Starting from your musical roots: who and what are your roots in the industry?
I grew up in the midwestern city of Madison, WI and I was enveloped by the musical axis of Chicago, Detroit and Minneapolis. By proxy I was exposed to a wide range of sounds at an early age. In the early 90’s we were doing rave parties in warehouses so clubs didn’t exist as much for me until the police crackdown in the mid to late 90’s. I was a promoter for a few years putting together large scale parties. In 1997 I launched a record label, Parotic Music as a way to release experimental electronic music my way. By 1999 I quit promoting to focus strictly on the label and after a ten year run and seventeen releases on Parotic, I shuttered the label and stepped away from the scene entirely. Shifting focus, I opened a wine shop in Chicago in 2008. I really started working on my own music in 2001. Since then I have quietly toiled away and worked hard to find my own singular voice within the vast landscape of electronic music.
Running forward to the present, what’s your idea on the modern club culture?
Quite frankly, I have no opinions on club culture. I haven’t set foot inside a club for 8-9 years now. I am strictly a studio guy. I work on music that is played in the clubs but I have no interest in the scene per se. As someone who is not involved I think it would be unfair to judge or speak about something I am not a part of.
Currently, bringing you to the studio side, what inspires you to produce music?
Well, I grew up in a house full of music. My parents always had records on. So naturally, I started collecting records of all genres when I was a teenager, so over 25 years now. I get just as excited when I hear a random Gilberto Gil song or a A Certain Ratio track because I find inspiration in different music styles and sounds. I may make predominantly electronic music, but I almost never listen to it if I’m not in the studio. I also enjoy random sounds we all hear in the day to day world… I try to incorporate field recordings and I sample quite a bit of my record collection as well. Boredom comes easily for me, so I’m always seeking out new music. I go through working streaks when I feel inspired, but I never force myself to work when I have no interest in doing so.
How you can describe the club scene in your hometown, Chicago?
I don’t go to clubs, but I do know there is a vibrant scene in Chicago. Smart Bar is an institution and hosts all the top talent that comes into the city. In addition Derrick Carter / Black Madonna / DVS1 have monthlies there. There are a few other bigger club nights like Primary. As far as small scale stuff, there are still some loft parties and underground shows going on. As far as labels, there are quite a few pretty cool ones in Chicago. Argot, Kimochi, Still Music & a few others.
Drift in the next 6 months: reveal us your future plans in the studio?
I’m looking to switch some of my gear out so as to challenge myself a bit. I really have a minimal setup at the moment, but I love that it simplifies my work flow. That said, I’m looking to add a Korg Minilogue and a few guitar pedals. I’ve been seeking a more “live” sound as off late and working with a DAW (Ableton) is sometime frustrating and tedious. I’ve also been focusing more on vocals and incorporating a more “pop” structure for a side project called, Sidd Finch.
And some cool gigs you are really looking for?
I continue to shop my music to various labels and continue my growth as a producer. I hope to open another turnkey business. Maybe a wine bar or another wineshop. Aside from that, I have one main gig these days and it’s being a father to my 7 month old son. It’s the best gig ever!