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Rolf ‘Jam’ Ellmer talks about his ‘Tripomatic Fairytales’ book

Rolf “Jam” Ellmer chatted about his “Tripomatic Fairytales” book, and being a part of the digital age.

Rolf 'Jam' Ellmer
Rolf 'Jam' Ellmer. Photo Credit: Isaak Papadopoulos
Rolf 'Jam' Ellmer. Photo Credit: Isaak Papadopoulos

German DJ and producer Rolf “Jam” Ellmer chatted about his “Tripomatic Fairytales” book and being a part of the digital age.

How did the Tripomatic Fairytales book come about?

A great friend, Samuel Paquet (Mr.Sam, a great trance DJ from Belgium) once introduced me to Arny Bink, CEO of Black Hole Recordings and former partner of Tiesto. Arny came up with the idea to remix every single track, Jam & Spoon has ever released.

This idea was taken further to create an anniversary edition because in 2020 there would be 30 years of Jam & Spoon. Well, the Coronavirus postponed the project a bit and pushed it into the 2023 but anyway, the result is amazing.

Great graphic concept and design by Klaus Mai, also being known as the designer of the artwork of Jam & Spoon and Tim Stark, music journalist for DJ Mag did all the interviews.

It was a great team to make this happen including all the remixers, last but not least.

What was it like working with KM7 and Tim Stark on the project?

Just smooth and great workflow – we were pulling the same rope!

Reflecting back, did this book teach you anything about yourself?

Yes, it made me revisit Jam & Spoon’s tracks from the beginning, and I was surprised that they still sound so fresh. Sometimes I thought: “Did you really do this“ because it’s such a long time ago since we created this music! Also, it made clear how great the time was.

The cold war seemed to be over and it was an age of freedom like a continuous love parade where everything was possible, so it seemed.

And in music new gates were opened and with that new technology we could really do whatever we wanted – it always would sound fresh and new.

Having been artistically active in both periods, how does it feel to be a part of the digital age?

It feels challenging and exciting. Today it is even harder to step out of the mass with your music. I think these days it is harder to build a career as a producer because there are so many, and the standard level is really high!

Also, with the dawn of AI this will become even harder because literally everyone will technically be able to produce track like their idols.

What do you love most about the electronic dance music industry?

Back in the days it was more a new space to discover. Now everything is set, and all is very pro. But you also have the tools to release your music on your own and run your own label. So much freedom and possibilities but also great chances to get lost.

What is your advice for young and aspiring electronic musicians and producers?

Most important: Learn your job and cultivate your own personal style – this is really what sticks out at the end – a signature sound!

What were the moments in your career that helped define you the most?

My musical education was very helpful and the ability to really go for it and not let down before you come closest to what you wanted to achieve.

All the great musicians and composers that influenced me should also be mentioned here: Hendrix, John McLaughlin, Klaus Schulze, (early) Tangerine Dream, and may Techno records! And a lot of classic composers!

What does the word success mean to you?

Success is sweet but senseless! As long as you just go only for it to be better than anyone success is empty and toxic. First make great music and the rest will come.

What else would you like to tell our readers about this book, and what’s the one
thing you want them to get out of it?

Expect a meticulously made graphic piece of art craft in addition with great remix work and a lot of exclusive information about Jam & Spoon that you probably never heard about before.

If this doesn’t awaken your interest, then it is still a great looking item for your living room!

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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