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Author Topic: derrick may circa 1990  (Read 18366 times)

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Offline chrisNova777

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derrick may circa 1990
« on: July 19, 2016, 01:52:56 AM »


Ensoniq Mirage Sampler
Fostex 260 4-track
Hill DX500 Power Amp
Korg Poly 800 Synthesiser
Kawai K3 Synthesiser
Korg SQD1 Sequencer (2)
Roland TR808 Drum Machine
Roland TR909 Drum Machine
Roland TR727 Drum Machine
Roland R8 Drum Machine
Roland MSQ700 Sequencer
Roland MC500 Sequencer
TOA Monitors
Yamaha DX100 Synthesiser
Yamaha DX21 Synthesiser

most of derrick may's gear comes from the early+ mid 1980s!!!


Derrick may... one day a normal human being.. aquires a Korg SQD1 sequencer, a mirage sampler, a Korg Poly 800, and a 909 and becomes a legend!!!!!!!!!!

Equipment list
Korg SQD1 Sequencer (2) (1986)
Roland MSQ700 Sequencer (1984)
Roland MC500 Sequencer  (1986)

Roland TR808 Drum Machine (1981)
Roland TR909 Drum Machine (1984)
Roland TR727 Drum Machine (1985)
Roland R8 Drum Machine (1989)

Ensoniq Mirage Sampler (!984)

Korg Poly 800 Synthesiser (1983)
Kawai K3 Synthesiser (1986)
Yamaha DX100 Synthesiser (1985)
Yamaha DX21 Synthesiser (1985)

TOA Monitors
Fostex 260 4-Track
Hill DX500 Power Amp

While house threatens to become the disco music of the 90s, techno is emerging as a music of greater substance and durability. Detroit is techno’s spiritual home, Derrick May its most influential exponent. Interview by Simon Trask.

"Dance music has been exploited, maximised, profitised - the whole works. Now it's time to move left, because anybody that stays right is just going to get caught up in the whirlpool. Right now I don't think dance music has the charisma to last."

Derrick May is nothing if not forthright in his opinions. Unlike his soft-spoken, reticent Detroit compatriots Kevin Saunderson and Juan Atkins (interviewed in MT September and December '88 respectively) May is a livewire and a generous talker. Working under the name Rhythim Is Rhythim he also happens to have produced a string of instrumental electronic dance music tracks - from 'Nude Photo' and 'Strings of Life' in 1987 to the recent ‘The Beginning' and 'Drama' - which have influenced a new generation of electronic musicians.

May recently visited Britain for several weeks to set up the UK arm of his record label Transmat, sign some new talent to the label and DJ at clubs around the country. During his visit he was able to assess the UK dance music scene, and what he saw were too many imitators and not nearly enough originators. So what's new?
'These days any kid can buy a cheap sequencer and a cheap keyboard and make a track", May replies. "It's really easy to lay down a drum track, a little bassline and some little shallow chord line or whatever. So many kids know how to start a track but they don't know how to finish it, how to make it just right so that it's got every element but it's not overbearing. They don't care about the integrity of the business, or where they’re coming from mentally. All they care about is putting a record our so they can get some money, and they don't see the terminal damage that the injection of a garbage track is going to do to society. What that does in the long run is degrade the whole concept."

So what would May's message to these aural polluters be?
"I know it's hard to make something that's going to have staying power, hut try and make the music with as much integrity as possible, because that's usually the stuff that will last. This quick little cash-in dance music.. you could make a couple of thousand pounds, but what the fuck is that?
"The kids have to understand that the music scene is based on the future, and they are the future. If they fuck around with the future then there will be no future. The integrity and the love has to keep it going - that's where the originality comes from. It's so easy to copy somebody else's style. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? Bullshit. Imitation is the easiest way to make money.
Kids today know it and they’ve accepted it. Commercialisation has become a part (if the business on the artistic side. Why not spend a little time and put a little courage into developing what you believe in? You just don't know what you can do until you try. I think people should take a bit of pride in trying to be original - you know - a little original?"

Transmat UK is an acknowledgement of the respect afforded Detroit's electronic dance music and its creators in this country. Nowhere has this been more the ease than in the north of England, where the uncompromising electronic music of Model 500, Rhythim Is Rhythim and Reese and Santonio has inspired countless young musicians to get to grips with technology and produce their own music. Groups like 808 State, A Guy Called Gerald, Unique 3, Forgemasters, Rhythmatic and Nexus 21 have all taken inspiration not just from the style and sound of the music but from its integrity.

What does May think of the so-called "northern techno scene" which he has helped to inspire?
"The concepts that they have are going to grow", he replies. "They followed us so far and now they're following their own path, which is great, but at the same time I think there's not enough of them that are original. I've only heard three or four original tracks, the rest of the stuff is weak, to be honest with you. Nobody's asked me to be a judge, I'm just giving my' personal opinion.
"In Detroit, there may only be a few of us, but everybody has so much pride in what they do, and everybody appreciates each other's music and respects each other so much, that no-one would dare put out a song that sounds like someone else's song. But these kids here, it seems like everybody's using the same concepts, the same formulas, so right now I don't think that it has the potential to last, because it'll lose its credibility through lack of originality."

When it comes to equipment, May is an exponent of what could be called "appropriate" technology.
"Most of the electronic sound that comes from myself has got nothing to do with trying to be trendy with the latest equipment", he says. "It's about using what you use to the best of your ability, and that's all I care about. I started out with a couple of S900s, a DX100, a Poly 800, a Mirage, an SQD1, a 909, an 808, a 727 and a Fostex 260 four-track, and I still use that stuff. Also now I use a Kawai K3, a Yamaha DX21, some old ARPs, shit like that. One instrument that I'm trying to get hold of is a Korg 707. I'm into keyboards that are not popular, that everybody else slags off. I tell you one keyboard I used to use that had some phenomenal bass sounds: the Casio CZ5000. I had some fierce bass sounds on that which I used on some tracks I never released.
"I do keep my eyes open for the new stuff, though. The Korg S3 drum machine is definitely on my agenda to check out. Nowadays things change so quickly that if you sit back and close your eyes you'll miss out on something. You have to look towards the future in order to be able to know what to expect and what not to expect."

In Detroit, the synth of choice is Yamaha's budget DXl00 four-op FM synth, valued among other things for its ease of editing and the grittiness of its output signal. Much of May's own music is characterised by the hard metallic bite of FM synthesis rather than the warmth of old analogue synth technology. However, recently he has had his DX100 customised as a digital/analogue hybrid by a Japanese electronics genius and Rhythim Is Rhythim fan resident in Detroit.

"I've had Matrix 12 filtering applied to the machine to give it a completely different feel", he reveals. "The board was almost destroyed in the process - it was like 'let's see what we can get away with'. It breaks down a lot, but when it works it works, and it's my sound, it's part of the Rhythim Is Rhythim sound. And, like my American Express card, I don't leave home without it."

It's this DX100 which plays the razor-sharp bassline on the Rhythim Is Rhythim track 'The Beginning'. But how would May characterise its sound?
"It's a harder sound than before", he replies. "You're not going to get beautiful string sounds out of it, but for bass sounds I've got the fat filter sound. In a little keyboard like that, it's so funny."

For May, it's essential to find the right sounds for a track - and if he can't then he'll abandon it.
"There are sounds which can completely bring out the most in a song", he maintains. "I've got basslines that only sound right with particular sounds. I can actually hate a song because the sounds aren't right; I just can't take a sound for what it is in itself And I will never use a preset; that is against the law where I come from."

May sees exclusivity as an essential ingredient of identity, and exclusivity is the last thing you get when you use presets. A case in point is R-Tyme, a collaboration between May and fellow Detroit DJ and musician Darryl Wynn. So far the group has released one 12" containing two tracks, 'R-Theme' and 'Illusions', which came out last year. May created all the sounds for those tracks but has refrained from using them since, simply because he wants to keep them exclusively for R-Tyme. As a result, they are part of the group's identity, part of its uniqueness.

The distinctive string sounds May has been using in his Rhythim Is Rhythim tracks since 'It Is What It Is' have their origins in samples he took himself at Orchestra Hall in Detroit, where the city's symphony orchestra rehearses and performs. Typically, their introduction in 'It Is What It Is' brought about a significant change in the character of the music, in May's words "sacrificing some energy for greater depth and atmosphere". The track is certainly atmospheric, with the strings giving the music a new expansiveness and an icy quality.

"For my music, I'm not looking for commercial, warm sounds", May says. "My string sounds are very cold, very callous. I give them a sort of warmth through the way I overlay them, but it's not really warmth, it's just a dreamy sort of feel. It's got a lot of attitude, a lot of feeling, but it doesn't necessarily make you feel good about yourself I try and create feeling and mood in my music. If I was making Whitney Houston records it would be very easy, but when you're doing the kind of stuff I'm doing it's very easy for the music to become sinister, to become hard and callous. I try my best to keep my insight, so I can feel what I'm gonna do and then just do it."

Not one to slavishly follow the supposed "advances" of technology, while manufacturers continue to produce samplers of ever greater audio clarity, May is experimenting in a different direction.
"At the moment I'm using cheap samplers like the Mirage and the Akai S612", he explains. "Sampling things, then recording them onto cassette, sampling them again, recording them onto cassette again, sampling them again and so on. The idea is to pick up noise, to create some sort of different feel to the music. It's working, but I haven't employed it in anything yet."

However, nowhere is May's refusal to rush into using the latest technology more apparent than in his choice of sequencer. Not only was Korg's SQDl the first sequencer he ever used, it continues to be his sequencer of choice. But isn't it a bit simple compared to the sophistication of today's computer-based sequencers? May agrees, but sees its very simplicity as its strength.
"A lot of people think that simplicity is a form of lack of awareness", he says, "but I think that simplicity' is a form of showing your actual talent. My whole viewpoint is that I enjoy the sequencer because it is simple, and if I want to link it up to another sequencer just to get a certain feel - which is something I do, because I have another SQD1 and also an MC500 and an MSQ700 - then I have no problem there. I like hardware sequencers.- Kevin's brother Ronnie says he can't wait for my SQDl to die so I can go out and buy a real sequencer."

May did own an Atari 1040ST at one time, but he never used it and eventually sold it.
"The reason I haven't started using computer-based sequencers is that I'm frightened of some of the concepts that go with them. Seriously. The computer can show you everything you're doing on screen, which is fascinating, but I think you lose a bit of insight. The fact that you can do everything, see everything completely and microscopically, break everything down...
"Personally I like to change things by playing them, rather than by saying 'OK, I can quantise that one note, I can change that one note until it sounds fine'. It's like writing an exam paper; it's not art any more, it's working with a computer, and a lot of the imagination has gone. Everything's at your fingertips. Computer-based sequencers are going to make the market more boring because it'll be easier for people to create boring music. What comes easy has no substance, what comes with determination and a bit of innovation usually survives."

The "decentralised" approach to music-making which May favours when working with hardware sequencers is also apparent in his use of drum machines.
"Most people nowadays use sampled drum sounds to make one composite kit from several different drum machines", he says. "But while they're using sounds from assorted drum machines, they're making them sound like one drum machine. See, my concept has always been to get the feel from all drum machines simultaneously, not just one feel from one drum machine. I try to connect all the feels so that they accent and bounce off of each other."

One of the newer instruments in the May arsenal is a Roland R8 drum machine, which he bought last year. Does it match up to its classic predecessors?
"I haven't had as much chance to apply it as I want to", he says, "but I did do an experimental track with the R8 by itself a while back, just to see how far I could take the machine. I've got the African percussion card and a couple of others. It's a good drum machine, but Roland need to give the drum sounds more parameters, let a person get deeper into the machine. They're a clever company, though: they introduce things gradually to people."

Although another Roland drum machine, the TR909, will forever be associated with Chicago house music, it has been just as much a part of the Detroit techno sound. However, it seems that, as far as May is concerned, the 909's days are numbered.
"I love the 909 but it's time to move on. I've used it for probably the last time - just outright, anyway.I probably always will live with the kick drum, though. In fact, I sampled it and ran tremendous amounts of dbx on it to create my own kick, compressing the fuck out of it and then taking it almost to the point of distortion. I'm in the midst of trying to experiment with sounds, and I don't know exactly what I'm going to do. Using live drums and percussion is something I have an interest in, but I haven't had a chance to try it yet."

Cheap samplers, ageing hardware sequencers, acoustic drums. . . whatever happened to the "third wave" of technology which May has espoused in the past?
"I know I'm supposed to be innovative and techno and all these things, but I just can't believe that going forward is the only way to go forward", he replies. "Sometimes you have to go backward to go forward. I believe that we can easily get stuck in a tremendous rut at this point in time because we've all become very complacent with the fact that it's easy to buy that cheap computer and some software, go into a studio and have the engineer help you, or pull up that sequencing program that will help you assemble a song if you just follow the written directions on the screen. It's like baking a cake. So this is the point where my concern comes from for originality.
"I play all my own music. There's no engineer that sits back and makes the music for Derrick May, so I do take a lot of pride in my music. For any young musician out there that's trying to make it, learn how to play your own fuckin' music. Don't let engineers play the shit for you. That won't do anything for you in the long run, because when that engineer moves in you're lost. Plus you should feel like shit for letting somebody else do your music while you take the credit."

May has a dislike of working in studios, preferring to create his music in his living room at home.
"When you go in a studio it's work, not fun, and I don't want to work", he says. "I hate the idea of having an engineer sitting there while you prepare your ideas, and I hate the fact that there's a clock running. I'm the kind of guy where I'll do a bassline or a melody or strings line and I'll walk away from my synths for two or three days and just let the sequencer continuously play a loop of this line very low. Then I'll come back and maybe work on it or maybe just erase it."

Nonetheless, a few days after doing this interview May was scheduled to go into the studio with former Gong guitarist turned producer Steve Hillage. It seems that the cosmic one was exposed to some Rhythim Is Rhythim music, liked what he heard and got in touch with May.
"We sat down together and talked, found that we had a lot in common, and decided to collaborate", May says. "I felt like I could learn so much from working with him. Every time I mention his name to somebody the man has top-notch respect, and he has my respect simply for the fact that he's decided to give it another go at this point in the game and to go against the grain. There's not enough rebels out there."

And have the pair decided how they're going to approach their collaboration?
"The project is going to be based around future concepts", May replies. "The idea is to come out with something different and innovative. Not Derrick May Rhythim Is Rhythim music, and not Steve Hillage ambient guitar."

We can but hope that the result sees the light of day.

Last year May undertook a string of remixes and was less than overwhelmed by the experience. Today he has more or less turned his back on remixing.
"It's a dangerous thing to get involved in", he explains. "You try to figure out what a person was thinking when they recorded something, you can get really hung up on that. You're dealing with a lot of different engineers, running to different studios. Sometimes that's good for experience, but other times it can be a burden. You become an expert at readjusting your thinking every time you go in a studio, and at the same time you become a sort of prostitute, you become used.
"I think if you're trying to be an artist then you can't be a remixer, and if you're trying to be a remixer you can't be an artist, because you give up so much one way or the other For me, being an artist is my number one occupation, running my record label is my second occupation, and after that I can do remixes if I like."

It seems that nowhere do issues of creativity and marketability become more intertwined than in the remix. Too much commercial exploitation and too little creativity could spell the end of remixing.
"I don't think remixing will die out, I think it'll just come into some sort of perspective", May says.
"The A&R people that order all these remixes have got to be more realistic about what a remix means for the record and what it means for the lasting of the group. I mean, a group's image is tarnished from three or four remixes of the same record. This just shows you how shallow these record companies can be when it comes to looking after the integrity of their artists. If they had any respect for an artist, or any belief that that artist could create something of value, they wouldn't go out and get the record remixed three times. But sadly I don't think record companies respect artists at all, I think that's a thing of the past."

And what of the future for Derrick May? With the long-awaited Rhythim Is Rhythim album no nearer completion than it ever was, he looks set to remain an underground, cult figure, bathed in an aura of exclusivity. Perhaps this is the way he wants it to be?
"That exclusiveness is something that doesn't last forever once you reach the boundary of exclusiveness and you pass into popularity and commerciality, you become a product of society. And as a product you have a certain amount of marketability before your time is up, before it's time for a new product. I'd rather not be a part of that if I can help it."

May understands that a good reputation can be lost far more quickly than it was gained, and he's not about to accommodate the whims of major record companies on the chance that he might earn more money that way. As he explains, he has his own priorities:
"In the past I've been to Mute, MCA, Virgin, Warner Brothers. . . They all wanted to do something with Rhythim Is Rhythim, but they wanted to do it in the context that I was going to change. When you're talking about a black guy who's making electronic dance music for intellectuals, intellect dance music, you're talking about something that they have to completely bend themselves out of character for. They don't understand it, they don't know how to market it, and I think they'd really rather not touch it. OK, I've come to accept it, I know the score and I don't even worry about it any more; I'm not changing. If I have to lose out on millions of dollars, flick it. I have to live with me, I have to be happy.
"What I've just said may sound quite noble, and maybe some people might not believe me, but.. You have to understand that, to me, it's a very important thing to be happy. Happiness doesn't come in a dollar or a pound. Happiness comes with honesty and selfconfidence, not self-denial, just being a happy person with free will, doing what you want to do."

And surely there can be no better philosophy of life than that. 1987 1987 1988 1988 1989 1990

Offline chrisNova777

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Re: derrick may circa 1990
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2016, 01:55:54 AM »
Equipment list

Ensoniq Mirage Sampler
Akai S900 x2

Roland MSQ700 Sequencer
Roland MC500 Sequencer
Korg SQD1 Sequencer (2)

Korg Poly 800 Synthesiser
Kawai K3 Synthesiser
Yamaha DX100 Synthesiser
Yamaha DX21 Synthesiser

Roland TR808 Drum Machine
Roland TR909 Drum Machine
Roland TR727 Drum Machine
Roland R8 Drum Machine

TOA Monitors
Fostex 260 4-Track,4298
Hill DX500 Power Amp
« Last Edit: October 24, 2020, 01:00:15 PM by chrisNova777 »

Offline chrisNova777

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Re: derrick may circa 1990
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2018, 10:38:12 AM »

Captured at cafe Renoir, Shibuya, Tokyo. August 11, 1995.

Some biological questions?

Whatever you like.

Were you born in Detroit?



April 6, 1963. 32 years ago.

What was your favorite music in your childhood?

I don’t think I really had favorite music as a child. I think I was a typical child.

Or high-school time?

I think this was a good time for me. Things changed when I turned maybe 14. I started to listen to George Clinton, Parliament to a lot of very funky funk of the times. Then when I turned maybe 15 or 16…Kraftwerk, Giorgio Moroder. Lots of electronic European music had very strange affect on me. Juan Atkins was also very important ,because for him, he was always listening to the music since 12, you know. I had a chance to be with him all the time as friends and all the time he was listening to his music so I began to listen … to understand more.

Then we become older, the chance to search more music, to find more records, more interesting things came possible. Then Juan started making music at 19. For me, I was still into the music very much. Juan was making music at 19, research, research, research… First thing Juan make Cybotron, maybe 20 yrs old. For me it was more learning from listening to Juan. Now, at 18, I’m DJ. Still listening to Juan, buying records, listening to other music, Kraftwerk, YMO, Klaus Schultz… everything.

Somewhere around maybe 22 or 23, I realised my mind is very different. I don’t care for comercial things anymore. They have nothing, I have no interest, I have no need for anything commercial. For some time when I was very young, I don’t care for anything commercial. Nothing. For commercial fashion, not commercial music, not commercial food.. not commercial anything, you know, I become very anti-social. It was good because it teach me a new way of thinking.

Maybe 25, I’m hungry, no money, starving hardest. I believed in music, I believe, I believe, I believe… Juan Atkins is now still making records, you know, that I’m helping now. Not with music but with ideas. 25 and a half, boom, I decided it’s time. I started to work, work, work….

So that’s “Strings of Life”?

No. Before “Strings Of Life”, there was just work, research, work, work, work, work. Development… one year, nothing but work, everyday, one year. 26, “Nude Photo”. 26, “Strings Of Life” 26, “It is what it is”. 27, more records. 28, more records. 29, I stopped… because I hate the music business. Money, power, commercialism… I don’t like it. Now I come back because people protect me from the shit now, you know, I can only concentrate now on music, DJing, making music, enjoying life. And good business, Transmat, is my company,.

What did you think when you first heard Juan’s Cybotron?

For me, it wasn’t first. I was there from the beginning. So it was normal. It was normal. It was not Cybotron, it was Juan. For me, it was never “Ohhh, wow… Cybotron! Great!” For me it was normal it was like… breathing. Because from the beginning we were together.

How about the “Planet Rock” by Afrika Bambaataa?

When I first heard it, I didn’t like it so much.


Because I was angry. Because it taked the Kraftwerk’s “Trans Europe Express”, steal the idea, this was, for me, a real problem. But later, I liked it for what it is because it was really funky, it was a great idea, but it was still stealing, taking… taking someone else’s idea. I didn’t like that. I liked the music, but I never respect the idea of stealing. Still now I don’t like it.

So you don’t like sampling thing.

No I don’t. I never never sample. I take one time, Laugh from Yazoo’s “Situation”. It had a laugh “Ahh…” I take only the laugh. Only time I ever sampled. ONLY TIME ever. Before that, after that, never.

How was your relationship with Kevin Saunderson?

Very good. For years, we first start, Kevin was watching me to learn. I was watching Juan, listening to Juan. Kevin was watching ME, listening to ME. Mark Kinchen, you know Mark Kinchen?, he watched Kevin, listened to Kevin. Carl Craig watched me, listened to me. Kenny Larkin, watch/ listen. There are watch/listen. Now it’s like one, now it’s like this. Cycle. Because we have a lot of respect each other. We are the friends. We have the baseball team.


Um. Kevin and myself.

Do you still play baseball now?


Techno baseball team!

No. Kevin and myself own the team. We also play but not Carl and Mark…No. Just us two. But other players… good players.

How was the musical situation in detroit at that time, in early 80’s. Some people say there’s nothing.

There was many things. But you have to find it. In Detroit, we have a DJ called Mojo. He was around, he was very important. Because he kept media **** in contact in the world musicwise. He don’t spin the records, he only play. But you listen, here, listen here with Mojo. He was a good friend also. He showed me many things.

There was many things happening in the 80’s in Detroit. We had a very progressive radio stations, very informative radio, I mean… we have radio stations that woud play, same time, play Prince, B-52’s, and five minutes later play George Clinton. Same time. Play Peter Frampton, you know, it didn’t care. it’s everything. So, for us it was much music back in 80’s. You have to look, you just can’t sit there and say “where’s music?” You have to look, you have to find it.

I know electrifyin’ Mojo is a legendary man, but what is he doing now?

He’s still on radio. Playing records. But now, for him, he don’t change. So time change, but he don’t change.

Doew he play Detroit Techno stuff now?

No. He stay with the music from the past. Because for him, the music from the past is better than music today. Sometimes I agree.

How do you think about the american music today like a gangsta thing or main stream R&B?

For rap music, I like it. I enjoy it. I’ve always enjoyed rap music. Not all rap music, some of them are stupid. But it’s the early innovators, it’s very creative. It’s stealin’ samples. The rap community… ******** but they do great job. It’s really creative. You can learn a lot from lisetening to the concept they have, and take it to the next level. Some rap groups are very powerful with the kids and everybody. R&B is boring. It’s really boring. I think it’s boring because it’s big business.

There is one formula and it never change. It stays the same. it’s like manufacture. It’s like… this tape deck you can buy one in the shop, and you can buy one in the next shop, and in the next shop, in that shop, in that shop. It’s all the same. It’s formula. R&B. Rap music, it’s not a formula because it’s independent. It’s independent so you can’t control it. Because it’s coming from here, and from here, and from here and from here…. and there is no… With R&B, here is the thing, it’s like this inside. But everything comes in here. But with rap music, it’s like this. It’s not like a… pshhhh, pshhh boom…. This is why rap music is very powerful, and also very creative.

Who do you think is most progressive or powerful in rap scene?

Well… with rap music it changes every week. Every six month somebody new is powerful. Two years ago, it was Guru. Then one year ago, it was 2pac. Then six month ago, Method Man. Now, it’s Biggy Small. Craig Mac. So it changes all the time.

As the problem with techno music there’s no… in Detroit is unity, In London, England there’s some unity, But the rest of techno scene is out of control. Not good control, not like ‘Out of control in good way’ but out of control in bad way. Because there’s so much bad music, and there is no real focus, there’s no real idea, philosophy, meaning, you know, to go to next level, to make it more powerful, to make it so that people around the world stop and listen. Only very young kids listen to techno music now. Because people like you, like Kenji, they say, **Oh I can do it with these people, and eat drugs and the music is stupid.

But it’s now techno music is like this some very very good quality, very professional, very sincere, very loving, very innovative, very ingenious. Music out there, most time just not heard because DJs don’t play, they’re afraid. Record shop don’t carry because it doesn’t sell because kids don’t buy because DJs don’t play. Radio doesn’t play because they don’t support techno music because techno music is for stupid kids who take drugs because the DJs don’t play the music because people donl’t buy the records and because people that basically would listen to the music on the radio don’t listen to the radio. So there’s no support, you see, there’s no support, the three things that make it, the three things that support the music are not there. There is no community.

Who makes good music in Europe?

Lots of people make good music but more people make bad music. There’s more bad music than there is good. To say who makes good music is not as ****** to say who make bad music. I don’t know who make bad music cause I don’t listen to bad music. Good music, I say, anybody from *Sisco Fererer?*** to Kirk DeGeiogio, to… in Europe, it’s not many. I really can’t think of many. There’s good records, it’s just not good artists, you see, because they don’t come back with more music, they do one record under one name, another record under another name, another name, another name, another name…. So you never realize who’s really powerful, who is really creatie. You don’t know.

Have you ever felt that you are exploited by European music business?

Ah.. Not so much me being exploited, I think techno music has been exploited. Because the name has been misused… it’s like a…

You are talking about Gabba?

No. Just anything what people say techno. People use the word techno for everything. Any music that’s 130BPM is techno. That’s not true. I mean, it’s like a…. it’s like when people say “I wanna buy Futon”, real Futon comes from Japan. Should you go to any country in the world, you can buy Futon, but it’s not a real Futon. And most time it’s bad quality, break, it’s not comfortable, and it’s not good for you.

The same with the music, you see. Maybe it doesn’t all have to come from Detroit, but I think if you gonna DO the music, do it right. If you gonna use the name, use the name right. Don’t use the name wrong. People don’t care. White man don’t care. White man only make money. He do anything for money. I’m not a racist but it’s true. It’s reality of the business world in the Europe, especially in England. English people, they just… take, and take, and take, and take, and take…

So do you think your music is a kind of black music?

Of course! I take so. I mean, we never made this music for Europeans, we never made this music for anybody but ourselves. This music comes from inside. When I play records as a DJ, when I make music as an artist, I don’t think about Europe, I don’t think about America, I don’t think about anybody or anything. I just feel what comes out of me. And I’m a black man. So what’s coming up is ME, which is black.

In the music history, I think the black people always have made good use of technology than white people.

I think no. I think it just different application. I think we all taking advantage of technology, everybody. From computers, keyboards to Mini disc, Walkman. I just think we use that in different way. But most black people don’t use technology any different. There is small people that do different things with technology. Most people use technology the same. They go to work, they work on a computer, they come home to turn on TV, maybe they have computer games, maybe somebody has small computer in the house, other than that most people don’t use technology. The technology uses them. For me, as people that make music, it’s not the technology that they don’t use, but it’s the imagination they don’t use. Because most times what’s blocking imagination is business. Thinking of money, thinking of record company. Afraid… afraid of real ideas, afraid of creativity, afraid of expressing.

You play I Feel Love everytime…

Because I like it, I enjoy it. It’s a good record.

Is it the first Georgio Morroder thing you have…

No, of course not. I know Georgio Morroder from *******, E2=MC2, many of his records, no off course not. For me, it just one of those records that I enjoy. I have many records in my box that are old. I have new records, old records… I play everything. This is the one record that most people say “I don’t believe it he play Donna Summer, Wow…” People say “Wow, Donna Summer!”, *** it sounds great. It’s timeless.

Do you think you are inspired by some of the disco thing?

Ah. I think life inspires you, I think music that inspired me, **other** There are artists inspired me off course, But I believe that inspiration for me comes from life, you know, what I’ve heard through my life, what’s really been the nucleous, the most important thing, which is my mother, my grand father, my childhood, my education, my imagination, my heart, my friends, my dreams, my ambition, my goals…. my fuck-ups, all these things make me. They meke me, they develope me to help me make the music. It wasn’t just music that made made me. It wasn’t just the idea that, you know, I listened to Kraftwerk, George Clinton or Ultravox or anybody. And I become an artist.

Were your parents into music?

Normal parents. Only my mother, no father. She listened to music just like everybody else. In Detroit, you know soul music is big, Motown. She is normal people, man. Normal people. My mother listens to music she love, Marvin Gaye, Al Green and Temptations, you know, from the sisties. My mother was from sixties, and from Detroit. She listened these things all the time, and I listend, too. But this was very commercial music.

My mother was a little bit more interesting because she had an ambition, you know, she dreams. My mother was a very classy lady. She always would take me for holidays, we would go to California, Caribbean to all over America for driving. I was a young boy, she’d take me all these places, she’d show me things, she always talked me, always make sure I understand life is important. Do the most with life, enjoy life, use your brain, don’t be afraid to think, don’t be afraid to believe in your own ideas. Don’t let people tell you no. Never let people tell you no. This is my mother.

I don’t come from poor house, I was never poor I was never from poor black ghetto. I come from good family. No father but good grand father. Good family. Everybody helps. Good school. Everything’s OK, and I made decision to be different when I was young, I made decision not to take work to become company man. When I was very young. Paying much price, many prices because I had to suffer no money. I was young guy, nothing, I leave the house when I was 18. I had no money, very very very hard.

Now I’m asking you about the Akira. Are you planning to do something with Otomo? I’ve heard that you are making music for the Akira soundtrack.

No, it’s not true. There’s something I would I like to do. We met one time, myself and Otomo. I had a traslator she did’t translate message to me properly. So I didn’t understand some things we were talking about. But now I know he would like to work with me because the first time I speak with him, I don’t realise that he knows my music. I’m thinking he doesn’t know my music. I think maybe next year, if there’s a possibility, yeah. I would like to work with him very much. It will be something, for me a honor to work on such a film.

Why do you like Akira?

Well, I like animation. I like the idea of imagination and animation and human reality in the animation all together.

You mean, not only Akira.

I like many animations. Off course. Much big fun, different names in Japan and in America, you know, so if I name them, you don’t know them. But you know them if you see them.

You are talking about mostly Japanese animations?

Yeah, of course. I mean normal animations is ****** a boy. But Japanese animation…. I don’t call the animation, I call it’s a Humaniation. Because it’s more humaniation than animation. And I woud like to put music to that. For many years I watch film, movies… I watch animation, humaniation. And I’m thinking always, always, always it’s the wrong music. Wrong music, wrong music, you know. So I would like my chance, then I can say, OK, I did good or I did bad.

Which one do you like besides Akira?

They have different names, I’m sure. Do you know WICKED CITY? It’s GOLGO 13. CRYING FREEMAN? You don’t know CRYING FREEMAN? You do know maybe different name. CRYING FREEMAN is a killer, everytime he kill, he cry. There is many comic books, thousands of comic books. Do you know it now? Now you know. It’s my favorite. But I’m excited to see the video of Ken Ishii, because I understand that is a new concept. This is … very interesting. And I can’t wait to see Otomo’s next film. I’m really excited to see it. Otomo, if you read this, give me a copy of the film, huh.

How do you think about the ambient music?

Well, the idea of ambient, I think, is before the word ambient. For many years, there’s been this music, I mean, Brian Eno was making this music years ago. Brian Eno, Harold Budd… many people make this music. Now it’s called Ambient. Music is still beautiful and people think ambient is very easy, basic but it’s very difficult to me. Cause you have to be very much in contact with your personel who you are. This is important, very important. I enjoy it. I always have. But you know you can listen when it’s personal and when it’s business you can see you can hear difference. It’s very good music and it’s very bad music.

There is sometimes white Hippism in ambient music. I don’t like it.

Yeah, it’s true. But people know. People can feel the difference. They don’t last long, so you don’t need to worry. They come and they go.

Do you use computer to make music?

No, I don’t. I use sequencer.

Could you tell me what?


You don’t think of using computer?

No. It doesn’t infess(?) me. I prefer sequenser because it’s more faster, quicker, and I work sometimes very furious, fast. Sometimes I just….. I don’t like the screen. I don’t like that makes me headache. It’s boring to watch the screen. I’d rather listen to the music instead of watching the screen. Fuck the screen.

You don’t like computer thing in general.

Yeah, of course. I just don’t like with music. I have computers in office in Transmat, I have personal computer, Powerbook 520C Macintosh, yeah, I love computers. But not for music, I’m sorry, it’s boring for me. For other people, it’s OK, but just for me.

How about internet?

No. It won’t change the world. I mean… Look, 70% of the world is 25 years older now. Most people don’t know anything about internet. Japanese people don’t know nothing about it. Second large population in the world is Asia. And they don’t know nothing. China, nothing, Russia, nothing. Asia, very little. Africa, nothing. Small people in America, some people in Japan, Europe,

it’s for people that have an access. Those don’t have access, they don’t know. They don’t care. Maybe in five years, if you don’t have access, then it’s problem. But now, I don’t see it’s the problem. I think other things will come along, they will make more impact than the internet. Internet is the beginnning of something that will come bigger and stronger.

It’s gonna be the last question. I wanna hear your vision for the future.

I think the best vision for me of the future is not to think about the future. You know I mean, not to concentrate on the future but to concentrate on myself. What makes me happy, what makes me better. As far as society is concerned, people the world in general for the future, I think the future really holds…. I think people have to become really more aware of the world they living, what is available information-wise, technology-wise. Because technology, without it, you will be lost. There will be two differnt world in the future. There will be the world for those with and those without.

Without what?

Now there’s rich, middle and poor. In future, there will be those with and those without. Without access to the world, to future technology, to everything in the world. See, there’s things that will come with compueter, thing that will come technology, they’re very difficult for people really understand because of none of us can see it. We can’t see it. There’s things that **** none of us can really understand, as far as where the future is going.

And those who don’t care about future will be lost. And that wil be a different society than the society that cares about future. It is frightening, that most people won’t have a choice. They won’t have a chance to make decision they wanna be with the future or without the future. There will be those that will have to slave the future, there will be those who will feature the future, who own the future, who will be a part of future, who will collaborate, who will… ummm, be the future makers.

So, it’s the interesting world we’re living tomorrow. So whatever happens, remember Life Is Life and Rhythm is Rhythm.

OK, Thank you.

(Looking around) People sleeping!? It’s cool place huh? It’s like something from the future this place. It’s like a… This IS the future, man. This is the future… people…. look out 'em, look out 'em! Is this the cool place or what!?