Q & A: Sable Sheep

The Man Who Carries His Music Around His Neck

Last week we had a chat with Tillman Cremer -  about Sable Sheep, exotic music and some other important topics.
His new release is great anyway (Sable Sheep „Vagabond From Hell“ DESOLAT X025), and here is a transcript of an afternoon at Desolat HQ.


D: Where did the name come from?
S: The name Sable Sheep – sheep everyone knows, that's the animal, and Sable comes from Shakespeare and his poetry – in his language it means kind of dark, black, mystical... and I like to draw the line between my music, track titles, Shakespeare and his poetic language.

D: How come that a young techno producer knows about Shakespeare? I am pleasantly surprised.
S: That's a good question.  For me the Shakespeare's poetry was always kind of secret, mystical, untouchable thing and when I created Sable Sheep 2 years ago, I wanted to connect it with this secret background, and this perfectly fits in this case...

D: What is your favourite Shakespeare work?
S: I don't have a special, single work that I like - I like to take passages from his poetry. When I was at school (not so long ago (laughs)) it were always these kinda phrases that attracted me.

D: Do you go further into “dark” literature or is it Shakespeare only?
S : It was never so much about literature, it was about this dark thing. Also, my musical background was metal music and...

D: Metal is not dark!
S: Metal music is dark!!! Slipknot was always my inspiration during the years. It still is!

D: Are they still making music?
S: Yes, i think so... they are probably working a new album, but had some issues to solve with their band members... hip hop always took big role for me too...

D: What is the connection between metal and hip hop?
S: Metal, Hip Hop and Techno move me in the same way. That sounds really crazy but it moves me absolutely in the same way. When I listen to good hip hop, the old school stuff, Biggie, 2pac, but also the new stuff like Danny Brown, TNGHT, this trap style or Metal music it feels for me the same, it moves me mentally and physically, I get those goose bumps...

D: Now, I have one question that I never managed to ask someone – What attracts young, handsome, white, middle class guy, (I guess) from Germany, to hip hop?
S: You can not describe it, when you listen to a track, you know it, it touches you and you have that certain feeling...
D: yeah, I know that...
S: When I listen to hip hop I just feel that I like this kind of music. I can't really listen to all that standard chart shit, but when I listen to ...  
D: Isn't there plenty of hip hop in the charts?
S: Not anymore, it has changed to this fucking EDM shit. Every hip hop guy tries to do EDM stuff with guys like David Guetta.... even Snoop Dogg started to do it. But it will come back, I am sure. At the moment, I really feel this trap shit like Danny Brown, TNGHT, Hudson Mohawke... Dice used to play their track “Higher Ground” a lot. It's simply amazing. Also the new Alli Borem on Desolat, „Trip Out”is really really great. Big up to my homie Alli at this point!

D: It's quite exciting: few years ago, there was a fusion between dubstep, drum 'n' bass and techno that led to some amazing music, and now there is so much going on somewhere else, trap that you've mentioned, for example.
S : It is good direction i think, it's cool to combine different styles.  
I work on my album, and I will for sure put a metal track, with my metal band on it. I am still playing in my metal band since many years now. Just not as professional as before...

D: What are you playing in your metal band?
S: Singer & shouter
D: Singer and shouter?
S: Yes.
D: Amazing! Can we get some demos?
S: I will send you something for sure
D: So, how do u transport that heavy metal idea into your electronic dance music? What is death metal in it?
S: It's that  straight, in your face technoidal spirit in my sets. I don't like deep, I don't like slow,  I don't like moody - I prefer straight, energetic, driven....
D: Are you  then also a fan of hardcore? I think of labels like Enzyme Records for example.
S: No. That's too much. I think at 129 bpm there is a barricade for me. It's also when I play my sets, 129bpm is the limit.
D: But some of the records you can play on 33rpm, and then they sound really amazing.
S: Yes, I know that. but this hard core stuff is too much for me. At the moment, at least.
D: I would ask you fort the hardcore podcast for Desolat.
S:  I would do it! (laughing)
D: Death metal fan, hip hop fan – so what was the first record that you bought?
S: That was a 7”on Border Community, Nathan Fake. „Silent Night“
in 2005, 9 years ago now.. probably because I wanted a 7“ record...
D: You really spend the money on that song?!
S: I think it was ... I was at that record store and probably I didn't listen to it at all, but I got to hold my first 7“ record in my hands.
Then I started to play only vinyl, then came Traktor and now I am playing with vinyl, time code and Traktor.
The main reason was that I wanted to play my stuff,  and I was never into playing CDs and music from USB sticks. I just have one little back up around my neck and that's it.
You can be so creative with all that stuff. I play with 2 decks and a sampler. It is amazing. I can play my own stuff, mess around with it if I want to. If there is a vinyl only track, I can play a real vinyl. I really feel the set up, and can play spontaneously with all these possibilities...
D: Do you really carry you music back up around your neck?
S: Yes, here are all tracks of mine.
D: Talking about DJ sets, is there a tune that always works? Sable Sheep signature that always cleans the floor?
S: There is one, not yet released, „Temple Garden”, some kind of experiment of mine. Played it several times, maybe something for the album...
D: Why the title?
S: I don't now. I was in the special mood, and I thought of something mystical, dark, temple garden – that's it.
D: Are u religious?
S: No, not at all.

D: What is your favourite tune of all time?
S: Slipknot – Snuff  : Corey Taylor sings this song for his dead friend, it is touching in so many ways.
D: Would it be a song at your funeral?
S: This one for sure. 100 %
D: Is there something that you'd regret if you die now?
S: No. I am happy. There is so much more that I would love to do in the future... but regrets, no... you always grow, always learn, always educate yourself. If you did the shit in the past, you now you did shit, then you grow with it and move on.

D: You mentioned Shakespeare earlier. Do you read? What was the last good book that you read? Maybe not good, but something that struck you.
S: To be honest I don't read books... I don't go to the bookstore, buy a book and get lost with it. When I am in a certain mood, I take for example Macbeth, open it, read five lines and put it back.
D: Random 5 lines or 5 lines that you want to read?
S: Random lines. Or I surf the internet and read songtexts of several bands.
D: What about movies? Are you a movie fan?
S: I fucking love movies. Really. My favourite is defo Lord Of The Rings.
D: But you never read the book.
S: Of course I did!  Another one: Gladiator. I love this... how you call it
D: kitschy
S : (laughs) no. Monumental. These monumental pathetic moments ....
D : and the 3d one, Sparta?
S : Wolf of Wall Street !
S: I also love horror movies. That's how I come down. Movies with friends, my girlfriend.. just lay down on the coach after playing or producing.
Cooking is also a big thing for me. I recently started to get deeper into it... it's almost spiritual...
D : What is your favourite dish?
S : I am definitely not able to prepare it yet, but I really love good piece of meat... It's an art to make a prefect piece of meat. You also rarely find it somewhere. I was at 3 restaurants where the chef could make a perfect steak.
D : What is your favourite meat place?
S :  I love - La Becasse, a french restaurant in Aachen.

D: how about DJs? Is there someone you really like?
S: This sounds easy now, but it's always been Dice. If I speak about friends from the scene, then it is my homie Marco Faraone.
We are friends for many years now. We like to play B2B, it is always great with him. I really respect him, I love his productions, and he is a good guy.

D: Is there your favourite piece of gear, machine, synth?
S: My Moog... it's kind of a weapon for me... I am not a fan of drum machines, I am easy with this, I have only 1 or 2. But synths I love... and the Prophet is good too!

D: Just two years ago, your artist name was different. What was that?
S : Let's not speak about it. (laughs) Before, I produced under the name of Remerc and it was easier, lighter stuff.
D : Yeah, I remember... we received some of them here, and refused them. They were fine, but we've missed rawness and the twist that your music has today.
S : When I was at the certain point, also because of my young age, at the the point where you reflect what you did before and yeah, you know that is time to do something new, for being yourself, who you really are, what you really want to do. And this was the reason why I started SS as the new project. I totally split this, I deleted all Remerc stuff ( FB account, souncloud, everything....) I just wanted to start something new. And here I am. I think it was a good decision.


Vladimir Ivkovic
edit: Jelena Mladenovic