Round 1 – Deetron Interview

Interview by Dean Dixon 

What has your musical journey been like since the first moment you knew what music was?

I guess the journey started when my Mother was singing Swiss folk songs for me which is the first musical experience that I can remember. Later on I went through some quite nasty 80ies music and on to Prince, Parliament and Michael Jackson. It was only after that period when I came to appreciate my father’s Jazz Collection which was my link to early Hip-Hop as well. I finally ended up at House and Techno via Hip-House in the early nineties.

You seem to be quite an open minded fellow when it comes to new music and sounds that float your boat. Can you mention a few interesting pieces that caught your attention of late?

The new Actress album called “Splazsh”  blew me away, FlyLo’s new album obviously, everything which had Madlib involved and also the Caribou Album has been on repeat for a long time here. A guy from Bern called Dimlite is making amazing music, his album has been released on the Stones Throw sublabel Now-again. Furthermore the dOP album “Greatest Hits” is another highlight of the year for me, all things DJ Koze, Redshape, Tensnake, Kyle Hall, MCDE. Oh and last bu not least – Bilal’s “Airtight revenge” is absolutely amazing! The list could go on forever, it’s really good times for music right now.

Why the moniker Deetron? And are there any other monikers folk should be aware of with your stamp on them?

It doesn’t have an actual meaning, the name just popped up when I was fooling around with words in order to come up with an alias for my first ever DJ-gig. At this moment all my other projects are on hold since I want to combine all my musical sides in the Deetron sound but two of them were the more jazzy project called “Procreation” (on Compost Records) and the industrial techno thing “Karakter”.

Can we expect any three-deck action here in Sydney like the good old days?

For sure, if I happen to come across three turntables, which is a bit of a rarity these days. I’m in desperate need of CDJ’s as well though in order to be able to play all the amazing music from the good new days!

Do you have a most prized possession, with regards to your production work?

My mind and ears I would say.

Do you have a list of artists that you would say have been your primary influences in your musical career?

In my point of view all the music which you come across during your lifetime will have an impact on the music you are making in some way or the other. I can’t really say when and how the following artists would have been of influence but some of them could be Prince, Jeff Mills, the early Kevin Saunderson, Miles Davis, Surgeon, Joe Zawinul, Gang Starr, Theo Parrish, Madlib…..and so forth. Tell us a few things that move you about living in Switzerland.

Bern is simply the one place on Earth where I feel at home. I’m a constant traveller but at the same time I consider this homebase to be very important. Not knowing where to belong is a great feeling for a certain period in time but after a while I need to come back here. There’s many things to love about Switzerland and in particular Bern – the laidback feel, the river Aare, great cultural attractions, the many lakes, mountains, family first and foremost of course, great friends and I think it’s a plus to be a bit distant to the scene as well sometimes.

You’ve worked with a few artists on your productions including Dj Bone and Seth Troxler. As a “combined effort”, how does that normally play out?

Most of the time these collaborations are happening through the internet. As with for instance my latest cooperation with Seth Troxler, we still haven’t met in person to this date. I just sent him the track and he recorded the vocals in New York at the time. The whole production process happened in my studio.

In the studio are you more of an analog sorta guy or a VST sorta guy? How do you normally start to lay a project out and what programs or pieces of gear do you feel are vital to your sound?

At the moment it’s quite balanced between analog and digital, possibly leaning a bit towards the digital side of things. I still do the mixdown the analog way though which I also think is vital to my sound for sure. As far as programs go I’m working with both Ableton and Cubase and my favourite piece of gear is a Moog “The Source” which is not even MIDI but I play, record and sample it very often. Tell us about the future of sound as you see it.

Personally I can sense the need for songs, melodies, vocals, melodic content and I think this is where we’re headed in the coming years in our music. I think that we’ll go away from the streamline, polished productions that are omnipresent these days as I think it’s errors which create authenticity and groove and that’s what I guess we all are looking for.