We think 2013 was a year of Public Possession. During this year two guys – Marvin & Valentino started an imprint with super strong output, opened their own store with record selection of highest quality, launched online shop. Public Possession team has unique approach to design and perfect musical taste. They’re organizing underground parties and intimate instore sessions. Guys are very busy but found time to talk with us about all these things and more.
How long is your friendship going guys? Where & when did you meet each other?
Valentino: Yo! We went to school together. 87? 97? I mean. Haha
You’re pretty young)
Valentino: 1997 or 1998 something like this
Who is calmer, who is more energetic? What’s the difference in your characters?
Marvin: Been knowing each other since fifth grade, kinda lost track of each other for a couple of years and then it started again around 9-10 years ago, where we also started to DJing together. Haha. Don’t really know. I guess we are pretty different in a way, but feed of each others humor.
Valentino: When it comes to bad cheesy vocal music Marvin is definitely more energetic.
And you’re both from Munich, right?
Marvin: Yep, been born in Munich, studied in UK and Vienna though. Hehe)
Valentino: I didn’t know you studied, Marvin?
Marvin: This is a secret to many.
Valentino: Let’s keep this interview going: So Marvin who (besides me) do you admire?
Marvin: I try not to be intellectual as it is sometimes intimidating for Valentino.
Marvin is more into vocal house, and what about you, Valentino?
Valentino: I mean we both run a record shop so our taste in music is pretty diverse.
Marvin: I wouldn’t necessarily say vocal house, I play a lot of different styles same as Valentino. But you would rather see me play some cheesy hi-nrg Italo track I guess. Valentino is the percussion enthusiast.
Ok)))) Let’s go back a little bit. Guys, tell about your hometown, how it differs from Berlin for example?
Marvin: Hehe, the good old Berlin vs Munich comparison. I think Munich is much a calmer city. Life is pretty relaxing over here as long as you are able to afford it (which sometimes can be hard). Berlin is just this big city where so much happens at a time… I think for us personally it was always clear that we wanted to do something here, where our friends are. We kind of grew into this good community of people, like the guys form Gomma or our friend Benni doing the Charlie club to just name a few… It felt kind of natural to pick it up from there and continue to work on what we feel is right.
Have you played in a school band? Or maybe you were DJs there? How long you are into music?
Valentino: I played violin in the school orchestra. Into music for long time.
Marvin: Yeah same for me, was always into music. We sort of started to DJ around the same time. around 8-9 years ago. And pretty soon played back2back a lot. First in small bars and later on our first weekly residency at a club that doesn’t exist anymore.
Valentino: My parents are both musicians so I couldn’t escape.
What records formed your musical tastes?
Marvin: I guess early on it was a mixture between Wu-Tang, Lee Scratch Perry, King Tubby etc. Later it was lots of Italo disco and disco that eventually led to house and techno.
Valentino: Can’t name single records
In time of closing record shops, you opened your own. How the idea about it come to you?
Valentino: There are not a lot of record stores in Munich. A couple of Second Hand stores, most importantly “Best Records”. And there is “Optimal Records”, an institution, running for over 30 years now, apart from us, the only record shop in Munich selling current releases. We felt that this wasn’t enough and more importantly we didn’t feel our musical taste was represented sufficiently. We were sick of ordering all the new stuff online. And at some point we just said, fuck it, let’s do this. And than we were lucky, that our friends who run the skateshop “Shrn” right next to us found this great location. From that point onwards everything happened really fast.
What was the first: physical shop, online-shop, record label? Tell us the whole story.
Valentino: It more or less started with us putting out that first Tambien release in 2012. We did not have a distribution for that one. So we just send out most of the records to friends and fellow DJs. Ultimately some were also available at Phonica, A1 and some other stores. Somehow people seemed to like the record, so we thought maybe we could continue. At that time there was already a vague plan of openning the record store. In the end it just came together very well. We really like the idea of the record store being a physical contact point for the label and the music we put out on the label being an extension of what is goin on at the record store. It sort of works hand in hand and feeds of each other. The online store came last and just is somethin you need these days. It’s not goin to grow a lot bigger than it is now. Just our stuff and a couple of records form friends/stuff we really like.
Tell about selling records online vs offline in percents.
Valentino: We sell most of the records directly at our store. But we also like the idea that the people can order the records we put out and some other stuff we selcted online. But I guess it will take some more time till the people are aware of the online part.
Are you writing the code for your blog & shop on your own? Who is web-designer?
Valentino: We do the design and we have a friend programming all the stuff, his name is Jens Buss, he’s from Munich, too.
Guys you’re doing such great job with visual part of Public Possession! We’re your big fans. Are you both into design and graphics? Was it hard to find your own style, visual concept of the whole thing?
Valentino: Thanks! We do most of the design stuff together, which means we both have an idea that we try to translate in a typographic or pictorial way. Marvin is pretty good in finding words and slogans, too.
Marvin: And Valentino is the main man when it comes to graphics, yeah. Shop decor was also planned and realised together. But it wouldn’t have been possible without our friend Giacomo Nüsslein who is a sick architect. He understood what we wanted and made it happen.
Have you produced music before first Tambien release? Describe the creative process behind Tambien project. How you get in touch with Bartellow?
Marvin: Bartellow is a good friend, Valentino and he used to have a Jazz band together years ago.
Valentino: In the course of the last two years gradually experiments with sound were picked up again and Marvin joined in. This is more or less how Tambien came to life. Bartellow is the professional musician of us three. He also has a lot of other cool projects, check for example the band „Pollyester“ he is a part of. Or the label “SVS” he recently co-founded.
Were Bell Towers and Matthew Brown the results of promos sent to you?
Marvin: We get quite a few promos send nowadays, but to be honest nothing that blew us away so far. Valentino met Rohan during his travels to Australia. Contact was held and music was exchanged and that’s how it happened. Matthew Brown was introduced through friends. Contact was made via world wide web. We unfortunately did not meet yet. But we are big fans of his music and couldn’t believe that we were the first to consider putting it out on vinyl. But that’s what happened.
What’s next in Public Possession empire? Any new release from Tambien?
Valentino: A new Tambien EP is dropping in January, after that another Bell Towers EP is to follow including a very nice remix. Matthew Brown is workin at the studio. And you should be on the look out for releases by two yet unknown guys from Munich.
Where are you buying vinyl for your own collections guys?
Valentino: Obviously we prefer digging into crates. The new stuff we get at our store. Second hand will be bought wherever possible. Sometimes a Discogs order has to be done. When in Munich be sure to check out the previously talked about “Best Records”. Always enjoy to go to record stores in other cities and usually that’s one of the first things on the agenda.
Yeah! Thank you find time for the interview! We’re looking forward to your upcoming releases, keep doing what you’re doing, great job!
Marvin & Valentino: Thank you for having us guys!
Words by Sasha Tessio & Artem Super Ikra
Cover drawing by Sasha Tessio
Photos 3, 8, 10 by Hannes Rohrer