Interview: Richie Hawtin

January 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

You get the feeling had Richie Hawtin been born 200 years ago, he would have been one of those intrepid explorers, sailing the high seas in search of untold treasures, spices and cultures, or perhaps a canny inventor tinkering in his basement. Thankfully for us, he’s chosen to devote his life to exploring the nether regions of electronic music. It’s brought him many things – fame and notoriety, a swelling legion of fans few in the industry can match – but never has he strayed from his vision.

2010 saw the somewhat unexpected (but very welcome) revival of Hawtin’s most revered project: Plastikman. A host of well received live shows were performed at major festivals across the US and Europe, offering a new generation of electronic music fans a glimpse into one of techno’s most enduring pseudonyms . Anyone lucky enough to have witnessed one of these shows will remember the new material showcased alongside many a classic, with the timeless drumroll of “Spastik” teased in before being fully unleashed.

Juno Plus editor Aaron Coultate recently caught up with Richie – central to discussion was the Arkives 11-disc boxset, which compiles the finest moments from the original Plastikman era alongside remixes from some of the artists who inspired Hawtin most.

[Full interview at Juno Plus]

Interview: Nick Höppner

December 26, 2010 § Leave a comment

2010 is the year that Ostgut Ton came of age. The record label celebrated its fifth year in existence with a compilation entitled Fünf, which saw the Ostgut family of artists make tracks using field recordings gleaned from within the walls of its associated club(s) Berghain and Panorama Bar. It capped a fine year which began with Scuba’s Sub:stance mix and was followed by stellar 12″s from Steffi, LB Dub Corp, Marcel Fengler, Tama Sumo and Prosumer, plus albums from Marcel Dettmann and Shed, as well as Ben Klock’s impressive Berghain o4 compilation.

The man at the helm of the good ship Ostgut is Nick Höppner, who has been in charge of the imprint since it launched in 2005. A former resident DJ at Berghain’s predecessor club (which was called Ostgut), Nick is also a producer of considerable repute – he chipped in with a 12″ on the label back in March – and was until recently one half of My My with Lee Jones, although studio time is at a premium these days. Juno Plus caught up with Nick at last month’s Amsterdam Dance Event to discuss Ostgut Ton’s past, present and future, the art of label management and his passion for UK bass music.

[Full story at Juno Plus]

Interview: Squarepusher

December 25, 2010 § Leave a comment

Music thrives on mystery, and Tom Jenkinson aka Squarepusher has provided it in spades since his early singles in the mid 90s. His esoteric appeal is almost unparalleled, thanks to his 20 minute bass solos, Amen-sampling end-of-the-world drum and bass and excursions into ambient jazz. His fan club includes Andre 3000 and Thom Yorke, while Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers once declared Jenkinson “the best bass player in the world”.

His new project, Shobaleader One, was formed when a troupe of musicians – who, true to form, shall remain anonymous – approached Jenkinson to put into reality a daydream about watching a “crazy, beautiful rock band play an ultra-gig” that he mentioned in the sleeve notes of his 2008 album Just A Souvenir. The Shobaleader One album is ostensibly his most accessible work to date, but it still came as a surprise to many when the debut single was released not on Warp, but on Pedro Winter’s Ed Banger. The French imprint is best known for its electro club tackle, although it does harbour its own small stable of leftfield thinkers (chiefly Krazy Baldhead and Messer’s Flash and Oizo). Indeed it was the latter who provided a suitably off kilter remix when the Cryptic Motion EP hit the shelves in September. With the full album, entitled D’Demonstrator, set for release on October 18 – this time back on Warp – Juno Plus editor Aaron Coultate caught up with one of electronic music’s most revered characters.

[Full story at Juno Plus]

Interview: Jeff Mills

December 25, 2010 § Leave a comment

It’s easy to go over old ground when interviewing legends. Discussing past glories, what it used to be like, you know, back in the day, is a trap fallen into by journalists and artists alike. With Jeff Mills, this is simply not a concern, so relentlessly driven is he by a desire to push boundaries, to create, to never stand still. Now 47, Mills has seen and done more than most, from his early days growing up in Detroit and his influential role in the nascent Berlin scene that still resonates today, to a life travelling the world to preach his vision of techno as true art. Aaron Coultate spoke to Mills to discuss his new film score, his ambitious projects for 2011 and taking Axis digital.

[Full story at Juno Plus]

Interview: Flying Lotus

December 4, 2010 § Leave a comment

Flying Lotus – aka Steven Ellison – is about to release one of the most anticipated records of 2010. Cosmogramma, the follow up to the much-vaulted Los Angeles LP, is “more dynamic, bigger in scope and more textured” than his previous work, according to the man himself. The Warp-signed producer grew up in auspicious musical surroundings – his great aunt was Alice Coltrane, the acclaimed pianist and composer, who he cites as his biggest inspiration. As such he brings a fluid, jazz-like style to his futuristic hip-hop tinged electronica – an incredibly unique and fascinating combination.

[Juno Plus Link]

Interview: Levon Vincent

October 17, 2010 § Leave a comment

Cutting his teeth as a DJ in New York the 90s, Levon Vincent witnessed first hand the impact of former Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy on New York’s nightlife, and saw his gigs and hence his livelihood dry up overnight. So Vincent went back to school, in his words, to “take a negative and turn it into a positive”, and devote himself to learning the many complexities and nuances of music theory and production. In 2008 his star began to rise, with the first signs coming not from NYC but London, where his tracks drew raucous receptions from the Fabric crowd when dropped by close friend Jus Ed. Affable, humble down to the ground; Vincent’s rise to prominence is a remarkable and heart warming tale. Aaron Coultate met up with the man himself during his recent stay in London to find out more.

[Read full story at Juno Plus]

Interview: James Holden

October 16, 2010 § Leave a comment

Intriguingly coiffured techno boffin James Holden has paved a relentlessly singular path in electronic music, from his early – and still revered – trance singles, to his work as founder and chief of the Border Community imprint and remixes for everyone from Madonna to Kieran Hebden. Despite a relative paucity of original material in recent years, he now stands as one of the most respected figures in British electronic music. With a suitably eclectic looking DJ Kicks mix on the way, Juno Plus caught up with Holden to discuss techno depression, his changing sound and why the UK scene is thriving.

[Full interview at Juno Plus]

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