“7 Questions before Movement” is an ongoing series in which we ask the same seven questions to as many artists playing at this year’s Movement Detroit festival (formerly known as “DEMF”) as we possibly can. The goal of this series is to familiarize festival goers with the styles and personalities of artists they can expect to see at the festival (because let’s be real – there’s always at least a few names we don’t recognize right away). Given that this is a techno-focused site, we’ll start out by seeing what artists in this genre have to say.
[Editor's Note: This particular interview was conducted via Skype call, and so the conversation is transcribed relatively verbatim below with only minor edits.]
AE: Have you ever been to the festival before, either as a performer or just as an observer?
Never, never before. I’ve been there with my imagination because I’ve heard many tales about it but I’m really looking forward to being there this time to play.
AE: Have you been to the city of Detroit before?
No, in my US tours I’ve had so far Detroit was never there. The closest city was Chicago where I played, so yeah I’ve never been to Detroit before.
AE: Well, I think there are a lot of fans of Stroboscopic Artefacts over here so I’m pretty sure you’ll get a warm reception. Do you have any favorite classic Detroit techno tracks or artists? You know, are you a Jeff Mills fan, or do you really like “At Les” by Carl Craig or any other sort of classic “Detroit” sounds?
Yeah, I’ve always been very much into the Carl Craig sound, if a Carl Craig sound exists, you know [laughs]. But I’m very much into his artistic profile and how he’s built it up in more than 20 years. And I have a huge amount of respect for the way that people like Carl Craig manage to keep it, let’s say so “cool” and low-profile, and “anti-pop.” Even though he had all the possibilities to go somewhere else, you know. And so this is something I hugely, immensely respect.
AE: I’m sure you’ve taken a look at the line-up this year – which artist or artists are you the most excited to see play?
Well, Klock and Dettmann, they’re here in Berlin, I’ve heard them millions of times, so that’s OK [laughs]. Of course Carl Craig, you know. Daniel Bell probably, and Derrick May, which is someone I’ve never heard live and I’m really really looking forward to hear. He’s playing with the High Tech Soul. And, well, Zak DVS1, which is a very good friend and it’s always very cool to hear him play. And probably also Squarepusher live, which is like one of my teenager heroes.
AE: Oh yeah, me too.
Also of course Tommy [Four Seven], which is a very good friend of mine. I know his sets very well, his music, because we’ve been collaborating for a a while, even label-wise. I’m really looking forward to seeing what secret weapons he has ready for Movement, because I’m pretty sure he’s excited like me, you know.
AE: Yeah, Tommy played Detroit a few months ago at a venue called The Works. His set was incredible, it was really really good. So to give readers a sense of the style of music you play, I was wondering if you could just name a few tracks you’ve been showcasing in your sets lately. These could be your own tracks, tracks off your label, or just tracks you’ve been playing out a lot lately that you enjoy.
Well, from my own label I tend to play things that are still to be released, you know. For a while I’ve been road testing the next EP by Kangding Ray. And it has a kind of great texture, so surely that’s one. And there is also the fairly recent Dadub album which I am also usually using more as soundscapes, you know. And then pretty much some of the recent remixes by Rrose, there is his Minilogue remix that I discovered recently, which is now really an essential part of my sets recently. It was called “Clouds and Water” Rrose remix by Minilogue, something like this.
AE: Yeah, I heard that the other day, it’s an incredible track.
And then there were some pretty interesting things. Like another is a track that I recently discovered was a remix by Donato Dozzy on Morphine records, which is pretty intense is well.
And then to go a little more “new comer”, low-profile, there is this new EP that I just got on promo that I was like “This is going to be played at Movement!” It was released on M_REC and is by Stanislav Tolkachev. It’s pretty intense as well.
And then there is also a Silent Servant remix for a Polar Inertia track on DEMENT3D, a French label I collaborated with recently, for a remix. Very very intense. [Editor's Note: We weren't able to locate a streaming version of this track, but you can hear it in Terrence Fixmer's CLR Podcast #208]
And plus I’m already playing some, let’s say, “secret” things that are about to come in the new wave of Monad series on Stroboscopic Artefacts this summer. I don’t want to unveil the artists right now, but, they are also going to be hugely played in Movement for sure.
AE: Fantastic. Moving on to the next question then, what sort of equipment will you be using for your set and why do you prefer it?
I play with Traktor and a couple of MIDI controllers, FaderFox controllers, which are very good because they are incredibly flexible. They are completely custom programmed. I kind of dabble in the programming of these controllers all the time, this way I can keep on building the instruments I use on the set in the way I need it in that particular moment. I like to be very flexible because it’s necessary to me to feel free in approaching the crowd as I feel in that particular moment.
AE: Electronic music is played in a lot of different contexts and atmospheres. Do you find yourself more drawn to festivals, intimate club shows, or some other types of event?
I find myself in very different contexts actually and I really like this situation. On one side there’s the festivals with this huge collective energy, and I play in a way. It’s usually crazily powerful… Then there are the clubs that are kind of my real home place. Also smaller clubs with the very close contact with people… it’s something I love. It’s a pretty intense experience very often. And then there are also some other things I do, like contemporary art galleries or art installations where I do sound design and stuff which are mostly experimental and weird. It’s a parallel world, but in a way I couldn’t do what I do in the club without this, and viceversa.
AE: More of the Stellate sound?
Yeah yeah, more of the rarified sound, no beats, it’s not a place where you need to make people dance. There’s a concept applied to each different project. It’s very stimulating to move from one thing to the other because you never get bored, you know what I mean? That’s something I really want to stick on forever.
AE: Absolutely. So just one final question: can we expect to see you play at any afterparties this year?
There is something in the pipeline, but right now I’m not allowed to talk about it. So yeah, hopefully yes!
Be the first to read our fresh new interviews as they are published by following us on Facebook.