by Thore Damwerth

“I always remind myself why I started making music in the first place: it’s who I am, my passion, my identity.”

RENE WISE

It was a calm Sunday in his home base Lisbon when I met Andrew Shobeiri, known as Rene Wise, for the first time. Back from his DJ gigs in Germany and with my festival time winding down, we both found ourselves in that relaxed post-weekend mood. A lovely vibe right from the beginning enjoying Bacalhau at one of Andrew’s favourite restaurants, he began to rave about the impressive sound system at one of the clubs he had played at over the weekend. It allowed the crowd to fully immerse themselves in the music, he told me – the perfect setting to enjoy one of Rene Wise’s hypnotic sets, as I thought to myself. We delved deeper into his recent gigs all across Europe, including his incredible Bassiani-Berghain weekender, a story I will pick up at a later point. It was a great first meetup with the rhythm-and-sound aficionado, setting the tone for the photoshoot and interview we had lined up.

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One Sunday later, now in my home base Amsterdam, Andrew and I delved into this project ahead of his gig at the city’s hottest party – Eerste Communie, a collective that holds a special place in Andrew’s heart.

“What is special about Eerste Communie to me is their vision and values, pushing this underground ethos. They uphold this feeling of, ‘you come for the music and overall experience.’ Eerste Communie was also the first official residency for me as a DJ, making me part of a collective, which is a really valuable thing. This helped me expand my horizons as a DJ because there I’m regularly playing for a community that knows me and my sound, which makes me want to keep things interesting and push myself in a setting where I have the confidence to do all that. Also, the whole thing of being part of something that has this family feel to it, which, as an artist, is something really nice. And just the whole vibe of Eerste Communie, from the people to the music and the way it is run, all connect with what I enjoy myself; you’re just focused on the dance floor and the sound around like-minded people.”

Playing at an Eerste Communie party doesn’t feel like a normal gig, it’s more like a big family and friends affair – it feels like home.”

And just like that, Rene Wise began his b2b with Ignez – a spontaneous yet masterful synergy of their sounds right from the energetic opening of their set. To me, it felt like dancing together with everyone else on the dance floor rather than just beside them. I felt deeply connected to the music, the DJs, and all the other dancers; we were all in sync.

“Yeah, that was super fun. Peter (Ignez’s real name) is a really good friend. I don’t only respect and admire him as an artist but also as a person. Stylistically, we match up very organically, so I had a good feeling about the b2b, but it’s obviously always a completely different experience once it actually happens – everything clicked and connected, something I also saw in the crowd being all unified. Everyone started to dance in unison almost; it was really fascinating to see. Even between people who wouldn’t know each other, there was this speechless connection that happens when everyone locks into the same sound and rhythm, everyone getting on the same level. And that’s like the most you could ask for; it’s what you strive for as a DJ.”

A few days had passed until Andrew and I spoke again. We both had regenerated from the intense weekend and were ready to reminisce together. The both of us agreed – the Eerste Communie party was an unforgettable night. Also, there were still some things I wanted to delve into with him, such as his approach to sound design, his sonic and artistic inspirations, and the motivation behind his newly founded record label, Moving Pressure, among other topics.

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If there’s one thing to know about Rene Wise, it’s his profound intuition for connecting rhythm and sound to the human body and movement. The atmosphere he creates, whether as a DJ on the dance floor or in his productions, is hypnotic and even psychedelic, drawing mind and body into its embrace. Through his DJ sets and EPs, he weaves a sonic narrative, consistently and minimally building up energy while conveying depth and emotion.

“I make dance floor-oriented music. The tracks that I make are for my DJ sets, which usually are quite loopy and repetitive with many layers and subtle details and textures because, to me, it’s about capturing this certain mood and having people locked into it for some time with not much change. I call them ‘heads down’ moments when the music keeps you in this little bubble and hypnotised state.”

I want my DJ sets to be a journey for people, transcending them into another cognitive dimension.”

But, first and foremost, I was quite intrigued by how it all began for Andrew; how did he cultivate this intimate sense and intuition for music?

“I got introduced to music from my dad’s side; he was a drummer. That was a huge influence for me and piqued my interest in being a musician and my love for music. When I think back more to my young days as a kid, I remember always being fascinated by music. The earliest memory I have is of being given this little cassette tape thing when I was six or seven years old. It also came with a small microphone with which you could record over it. I just remember playing this cassette tape nonstop for hours, listening to this song again and again and singing the melody over it. Then, when I was a little older, my dad introduced me to the drums. Also, I was influenced by my older brother’s music taste – ‘90s hip hop, the first thing I was properly listening to. On my little MP3 player, when I was eight or nine years old on my way to primary school, I would listen to Tupac, J Dilla, or N.W.A’s ‘F*ck the Police’ [laughs]. But I mostly loved the melodic and the rhythmic side; everything instrumental caught my attention.
I got into electronic music when I was 13, with a friend of mine I was messing around with hip hop beats. That was when I started being fascinated by this whole concept of making a track or a beat or something. Then, later on, I started looking into actual music-making software, which was the beginning of my production journey. The music that I was making at the start was the more underground UK stuff: dubstep, DnB, and garage. But since I was too young to go to any parties, my production beginnings never revolved around being in a scene, which is something that I really value because it helped me to get into it with pure naive enjoyment.”

I had no expectations but only did it for the love and excitement for it, without preconceived ideas of what I was going to do or what I wanted to achieve – it helped me be free and open.”

This particular mindset of maintaining an open mind has never faded in Andrew’s creative approach. It aids him in remaining original and less swayed by external influences that often accompany years of experience, as he shared.

“The more you start to grow and learn about the skill and the art form, the more sensitive you become, and you start to recognize what level you’re really at. Then, it’s sometimes like the more you learn, the more it limits you because you start thinking so much about what you are doing. So I started trying to put myself back into that mindset of being that naive beginner and purely experimenting, doing it for fun and trying to forget all these rules and ways of doing things that I’ve learned. At the moment, I’m trying to strike a balance of being that beginner without expectations yet skilled in what I’m doing at the same time.”

Then, I pondered, what does his creative process entail to achieve this instinctual and subconscious mindset when producing music or crafting a set? The decisive answer:

“The best result always comes from just trying to forget about everything and focusing on the creation in that moment – being in your own universe. I don’t like to force things; I always try to keep it easy-going and free-flowing. I’m not very scheduled with it because, to me, music is not a race.”

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For Andrew, a great deal of inspiration springs from a variety of music genres, particularly when travelling and associating different kinds of music with certain places and experiences. Yet, it’s especially the moments on the dance floor that have profoundly influenced the music he creates to this day. Recreating the sensations of being immersed in sound and rhythm and lost in his own world on the dance floor often serves as the foundation when he produces tracks or sets. This immersion has also shaped his musical taste, as he reflects.

The thing that I really try to capture within my music and DJ sets is having someone walk away not remembering a sound or a melody but just remembering the feeling.

“These have also been some of the most life-changing moments I myself have had on the dance floor. One of them was when I heard Ben Klock for the first time years ago playing a 6-hour closing at Fabric in London. After that night, I understood this whole concept of a set being a journey.”

An instance of Rene Wise taking the crowd on such a journey was on a recent weekend. He played an open-ended Bassiani closing set in Tbilisi and a Berghain gig in Berlin – the two strongholds of techno with the most dedicated crowds you can find in the scene, a rare opportunity for Rene Wise to play at both in a single weekend, just a few hours apart from each other.

“Berghain and Bassiani are two of my favourite clubs. Berghain has definitely shaped me a lot in terms of the dance floor experiences, which are so different from anywhere else. The two places are perfect to immerse oneself in this music; the sound, the people, the infrastructure – everything together creates such a unique feel which I want to translate through my own music. Playing at Berghain is the pinnacle to me. Same for Bassiani. I know I need to be at my A-game when I play at these places.
So, that weekend, I started playing at Bassiani on Friday. They are still doing the open-ended closings, and, as I see myself as a long-set DJ, the ability to play as long as I want for a crowd that is along on this journey with me is, to me, the most artistically rewarding thing to do. So I played ten and a half hours at Bassiani and only stopped because I needed to fly to Berlin just a few hours later. Physically, I definitely got quite exhausted, but when you’re playing in the right environment in front of the right people, it’s just nonstop energy and adrenaline that keeps you going. So after that, I went to Berlin to play at Berghain; crazy [laughs], two of my favourite places in one weekend. But to be honest, now I can say I’d still prefer them to be on separate weekends. Berghain was still great, but physically I was tired. But in the end, it was a unique and fun experience, and I had a great time.”

Alongside the many DJ experiences he immerses himself in from weekend to weekend, including a recent electrifying b2b set with MARRØN at Awakenings Upclose and a US tour shortly after, Rene Wise has now launched a new venture: his first record label, Moving Pressure. A formative step for him and his artistry, he delves deeper into the production realm with a strong vision for the project and a distinctive identity defining it. Reflecting his unique sound and artistic mission, Moving Pressure is all about the sonic journey that music takes you on and the physical movement induced by the soundsystem’s pressure. Therefore, the label explores the dynamic interplay between soundsystem music and the human body, embracing the fusion of sound and movement in perfect balance.

“It feels like it’s the right time now to launch the label. As a producer, I think that having your own label is the ultimate form of creative freedom and expression you can have. And this is not just for yourself but also for growing a community in the future and bringing other artists to the label. I’ve enjoyed being a part of other labels and their communities with their own visions and intentions. But I also want to build something myself, which, aside from just releasing music, could lead into other avenues like throwing events and giving other artists a platform that they wouldn’t have had before. That’s something I want to push for in the future. For the beginning, it will be my own releases, but eventually, I will start opening it up to other artists. It truly excites me.”

“The main reason for me to have my own record label is to have a platform to express my taste and what I’m enjoying the most, which keeps evolving and changing.”

As the inaugural release on his label, Rene Wise has just unveiled his EP Moving Pressure 01, a sonic odyssey that weaves through desert landscapes, vibrating low ends, textured atmospheres, and minimalist depths. It showcases his ability of storytelling through sound and rhythm in a harmonious blend of innovation and precision. 
In sync with the label’s debut, Andrew shared that he is committed to embracing his artistic voice fully, exploring a diverse musical spectrum as both a DJ and producer.

“I want to keep making music and doing things creatively that resonate with me and really stay true to what I want to express. And I’ve been lucky enough to have gotten to this point now by just doing things that I genuinely love to do creatively and musically, so I want to stay true to my path.”

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talent RENE WISE
photography MIKAH DE WOLF
styling and words THORE DAMWERTH
muah IRA HUTTER