Cosy corner / Vienna
Mix and scratch
Producers Kruder and Dorfmeister enjoy the peace and quiet of their unique HQ.
“It’s no problem because if Peter’s playing seven hours, I’ll play one,” says Richard Dorfmeister. He’s explaining how he and musical collaborator Peter Kruder get through marathon DJ sets, such as their upcoming eight-hour appearance at London’s Fabric nightclub and another at the Coachella festival in California. Irreverence is never far from either producer’s mindset as they bat answers back and forth at Dorfmeister’s spacious yet cosy subterranean space in Vienna’s Ottakring district. Once a disused basement, the DJ converted it into a well-appointed home, along with a recording studio and lounge, which connects the two, in 2003 – the latter is where monocle meets the duo. This really is their “cosy corner”: by the end of the shoot they insist on changing into matching onesies. It might have happened whether the photographer turned up or not.
That feeling of spontaneity and a fondness for the absurd launched Kruder and Dorfmeister. Their debut EP G-Stoned, self-released in 1993 and pushed to global success by influential DJ Gilles Peterson and London label Ninja Tune, among others, was nearly a joke that got out of hand. At the time, Kruder was a hairdresser and Dorfmeister a self-proclaimed slacker. Both wanted an excuse to recreate the monochrome cover shot of Simon and Garfunkel’s 1968 album Bookends. The band’s trip-hop-inspired, down-tempo beats that back moody, widescreen instrumentals have felt timeless ever since – and still do.
The duo informally call this bunker G-Stone Studio 2 (G-Stone Studio 1 is Peter’s place). We sit on comfy 1970s-style sofas and chairs in a lengthy, low-lit wood-floored room designed by Vienna-based architect Gregor Eichinger. The space is flanked by shelves filled with hundreds of LPs, books featuring the works of surrealist Viennese painter Rudolph Hausner, dusty drum machines, creaky retro audio-effects units and kitsch trash-culture paraphernalia. There’s also a well-stocked wine rack, along with a stack of 1970s Playboy magazines that Dorfmeister found for $1 each in San Francisco. He enthuses about the magazine’s design director, Art Paul, and recalls the curiously lengthy amount of time it took for the haul to be delivered to Vienna. “It took ages,” he says. “I think everyone at the customs office was reading them.”
Both Kruder and Dorfmeister are over the age of 50 and acknowledge that a place like this, where they can escape the hectic life of touring and nightclubs, is essential for a healthy creative outlook. “For me, generally, moments of silence are the most expensive commodity nowadays,” says Kruder. “You really have to get into the mindset more like a sportsperson. If you look around, most of the DJs that are our age, they all stopped drinking, they all stopped doing drugs – the good ones, who are still working, anyway.”
Dorfmeister is also less of a slacker today; he has a family and splits his time between Vienna and Zürich, where he also owns two bars. The future looks busy for the duo. “At the moment we’re just trying to renew ourselves and enjoying focusing on the new show,” he says. “We don’t want to play the last 25 years for the next 25 years.”
1993 Debut EP G-Stoned is released
1996 A DJ-Kicks compilation of tracks that influenced the duo sees them gain a wider audience
1997 Dorfmeister forms the band Tosca with compatriot Rupert Huber
1998 The K&D Sessions establish the duo as go-to remixers for pop’s top table
2010 The duo release Sixteen F**king Years of G-Stone Recordings
2020 The DJs will be bringing their newest sounds to Coachella festival