Tim Engelhardt is from a long and illustrious line of electronic DJ/Producer’s coming out of Cologne. The city has long been a fertile breeding ground for forward-thinking artists. Very early on Tim Engelhardt tried to rewrite piano pieces he had been told to practice aged 8. He showed an independent creative mind from the get-go – a character trait that would prove extremely helpful for a later career as an electronic music producer. Tim later discovered the sonic sounds of synthesizers and bass drums and thus began his relationship with the scene.
Tim Engelhardt recently announced the release of ‘Idiosynkrasia’ on Stil Vor Talent. His debut album. True to the nature of idiosyncrasy, the album is more than the sum of its parts and as such, we sat with him to discuss life behind the headphones.
From the age of 8, you were able to play the piano and by the age of 14 you had your first record, was music something that just came naturally to you? And what drew you towards electronic music?
Music was something that came very natural to me indeed. The sheer possibilities of working with electronic music, all the different types of synthesis and shaping a sound were really attractive to me at the time and I was so fascinated about everything you could potentially do, only with a computer.
You have released music on many of the best labels about. Is there one that stands out and means the most to you and why?
I appreciate working with honest people and enjoy long-term collaborations. Therefore, Poker Flat has a special place in my heart and recently I’ve had great cooperation with Stil Vor Talent, which are releasing my new album now and I trust them a lot.
How do you produce your music? Do you have a particular structure/routine you tend to follow or? And what advice would you best give to up and coming producers?
I produce my music all in the box these days except for recordings of piano, foley and natural ambiences. I don’t really stick to a routine, but I try to always start production with the key musical element, a theme, a particular drum groove that sticks out, a bassline or just something that can make a track.
My advice would be to experiment, don’t copy existing things (only for learning purposes), try to find a style as time passes and then just as important, be patient and be open for improvements and feedback.
What has been the highlight of your life so far?
Making my favourite activity in the world my job basically. I still can’t believe that is truly happening.
What made you decide to only play live performances? And can we expect to see you decide to Dj in the future?
I am profound that you have to stand out in order to find success and be recognized, so since I produced so many records and I really enjoy playing with Ableton, doing live performances was the most natural thing I could do. I’m open to DJ in the future, but I want it to be more than playing only the latest couple of promos.
I need to truly educate myself on all the eras of dance music and have a broad repertoire and knowledge available at hand before stepping into a club as a DJ.
You have played all across the globe, is there a particular party that stands out to you and why?
There were many events which I loved, small ones, big events, both equally great. Out of all the parties I’ve played, I think the one that created the most memories for me was playing Cityfox in New York.
I’ve played there a couple of times and the production, the musical selection and feeling there is unparalleled.
If you could produce a track with any artist past or present who would it be and why?
Let’s focus on the present: Francesco Tristano, Stimming, Ólafur Arnalds.
All of them have their individual signature which is the most important thing for me in music. I would love to hear what the combination of both sounds like.