In discussion with Traxx on “H.S.T.A.” by Das Ding (2009).
How did you discover Das Ding? Were you aware of Danny Bosten’s productions before the reissue on Minimal Wave?
Tadd Mullinix (JTC) posted a video from Youtube of this group, that I thought I heard of before, but really couldn’t put my finger on.
I wasn’t aware of Danny Bostens’ productions until they came out on Minimal Wave. He released all his stuff on Tape-Cassette, and I’ve always been a vinyl head, so it must have slipped through.
What made you decide for this album? What makes it so important for you?
The music is just plain sick! And I really like the overall concept that doesn’t get stale. There is a poem on the back of the cover:
“The reassurance ritual has us actors in its play
a million times we repeated the words that we will say
and if its not tomorrow then it will be today
that words this way spoken will lead another way”
This pretty much covers everything that I like about this album. In our society things have a habit to repeat themselves over and over again. Be it fashion, art or music. Danny Bosten tried to break the borders of the genre that he was classified in back in that time. This is something that I can relate to, too. Read the rest of this entry »
The Residents – Diskomo (1980)
I discovered this track in one of your live sets, and I was really surprised by it. How did you get to this?
I actually heard this being played by Ron Hardy at the Music Box.
Ah, so it was Ron Hardy who inspired you then?
The people that have inspired me musically where I am now is Ron Hardy, Larry Levan, Larry Heard and fortunately but unfortunately Ian Curtis and Kurt Cobain. Those are pretty much some of my strongest influences. Later on it became people like Farley Jack Master Funk when he was really bringing it to the table musically on the radio, and from that point on it’s like my whole world expanded, it expanded to unparalleled paradox.
In regards of “Diskomo,” though, when I heard Ron Hardy play it, it didn’t make sense to me because I wasn’t on drugs. But a lot of people that were in the party scene at that time were experimenting with drugs. Ron would spin records faster, because he was under the influence. So the thing is I probably heard “Diskomo” at a faster speed. You never knew what Ron was doing at this time, so when you hear “Diskomo” and you hear these sort of patterns and tone pads and kind of modular effects like wind and stuff in this manner, it was hard to tell what was what. If you were in that time period, would you think that was Ron Hardy, or would you think that was a record?
It has a really eerie atmosphere…
It’s the same thing with Ian Curtis, and what Joy Division did. The producer behind them gave that whole thing atmosphere, that sort of specialness. And that’s what “Discomo” did for me when I heard it.
This new wave post punk music is not necessarily something you would associate with early house, which is kind of peculiar, but you seem to be attracted to this kind of music…
This is house music. That’s the thing that nobody—and let’s make this clear, I am nobody to tell you what is and what isn’t the truth—but I can tell you what I know and what I saw. And it was the innovation that Larry and Ron undertook, and it’s the innovation that I have personally taken on myself. I am singlehandedly the ambassador of truth right now. I feel like I have singlehandedly taken on the roles of these artists in the way that they described their music and the way that they played their music, and I feel that I’m someone that can say that this music that has somehow been forgotten has a greater significance than people can imagine.
New Order – Video 5-8-6 (1982)
Let’s talk about New Order. This has a kind of long-jam approach to recording, but it is also kind of a blueprint, not only for later electronic developments, but also for their own developments. There are already shadings of “Blue Monday” in it, but it is much earlier, 1982.
I play “Video 586” in my sessions. I play every type of sound known, and I am probably the world’s biggest risk taker. There are probably three other people that I could say right now that are as risky as I am.
Who are they?
Mick Wills, from Stuttgart, Germany, James T. Cotton and myself. And, actually, someone who is on another level to also give full etiquette and education and experience is Jamal Moss. In my eyes, even though he doesn’t DJ, musically what he does with IBM and these other projects… it’s not the sort of stuff that you would usually hear.
But he does DJ, doesn’t he?
Jamal is one of my guys, and I have never seen him play wax. But what I have of him, the material that I have gotten from him, is still sick. It’s like another level of Ron Hardy through Jamal Moss. Without a doubt.
You seem to be quite like-minded in your approach…
Well, “Video 586” is an idea that I didn’t realize that was important until later, Jamal didn’t realize until later, that JTC didn’t realize was important later. It’s the idea of not following the law of 4/4 music, or the law of what it should be. This is what made music risky, and this is what made New Order risky.
Why do so few DJ’s take risks that way do you think?
Because they are scared. They’re scared to lose the crowd, they are scared to be risky, to do something that they have never done. That’s why you have something called the social chain, and it’s what everybody else follows. I am not on the social chain. Those people that I have mentioned, Mick Wills, James T. Cotton, Jamal are guys that I know do not play by the rules.
So is that your main agenda? To change the set of rules?
My main agenda is to change the rules to the way that they should be. The way that everybody is crying, “Why can’t it be like the days when I was growing up.” Because this is the point, think about it: Why do people play records from the old days? Because they wanna remember. Why do you always have to remember the past? Why can’t you deal with now? Read the rest of this entry »