music and tried to give back as much as you could. Please explain your affinity to your hometown a bit more.

Frankfurt is my hometown. When I was younger I would go to the Robert Johnson and bought most of my records from Freebase Records. Thereby I was learning from friends and other contacts a lot about the quality of the music and also production. They were for me magical times! 

Today I frequently meet up with friends like Chris Tietjen or Christian Burkhardt, sometimes to go into the studio or just to have a bite of lunch together and talk about life in general. I believe it makes us stronger when we stay touch with each other although this has been made somewhat more difficult in recent times with a number of them having moved to Berlin - in some ways it is a bit sad but that is life!

You and your fellow Frankfurter Christian Burkhardt have recently done an EP together, called Chordrush. It will be coming out on Los Pastores' label Oblack in April. Tell us a bit more about the release and your energy with Christian in the studio. After all, you've collaborated on so many great projects together before (Raum…musik, Freebase Records, and CBS).

We seem to have a special relationship when we are in the studio. Rarely do we start with preconceived ideas, it is more a case of just kicking off with a few beats and building it up from there! Being good friends too helps, as I find that gives us almost a blind understanding which, in my opinion, is a great asset when in the studio. The two tracks that you refer to on the release we made in 2016 and 2017 if my memory serves me correctly. There are still some unreleased joint tracks in the pipeline and we plan to continue working together much as we have done for the past 8 years.

What's in store for Sascha Dive in 2018? What do you look forward to the most?

For 2018 I have several things coming up. I have recently finished releases for Bass Culture, Danse Club, Silence In Metropolis & Minimood and remixes for Joe Smooth on Trax Records and Amir Alexander on Silver Network. The main thing will be my upcoming album about which there will be more information coming shortly.

By Andrej, edited on 01 June 2018