Luke Slater talks digital dislocation with Bethan Cole.
If you listen very carefully. you can hear the sounds ofthe cultural millennium being emitted via the finely tuned wavelengths ofelectronic music. It‘s in the dangerous. on-the-edge extremism coming out on spiky grungy labels like Basic Channel and Magnetic North. And you can hear it in the contrasting stark. spatial serenity of Autechrc and Global C‘ommunications. Sometime you may even hear a record that encompasses this current dichotomy. the contemporary urge towards the defining edges of sound. One such record is Luke Slater's My .Q’llmv ll'lsv Rug. lmbued with the guiding confidence of Detroit. it hints at both the seismic dysfunction of Jeff Mills and the beat-free imagism of Aphex with consummate ease.
Slater has lately been busy remixing Hawkwind using sounds created from scrubbing the inside of a cardboard toilet roll!
Slater‘s work under the monikers ‘Clementine‘ and ‘7th l’lain' compounds his liberated approach. his residence outwith self-fulfilling labels such as ambient. ‘lt‘s funny. the Clementine stuff started off mellow.‘ he explains of his carefree methodology. ‘then it went really hard. 7th Plain was originally Detroit inspired and now it‘s mellow. I don‘t suppose any kind of classification system has worked.‘
No time for technological prejudice either. 011 My Yellow Wise Rug silicone-bright digitalisms easily co- exist with scuffed analogue historicism. ()ld-school
luke Slater: ’There’s music in noise.’
l keyboard warmth exudes from tracks such as
. ‘Sandra‘s Favourite‘. reminiscent of the street sounds that initially inspired Clementine work. created by hooking up a single satnpler to an old keyboard. ‘l’or me there‘s music in noise.‘ says Slater. who has lately been busy remixing llawkwind using sounds created from scrubbing the inside of a cardboard toilet roll! ‘At the moment the sound being created by Basic Channel is at the top of my list. what I rate most. A lot of people judge it by production quality. but what is production quality anyway"? There should be no rules as to how you produce music.‘
The new. rough-hewn wave of techno figures large on Slater"s DJing club soundtrack and tracks like ‘.-\dapt And Go Fonh‘ where feedback and tautly sprung metallic beats dominate. ’It can be quite insulting — Adam X. Derrick Carter. some of the harder stuff. Even though I might play it myself in a set. I‘ll play mellow things too. The only styles I won‘t play are handbag and gabba.‘
Around a year ago (in (-1)) Luke Slater claimed that his music was impervious to extraneous influences. the product of pure headspace meditation and bedroom boflin knob twiddling. ‘l wouldn‘t say that‘s the ease now. I fell off my mountain bike recently and dislocated my collar bone. I‘ve found myself making very dislocated. angry music as a result.‘ lle foresees the l-lawkwind mix ending up as a really aggressive track. ‘It makes me wonder about Jeff Mills and DJ Hell. maybe they‘re really pissed off about something. Seriously though. I think good electro should have the feeling of the person who made it and for me the way I feel is changing all the time.
‘I fell off my mountain bike recently and dislocated my collar bone. I’ve found myself making very dislocated, angry
music as a result.’
We‘re talking about the new rising stars of Detroit and Chicago. the key players fora generation only vaguely acquainted with the revolutionary triumvirate of May. Saunderson and Atkins. ‘At the moment l really rate Danny Bell.‘ says Slater. who perhaps is himself an increasingly important figure for post-May massive. ‘There's no point in linking what i do to a specific geographical location. I used to want to create a purist Detroit sound but now I don‘t know what that is. Derrick Carter‘s doing it and he‘s in Chicago. I'm doing it and as far as I'm concerned it‘s the techno sound of Crawley.
Luke Slater plays Air at The C irras. Edinburgh on Sat [0 Sch My Yellow Wise Rug by 71/1 Plain is out this mom/I.
:— Renaissance man
When all his friends were going one ! step beyond to Madness, the twelve- 1 year-old John Digweed was analysing : early mixing techniques on a dance tape he’d got hold of. By his fifteenth 1 birthday he had his first residency in a 5 local hotel doing weekend DJing for , eighteenth birthdays and college 3 discos. The poor man has hardly had a ‘ weekend off since. '
When he did get one though, he confesses that he’s not really the kind of guy who likes to go out and dance. ‘I find it very hard on the other side of the decks. I feel out of my depth going to a club for a night out, it’s just like going to work really.’
His lack of confidence on the sweaty
f side is more
want to end
style when he works, building up a night, playing to the crowd, but educating them too. ‘What you don’t
where you get big tune after big tune
'33 . e -
than made up for in his to kee
up with is a situation
p the crowd happy. You don’t get the reaction you could get. It’s got to be a happy medium of tunes that
people know, tunes they don’t know and old tunes that they love.’
This formula is what makes
nights like Renaissance and Chuff Chuff so special. At Babelicious, his new club night with Sasha, the two of them are on the decks right from the start, no fanfare of trumpets at one in the morning to herald the greatest house DJs in the country. The two of them build their set carefully, technicians of mood, whipping the crowd up into a frenzy of arms flung in the air by midnight.
Sasha and Digweed have just spent three weeks putting together a mix CD that they hope reflects the eclectic music policy of their biggest club, Renaissance. The tracks on it, he says, will endure far into the future. ‘lt’ll mature like a good wine and the more you listen to it the better it'll get. In ten years time when you suddenly pull out the CD you’ll still want to play it’. (Rory Weller)
John Digweed plays the Tunnel on Fri 9 Sept and ‘Renaissance the Mix Collection’ is released on 19 Sept. l
The List 9 22 September I‘I‘M 59