thaddi herrmann
[owner of city centre offices]

Good afternoon from from snowy Berlin
How are you feeling now – doing an interview for a macedonian magazine? Do you know where Macedonia is and do you know about some macedonian bands and musicians?
Well, I do know where Macedonia is, but it is of course not a country where you expect people who are into electronica. But the again I’ve played in some countries already where I would not have expected it, like Slovakia. I appreciate it, anyway!
I understand what are you saying, but, on the other hand, there are really many, many people that listen (not only electronic) music here.
I can imagine. Music is a universal language anyway. What I definitely do appreciate in countries without a long tradition wih electronic music and a limited infrastructure as far as clubs are concerned etc. is the enthusiasm bothe the pronoters and the crowds have.
Besides being an owner of a label and a listener, are there some other music-related things that you do? Do you make your own music?
During the day, I’m an editor of de:Bug, Germany’s most important magazine for electronic music and culture. I also have my own project called Herrmann & Kleine, together with Christian Kleine. Our new album “our noise” is due on Morrmusic on april 2nd. I also dj quite a lot. I’ve benn doing and releasing music since 1993, under various names and on various labels.
Is de:Bug a monthly magazine? If it is, do you have album of the month?
It is a monthly thing, yes. We have 2 albums of the month actually.
de:Bug is concentrated only on electronic music or maybe some other kinds of music too?
It is mainly electronic music, but we’re spreading out a bit, which is good. This has to do with the fact that more and more guitar bands use electronics and the other way around.
I was just reading some things about Sonic Subjunkies. Does the band still exist? Sorry, i haven't heard anything from that band.
No, it does not exist anymore. We started in 1992 and released the last things in ’98 (apart from another 7” which came out last year in an edition of 250 copies). Sonic Subjunkies was all about hardcore and breakbeats. This was the music which really blew up in Berlin in the early 90’s. I happened to know Alec Empire. He was part of the Bass Terror Soundsystem at that time and these parties really changed my life. So I bought a sampler and started to work on my own stuff. Funnily enough, Alec wanted to release it. There are 2 e.p.s and a live album on his Digital Hardcore label, plus some other stuff on other labels. It was fun….
Tell me, do you still dj at Kiss FM every Monday?
I did the show together with BassDee, another DJ I got to know through these Bass Terror parties originally. We got sacked some years ago. Kiss FM is by far the worst radio in Berlin now.
Tell me something more about City Centre Offices. Present the label. Is it your first label? Where is it situated? And, how did it happen – having a label? Is that what you always wanted to have?
It is my first label, yeas. I run together with Shlom Sviri in Manchester / UK. We founded the label in October 1998 in his Manchester kitchen. We wanted to see if we could operate a 7” label, focusing in electronica pop. I always dreamt of having a label. Music ist simply the most important part of my life. We are very lucky that it works out so well.
How do you get in contact with people (ulrich schnauss, arovane, christian kleine, static…) that release music on c c o?
Most of them are friend. I’ve known Arovane for years and years and years,same for Ulrich and Christian, they are all from Berlin as well. It is very important for us that we get along with the artists. We are not so much a record label, but more a family, releasing music. We also get a lot of demos these days
I just read in an interview with Pole (Stefan Betke) that musicians in Berlin don't work together, don't collaborate much: "There are so many different groups of people, but in Berlin, people are not working together. They're separated from each other. They do that, or do that, or do that. I don't know why it is, maybe it's because it's because Berlin is really really huge and it was an island in Germany, and a special political situation and people were not used to working together…" – says Pole ( Do you agree with him?
This is so strange that Stefan says that. I would argue that it is the other way around! There are many labels in Berlin and we all work together, help each other out, swap records etc. And Stefan helped me a lot when we set up the label! I really enjoy being here in Berlin. Compared to other german cities, it can hardly get better.
Unlike Mille Plateaux, Bip-Hop, Raster Noton and other labels that tend to release extremely unconventional sounds (Mille Plateaux even has a manifest and a theory about music), it seems that City Centre Offices is not opsessed with that kind of approaches to music.
It was clear from the beginning that we wanted to release pop music. This might sound weird, but I think this is what we do. Everything we release grabs you by the heart. This is the most important ingredient and this is what pop music does also. Therefore, what we release can be very diverse (think for example of snd compared to Ulrich Schnauss), but I would all consider them Pop.
Can you remember what is the first album you bought? Can you remember the first time someone asked you this question in interview?
I get the question all the time. I tend to ask it as well sometimes when I do interviews. To tell you the truth…I cannot remember. I know for a fact that I got my first record player for my third birthday from my dad (there are pictures to prove that) and with the turntable came a Sesame Street record. My parents told me that even when I was so young, I would sit in my rockin pony and listen to music for hours, very concentrated.
Do you have problems with pirate cds? Here in Macedonia all music shops are selling pirate cds, and that is very normal and usual here, there is actually just 1 music shop for originals in the whole country and it doesn't sell much cds. It seems that no one here buys originals.
I know for a fact that there is a bootleg CD of our compilation in Yugoslavia. Apart from that, I do not really think that all these ptp-clients are a danger. At least I do not hope so. The thing with cd’s is that they do not mean a lot to me anyway. And as long as we do vinyl, this will always be the more important format for me. But even with cd’s. if I want this special music, I go and buy it. Not so much because I want to support the artist (or even the company), but because I want proper arwork etc.)
On the Cashier Escape Route compilation (c c o; towerblock002) there are songs from some people that release music on many different labels, like: metamatics (hydrogen dukebox; neo ouija), skanfrom (suction), isan (morr music), to rococo rot, geiom… How much do you see city centre offices related with those labels, especially with morr music?
I see cco as part of a labels and friends. Morr, Lux Nigra, Din, Hey, Suction….there are many labels I rate and support and get the same support back.
I found your top 10 albums list for 2001 (on Dj Martian's page) and far away trains passing by from ulrich schnauss is your no. 1 album, and hood's cold house is on no. 2. And on Thomas Morr's list ulrich schnauss is no. 2, and hood is on the first place.
Yeah, we kind of have the same taste :)
Ok. I think that's all for now. Oh, no. I forgot to ask you about the future releases. Please, at the end, tell me what albums should we expect from city centre offices in this 2002 year?
The remote viewer – here I go again on my own (towerblock007 – may)
Morgan caney / kamal joory (towerblock 008 – july)
+ some 7"s and new material from Ulrich & Christian
interview originaly released in urban magazin