An Interview with DJ Tek

dj-tek-pic-1.jpgWe were repelling down the side of Death’s Cliff when we encountered a cave that was thumping with the phattest bass we had ever heard. We decided to check it out and swung ourselves into its yawning mouth. We began cranking our eco-flashlights and found a modest looking fold-out table with three desktop computers on them. Behind said table was DJ Tek, and behind him was a wall of subwoofers.

Spoomusic.com: What other aliases have you gone by?

DJ Tek: tek, djtek, dr. spongebasket, and zorthax, destroyer of artichokes

Spoo: What made you get into music?

Tek: how can you *not* be into music? saying you’re not into music is like saying you’re not into food. or breathing. you may not make music your life, but at some point everybody has done a little dance when they hear a song they like. even though he was a wacko cokehead, there’s one quote from nietzsche that i couldn’t agree with more – “life without music would be a mistake.” (props to alice benjamin)

Spoo: What kinds of alien musics do you listen to?

Tek: again, i don’t really think that this question is valid. it’s all music. categorizing it just dilutes its power. ok, so you listen to “techno.” what kind? happy hardcore? trance? techno proper? is it the electro tweak kind? the harder german stuff? is it hooverfied or blast style? pretty soon the lines are drawn so finely that you can’t accurately describe a song without using a list of 47-plus adjectives. once you start subdividing music into genres, you start excluding yourself from being able to enjoy the full spectrum of the wonderful joys that music can bring.

Spoo: Are you trying to say that long strings of adjectives should be reserved only for Mad Libs?

Tek: well, i would prefer this, since describing a song as “fleshy gourd-based gel-powered scrotally fried rotten chunder box shavings” would be a bit over the top. however, describing what you did at summer camp in this way is perfectly acceptable.

Spoo: Where do you get your inspiration? Or, one might also ask, who is the wind beneath your wings?

dj-tek-pic-2.jpgTek: i’m not really sure. sometimes inspiration just strikes at what seem like the most random times. once i was in a porta-potty at a monster truck rally and the bassline for what became lp’s song “now come home” popped into my head. true story. there are certain things that put me in a more musical mood – the lights from sausalito glistening off of san francisco bay, the smell of rain at dawn, ex-girlfriends, strong coffee, new toys…

Spoo: Do you think that you’ll ever play at a monster truck rally? Maybe dressed up in drag?

Tek: if the republican national comittee asks nicely for a change, i would consider it. although i do find it a bit strange that the rally would take place in mr. cheney’s garage. with the lights off. and he says he’d be the only attendee.

Spoo: What do you think is next as far as the future of music?

Tek: well, i see it going one of two ways, and i’m not sure which is most likely. in truth it may well be a fairly balanced combination of both. i think music will continue to move towards consumer-centric production. in much the same way that blogging has sparked a whole generation of localized, specialized, independent journalists, so will emerging technology allow each person to craft their own songs from those nameless melodies that i think pop into everyone’s head at some times. adding massive online social networks to the mix will have everyone sharing back and forth, exploring each other’s thoughts, dreams, fears, and ideas through music, and all without bringing bullshit copyright into the mix (KILL THE RIAA). i think spoomusic is heading in this direction with their label. either that, or equally driven by technology, music will become so entirely predictable and shaped by marketing that it will all be algorithmically generated. you plug in a couple of keywords, the computer grinds away, and voila! more top 40. incidentally, i am thoroughly convinced that this practice already exists, albeit in a rather limited way. the voice synthesis technology just isn’t there yet, but give it ten years and i bet production credits on half the billboard hot 100 will go to “intel pentium 12.”

dj-tek-pic-3.jpgSpoo: Which artists would you like to collaborate with?

Tek: ooh lots of them. check out my list of influences below. although i’d have to say more than collaborating with particular artists, i enjoy collaborating with particular songs. i’ve always been a fan of the remix, and when i hear a great song, it doesn’t matter who wrote it, i’m just compelled to shred it to pieces and re-freak the whole thing.

Spoo: Who are some of the people that influenced your music most?

Tek: 808 state. underworld. nine inch nails. dr. dre. micro.spy. ms. mary jane. mr. bud weiser. jon bon jovi (stop laughing, he writes great pop songs). the future sound of london. necros. purple motion. there’s more, but you asked for “some.” 🙂

Spoo: Do you plan the songs that you write, or do they just happen?

Tek: usually they just happen. i’ll be in the shower and inspiration will strike and i’ll hash out the skeleton of a track with my hair still wet. or i could be sitting in front of the keyboard noodling around and a cool hook will emerge from the noodlyness. i really don’t think it’s possible to “plan” a song, at least not beyond the concept stage, and even then the concept has to come from some place meaningful. music shouldn’t be formulated and refined and sterilized. music is a pulse. it should always come from the heart.

Spoo: Tell us more about you in the shower.

Tek: <gurgling, echoing> igm sigz foogt too, ig hag ong brugvbr… haha, no, seriously folks, that was professional comedy. an amateur would have responded to that question in a much more nonsensical fashion. there would have been puns involved. and cake.

And suddenly we were falling, falling… and SHNAP! Our security ropes were dangling us from the face of Death’s Cliff. Don’t worry. We got down. Eventually. Thanks for the interview, Tek!

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