Check out this interview with Ingo Kunzl, the man behind the project and unforgettably classic track of the same name, Ayla...
Ayla Visits The Technoclub Feb 13th
Ingo Kunzl alias Dj Tandu/Ayla has been a major force in the German dance scene for 17 years and has had worldwide hits as Ayla and as producer for Safri Duo. He also belonged to the gang of German producers that started the techno boom in the early 90s and has had over 200 releases since 1993. In the year 1993, there was so much incredible music being made in Germany from Darmstadt’s Culture Beat ‘Mr Vain’, to Sven Väth’s Frankfurt legendary labels Harthouse and Eye–Q to Berlin’s influential newcomers Cosmic Baby and Kid Paul, or Frankfurt’s Jam & Spoon. It was a year packed with great new dance trends and many many unforgettable tracks, but who could forget ‘Te Quiero’, ‘Always’ or ‘Dosta’ - played at Torsten Fenslau’s legendary HR3 club night in1993 by the project Intrance, which Ingo was a founding member of. ‘Te Quiero’ was met by so much love, that it reached the German sales chart. But that was just the start as new projects like Tandu and Ayla would be born. His solo debut single, Tandu - Acido EP with Noom Records, was released into the market in 1994. More than 10,000 vinyls were issued and thus Tandu - Acido EP remains one of the most successful releases with this label of all time. In 1995, Ayla was brought to life. It was created as a project of DJ Tandu. The first single was also called Ayla and with the Taucher Remix it was a club hit all over the world. In the UK it was released on Positiva and entered the UK-Charts at position 22. It was also used by McDonalds in the UK for a TV-Spot and not to forget the UK movie ‘Kevin & Perry’. In the beginning of 1997 the track ‘Ayla Part II’ entered the German Sales Charts Top40. The track was produced together with Taucher and Torsten Stenzel. In the same year the remake of Cosmic Baby’s ‘Liebe’ (produced by Tandu alone) was released and went directly to Position 1 of the German Dance Charts followed by a Top 40 Position in the German sales charts. The next Single ‘Angelfalls’ was released in November 1999 and was Top3 in the German Dance Charts for weeks. The Video was done at the ‘Iguacu-Waterfalls’ in Brazil. In the year 2000, the debut album from Ayla, ‘Nirwana’ was released. After a few years of putting the project to rest, a new single ‘The Sun Is Coming Out’ was released in 2003, which had the catchy and dreamy ‘Ayla’ melody and was a big hit in the dance charts. From 2001-2004, he was co producer with Danish producer Michael Parsberg of the Dutch duo Safri Duo, which fascinated the dance world in 2001, with melodic dance music inspired by bongo drums. The first release ‘Played Alive’ was a world wide hit that reached the top ten charts in numerous European countries. But this was not a one hit wonder, as the second release ‘Samb-Adagio’ was not as big of a hit as the predecessor, but still was played to death by DJs world wide. The debut album of Safri Duo was ‘Episode 2’, which was seen in many album charts worldwide. Safri Duo would release a second album ‘3.0’, which featured the hit single ‘Sweet Freedom’ in 2002. The last years have been quiet on the release front, but he has named 2009 as the year when a new Ayla album will be released. He has been friends with the German techno pope Talla 2XLC for many years and makes a return visit to the Technoclub on Febuary 13th 2009...
i:Vibes: Hi Ingo, thanks for taking some time to chat with www. technoclub. tc and www. ivibes. nu.You have been making music non-stop since 1993. What is your biggest motivation to keep making new fresh music?
Ayla: The best motivation for sure is a good reaction from the people that listen to the music. I have been doing music since I was 5 years old. That keeps me going.
i:Vibes: It has been very very quiet with you in the last years. What have you been doing music wise? I guess getting many new breathtaking melodic inspirations for the new Ayla album?
Ayla: It was time for a break. Also I had some trouble with my record company. That was really frustrating. But I think I can say, that I am back.
i:Vibes: Who were your early musical inspirations while growing up?
Ayla: There were a lot of really different inspirations. It was going from stuff like Supertramp (yes, I am old), Pat Metheny, but alsoTallas Moskva TV or Cosmic Baby’s early stuff really inspired me.
i:Vibes: How did you get involved in the music scene in the early 90s?
Ayla: I had a studio since 1985. In those times I did a lot of demo recordings for different bands. Together with a friend I did ‘Te Quierro’ it was getting very popular and we did the project Intrance feat. D-Sign for a few years. So I was involved.
i:Vibes: Intrance was an incredible project that had three incredible releases with ‘Te Quiero’, ‘Always’ and ‘Dosta’. You had success with the project, but do you think that the whole Intrance experience got lost a bit with the year 1993 that just had so many new and successful tracks being released?
Ayla: A lot of good productions came up at that time and the “techno scene” also already started to split up in different sub-genres, but I don’t think that this was the reason for the Intrance problems at that time. It was more a personal problem.
i:Vibes: I loved all three Intrance tracks, but especially “Always”. Do you remember what your inspiration was behind making this track?
Ayla: It was Alex who came up with the idea of ‘Always’. He was singing it all the time, so we did it.
i:Vibes: What DJs/producers did you get to know in this early time? Was it difficult finding contacts/friends at this time or was the German Dance community bonding?
Ayla: It was a very good family at this time I think. I remember a gig in the very early years with Intrance (it was before ‘Te Quierro’). It was a party in Stuttgart, where also Cosmic Baby was playing live. He introduced us to a friend which was Paul van Dyk, as an unknown DJ.
i:Vibes: Did you know or meet Torsten Fenslau? I remember that he played ‘Dosta’ in his HR3 Clubnight. What did you like from him as a producer?
Ayla: Yes I met him once. He sadly died on my birthday, or in the night before my birthday. We had a gig with Intrance that night in Munich, so it was a very sad day. I think everything he did was really good.
i:Vibes: What do your two aliases Tandu and Ayla mean? Why did you decide to create them as your artist names?
Ayla: Tandu in the beginning was just a project I did with 2 other guys (Nico & Pierro), when I started as a DJ I took that name. That is how the name evolved. Both are real names. Ayla at first just was the name of the track. The name came from a girl, who was with me in the studio when I did the track. As it was not the same style as the Tandu-acido, I didn’t want to release it on Noom, so the project Ayla was born.
i:Vibes: You created ‘Ayla’ in 1995 and had big dance hits the next years with ‘Ayla’, ‘Liebe’ and ‘Angelfalls’. What do you think made Ayla special in the late 90s and what did it bring to the dance scene at that time?
Ayla: I think it was the emotional melodies that made them special.
i:Vibes: ‘Ayla Part 2’ was another huge hit in 1997. You produced it with Torsten Stenzil and Taucher. How was this special studio session? Torsten was the studio mastermind and Taucher the unique DJ. What was your role in this cooperation?
Ayla: I was doing the coffee lol! We did it at Torsten’s studio so there were three people in a small studio working on a track, bringing ideas together. Believe me, that works especially with Torsten and Ralph. I really like them both.
i:Vibes: ‘Angelfalls’ was a very beautiful track that I have very nice memories of. When I was in South America in December 1999, that was a track that made my short summer vacation memorable. What was your inspiration behind this track? Was the whole production a difficult process and how was that pretty melody made by you?
Ayla: The first part in that track was the piano. Sometimes I just sit in the studio and play piano. It also came out of a session like this. It’s also my personal favourite track of mine. :)
i:Vibes: You were also co-producer for the successful duo Safri Duo. How was this project born and how did you meet Safri Duo and Michael Parsberg?
Ayla: Parsberg booked me at that time for a club in Copenhagen (it was before Safri). I think it was more a friendship than just a collaboration. Then he came up with the ‘Played-a-Live’. He asked me to mix the album and the Safri thing was born.
i:Vibes: ‘Played-a-Live’ was a very innovative track in 2001 and gave the dance scene a new type of sound with the bongo drums. Whose idea was it to incorporate the drums with dance beats?
Ayla: ‘Played-a-Live’ was completely Parsberg. I wasn’t involved in this track at all except the remix I did.
i:Vibes: What was the craziest experience that you had with Michael Parsberg?
Ayla: I was in Canada together with Parsberg booked together as DJs. The owner of the club promoted us as Safri-Duo and they put some go-go girls with bongos right in front of us. I think that was one of the craziest experiences with Parsberg, or there is one more.
That Danish club I was playing with Parsberg (it was called Gorgeous) did a truck at the Loveparade. The problem was, the truck was there, but the whole Danish club was sitting in the bus in a traffic jam when the parade began. So I was on the truck with a friend alone, while other friends of mine did the security for the truck, so they didn’t take it out of the parade. After 2 hours the Danish crew showed up and we finished the parade together.
i:Vibes: You have announced an Ayla Album for 2009. What surprises can we await from this album?
Ayla: If I would answer this, it wouldn’t be a surprise!
i:Vibes: Will you be working with singers and other producers? Any secrets that you can reveal?
Ayla: I will work with other people, that secret I can offer!
i:Vibes: How have you seen the trance development in the last five years? What have been the biggest changes that have happened?
Ayla: I think the productions are getting better and better in quality. It is sad that this progress is coming this late.
i:Vibes: Are their too many generic trance productions now a days and is it easier to have a hit now in 2009 since almost anyone can make music with internet being so big now?
Ayla: I don’t know whether it is better or not. It is good, that almost everyone can make music, but it is sad, that not everyone is able to listen to all the stuff.
i:Vibes: How excited are you about playing in the Technoclub?
Ayla: It was always something special to play at Technoclub. Also in the past when it was at the Dorian Gray.
i:Vibes: How would you describe the Tandu DJ sound in 2009? What can we expect from your DJ set?
Ayla: Because this will be a classics set, guess, what you can expect. Normally I am more into the progressive house area at the moment.
Do you remember the first time that you met Talla 2XLC? How was your first meeting? Do you remember if Talla gave you words of inspiration?
Ayla: I think, I met him at the Reaktor (was my residence club for more than 5 years). I booked him a lot of times to that location.
i:Vibes: How important has Talla 2XLC been for the German Dance scene?
Ayla: I think every component is important like in a clock. Both, small and big components are essential to get it to work. For me (as I wrote before) he inspired me with Moskwa TV.
i:Vibes: What are your nicest memories from helping Talla make the Technoclub Volume 13 in 2001?
Ayla: I think it was the photo shooting for the cover. It was a funny day.
i:Vibes: What have been the big changes for you as a DJ/producer from 1993 to 2009 in the Dance scene?
Ayla: For sure the internet and illegal downloads.
i:Vibes: Besides an Ayla album in 2009, what else can we await from you on the production side?
Ayla: I already started a few projects and productions. A few of them you can listen to on http://www.tandu.de/
i:Vibes: What other musical goals do you have? Making music for movie soundtracks?
Ayla: Yes for sure, that would be great, but that is a very hard market.
i:Vibes: What are your five all time favourite tracks?
Ayla: Odysee Of Noises - Firedance
Energy52 - Cafe del Mar
Cosmic Baby - Space Track
Cygnus X - Orange Theme
William Orbit - Adagio For Strings
i:Vibes: What are your hobbies?
Ayla: I am doing motocross that is enough and that is also what my doctor says.
i:Vibes: If you had one last track to play in your last DJ set ever, which track would you end your set with?
Ayla: For sure with Ayla - Angelfalls.
i:Vibes: Ingo thanks for the chat. See you in the Technoclub!!