Living and breathing electronic music for what has now been twenty years, Arne Schaffhausen and Wayan Raabe have carved out a piece of its history and showed us that in the vast spectrum of dance music, where the normal world ends, Extrawelt begins. Starting out as DJ’s, they found their pathway to production in the studio of fellow Hamburg natives, X-Dream. The inspiration they took away from these initial sessions soon pollinated into projects such as ‘Midimiliz', and ‘Spirallianz’; both of which gained remarkable success in the scene. However, it was in 2005 that they started a new project by the name of Extrawelt — marking a new musical trajectory. The very first production under this new moniker, `Soopertrack´ found itself in the hands of James Holden, who then released it on his revered Border Community label. This breakthrough single would pave the way for an exceptional career that includes a plethora of records, remixes and countless live shows at the most interesting clubs and festivals around the globe.
With their debut album ’Schöne Neue Extrawelt’ garnering attention on both the dance floor and in the media, it was a telling sign of things to come when voted “Best Album 2008” by Groove Magazine and both “Best Album” and “Best Live Act” for the same year in Raveline. As 2011 rolled around, so too did their second album ‘In Aufruhr’ which was also released on Sven Väth’s label Cocoon Recordings and was as equally acclaimed as the first. Adding to the list of notable publications is Faze Magazine, whose readers’ poll awarded them “Best Live Act in 2014” — not surprising considering their live act has been defining them for over a decade and leaving permanent impressions on audiences everywhere. For the duo, each and every show is a chance to manipulate their sound in a flow of measured spontaneity — all while using gear that most people would keep tucked away in their studio. The result is a live-act focussed on purism and great care in presenting the deepest core of their sound — in essence; exactly what sums up their musical galaxy.
2017 marked a year of renewal in the Extrawelt realm. Besides their new studio and freshly curated live set up, their third album ‘Fear of an Extra Planet’ edged itself into the world and found new space to occupy with its focussed and to-the-point ten track oeuvre. And in late 2018 these studio addicts and sound benders will deliver their fourth album, fittingly titled ‘Unknown’ — a journey which deviates into unfamiliar territory. A brave electronic composition, it hits a sweet-spot with their very own take on electro, while still dazzling us with depth and unique harmonics we have come to know of the pair. By default, this has summoned the arrival of what the pair enjoys doing most; playing live on tours throughout the world with music which continues to remind people of the purity of techno music’s past while shedding light on the sound of the future.
Text: Natalie Patris Freke
Foto: Sebastian Magnani