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When the Darkness remix was released Engelspost were just another remixing project around Up. In the meantime they have produced several other Gabriel remixes, so we found out for you who Engelspost are. spoke with Benji and Beat to find out more about Engelspost and remixing Gabriel's songs. Who are „Engelspost“? Where are you from and how old are you?
Engelspost: We are Benji (40) and Beat (30), and we are from Zurich.

GNC: Were you born there or did you come to Zurich for career reasons?

Engelspost: Benji was born here. Beat has been living here for ten years now. We do not live here because of our jobs, but we did indeed meet here.

GNC: What exactly is your job? Have you always been doing that or did it just turn out that way?

Engelspost: We are professional musicians, producers and composers, with a completed education in classical music complete with training in playing the violin and the piano.

GNC: With such a background in classical music, one would probably expect to hear you playing in an orchestra. Why have you become producers instead?

Engelspost: Studying classical music is a wonderful basis from which to start, but it is infinitely more inspiring to work on your own music and to realize your own compositions.

GNC: So you produce others, but you also write music yourself. What kind of music do you make?
Engelspost: We write and produce music mostly for our own project (Engelspost). We also take on commissions from other projects and singers. We work for shows, particularly fashion shows, we score videos and, of course, remix songs from all over the world if we’re asked to. Engelspost music is varied without limits, but it is mostly at home in the electronic dance music.

GNC: Peter Gabriel is, as we all know, a very versatile person. How did the contact between you and him come about?
Engelspost: Peter Gabriel is the singer/songwriter who has been inspiring your for years and years now. We were so moved by the music and particularly the subject of his song Darkness that we really spent a lot of time on it. We had no particular expectations when we remixed it and sent copies to Peter and to RealWorld. As I said, we had no particular expectations. We just sent them the remix. Five days later RealWorld and Peter replied that he wanted to release the remix on his next single CD release.

GNC: It comes as a bit of surprise that you are obviously real fans of Peter, considering that electronic dance music is not really an area where you’d find his music. Hearing the Darkness remix for the first time was quite a culture shock for a Peter Gabriel fan – even more so when you compare it with the preceding remixes of Sky Blue or More Than This. How do you approach a remix like that with a song that is least concerned with dance rhythms?
Engelspost: We understand your reaction. We feel, though, that it is very important to let younger generations discover this musician extraordinaire – in particular the generation who are too young to have experienced him in Genesis and in the early years of his solo career. It would be a shame to keep such a great voice and his philosophical depth from young people.

GNC: How do you go about remixing a track like that? Didn’t you need a multi-track tape?
Engelspost: With Darkness, we isolated the quiet portions of the original track and built the remix around them. It has become a smash hit in the dance scene. We were given the individual tracks to do the other remixes.

GNC: Darkness was not the only track. Since then, you have done remixes of I Grieve, Rhythm Of The Heat and Don’t Give Up. Were those remixes spontaneous ideas or commissioned by Peter?
Engelspost: Those were commissioned jobs. We met with Peter in May 2004 when he played a concert in Zurich. He asked us to do other remixes of his work, giving us carte blanche to choose the songs. So we focused on the songs that were most important to us.

GNC: That sounds as if we are going to hear more re-worked songs. Can you tell us something about upcoming remixes?
Engelspost: It would be premature to talk about that right now. We are in close contact with Peter and RealWorld, though, and we are optimistic that the project will go on.

GNC: Fans are speculating about an “Engelspost vs Peter Gabriel” album. Are there any plans?
Engelspost: That would be great! But it seems you know more than we do. This project is a labour of love for us. We will see what happens with it when it’s finished.

GNC: Well, there are a couple of remixes that suggest an album because of their length…. What about early Genesis material? You mentioned that you are also interested in that?
Engelspost: We’d love to approach older Genesis material. At the moment, however, we are mostly concerned with Peter’s own work. But who knows what the future brings.

GNC: Darkness has been released as a 12’’ single with a “full cover”. It is, however, hard to find in normal music stores. Are there plans for further releases of that kind and, if so, where will they be available?
Engelspost: The Darkness maxi was a phenomenon. Even the third re-pressing was sold out in no time at all and it is currently being reprinted because of the huge demand. There are similar plans for other remixes, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it.

ENGELSPOSTGNC: Are there other musicians of Peter Gabriel’s artistic stature that you remix or even produce?
Engelspost: There are not many artists that affect us like he does. We are planning other projects, but we are not permitted to talk about them at this stage.

GNC: Where does the, dare we say, mystical name Engelspost come from? [Engelspost = “mail from an angel”, or “angel’s mail”; the translator]
Engelspost: Engelspost is a metaphor for the way music can touch man’s heart (goosebumps). For us musicians it is an image for the inspiration that we owe so much to (like picture postcards from within oneself).

GNC: This is one of our standard questions: Which one is your absolute favourite Gabriel song? Why?
Engelspost: It is hard to pick just one song from such a terrific oeuvre. We would have to give you a long list of songs. The songs we have remixed are clearly our favourites, but there are many more of them (e.g. Secret World and Washing Of The Water)…

GNC: Thank you for giving us this interview. We wish you success with your projects.
Engelspost: We’d like to thank for the stimulating conversation, too, and we wish you all the best.

Interview and transcription: Christian Gerhardts

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