An Interview with Kruse & Nuernberg

We had the chance to speak to Florian Kruse and Nils Nuernberg, aka Kruse & Nuernberg, producers and DJs from Germany. They have just released their new EP Lost N Free from OFF Recordings. They teamed up with British singer/songwriter Brolin, who has delivered beautiful, melodic vocals to the title song. The EP also features remixes from the likes of ED ED and Sasse, who have maintained the essence of the original song whilst adding the influence of techno.

Our take: Lost N Free, a dark, lush layering of synths driven by an enigmatic and moody build-up, is a set of tastefully produced and sharply-crafted tracks. The EP is sexy, refreshing and genuinely good enough to excite the most discerning dance venues; the release is a momentous occasion for electro enthusiasts everywhere. Lost N Free is our favourite from Kruse & Nuernberg so far, and we hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

We had a chat with them about Berlin, their musical influences, their collaboration with Brolin and other things that excite them. All said and done, we met some new friends and gained some inspiring perspectives!


Can you please introduce yourselves to us?

We are Florian Kruse and Nils Nuernberg. We both grew up in a rural area between Kiel and Hamburg, and now we are based in Hamburg and Berlin. We are both passionate DJs and music producers.


Tell us about your first experiences with music, as well as some of the artists and musical styles that have informed your sound.

Throughout our lives we have been in touch with quite a lot of genres including hip hop, heavy metal, classical, etc. just to name a few. For both of us, it started super early – ever since we were thrown into this world, music has been a steady companion. Early influences came through our parents and siblings. They were listening to popular music from the 80s, lots of German new wave stuff, Santana, Pink Floyd, the Beatles, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, etc. Later, we became influenced by what our friends were listening to. American rap music, funk, soul and punk rock was big in our teens. Then came electronic music. It felt like coming home and settling down for us. A feeling of, ‘okay, this is it.’ We never really questioned the fact that one day our passion would eventually turn into a profession.


We had the chance to listen to your new EP Lost N Free and we loved it! Tell us more about the making of the EP and the experience you had working with Brolin, Sasse and Ed Ed.

The Lost N Free EP had been growing in the studio for a long time, compared to other productions we did in the past. We started the first track almost a year ago and recorded different vocalists to finally get to the point where the tracks are now. Very last minute we decided to make ‘Doin’ It’, an instrumental track, and we took out the vocals to gain more functionality and make it a club track. We were lucky to find Brolin, who delivered beautiful vocals for the ‘Lost N Free’ track. The whole process of working with him was brilliant, and that’s the reason there are more tracks to come. When we got the package signed to OFF Recordings we were talking about remixes and quickly came up with the names Sasse and ED ED, who are our friends from Berlin. Their version of Lost N Free’ rounds out the package and we are happy to have them on board!


You have your own record label, but Lost N Free has been released on OFF Recordings. Is it mainly because of the amount of exposure the label can offer?

Good question. Our label, Save Room Recordings, is simply releasing a different style of music, and, yes, we have to confess that considering the popularity, OFF is definitely the smarter choice; it fits our style and it gives us the chance to build both of our reputations.


Berlin has been imperative to many successful artists over the years. In what ways do you feel the city has played a part in your own success? What sort of impact do you think Berlin has had on your creativity in general?

Berlin is a great city full of creative people and culture! The music scene in Berlin is huge and because of this, it’s inspiring to be here. It’s hard to say if the city itself has had any impact on our music career, but it’s good to be closely connected to people who share the same passion for music.


How do you feel about Berlin these days, especially this discussion about gentrification and its effect on the club scene?

As far as gentrification is concerned we can say, yes, it is happening and that it is a very unfortunate side effect that every city that is going through a phase of sudden popularity has to face! To us, it seems, with how the world functions today, that there is not much you can do about it.
But for now, and please correct us if we are wrong, Berlin seems to be smart enough to know that the club culture is a big part of why people come to this city and that if they cut down on the night life they are killing a big reason of what makes Berlin so attractive for visitors from all over the world. The city is home to so many clubs, it hosts so many great parties and festivals and there are still new clubs opening. We think this is a good sign and we hope it will stay this way.


Seeing as you guys are a duo, are there certain aspects of producing that you delegate between the two of you? What kind of responsibilities do you share while producing?

We both have the same production skills. We’ve done this for such a long time now, and the first 4 years we were sharing a studio and were sitting right next to each other every day during the week. Now we have two studios and exchange our work via an ftp server. It gives us more space to experiment with sounds and we feel that we are even more productive this way.


Summer is coming and that means festivals! What festivals are you looking forward to this year?

There is one occasion we are looking forward to in particular: a festival in Brussels on the 4th of July. The lineup for us looks more like a family gathering!
Doctor Dru, Robosonic, Animal Trainer, etc. This should be good fun. Let’s hope for great weather ;)


What have been the biggest musical influences that help form your sound?

It’s hard to say as there are so many influences. Mmmmhhh… In the beginning we’ve been fans of the Mannheim sound a lot like 8Bit, Cecille or Oslo Records. The Freerange sound from Jimpster, Milton Jackson and Shur-I-Kan was also a big influence to our music. Apart from that we loved to listen to records from Pokerflat, Kompakt, Cocoon and so on. It’s always good to be open minded to different kinds of music – it helps creativity and incites passion!


A lot of electronic music, especially deep house, has a feel of 90s and there is a huge trend in this direction. However, you have your own style and most of your production is always forward thinking. Where you can see your productions heading in the future?

We have heard the 90s influence in deep house for such a long time now and it’s great! That’s exactly the sound we grew up with but for us it’s about time for a little musical shift as we are getting slightly bored of the ‘old skool’ sounds. We love to play something between tech house and techno when we are DJing at the moment and that’s probably the sound we are aiming for in the future for our own productions. But we don’t make music by following any certain scheme. It has to move naturally, and if something ‘old skool’ floats in, that’s fine, too, as long as it feels right.


Do you have any other professional ambitions outside of music?

We both work part-time in advertising (sound design, voice over recordings, composing for TV ads). It goes hand-in-hand with what we are doing in our studios anyway.


What are some of your favourite tracks you’ve created?

Daze Without You
Lovers n Fighters
We Find Deep



Do you have any music recommendations for our readers?

While writing this we are listening to Joris Voorn’s BBC Radio One Essential Mix. It’s super nice. We just did a remix for his album (which, by the way, is our album of 2014) and we are super happy with the results! It’s something to watch out for. On our way to work, we had the new EP of Bibio playing (The Green EP). It’s also super nice! Our latest discovery is Douglas Dare. His album Whelm should be in any music lover’s playlist.


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What do you do with your time outside of music? Does anything else light a fire under your asses?

We both love to eat good food, drink good wine and we love to do sports a lot. As a DJ you really need to take care of your body and your health with all those sleepless nights and drinks. Healthy food and sport helps to keep your immune system strong. Both of us love traveling a lot. Exploring new places is shaping your character and coming to an understanding with difference! For us, it feels like it makes you wiser and smarter in so many ways and gives you the chance to have a look at things from a totally different angle. Lately, photography and fashion is more and more becoming a part of our lives, too.

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