The Swiss collective gracing Made To Play and Deadfish's rosters chat about their new album, the electronic scene back at home and secret dreams to be fizzy drink manufacturers
The energetic collective hailing from Bern, Switzerland known as Round Table Knights started their musical career in turntablism, playing underground hip hop, rock, electro, and jazz back in the day. However, the Roundtable Knights sound as recognised now is far from this - perhaps best loosely described as bumping House music. Signed to Jesse Rose's Made To Play label, the duo fit perfectly amongst the roster of well crafted sound of sample-heavy jazzy electro house releases. Playing unexpectedly eclectic DJ sets at places like Lock Tavern and Panorama Bar, their wide range of influences can be heard in their forthcoming album 'Say What?!'.
...the story behind the name?
We were listening to things like DJ Shadow, Beatjunkies - and we founded a scratch group with four people. Our first gig in Switzerland and we needed a name where we can scratch on vinyl - we had this like hip hop acapella single and at one point the guy on it was saying 'Roundtable Knights' - so we took that!
Do you still scratch now?
No we play CDs now, it's easier to travel. Perhaps we've lost our scratching skills… maybe only a bit left!
What is favourite sound right now?
In terms of making... House, really. It feels like so there are many possibilities in house music and people around us from Made to Play and Deadfish also make this, so there's many influences. So much is possible and you make your own kind of sound, also the album we made is kind of a house album but with a lot of other influences, there's space to use other elements, but personally at home, we don't listen to electronic music so much, more like rock music or folk music.
What's the electronic music in Bern like?
We wouldn't say there is a scene, but there's some good people like Mercury, Dimlite, from Bern - also Luciano, Michel Kleis, not really connected - there's people doing good stuff but are more known outside, they're bigger outside of Switzerland as there's no radio that plays up electronic music. It's not big in a commercial way. Also there's division in three parts, so if you're coming from the German is quite hard to play in the French part or the Italian part.
What's your worst vice?
I'm addicted to sweet soft drinks, ice tea I could drink the whole day - also my dream I want to make my own drink one day. Will I have my face on it? Um, no... but it'll be really natural, really healthy, but also I'd love to drink it all the time...
Booooooom.com - it's like a website for art stuff run by, I think, one or two guys who collect works of different artists, sometimes music, photography, or drawings.
At the top of your shit list?
In our office - they have two dogs... now I have no problems with animals or dogs at all, but these dogs... in the middle of a meeting, every time they do something, everyone then watches the dog and it takes like ten minutes to react and get back to the point...
Who do you recommend we listen to?
Maybe Homework from Amsterdam or KiNK, Mercury from Bern, the label Suol run by Chopstick who released Fritz Kalkbrenner - more deep house, sampled disco and soulful stuff.
Who are Ogris Debris?
They're two guys from Vienna who were the vocalists (synths and co-production) for our latest single. They made this track called 'Miezekatze', which is how we heard them. We loved this track they did and we're from the same agency and we had the idea to do the track with them. What's funny is that now one of their girlfriends has moved to Bern recently so often come over to visit.
How would you describe your work?
For me it's always like collecting sounds. We're not good musicians who play the piano or whatever, but we collect different bits of songs we like and it's like piecing together.
Photos by Katie Palmer
Round Table Knights' album Say What?! is out on Made To Play in February 2011