Richard Von Der Schulenburg symbolises the creative spirit of Golden Pudel, the Hamburg club where he's been a resident for the past ten years. The club, which is currently generating funds for rebuilding costs after a fire gutted the building earlier this year, is a hub for local artists of all stripes, something that's reflected in its anything-goes music policy. "It's too boring to dedicate your life to one genre," says Von Der Schulenburg below. His RVDS project is rooted in house music but his records almost always veer off-piste—a downtempo track here, a beatless number there. There's no doubt this sense of adventure was shaped by his musical past. Von Der Schulenburg got his start playing in bands in '90s, has worked as a theatre musician, and seems eternally interested in the possibilities of collaboration (most recently, he began a self-titled label with Sky Walking, his group with Dial boss Lawrence and Christian Naujoks). He's hosted fellow oddballs like Felix Kubin and Shari Vari on his label, It's, over the years, but the outlet is essentially a showcase for RVDS. If you're just getting started with the label, seek out the excellent 2011 RVDS album Moments (its standout track, "Pain," feels apt in this time of uncertainty) and then grab its follow-up, Shadows, when it drops at the end of November. Both records are loaded with the infectious whimsy that marks Von Der Schulenburg's best music.
Which brings us to RA.547. Von Der Schulenburg's concept here is "slow music," and we really can't stress enough how far and wide he goes in pursuit of the idea. He builds an environment in which Japanese pop, progressive rock, Detroit techno and '80s synth music exist in exquisite harmony.
What have you been up to recently?
Recently I was at the record mega-fair in Utrecht, which costs me a lot of nerves and money, but I'm glad I did it. My favorite catches were the second Convextion record on Matrix and a 7-inch from the German new wave scene, Gleitzeit's "Ich Komme Aus Der DDR." After that I went on tour with my jazz band to accompany Jacques Palminger, a great master of ceremonies.
How and where was the mix recorded?
The mix was recorded in the summer at home, with vinyl, two turntables and a mixer, which was plugged in the computer.
Can you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
I came to the idea to make a mix with "slow music," which you can listen and/or dance very slowly to. In the '80s, when I was a teenager, there was a big hype around the film La Boum. One thing that was very important was the so-called "blues dancing," which means dancing to slow music very close. I think this mix would fit to that film.
What's the latest on the campaign to rebuild Golden Pudel?
Yes, this year got so much bad news, but the good news is that the place of the Golden Pudel is saved now. It's now property of the Pudel foundation, and there will be no Starbucks or any other sad cafe there. After the burn in February, we can continue to repair and rebuild the building, but the financial situation is very bad, because the cost for buying this place was so much that there's less left for the construction work. Now there's a campaign to help with donations to repair it. Everyone is invited to contribute.
How does clubbing in Hamburg differ from other big German cities?
Well, a club is a club. In my opinion clubs are always very different and always the same irrespective of the city. There are only a few very special clubs, one of which is for me the Pudel. The booking involves a lot of genres. The different personalities and artists who are working there make it so special.
What are you up to next?
I'm looking forward to two upcoming releases: my Italo disco alias Riccardi Schola will make his first release, on Bordello A Parigi, and under my name Richard Von Der Schulenburg will be a release with my experimental ambient work on the Hamburg label VIS. Both releases are totally different, but make so much sense for me, because it's too boring to dedicate your life to one genre.