Producer and Rhombus imprint co-owner Stefan Zlatarits aka Stefan Z has been surrounded by music his entire life. A strange combination of listening to his fathers Vangelis tapes as a young child in Toronto and playing piano as well as trumpet in the jazz band throughout his high school life have both contributed to his current output of music. We caught up with the now Berlin based producer ahead of his remix on the label…

You are from Vancouver originally, but now based in Berlin – when did you make the move and what difference has it made, musically?

My lady and I moved to London from Vancouver in September of 2014 as she was studying fashion and we both really like Europe. It was tough for me to get a freelance visa in the UK so I made the move to Germany in June of 2015. But yeah, nice and settled here now 🙂 Musically I haven’t really noticed a big difference but some colleagues have told me my sounds have been much darker as of late….I blame it on the winter.

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How did you get into electronic music?

Raves and peer pressure mostly!….among other things 😉

You have just remixed Nandu’s ‘Love You Til The End’ on CC. How did you approach the remix? 

The parts were all really good and provided a great deal of inspiration so it all came quite quick. I think the biggest moment came when I started pitching the lead synths down an octave to create the bass….there is some awesome ambience and artifacts in the originals stems which gives it that really nice grit.

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Do you have a process when producing and what key pieces of kit do you use?

Not a standard process no, but I typically start with a good thwacking kick, and then get some bass and melodies in there before moving to the drums. I’m all in the box these days and I would say my favourite things to use are the EXS24 Sampler, ES1 Synth and the TAL SH-101/Juno 60 Emulator for synths…and processing plugins….Kramer Tape, Reel-ADT, Slate VCC (for mix downs), API 2500 & SSL G-Comp, Sound Toys Devil Loc and of course the L2!

You also co-own the fast rising label Rhombus. Who do you run this with and when did you start this project? 

I run the label with my long-time friend Oliver Nickels…I started it in 2011 after moving back to Vancouver from Berlin (funnily enough).

What is the concept behind the label?

In the beginning it was just to have a platform to release our own music but now we are slowly finding great new artists and are really looking forward to growing the label with everyone.

What is the best piece of advice you can give someone who wants to set up a record label?

Do it for the money, women and fame! Hmmmm….advice? Ummmm…..You would probably have better advice to give than I!

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What do you have coming up in the near future for yourself as an artist, and also on Rhombus?

Looking forward to making the switch to Ableton or Bitwig quite soon as I just want to change things up a bit. Logic is getting a bit stale for me these days! Got a couple of remixes coming out soon on some label called Constant Circles and also Faceless Recordings. Also been working on lots of original material lately as well 🙂

On the Rhombus side of things, the next release is from a brand new artist from our hometown of Vancouver called Iain Howie. Super young and very talented so we can’t wait to release the EP in June. After that is a remix EP of Kris Davis’ ‘Cult’ and ‘Polaroid’ tunes….Oliver and I will do those. Then an EP from me and I think a VA from the label artists…..and that will take us to the end of the year! 🙂

Tell us about your guest mix on the radio show – how did you put it together and what have you included in there?

Assembled in Ableton and you’ll have to check the track list for all the juicy details!

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