You’re originally from London, what were the upsides and downsides in regards of trying to make it as a producer in the London underground scene?
It’s a very obvious one but London is a very expensive city at the best of times. Money and art aren’t ideal bedfellows and to try and make your way along any kind of creative path in this kind of environment comes with a heap of problems. This kind of financial pressure cooker can easily stifle creativity. On the other hand London has so much to draw on for inspiration. There are endless galleries, theaters and museums. Although there has been a well documented closure of a number of London’s night clubs over recent years, I would still argue it has some of the best in the world. Its wonderful cultural diversity has brought about the birth of some amazing scenes.
And seeing how you’ve relocated to Berlin since a few years back, how would you compare Berlin to London, club and music wise?
I’d say the difference that was initially really apparent to me was how relaxed the Berlin authorities approach to clubs and clubbing seemed to be compared to London. Berlin has embraced its night life and the Clubs that go with it. They’re recognized as important both economically and culturally. London and the U.K in general couldn’t be more different unfortunately.
In terms of dance music in Berlin things centre around Techno and House, and it’s been that way for a long time. London is a bit more fickle, new sounds and scenes spring up and disappear fairly fast. (I’m talking in broad brush strokes here obviously before someone starts pointing out all the non techno parties going on across Berlin)
I’d also say Berlin lends itself to a more experimental, independent sound than London tends to. Berlin is a much cheaper place to live, there is less pressure on the artist, musician or promoter to focus on the financial implications of their creative decisions.
I find your music quite hypnotic and intriguing, how would you describe your own music and the processes behind it?
In terms of my studio process it revolves around a fairly large modular set up. I really enjoy the sculptural aspect of designing sound so most tracks begin this way and are fairly abstract until I hammer them into shape. Because of this textural elements and atmospheres often take centre stage, which is why the music often has an immersive quality.
What is it that you find so interesting about the genre techno? And how did you get into that genre of music?
The hypnotic aspect of Techno is definitely a huge part of what I enjoy about the genre. Being able to do a lot with a few well chosen elements. It’s a cliche but less really is more. Loosing yourself in a repetitive wall of sound is incredibly powerful. It’s this kind of cathartic experience that drew me to Techno in the beginning.
That’s really hard, I tend to dislike a lot of my own music if I’m honest. By the time I’ve released something I’ve listened to it more than anyone should have to. There will often be a period of time after the release when I never want to hear a record again, but after I’ve have enough distance from it I’ll come back to it.
Having said all that I’m very happy as a whole with Metabolism. There are a number of tracks I could pick but I’ll say Stabbing as that was a bit of a key moment for me in terms of discovering the shape the record would take.
Deep balanced Techno. For me balance is the key to everything, both in a DJ set and in the studio. I always keep this in mind when I play or write.
You had a gig in Stockholm a few years back, what did you think of the city and the club scene?
I like Stockholm a lot, it’s a beautiful city and has birthed some really interesting music. I feel like some amazing things are coming out of there in recent years. They’re an obvious name check but the Northen Electronics crew are a great example of this, as is Peder Mannerfelt and the myriad of projects he has had his hands on.
Unfortunately I don’t really get a chance to see so much of the cities I play, most of the time the schedule is pretty tight and I’m just there for the night. If I’m lucky I’ll have time for a wander in the morning and brunch with friends before heading back to the airport.
Which artists or producers would you say, have inspired you the most?
Mika Vainio, Alva Noto, Trent Reznor, Sandwell District (together and apart) Ben Frost, Source Direct, Shifted, Kevin Shields, Ryoji Ikeda, Tim Hecker, James Ruskin, Paul Jebanasam, Richard Devine, Roly Porter, The Cure, Photek, I could go on and on.
And lastly, name one song that you feel inspires you at the moment!
It’s not one song but I’ve been listening to the recent Vainio, Ikeda and Alva Noto Live 2002 LP the last few days. That’s been helping me get out of bed in the mornings.