Deeper Access is a collective that includes core members Nsphere, AK47-11, and Anachronism. Since early 2016, they provide a regular podcast series featuring a diverse range of international and forward-thinking artists. dpr_xs, as they are also known as, is a case study on how to stay consistently on message with quality-controlled mixes. As a fledgling podcaster that also features experimental and deeper electronic artists, I wanted to gain insight into how they were able to build a lean system of branding, content, and collaboration.
YouTube HD Version: youtu.be/ASLbrO2xgwM
Nsphere answered the questions together with AK47-11.
Deeper Access, welcome. Where are you (all) from?
Hey Albert, thanks for the invitation to do the interview with you. We are all from Dresden, Germany.
Since launching your mix series, have you tailored the type of guests judging by the listeners’ feedback or has it always been consistent with your mission statement?
Ever since we have started the podcast series, we always picked the guests according to our personal preferences and will keep on doing that. The amount of listeners does differ a bit between the mixes, which shows us that some genres would work better than others if we wanted to increase our outreach. But this is not our aim and we do not see ourselves as some sort of “service provider” to meet the taste of as many people as possible.
Did it take a while to build your listener base?
Luckily, there have already been a few people who supported our project from the beginning, shared the mixes and provided feedback. Big ups to our friends at Dub Logic in Leipzig and to the Vykhod Sily and AMLF communities, who do not only support us permanently but also inspire us a lot.
I know taste in music is subjective. Judging by the guests you have chosen, have you felt that the podcast episodes brought that degree of authenticity you were hoping for?
Overall we are pretty happy with the podcasts we have received so far. We always hope that the DJs and producers who send us their mixes are completely happy with the product. That they have put some thought into the mix and did not have any stress or pressure with it. This has worked out very well so far.
Sooner or later rejections happen. Personally, I don’t like to beg. Nevertheless, I would make a couple of exceptions. How do you deal with that scenario? Do you make another attempt later on after gaining more reputation points (e.g. more followers) or you just move on and never approach again?
As you already said correctly, we do get rejections from time to time. Of course, this isn’t nice, but we keep going. People have their reasons why they don’t want to contribute, maybe they don’t have enough time or motivation or maybe our concept did not convince them. All of those reasons are possible and understandable.
Sometimes people tell us that they don’t have the time or motivation to record a mix for us at the moment, but suggest to do it in the future. This is a great compromise. But if we get a rejection, we don’t bother the people any further.
The reality is that there will be hosting costs, SoundCloud pro plan, etc.. Is the project crowdfunded through Patreon? Self-funded?
Our project is 100% self-funded, and we don’t think this is going to change in the near future. We can still manage to cover everything.
I see that Deeper Access includes mixes of your own. That is very convenient when they aren’t any mixes available for the week. Would you recommend this approach if possible for an electronic music podcast startup?
It sure is convenient for such cases, definitely. But with our podcast series, we want to show the diversity of the scene rather than to present ourselves. That is why we sometimes rather skip a podcast date if we don’t have a guest than to force it by publishing a half-hearted last-minute mix.
In the beginning, though, it is a great approach to grow an audience and to start networking.
Also, publishing mixes of our own is a great way to showcase the musical preferences of our members, as they are very diverse and also change from time to time.
I always believe that the type of books you read correlates with music fluency. Any book recommendations?
That is a great question and had us thinking for a bit. Of course, there are many books to be named, but we will narrow it down to the books we read in the past year.
One book Max liked very much was “Le promeneur d’Alep” by Niroz Malek (sadly there’s no English translation yet). The author describes life during the war and what it is like to stay in the crisis area anyway. It is divided into many little episodes that paint pictures in your head about destruction, smoke, and dust.
Anne is a huge sci-fi fan and has read the “The Expanse” novels by James S.A. Corey very recently. The author basically describes the future of humanity. Some problems remain, in spite of space travel and colonization of other planets. The story shows where we need to work on ourselves and reminds us to worship our home planet.
The dpr_xs “look” is very meticulous. Who took the black and white pictures?
Thank you! The pictures were taken by either us or dear friends of ours.
Any plans for the future?
Luckily, Dresden’s music landscape is full of interesting people with whom we want to keep on contributing to the local scene. Also, after we were a bit quieter last year, we now have a lot of new ideas and plans which we will show you in the near future – we will keep you posted!
1. Shed – Xtra
2. CUB – Informal Beauty
3. Not Glass – Ut Ameris, Amabilis Esto / ὁδὸς ἄνω κάτω μία καὶ ὡυτή
4. Plants Army Revolver – Macao
5. Outer Heaven – Trapline
6. Clouds – Future
7. Ancestral Voices – Samhain
8. ਅ ਣ ਜਾ ਣ – Inner Preparation
9. AES DANA feat. MIKTEK – The Unexpected Hours
10. Lucid Dreams feat. Manuela Marchis – Black Tar
11. Mute Forest – Volcanos Flowing
12. Inanitas – Deep-Hz
13. Boreal Massif – Black Rapids
14. Kid Smpl – Radiant Scrape
15. dBridge ft. They Live & Poison Arrow – They Loved (Kahn Remix)
16. Alaskan Tapes – Memoir (ft. Nori)
Photography by Reinhard Spunkner: www.instagram.com/reinhardspunkner/