Enige tijd geleden nam ik een interview af met Traversable Wormhole, voor sommige lezers misschien beter bekend als Adam X. De antwoorden op m'n vragen bleven lang stof vergaren in m'n mailbox, maar hier zijn ze dan. Het zou zonde zijn deze gozer niet even in de kijker te zetten. Hij is tenslotte verantwoordelijk voor de betere donkere industriële techno, zowel nu als in het verleden. Omdat ik geen zin en tijd heb het interview te vertalen, kan je de originele versie - zonder edits dus - hieronder volledig lezen. Sommige vragen en antwoorden zijn misschien al gedateerd, maar dat kan me eigenlijk geen hol schelen. ;-)
- Hi Adam, tell me, how's life?
Right now things are going great on the music front. I have traversed around the world to play a lot of live shows in recent months. It's been an exciting time for me on the music front. At the moment I am catching up on my personal life in my former hometown of Brooklyn NYC. I'll be back home in Berlin start of 2011!
- Is the Traversable Wormhole project going like you had expected?
Yes, I would say better then expected because of the CLR signing. I'm still in awe of all the prolific artists they have hired to remix my project.
- 2-5 years ago, the hipster minimal genre was hot, now i see a certain revival of more raw sounds, in either house and techno. Your Traversable Wormhole project fits perfectly under the 'raw techno sound'. do you have an explanation for this revival?
I honestly feel the Berghain clubbing experience in Berlin really had a lot to do with the revival. I first went to Berghain when I moved to Berlin in 2007. Minimal was still going very strong in Berlin but here was a club that was going against the grain and booking whatever proper techno related artists were still around. The club already had a solid reputation in Berlin based on its atmosphere of location in an old power station, it's sound system, the hedonistic vibe and the long operating hours. As the international music pressed picked up on the club word travelled globally about the experiences in this club which were one of the few still pumping out dark , hard & raw techno music. As 2009 came round hipster minimal finally died a long overdue death. At the same time Berghain was voted as top club in the world in techno/house circles. So it is only natural that people would seek out in wanting to hearing the style of music that is being played there. I have spent many a night in Berghain listening, dancing and soaking in the atmosphere. It is a very inspirational place for musicians and music lovers. I absolutely feel this place is in large part responsible for the revival of proper techno. I will most certainly give it's credit for the inspiration it has had on Traversable Wormhole.
- What has being so many years in the scene learned you?
The #1 thing learned is not resting on past artist successes. I see quite a few artists who have been around for years that rest on their past without moving forward into the present. I like nostalgia and all but when it comes to creativity it is important to me that I take on new challenges. I prefer to try and set the tone for something not only for the present but for the future. One of the best things about Traversable Wormhole is the project's initial success happened while I remained anonymous. This showed me how to remove the stigmatization that the music industry and music listeners can often place on you as an artist. I had spent the better part of last decade experimenting with & combining rhythmic noise industrial, electronic body music, experimental and real electro(broken beat) with techno music. During this time period minimal techno was the big hype. Finding venues to play harder edged techno was becoming far and less accross the globe. I was also having a hard time find labels to release full length albums in this style in the techno scene.
So I started to produce for more industrial/EBM based labels. I was also starting to play in the industrial/ebm scene too. Many in the techno industry whom had jumped onto the minimal bandwagon started to stigmatize me as being part of the Industrial scene/EBM. This made many promoters think I was not involved in making or playing techno anymore and of course because of this my event bookings went down. I found this time to be quite frustrating as I never lost my love for proper techno. I was interested in techno and was still playing whatever little techno was still coming out from artists who stayed true to the genre such as Surgeon, Sleeparchive, Monolake and the like. I was truly finding it difficult to get my music across to a wider audience at this time but I was unwilling to compromise. Fortunately I learned from two decades of being involved in techno that the scene was cyclical. I felt strong in belief that proper techno was going to coming around again and here we are it's back!
- Is there a different approach between your 'old' Adam X projects and Traversable Wormhole?
Not as much as one may think. My music has always had a sci-fi, futuristic thought provoking approach. Though I had chosen to maximalize things in past productions from recent years, if you go back to my past album productions like Audiobiography from 1998 you can still hear that at one time I had a much more stripped down sci fi sounding approach similar to Traversable Wormhole.
- Do you see a certain roll for blogs like mnml ssgs, modyfier, graphite north and the likes? In other words, what's your view on the internet in the techno scene of this rather new century? And how do yo see this medium playing a role in the (near) future?
I think the blogs are very important in the advancement of underground music because they do not have to worry about pleasing advertisers, press agents, etc. Most of these blogs are not operating on the standard music industry practice of having to appease their advertisers or having to push artists who have an image in order to attract more readers. The blogs are reviewing the music based strictly on their musical interests, it is not a profit taking business so they owe nothing to no one. These blogs have really helped propel proper underground techno back into the forefront by connecting many like minded people around the world by promoting artist such as as myself. I really have to thank Chris from MNMLSSGS blog for his help in promoting Traversable Wormhole from the early stage of the project. The feature and podcast I recorded for his blog opened my project up to a whole new audience. These blogs have been so important in helping push new artists and new projects to a wider audience.
- The medium when being a dj has evolved as well drastically; e.g. 100% vinyl vs set ups of Richie Hawtin, Speedy J and co. Does this new technology have an added value for you?
For me I like a combination of new and old technology when djing. I use the very first version of Serato Scratch. The version with NO auto beat matching! I use Serato with vinyl control records and two Technics turntables. I like pitch controlling records in a mix on turntables, it's a natural instinct for me. I love the tension of the unexpected when mixing two records together. The added value of using Serato is to be able to play many unreleased tracks in a set and never forgetting a record at home you wanted to play at a gig. I also find that I can mix much quicker then with real vinyl as I don't have to search a bag looking for the next record I want to play. This enables me to either mix two records faster or let mixes go on for much longer. I can also keep and eye focused on the audience a bit more. I honestly feel my sets are better because of the technology. The other main thing is I do not miss the anxiety of checking in my records at the airport hoping they will make it to where I am going. I still love vinyl too and hope I never see the day when their are no turntables in techno clubs .
- Besides techno music, how do you see yourself evolve personally?
Wrinkles, aches and pains are definitely part of my personal evolvement.LOL. All jokes aside I live day to day with not much emphasis on my own personal evolution. I have achived a lot of goals in my life and I am happy with I have learned thus far in my experiences and travels around the world. I really don't think much about the future anymore in terms of where I want to be with myself in the next years.
- Do you have any special talents besides making music?
In fact I do, I am an active graffiti art style writer since 1984. I grew up painting many entire sides of subway trains in the 80's. Many of my works are published in dozens of books that focus on NYC subway graffiti from yester years gone by. I still actively paint legal and illegally and also tend to draw a lot.
It's as big of a passion of mine as making music.
- Thanks for the interview!!! Hope to catch you soon in Belgium...
Thank you too!
geef je mening !
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