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Deetron: Legacy

The Ants resident and highly regarded producer talks about his production process, his new album ‘Music Over Matter’ and about the artists from which he inherited his passion for techno.

Deetron, real name Sam Gaiser, is known for playing techno. He's also however, known for his impeccable mixing, intricately creative sets and the fact that he's still constantly takes risks behind the decks, building each set to a staggering techy and Detroit-infused crescendo before breaking it back down to nothing just to start all over again. He's the one who drops one of your favourite and seemingly unheard of tracks that you dream of stomping your feet to in a club. He's also the one who creates DJ tools for his personal use that excite the crowd so much they become hits in their own right.

With all this in mind, it seems fitting then, to christen his forthcoming album ‘Mind Over Matter'. This perfectly sums up his work as a DJ and, as he tells me later on, what his aims are for the album, in typical Deetron style refusing to just play it safe. And it seems his scorn for safe-playing played a factor in his summer in Ibiza. We have seen the producer, hailing from Switzerland, playing various parties over in Ibiza, but in particular he's been a key resident and crucial cog in Ushuaïa's new and hugely successful Saturday day time party takeover, Ants. This party has been huge this summer, giving the glitzy venue that extra edge, and crowds in their droves have scurried from all across the island to join the colony and dance it out in the sunshine to a great array of edgy, established, or up-and-coming artist, Deetron most definitely being one of them.

While the rest of the Ants Ushuaïa crowd pool-splashed and deck-stamped in the late September sun, Deetron and I made the most of Ushuaïa's green room (and air con, oh beautiful air con) while we caught up on how his season has been. He filled me in on his past influences and we chatted about any artists he thinks are the ones to watch. Also, I was delighted to get the chance to ask him some more personal questions regarding some of his music (and on that note; listening to his 2011 hit Starblazer whilst reading this isn't essential, just hugely recommended!)

We've seen you play all over the island this summer... For We Love, Paradise, Ants... A few years ago there would have been far less freedom for DJs to play rival parties. Are you happy with the current state of play or do you think there is some credence in the belief that party identities are being diluted as every DJ is playing everywhere.

"I think maybe to some extent it's a bit too much. I think when there's a big name who's attached to a party I think maybe they should just do 3 or 4 gigs. But on the other hand the crowd is constantly changing so it still works really well."

You're new album ‘Music Over Matter' is due for release soon. It's been 7 years since your last full length work - why such a long wait?

"There's no specific reason, I've just worked on a lot of remixes and singles. At the beginning of the year I felt the time was right to finish all the sketches that I had lying around. I've also been waiting for contributions from a lot of people for a long time. I could be waiting for a vocal for a year or more, so the track sits around for two more years before I pick it up and start it again."

What was your vision for the album? What vibe are you going for? I've heard Count On Me which is a great track. Is it representative of the overall feeling?

"I'd say that's one of the most DJ-friendly tracks. Most of the album is pretty vocal-heavy and almost every track has a guest vocalist. I wanted to work with song structures and traditional vocal production, making it work in the club context. That's the idea anyway!"

Can you tell me about Seth Troxler's contribution? I wouldn't naturally put the two of you together, although you have already done one track together...

"Although we did the track Each Step together in 2010 we've only met once. He sent me his vocals through because I knew his sound and thought they'd fit really well with the track and we got to know each other via the internet - but you're right we are from different corners. It's thanks to the internet that we made music together!"

Your song Rhythm was released earlier this month with vocals from yet another collaborator, Ben Westbeech (Breach). What was it like sharing control of the creative process and collaborating with other people such as him?

"With most of these instances I would send [the artist] a sketch of the track and they'd get back to me with their vocal ideas so it was almost like I was remixing someone else's vocal track. They were more like contributions than collaborations. I did one track with Ripperton where we went into the studio together. We get along really well, he's a good friend of mine, and we seem to just make a track every time we meet."

When you produce a track are you conscious of what label you are creating it for? A lot of people would have been surprised to see a remix of yours pop up on Hot Creations.

"I don't really think about labels or genres. If you get a certain vocal like the one I did for Hot Natured, it's already the vocal that dictates the track. It's a really sweet vocal and I wanted to toughen it up. I find that I'm pushed towards a direction by the material that I get rather than any presumptions about labels and such."

I've always wanted to ask you about your track Starblazer. It's one of my favourite tracks, it's fantastic! How did you create it? What was the inspiration behind it?

"Well it was supposed to be a DJ tool for my own sets only. I worked on the beat and the bass line then left it for a while then went to finish it and put a vocal on top. Every time I played it people were going crazy! Joris Voorn got really excited about it and released it as a track."

When I got into this music scene you were one of the first DJs I listened to. Winding back the clock a bit- when you first got into this music, who was inspiring you at the time?

"All the Detroit guys... Jeff Mills most of all, the way he was playing was so different to the way I'd seen before. Later on, Derrick May, Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson – he produced the track that pretty much drew me into techno: E Dancer's Pump The Move. I think it was released in 90 or 91."

Are there any artists or producers that particularly impress you at the moment?

"A producer called Lone from the UK is very, very good! It's mainly music from the UK that excites me right now, the young people coming out from the UK. There's also George Fitzgerald, every track he makes is a tune, and Jon Hopkins, he's super cool."

You're playing at the long established Shindig Warehouse in Newcastle in November with MK. Being in a vast warehouse it'll be very different from the gigs you've played in Ibiza, with a deeper darker vibe. What kind of venues do you prefer?

"I really like both but at the end of the day I think it's the warehouse and darker side of things that I prefer. Usually those parties are also more music-focussed because when you have a day party and it's outside its abouut the whole experience. But both are great. I really like the Ants party because its a great vibe, everyone's happy."

Has there been any stand out sets that you've played at Ants? It's been a great year for this new party, I bet it's been great playing such a big part in it!

"I think the first, and then the last that I did 2 weeks ago. I thought it would be a bit quiet, but it was busier than ever and the vibe was great!"

Any ideas yet for next season? Some people are already planning their Ibiza 2014...

"Nothing planned yet, we'll just have to see what happens!"


soundcloud.com/deetron

deetron.com

facebook.com/deetronofficial

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