Interview: Sterac (Steve Rachmad)

Steve Rachmad

In this interview, we have a quick chat with Dutch techno artist Steve Rachmad following the release of his first EP under the alias Sterac since 2008, out now on Klockworks.

Can you describe a scene or thought that you drew ideas from to express in some of the tracks in the Klockworks EP?

I guess the thought I had was that I tried something that in my eyes fitted the label. But I have to be honest with you, I didn’t plan to send Rotary because I thought it wouldn’t fit or thought Ben wouldn’t like it. My friend Wouter de Moor (pronouncing it sounds a bit like Walter de More) told me to send it and I was thinking “are you sure about that?”

Well, he was right because it was the first approved track of the E.P.

How did you form your relationship with Klockworks?

Of course we knew each other through the music before we even met, but honestly I can’t recall when and where we met for the first time. But knowing he played a lot of my music and me playing a lot of the label’s and his music it was just a matter of time before it had to happen. And I’m happy it did!

It’s clear that some of your tracks are Detroit techno inspired, could you name a few tracks by Detroit techno artists that are your favorite?

Of course I was inspired by a lot of early Detroit tracks like The Dance by Derrick May and many other of his tracks. Kenny Larkin’s Integration and War Of The Worlds are amongst my favorites. But there was always this one that turned out to be a funny one. It’s called Octagon. It was pressed in Detroit and there was no further info about it at the time. The dark chords and atmospheres were typically Detroit in my eyes and it even came from Detroit and the sleeve was shrink-wrapped in plastic like all the American records were back in the days, with a round edged inside sleeve. The artist was Maurizio and the label Basic Channel. Later to find out they were from Berlin. But I’d say they were absolutely inspired by Detroit which they confirmed by even pressing them in Detroit.

When you sit down to create music, do you go into the experience having already planned to create a track for a specific alias or do you decide after having made the track which alias you would release it as?

I don’t have a specific way of working; both scenarios can start off an idea. I might have it in mind upfront, but it could also be that I decide later. I’ve always been interested in different sounds, from 80’s disco and deep house to Detroit and louder techno stuff. All these aliases have helped me to find my way in every one of these genres. It’s just like my DJing, where I try to blend different elements in one set (or even mix), I want to be able to feel just as free to do want I want in the studio.

Is there a particular alias that you have enjoyed programming music for more than another?

Not really, no. I guess that’s why I have all these aliases. I enjoy them all; they all present a different mood and/or part of myself. And next to that I don’t like to limit myself too much to one style. It’s all about good music whether it’s this or that.

Do you use any different equipment under your Sterac alias that you don’t use with others?

Not in general. It’s all about the sounds that trigger me and it doesn’t really matter which machine. Only with Parallel 9 I use the tape echo 9 out of 10 times.

Which up-and-coming artists and labels are you excited about right now?

I really love Maarten Mittendorff and Jasper Wolff, and their label Indigo Aera.