“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 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). Our next interview is with T. Linder of the long-standing and widely revered group, the Detroit Techno Militia.
1. Have you been to the festival before, as a performer or just as a listener? If so, what is your most distinct memory from the experience?
I’ve been to the festival every year they’ve had it. I’ve performed there four times before this year.. In 2002 and 2008 I did solo sets on the Underground Stage. In 2009, I did an ensemble set with DJ Seoul on four turntables as the Detroit Techno Militia 2×4. In 2012 I performed alongside my label mates: Darkcube, Neil V., DJ Psycho, and DJ Seoul on five turntables as the Detroit Techno Militia 5×5. This year, DJ Seoul and I will be returning as Detroit Techno Militia 2×4, playing on four decks and two mixers.
My most memorable time at the festival was the first time I played on the Underground Stage in 2002. Everyone from all different parts of my life were there to see me perform: my parents, friends from Europe, buddies from elementary school, even friends of mine who’ve never even heard of Techno.
I was on in the mid-afternoon. At that point in my career, it was the most people I had ever played in front of. Just before my set, it started raining outside. Since the Underground Stage is indoor and covered, people were cramming into the space to take shelter from the rain. That was the one single time I have had butterflies in my stomach before a performance. I had a great time doing it though. Regardless of the nervousness I experienced; it’s a moment in time that I never will forget.
2. Do you have any favorite classic Detroit techno tracks or artists?
I get inspiration from a countless number of Detroit records and producers. My absolute favorite Detroit Techno record was actually made by a brother originally from the Netherlands. But I think it should always be considered a “Detroit Techno” track. It came out on a Detroit label, Orlando lived here for a while, and it’s based around a P-Funk loop. It’s a dancefloor anthem and crushes everywhere around the world.
I am also heavily influenced by the earlier, harder sounds of Underground Resistance. Mike and Jeff have always been huge influences on my musical aesthetic.
Here’s my top 5 Detroit records.
Fix – Flash – KMS
Electric Soul – X2 – Direct Beat
Underground Resistance – UR-046 – NSC
Cybotron – R9 – Fantasy
Jeff Mills – Alarms – Purpose Maker
3. Based on what’s been announced so far, which artists playing at the festival are you the most excited to see this year?
From day one, I’ve always loved what all of the organizers have put together for the festival. It is so great to have something like this going on in Detroit. This year, Paxahau has really outdone themselves and booked a great lineup for Movement. I am extremely excited to see what DJ Psycho has in store for us. He is the most versatile, knowledgeable, and technically proficient DJs I have ever seen or heard. I am humbled and honored to have him as one of the stalwart soldiers in the Detroit Techno Militia.
4. To give readers a sense of the style of music you play, please name three tracks you’ve been showcasing in your sets lately.
As an ensemble DJ act, DJ Seoul and I focus on a more aggressive, dancefloor-centric style of Detroit Techno when we perform. Our track selection tends to be on the harder, percussive side, but we always make reference to the rich history of Detroit Techno that has shaped our lives.
Right now, I’m feeling these:
Joey Beltram – Aumento – Tresor
A .Paul – Detour – E’poch Worx
+ pretty much anything Shawn Rudiman has ever put out
5. What was your most recent release, and where can readers find it?
My most recent release came out on a very prolific label out of Detroit called Motech Records. The track is called “Broken Border”, and it is on the DJ 3000 & Friends compilation. You can get that on Beatport. I am currently working on DTM007 with my good friend and label mate, darkcube. The DTM007 vinyl will be available this May during Movement Festival weekend.
Every second and fourth Thursday of each month I do a radio show called “Detroit Techno Militia presents THE GRID”. I am usually the host and resident DJ from 6-8pm (EST). But we’ve had a lot of heavy hitting legends roll through the studio to put down some slamming guest mixes. You can check out the DTM archives here.
6. What kind of equipment will you be using for your set, and why do you prefer it?
For the DTM 2×4 performance we require four Technics 1200 Series turntables, and two fully functional Pioneer DJM 500-900 series mixers. Working crossfaders are a must, because we do a considerable amount of turntablist-style beat juggling and scratch tricks in our set. For whatever reason we respond best to that series and brand of mixers. In our opinion they work better than the rotary style, four frequency E.Q., effects-heavy, blending mixers that a lot of our House friends love. But don’t get me wrong. We can and have played on everything. We have a pretty basic tech-rider: four decks, two mixers, and a monitor or two. We’ll handle the rest.
7. Can we expect to see you play at any after parties this year?
We put on a free party on the Friday before the festival at Bookie’s (2208 Cass Ave. Detroit). Since we’re playing the festival, we are not performing at the pre-party this time. This show is an awesome event to network with DJs and producers from all around the world. It’s a great opportunity to get together and connect with like-minded folks who have the same vision and passion for this music.