The German company “Rheingold Music” is a manufacturer of handmade tube bass amplifiers, bass cabinets, stomp boxes and high quality cables. We have been friends since the Weidner family started the company in 2009 and I started using their cables around that time because I simply love the quality of sound and the fact that the original characteristics of an instrument are transferred with no loss and no colouring of the sound.
In 2017, when I became a full-time member of the Henrik Freischlader Band, my back then amplification setup did not seem to be the right fit anymore for the sound I wanted to hear in the music. So, it was obvious to finally switch to using Rheingold Music amps and cabinets. What I said about the cables also goes for the amplifiers and cabs: never before in my life I was able to hear that clearly and honestly what I am playing, so the Rheingold-rig became my constant companion and I ain´t planing on changing that.
Additionally, Rheingold Music is also making the “Flexx” basses, and some great DI and preamp stomp boxes which I am using with pleasure as well. My “Flexx Peter” precision bass is nowadays strung with flatwound strings and I use it when I want to go for that sound, but you can hear the combination of this bass with my Rheingold-rig on Henrik Freischlader´s album “Hands on the puzzle”. Basically, you could hear the Rheingold sound in any recording or live show I have done over the last couple years. Check out the recent “Rheingold Sessions” videos in the video section.
My main bass these days is a wonderful precision bass, hand crafted by master luthier Knut Reiter from Solingen, Germany.
I had known Knut for many years and have always been a fan of his basses, and thinking about having one myself some day. In 2018 it was time, and Knut was able to accomplish everything I wanted have in my main bass: presence and clarity of sound, while of course not lacking low end, the same impact on every fret of the fretboard, and an instrument which would be stable for touring and travelling, and be easy to play.
This bass sounds fantastically, and especially so in combination with the Rheingold amp and cabs. You can hear it on nearly every production since 2018, most notably on Henrik Freischlader´s “Missing Pieces” album.
This wonderful fretless bass goes by the name of “Hummingbird” and was custom made for me in 2014 by English master luthier Mark Ramsay.
I had met Mark while working at Musikmesse Frankfurt for Kala Ubass and I could not believe the beauty and quality of his instruments. As Mark is also a great guy and we got along really well, it was only a question of time. The “Hummingbird” happened to be the first fretless bass in my life, and still love it very much and play it with pleasure.It sounds as beautiful as it looks like.
Most recent recording is the “Damir Imamović & Royal Street Orchestra” single “Mošćanice, vodo plemenita”. It was my instrument of choice for the third, upcoming Royal Street Orchestra album “Metamorphosis”, where I used it to record all but two songs of the album.
For many years now I have been playing Elixir Strings only, for three very simple reasons:
They provide a tonal presence and clarity like no other bass string on the market does, my sound, even on a very long tour, stays the same forever, and they hardly ever break! On my main bass, I am using the special “050 – 070 – 085 – 105” nickel set, but I also use different sets, depending on the instrument and the musical situation.
In the video section you can find some video workshops which I did for Elixir Strings in German language a while ago.
My main bass is loaded with “Kloppmann Electrics P63 aged” pickups.
If we are talking about old-school P-bass sound, there is no better pickups in my opinion. Andreas Kloppmann is a real expert within the field of guitar- and bass-pickups, and any kind of guitar electrics.
Really great guy as well, so I am very grateful for our cooperation, exchange and friendship.
Andreas was one of the guests in the first season of my “Talking Spirits Podcast”. Very interesting episode for all German speakers!
For almost 20 years now Andreas Herr´s Heyday Studio in Wuppertal, Germany, is my studio of choice for any project I am not doing in my home studio.
Andreas is a masterful recording and mixing engineer, and over the years we have cooperated on countless projects, some of which you can listen to in the “Discography” section. Andreas is a great guy with amazing ears and great taste, always lots of fun to work with, and always willing to look for quick solutions to problems which can occur in any kind of audio production.
Whenever someone asks me to recommend a studio for their project, the Heyday Studio is always the first name I will suggest!
The association “Planet K – Kultur für alle e.V.” was founded in 2013 in Wuppertal, Germany by German drummer, music educator and networker Björn Krüger, along with myself and some more musicians and like minded people.
Planet K´s aim is to enable and facilitate access to culture and cultural participation for everyone, and especially so for people who do not actually have it. In this function, we are, among many other things, organising cultural events like festivals, concerts, workshops, and are also a network accessible to everyone interested, in order to strengthen the local music and culture scenes in and around our hometown Wuppertal, Germany.
For the last couple years, Planet K is also a local base in our area for “create music NRW”, a government funded institution with the goal of supporting and enabling the young pop music scene.
“create music NRW” is a fairly new, government funded institution, initiated in order to support and enable the young pop music scene in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Since January of 2021, our association “Planet K – Kultur für alle e.V.” is in charge of the local “create music NRW” base for the Wuppertal area, and it is a huge pleasure and lots of fun to me to be a part of it.
“create music NRW” offers project funding to young musicians and bands, as well as to event organisers, and is serving as a network to connect young musicians from all of NRW.
What we do locally is providing support to musicians and event organisers by helping them with their funding applications, by organising real life and online workshops with experienced musicians and experts from the music industry, and by being open to sharing advice based on our experience in the music business.
In 2021 I have also, in cooperation with “Planet K” and “create music NRW” produced two seasons of the video talk show “Show Them What You Are Made Of”, where I introduce young musicians and bands to the public, and have conversations with already established musicians and other experts working in the music industry.
Additional pictures on this page by Mark Ramsay, Andreas Kloppmann and Andreas Herr – Logos courtesy of “Planet K” and “create music NRW”