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The centerpiece of Totally Wired is the one and only Schneider's Büro – a Berlin store that sells analogue synthesizers and wacky electronic doodads – and its maverick owner Andreas Schneider.
Distributed thanks to the online resources of realeyz.tv, the film features interviews with lots of nerdy electro music inventors, craftsmen and artists including Ricardo Villalobos, Cassy and Junior Boys. Director Niamh Guckian Ahern worked her talk box for us.
Is your film a pro-analogue campaign?
I had no agenda as such, because the film couldn’t have been made without digital technology, and that’s a very big thing. I love my 8mm film and my old formats, but I’ve also been a big adaptor of digital technology right from the beginning, in terms of video. Andreas’ vision is definitely analog-orientated, and I was exploring his voice, really: he’s the analogue preacher.
Was there anyone else who you would have liked to have interviewed?
Richie Hawtin would have brought an interesting point of view. But who I was more interested in getting to were the inventors. They’re unsung heroes.
Are films like this profitable?
Totally Wired was, in a way, an experiment and it is quite amazing to see the response – like the sales that I have had on Amazon, at Schneider's Büro, and the sales on realeyz.tv. It’s been the number one download for a year on realeyz. That audience is very into collecting.
Regarding Andreas’ turnaround, have you got any idea of his annual profits?
You can imagine [laughs] – it’s a struggle. His mark-up is very little and he’s selling to a complete niche. He’s generous to a fault... he gives stuff away all the time! For me, he’s the real Berlin – even though he’s not from Berlin.
The sound in Totally Wired is very experimental. A lot of it was taken from the inventors or from Andreas. When Andreas jams on something, he can jam for hours and make really interesting stuff. We took a lot of the material and repurposed it into the soundtrack. It worked very well: it doesn’t turn into a music video or something like that.