I’m not a DJ, but it always boggles my mind when I see more than one person on the decks. Like Above & Beyond… there are three of them. Come to think of it, I have seen Above & Beyond play several times, and have never seen all three of them perform at once. Anyway, the guys I am sitting with today don’t seem too crowded up there. But don’t worry, I asked them about it. Maybe by having two guys up there they can produce twice the music that is twice as good? It is good… I will tell you that. I dare you not to dance to this stuff. Songs like Made Of Sun are instant classics. I have been listening to these guys for a LONG time, and it is a true pleasure to sit with and to introduce you to Kyau & Albert.
Kyau & Albert is made up of Ralph Kyau and Steven Albert.
Does it ever get crowded in the DJ booth?
(Ralph) Sometimes, but I don’t like it when people talk to me all time when I play. Or ask silly questions. It destroys the interaction with the crowd dancing on the floor.
Where are you guys originally from?
(Steven) We are Germans living close to a city called Dresden.
You haven’t always been Kyau & Albert… what happened to Kyau vs. Albert?
(Ralph) Yeah, we started as Kyau vs. Albert. In 2006 we changed the name to Kyau & Albert. We didn’t like the “vs.”.
(Steven) A few promoters were already using Kyau & Albert on flyers before we changed it. I think it’s easier.
You two have released a TON of singles. Is it even possible to pick a favorite track?
(Steven) We get asked this all the time, but it’s so hard to pick out one track.
(Ralph) That’s true. It always changes for me. Most of the time you’re more into the new song; the ones you just work on. I don’t know why.
When you sit down to do a remix, how do you pick which track to remix? I mean you guys have remixed some pretty big tracks. Do you actually get to work with guys like Armin van Buuren when you remix one of his tracks?
(Ralph) Remixing is different than working on a collaboration together. For a remix, you normally get the parts of a song and have quite free hands. Often you get input from the original artist after sending remix demos.
Tell me about your relationship with Euphonic.
(Steven) We are the founders and owners of Euphonic Records. The label gives us freedom in our releases, which a real gift for an artist.
I listen to a lot of podcasts at work. I am going to be adding yours to my list! How often do you guys release a podcast?
(Ralph) It’s monthly and it’s called “Euphonic Sessions with Kyau & Albert”.
What is “15 Years – The Album”?
(Ralph) For our 15 year anniversary we wanted to feature our biggest hits, but in a modern sound. Therefore we picked to remix some of our classics and added some new songs such as This Love or A Night Like This.
How cool was it being interviewed on “A State of Trance”?
(Ralph) Armin is a cool guy. We were happy when we got the request for the interview with him. We have known him for quite a long time.
(Steven) A couple of years ago we also licensed his single Burned With Desire to Euphonic for the German market and did a remix for the track.
(Ralph) That was long time ago. It was in late 2004 or early 2005.
How long are your sets? Does it vary from one club to the next?
(Ralph) It really depends on the night and also on the promoter. On big festivals the sets are shorter than in a club. I personally prefer 3-hour sets. It’s the perfect set time for me.
(Steven) I have no preference, but I hate 1-hour sets. That happens when we play for a promoter that has booked too many DJs.
You guys travel a ton. How many stamps do you have in your passport?
(Ralph) I have 5 passports at the moment. 5 German ones of course. It’s quite tricky because you only get them when you tell the officers a proper reason. Our reason is that we sometimes send passports to 3 different embassies at one time and travel the same weekend to another country. Before we travel we always have to double check if we have the right passport with the visa of the country we just traveled too.
(Steven) Our passports are very full. But when it’s full we can apply to a new one.
There are a lot of clubs out there. Do you have any favorites? What makes one club better than the next?
(Steven Albert) We love to play at Ministry Of Sound in London. We actually try to play there a few times every year. That club is really professional and has a cool vibe. You always meet so many industry friends there.
(Ralph) You can find good clubs all around the world, but I love to play in North America. It’s our second home. We play there most outside of Europe. If Germany would kick me out, which they hopefully will never do, I would move to North America or to New Zealand for the beautiful unique nature.
How can I get a signed copy of “15 Years – The Album”? How many of those did you sign and did your hands get tired?
(Steven) You can only get signed CDs at the Euphonic Records shop. – www.shop.euphonic.de
(Ralph) We signed a few hundred… I think it was around 400 and it took hours. It was boring, but we know our fans go crazy getting these.
You guys are all over Facebook and Twitter. In your opinion, how has the Internet changed the way people absorb music?
(Ralph) The Internet is a great thing. It brings people together. To be honest, we’re not big Twitter users, but quite active on Facebook.
What are your thoughts on the DJ Mag Top 100? It seems to be flooded, near the top anyway, with pop music… not trance.
(Steven) It’s a funny poll which is a big cash cow for the magazine.
You guys are from Germany. You can’t be from Germany and not like beer. So… what are some of your favorite beers?
(Ralph) We brew our own beer! Just for fun; not as a profession. It’s hard to pick out one big beer, but I love beer with a good taste and it can be very bitter for me… a man’s beer, not a TV beer. If you know what I mean…
(Steven) Germany is a big beer country. I read somewhere that we have 6,000 different brands. Hard to try out all of them!
EDM seems to be a lot more popular overseas. Why do you think that is?
(Steven) Don’t know why, but it’s true. In Europe EDM is everywhere. Even in the smaller cities there are various EDM clubs. I think that North America has also a good scene, but in the big cities.
I use Bose noise cancelling headphones. What kind of headphones do you use?
(Ralph) We use Pioneer HDJ-2000 at gigs. We have been using them for a few years now. In the studio we have various AKG headphones.
Who does all of your graphic design work?
(Steven) We have one guy in Germany and a good friend in New Zealand. As we have so much do, it’s good to have two guys on it, because sometimes it need to be quick.
You guys headlined “Anjunabeats Vol 9” release party at The Gallery. How cool was that? The guys in Above & Beyond are great… they are just having fun out there!
(Ralph) The Gallery at Ministry Of Sound is always fun. We play there a few times a year. Actually, our next set there is on March 30th, alongside Markus Schulz and Tritonal.
Website. Facebook. Twitter. YouTube. Who runs all of those? Do you have a favorite social network?
(Steven) We know many artists who have a team of people that run their social media accounts. We don’t like that. We do it ourselves. We aren’t posting all the time, but being real for our fans is more important for us. That’s better than being online all day.
What’s next for you guys… got anything in store for 2012?
(Steven) “15 Years – The Album” is out now on all download stores and on CD. We are also working on a collaboration with Paul van Dyk this April.
I could ask you guys questions all day! Thank you so much for taking the time to chat. In all of the interviews that I have done I always give the artist the last word. Go.
(Ralph) We’re coming back to the U.S. and Canada this April and May. For confirmed dates check out our website – www.kyauandalbert.com