More Fun To Compute: We Speak To Techno Luminaries Pan-Pot About Electronic Dance Music

Consisting of  Tassilo Ippenberger and Thomas Benedix, Pan-Pot has been electronically getting people to dance for a decade now.  Breaking out with their debut album Pan-O-Rama in 2007, the duo have been pushing the boundaries of techno and preaching the 4×4 gospel – playing at massive festivals like Time Warp and Awakenings. We spoke to Tassilo and Thomas before they were set to play at Zouk to find out more beyond what Wikipedia could not tell us:

Hey guys! Firstly, tell us a little about the name Pan-Pot.

Tassilo: Hi! So we met at SAE while studying Audio Engineering about 7 years ago. The name comes from a basic element of studio equipment and was the result of a brainstorming session.

Thomas: As we needed a name for our project urgently we sat down and checked our audio dictionary. After collecting a number of names and terms we decided to use “Pan-Pot” since it is short and effective and contains two parts, just like the project. The meaning is a very technical one: Panorama-Potentiometer. Which is the knob on the mixer, that places a signal in the stereo panorama.

The both of you studied audio engineering. How has this affected the way you produce tracks and play your live sets?

Tassilo: I guess it gave us a more structured way to work on music. The academic background probably brings technical knowledge on sound design, metrics and music equipment. Then open-mindedness, research, and creativity do the rest of the job.

Thomas: It probably also gave us a more professional approach to the way we wanted to be part of the scene. For us it was not a hobby. We really wanted to go this way – doubtless.

What were your strongest musical influences growing up?

Tassilo: My parents love classical music and I grew up learning how to play piano and saxophone. When I was little I wasn’t up for it but now I really appreciate it! I’m a huge fan of classical musicians and love to go to piano concerts.

Thomas:  Hardcore/Thunderdome, Drum ’n’ Bass and the true 90’s “Ravesound”

What was the thing that first got the both of you into Techno?

Tassilo: My best friend Bernhard, he brought me to a club in my hometown. I used to work in a bar at that time – him too – and we listened to all kinds of music. Then at this club I saw for the first time a DJ doing his “job” and fell in love with that experience. I felt like this would have been a future part of my life.

Thomas: My Grandma buying me a Thunderdome Tape at a Polish flea market :)

How does it feel like to be in the scene for a whole decade?

Tassilo: On the right path. Happy about how things are going and see that the amount of work and time we have been investing in our project is paying off so far. Though we feel like we still have many things to do and accomplish.

Thomas: It just feels good to realize that the reasons that took us here were the right ones. When you start to work in this business you never know how it’s going to end up. It’s is a risky path, with not so many guarantees to succeed.

You have played marathon sets that last 6 hours, how does that compare to the usual 1.5 – 2 hour set times ?

Tassilo: A long set gives us more time to explore different sounds and build up the atmosphere of the night while connecting with people on the dance floor. It always depends on the club or venue, but there are clubs for which we insist to play more than 6 hours, or even longer.

Thomas: A short set would need to be more straight to the point and instantly catch the needs of the crowd.

There aren’t really any anthems for Techno, but what is a track you guys drop that always drive the crowd crazy?

Tassilo: We have a bunch of very good tracks for that purpose but just to name a few: Stephan Hinz – Doch, Schatrax – Mispent Years, Laurent Garnier – The Man With the Red Face ..

Thomas: Wishmountain – Radio

EDM has peaked for a few years now – what do you see in the future of dance music?

Tassilo: It will be what it is meant to be. I think it’s pointless to forecast especially if it is about the music genre. Technology made music more accessible so other music sub-genres could be discovered and take their own place in the market.

Thomas: Also, it depends on if people will still go clubbing and raving in the future. The whole dance music scene wouldn’t exist if there wasn’t a marketplace for it such as festivals, and all the other events we have now.

You’ve played in Singapore before. What are you looking forward to this time?

Tassilo: People enjoying our set. We love Zouk. It’s a nice and intimate experience every time :)

Thomas: And good food!

Can fans expect anything new since the last time you guys were here?

Tassilo: Fresh music!

Thomas: We have our new album coming up at the end of September so you will definitely hear some of these tracks:

Pan-Pot will be playing at PARA//EL at Zouk on 4th September, Friday


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