When asked to tell us about what the are the influences and aesthetics of a Second System remix are, Charley explains that the sound of Second System is rooted in synthpop but with lots of other influences:
– I would say it is basically synthpop, influenced by trance, chiptune, synthwave, futurepop and sometimes some darker and/or more aggressive stuff.
Like many keyboard players Charley started out with the piano as a child:
– I had to take piano lessons at the age of seven but I stopped. In school I started my DJ:ing, playing the drums in the school band and so on. I was pretty lazy learning the drums and got thrown out of the band, Charley says.
A bit frustrated he then made a promise he would manage to publish music, all on his own – and then turned to the world of electronics.
– That was the time I got my hands on my first synthesizer/sampler; a Kurzweil K2000). A few months later I spent my money on my first little home studio; it was just a Novation Drumstation, a Waldorf Pulse and a Mackie 1604. I didn't have a plan or any knowledge to use all the stuff and it was hard to get anything out of it at all, he remembers.
In order to improve his production skills; Charley went to SAE College in Munich and finished the course Electronic Music Producer 2003.
– That was basically like making a driving license; I'd learned the basics. From that time on I worked on my skills; learned a lot of music theory, sound design, mixing and so on, Charley remembers.
Charley and Robert got in contact with Thermostatic in 2014 when they had the crazy idea of flying from Germany to Sweden to watch the band perform.
– We had the band on our playlists for a while and thought they wouldn’t do live gigs anymore; maybe this was the last chance! We met the Band and had some nice tech-talk and Peter gave me the chance of working on a remix for Animal which was included on the single.
Charley and Peter have stayed in contact through the years and Peter also recommended Charley to Sebastian Hess, the founder of Wonderland Records and one of the driving forces behind many electronic events, like e.g. the Electronic Summer/Winter festivals.
– I asked Sebastian if we could get backstage at one of his festivals to meet other bands and artists in order to get more remixing jobs. We made a deal and got in contact with Me The Tiger and later Tactile Frequency. This turned out great and we delivered several remixes for both bands, that all got released. In 2018 I was asked to DJ at Jon Fest and met ElectroFish there for whom I also did a remix. And it goes on and on; in 2019 worked with Planet R, this year I started with three remixes I did for Roboton, Thermostatic and again Tactile Frequency. Even now I have a few songs in my pipeline.
Charley would love to produce his own songs but just isn't confident writing songs on his own:
– It is more or less a dream and I guess I've proven to have some mixing/remixing skills, but I am not a good songwriter. As I tend to be very critical with my own projects; I guess I would need someone writing a song. So as long as there isn’t a songwriter who likes to join Second System it will stay a remixing project.