Hi Robbie thanks for joining us. First of all, what are you working on at the moment?
Hi, nice to be here! Right now I’m busy putting gear together for my live sets. I’ve also got a new release coming soon on 6913 Digital.
We’ll come back to the live rig a bit later. What can you tell us about the new release? What genre is it? You’ve been known to move between deep progressive, dub techno and ambient.
Yeah, although I’ve always considered myself primarily a techno artist, I don’t like to conﬁne myself to one genre. The new release is a melodic techno track with a deep fuzzy ambient thing on the ﬂip. It’s with Cid Inc for mastering at the moment so it should be out for promo in a week or so with a release planned for around mid September.
Your recent dub techno outings have been released on a mysterious label called Dub000. We’ve seen a handful of single track releases without any promotion or premieres. What’s the philosophy behind this method?
I’ve always considered dub techno to be a very underground genre. One of the most rewarding aspects from my early days of as a DJ and producer was hunting down obscure releases on white label 12s that never appeared in the media. I think that buzz of ﬁnding and playing a track that other DJs don’t know about is something that’s missing nowadays.
On the subject of DJing what’s you’d preferred method now? How do you spin, and what are your thoughts on the controversial “sync debate?”
I don’t have a problem with a DJ using sync. It’s just another tool to enable you to give the crowd an experience. Having said that I do believe it’s important to learn beatmatching. Mastering that skill gives you a much deeper understanding of the music. It gives you an appreciation of music that syncing beatgridded tracks won’t do. As for my sets, I can play on CDJs, Traktor or do a full live set. If I’m doing a straight up DJ set on CDJs I beatmatch manually most of the time but I will occasionally use sync if I want to do something fancy with a transition and eﬀects.
Ok let’s hear about your live set. We’ve seen a lot of techno artists moving towards live performance lately, with artists like Stephan Bodzin, VNTM and Recondite using keyboards and controllers on stage and artists like Saytek touring with live rigs.
That’s right. The technology is there now for us to do more than a straight up DJ set. It’s more challenging and rewarding to actually play music live. It allows you to interact with the crowd a bit more too.
That makes sense. What about the gear? What does your live set up consist of?
Good question! It’s constantly evolving. Essentially there’s Ableton Live at the heart of it all. It’s the DAW I use for production so it makes sense for me to use it to perform with as well. I have an Akai APC40 triggering clips and doing all the fader duties, a keyboard synth to play live parts and at the moment I’m experimenting with running Traktor on an iPad with a Z1 controller to do a kind of DJ/live hybrid set. Maybe the iPad will be replaced by another MacBook Pro. It’s still in the testing phase.
Has preparing for live performance changed your approach to production?
Actually it has. I ﬁnd myself doing more on the ﬂy in the studio now. It’s funny because I started out using all analogue gear back in the day and everything had to be done in real time. Then when DAWs became more sophisticated we were able to automate everything and draw it in on the screen. Now it seems producers are retuning to a more hands on approach.
Your music is very eclectic. What are some of your inﬂuences?
I’ve always been into deep music, stuﬀ with complex melody and harmonic progressions. Was really into Pink Floyd and that sixties psychedelic stuﬀ as a kid. It was when I ﬁrst heard Detroit Techno that I knew I wanted to make music. From there I discovered Kraftwerk and that whole experimental electronic stuﬀ.
What artists/labels are you playing at the moment?
I love Afterlife. Everything they release is absolutely top quality and perfect for my sets. Other labels are Selador, Steyoyoke and the forward thinking progressive labels like Lowbit, Microcastle and Replug.
Who would be your dream collab?
Wow that’s a diﬃcult one! There are so many great artists id really like to work with. Jeﬀ Mills and Sasha spring to mind, as do Tale Of Us. I’d really like to work with a live artist like Recondite or Stephan Bodzin too.