We’ve searched out the king of the lumberjacks for our next Stamp Mix. At the forefront of the disco revival, Marcel Vogel is boss of Lumberjacks in Hell, one of the finest edit labels around at the moment. For the uninitiated, you may recognise the label’s calling card, Rayko’s edit of the Barbara Keith cover of All Along the Watchtower (see below), but other fine efforts also come from Rahaan, Jamie 3:26 and the boss himself under his Em Vee alias. Before Marcel makes his Bristol debut for Bedmo Disco, we caught up with him to talk edits and future plans for LiH and his other label Intimate Friends.
Let’s go straight in there with a deep one…we heard you use to rap in (your native tongue) German. Can you remember any particularly awful verses you wrote from back in the day?
Haha, next… Even better we’ve watched videos of Beautiful Swimmers, Max D’s old band Food For Animals today. You should check that out on YouTube! [we searched but couldn’t find it]
Do you think the edit game is more about trumping the original or paying homage to it with a tasteful by different interpretation? Do any edits come to mind that have trumped the original?
There are tons of edits that trump the original. That’s the point. But then there are edits that take something and make something new of it which I like the most. And then there are the personal edits that you make to fit a track your style of DJing.
Examples of great edits in my opinion are:
Boogie Nite – Do Your Thing is something that impresses me a lot. Harvey’s edit of Joyous. Mark Seven’s edit of The Boss. First Choice – Let No Man Put Us Under (Ron Hardy edit). Dimitri from Paris is a master, so are Danny Krivit, Al Kent, Rahaan, Todd Terje, Theo Parrish, Jamie 326 and Cratebug.
Is there anyone you really admire as a re-edit producer who you’ve missed out on with LIH?
Mark Seven, Hunee and Derrick Carter are some of those guys I was more or less close to having on the label but who’ve managed to dodge away. But I can be persistent. We’ll see.
Throwing the net a bit wider, are thee any up-and-coming producers you think we should keep an eye on?
21 year old Max Graef might revolutionize a couple of things if he stays on the path of righteousness. And my man Mr Mendel. He’s working very hard on his next steps and I am sure he’ll go a long way pretty soon.
You’ll be playing in Bristol this weekend for Bedmo Disco. Have you had any good times in the city before?
First time in Bristol, sir and looking very much forward to it.
You recorded a mix for us to mark the occasion. Could you tell us a bit about it?
It’s mostly vinyl I reckon and a couple of CDs. I live a bit remote from the city center which enables me to be quite loud where I live. It’s rare that I put Peven Everett’s Put Your Back Into It in it. Since I play it live quite a bit, I usually don’t want to overexpose people to it. But it was about time to put it in a mix. Moodymann’s Come To Me is in it, which is a current favorite of mine. Maybe I need to do a personal edit of it because it’s so frigging short but everybody loves the groove. The Soundstream record is strange. I really like it when other people play it but I don’t really like to play it myself, it just doesn’t suit my style. It always sounds wrong to me, so it might be the only time you hear me play it. Some other songs in here are a bit of a headnod to Rahaan and Mendel, since they are common favorites or I might have gotten them from one or the other.
Also coming up this weekend is Record Store Day. Are there any releases you’re looking out for?
Nope, record store doesn’t interest me, since it is a day fabricated by majors to push some more of their product. It’s the one day you can’t go to a record store because so many strange people are there. And I do have record store day everyday. Proper labels make amazing products all the time.
Away from physical music consumption, you’ve spoken before about the confidence that Soundcloud gave you in initially starting Lumberjacks in Hell. What’s your view on the majors potentially becoming more involved in the way Soundcloud operates?
As with a lot of things, there is always a special beauty and freedom in the initial time of something starting and growing. So I am thankful that I had Soundcloud when I needed it but to be honest I am rarely using it anymore myself. Just too much information. 4-5 years ago it was a much more intimate affair.
Have you come any closer to starting a club? Do you think Amsterdam will be where it happens? By the sounds of it, you’re pretty settled there at the moment.
I am super happy in Amsterdam at the moment and actually I might have come a bit closer to it as I have found a potential investor. But I haven’t started to look for venues yet. But sometimes one things lead to another and suddenly you’ll find yourself in a totally different situation. At the moment I am happy making music, DJing, running the labels and travelling.
What’s next on the horizon for LiH and Intimate Friends?
LiH is doing what LiH does. Lumberjacks Boogie featuring Rayko, Mendel and Mannmademusic coming up next. Eddie C in the pipeline. I will do another 12” and a couple of other things and then I want to start thinking about another bigger project.
Actually I am working on three 12” for Intimate Friends in different stages of development. Fun stuff. A 12” will be only downbeat oriantated, then a remix 12” of my songs and potentially a 12” with Ruf Dug and me. It’s all still in the works so we’ll see…