Interview: Brendon Moeller

One of our favorite artists, Brendon Moeller, recently made a stop by Detroit to play at TV Lounge alongside Jeff Derringer. After the release of his album “Works” on Electric Deluxe, Brendon has been touring around the world under the auspices of that fine label. Much thanks to the excellent folks at Blank Code, we were lucky enough to grab his email address and get a few words from him.

So, to my knowledge, the recent show you did with Jeff Derringer at TV Lounge was your first time playing in Detroit. How was the experience? I’ve heard other artists say that it can be intimidating, because the city has so much techno history. Did you feel that way at all, or is it just like any other town?

My first gig and visit to Detroit was a memorable and totally enjoyable experience. I made new friends, met some new people and played a set I was very happy with, I guess I never felt intimidated because I didn’t really over-think things. Also, the hurricane the hit NY I few days before I left kept me busy. 😉

I noticed that you included Psyk’s recent track “Isolate” in your set, which has sort of a purist, classicist techno sound. Really simple, back to basics, simple-but-massive stuff. Is that sort of stripped down, classic sound something you’re getting more into? Or is it more so just useful as a DJ tool?

Psyks EP on Mote Evolver is stunning. Simple, effective. Since I DJ with Ableton I think of most tracks as tools to be honest. I’m always personalizing the tracks in real time by editing and adding elements using things like the Tempest and Animoog. I’m really into techno in all its forms.

Between acts like Echospace and Luke Hess, Detroit has it’s fair share of both dub techno history and contemporary output. But it’s safe to say that the dub techno sound is definitely not a focus in the current Detroit scene. Where do you see this genre headed? Will it return to its roots with Maurizio-type stuff, or could you see it trying to modernize itself or become more experimental? How do you feel your more dubby tracks fit into this spectrum of classic dub techno to more avant garde?

Dub techno and sub-genre tags in electronic music are a drag. I try not to pay too much attention to this stuff. I think if you’re sitting down in the studio and worrying about this sort of stuff you’re on the wrong track. If one composes using the same palette of sounds over and over, you’re doomed.

Do you ever feel that people have pigeon-holed you too much as a dub techno artist, especially in light of the more forceful techno tracks you released on your EDLX album “Works”?

Definitely. While dub as a production method pervades much of my work, I also think elements of rock, jazz, funk and industrial do too. It’s all subjective as to how people are gonna end up classifying things.

Let’s end with an over-used but incredibly useful question: Which new artists, labels, or equipment are you getting excited about? What do you think of recent “anonymous” cross-over artists like Shifted or Rivet? Does Ableton 9 (and/or “Push”) seem like a game-changer?

New Artists: Container, John Heckle, Joey Anderson

Gear: Pittsburgh Modular, Make Noise, Studio Electronics Boomstarr Shifted and Rivet are cool. Doing their thing.

Ableton 9 has some great possibly game changing features. For me it’s the audio to midi feature.  Push seems like another cool controller. No shortage of controllers out there.