There is something of the night about Florian Meindl; not an archetypal dark and stormy night, not the equally generic balmy blue of a summer night. No. Meindl has something of the night about him that is entirely other.
When I meet him at his London studio he’s toying with some old, old equipment. Some sort of ancient mixer I guess. It emits a soft low pulse every few seconds. Why? I don’t know. But there is something ghoulish in his appreciation of it, an aspect of Frankenstein’s obsession. A young guy, a kid really, dressed all in black, utterly fixated on the tiniest of variants in this strange noise.
But then, I suppose you don’t come to success without putting in the hours and Florian Meindl is no exception to this rule. Regardless of his somewhat spooky demeanour, at 21 he is a genuine ingénue, having already created a subtle blend of house and minimal techno that is entirely his own. I’m here to have a quick chat with him about his new EP, 8 Bit Romance, and to discover what it is that makes a techno prodigy tick.
You grew up in a village in Austria, how did you get into techno?
I think I just loved electronic music. I decided that I wanted to become a DJ at the age of twelve. It took me a year… you know, it was hard to save, but it took me a year to buy my first mixer. I got my first gigs when I was 16. I played at local raves and parties. I was doing loads of stuff, not just house and techno but trip hop, drum and bass and jazz also. But, I thought that if I stayed there I would have just been a local DJ forever. So when my first record got taken on by Oliver Kaletsky, when I was 17, I moved to Berlin.
So it hasn't not always been about techno?
No not at all. When I was younger I actually wanted to be a Drum and Bass DJ, but techno kind of took over.
How did you take it from Berlin?
I started a label with Oliver called Flash and started playing bigger raves. It has been good.
You’ve achieved a lot for someone so young. Would you say you’re a very driven person?
I don’t know. I mean there is an end goal to my music. I used to party a lot when I was sixteen but I don’t take drugs which is rare for someone in this type of music. There is a place that I want to take it to, but it’s a very long, organic process you know?
A scientific approach?
Yeah. My approach is like a scientific/artistic mix. I try to create a certain feeling in the audience. When I’m producing I think of a party not about the studio - the reactions of the crowd. And London is good for that, well… everywhere is good for that, but London is crazier; their parties are heavy and freakier.
Is that intellectual techno?
I used to think it was intellectual but actually no, it’s not at all intellectual. You know. I look for really simple things; the simplest things that get people going. When you work at a club you have to remember that you’re working for the people there. My music is produced for the dance floor - hypnotic beats you know. You can mix an intellectual techno set with a house set. If everyone has a good time it doesn’t matter.
Is that sentiment true of all your music?
When I lived in Austria we used to drive everywhere. We used to go on long drives and when we did we’d listen to mix tapes, so music becomes a very important thing. And mix tapes and DJing are close you know. But when you’re stuck in a car, a good mix tape can make a real difference to your journey. I think of my music like this. The best thing for me is if people who have a bad time in life, have lives that are made better by my music.
And on that note, utterly crushing my initial impression of him, the prodigy invites me and my photographer Oli to lunch. As we walk to the restaurant I am reminded by the chill in the air that winter is fast approaching, that the days are getting shorter, the nights longer. Well… I suppose Florian will be happy at least.
Listen at www.florianmeindl.com