In conversation with Paul Ritch aka Kaczmarek

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Interview by Shannon Lawlor

Paul Ritch is a Parisian producer and DJ who has since 2006 been a prominent gear in the machine of techno and electronica. Ritch’s minimalistic approach to crafting deep, thought provoking electronic music is the key to his essence; yet the atmosphere he bestows is a surefire dance-floor sirens’ song. Initially releasing multiple works through German label Resopal Schallware, Paul Ritch has since undertaken his own imprint Quartz Music, through which he has released his own work, as well as various recordings from the likes of Simon Garcia, Marcelo Bratke and Onno, to name but a few.

With a newly found darker, and more personal approach to producing electronic music, Paul Ritch has now taken the moniker Kaczmarek to define these unique ideas. Kaczmarek’s first release, ambiguously titled IIIIIIIIIIIIII, will be released on October 30th via Ritch’s fresh imprint KCZMRK, specially created and intended to differentiate between Paul’s solo dance-oriented work, and the darker tones of Kaczmarek’s immersive sound.

We spoke with Paul on his new project Kaczmarek, and how it may differ from his solo work:

(Be sure to check out Kaczmarek’s album teaser announcement below)

With numerous releases in your back catalogue, as well as managing two different electronic labels, give us a brief summary of how you first encountered the electronic music scene, and how it may differ to other fields within the music world?

After attending a friends DJ set when I was around 16 or 17, I then went to his house to listen to some records he had recently bought, so after that I started to going to some of these house and garage parties in Paris called ‘Cheers’, where artists would master at work while performing – that was my first step into the EDM world. Then I started playing at a lot of these electronic parties in Paris, but this was only part time – it’s only when I started to produce music that reached a wider audience, it really gave me the opportunity to meet really passionate people. It’s a really small world, and I feel really lucky when I get to play my live set surrounded by some of the best artists in the techno scene. So I’ve learned a lot. It’s a world where people get to decide to dedicate their lives to music and their performance.

What are some of your key influences in your music? Whether it be the sound created by others, imagery, films or any kind of art form.

My key influence has always been the dance floor. When I’m producing, I always imagine myself in the middle, dancing, and what my reaction listening to it would be. With my new project Kaczmarek, the approach is different – it really gets more mental and more cinematic. With this album the point was to make the listener take a journey from the beginning to the end.

Using a multitude of various gadgets and tools, you have seemed to expand upon the underground electronic scene in the past, yet still seem to capture the attention of many to this day. Could you explain in detail what your typical writing or recording process usually entails?

The first thing that was important for me in the process of creating this album was to be in a place that would provoke a certain emotion in me, so I decided to visit my family’s house in the East of France – an old farm surrounded by forest. So I took some of my hardware and lived there for 2 months, and in this period it was snowing so it was really inspiring. To compose this album, I really played around with texture first to create the atmosphere. Then I would add in the leads, and then create the beat around it.

A new release under the moniker Kaczmarek is slated for release on October 30th, could you give us any insight into the album, and how it might vary to your previous solo releases?

For a while now I’ve wanted to release an album, but the question always remains – “Do I want to make a techno album, or something less club oriented? etc..” I attempted to make one about three years ago, but I decided that I wasn’t happy with the outcome, so I just left it on a hard drive without even finishing it. Then at the end of last year I had clearer ideas on what I really wanted – I wanted to make an album that could take the listener on a little journey without it being a club-driven album. So to have more freedom in my compositions I decided to use Kaczmarek as my new alias. In this way I knew people would not be expecting something related to my usual techno beats.

This will also be the introductory release on your new label KCZMRK – was the decision to create a new outlet as means to release different material based on a change in direction? What does your new label represent, and how does it differ to Quartz rec?

KCZMRK will be more versatile as it will have no fence; from techno to electro to ambient, jungle etc So the idea is to put out a maximum amount of albums. I feel like KCZMRK albums will be more personal, whereas Quartz was created to release pure dance floor tracks.

During performances and DJ sets, your energy is definitely mesmerizing. Elaborate on what some of your favourite aspects of performing live are, when being compared to a typical recording process?

There is a clear difference between the creative process of working in the studio and my live performances.

Playing live allows me to interact with the crowd and my favourite aspect of performing live is when I have to think on the fly and modify my set to suit the energy of the crowd. Seeing people’s reactions to the countless hours that go into producing tracks is really what drives you to go back to studio to start the whole creative process over again. Performing live gives me that satisfaction of knowing that my work is well received.  

Do you have any advice to share or pass along to any up-and- coming producers out there who admire your work based on your own experiences being a prolific electronic artist today?

Break the rules and just listen to yourself in what you want to undertake!

Pre-order IIIIIIIIIIIIII by Kaczmarek HERE

For more information follow Paul Ritch on Facebook