Eight questions with Techdef

With the Sixth 64barchallenge being baked to perfection in time for it’s September send off, 64 bar thought it might be a good idea to ask the major players some questions, first up, it’s New York city’s Techniken Defunkus.

64 bar: Tell me about your 64 bar track, when you wrote it , did you think at all about the overall sound of the previous mixes? Or did you just write what popped into your head?
TD: My latest track, Bandsaw, came to be after watching a video about chopping audio loops http://youtu.be/3pokcH1t80Y. After that just clicked, and the basic parts track came together very fast. I’d done similar things in the past, but a new technique and a few tricks made for an easy way to throw a ton of samples in the mix and then sort them out.

64 bar Tell me a little bit about your production process, what do you use? How do you go about writing tracks
TD: I’ve been using Reason since version 1, and Reason/Record is the main thing I use. I tend to work with a lot of samples and sound libraries, and like chopping things up into little pieces. But experimenting is key. I started in the early 90’s splicing tape, hand-spinning records extra slow, and playing with sounds on a Mac Powerbook 145b. I’ll go for a concept, or a technique, or just let the track evolve as I put it together. Very slow improvisation–to see where it takes me.

64 bar: Tell me a bit about some recent musical things you’ve been up to
TD: I did a very fast sound design for a play called “Do Worms Have Hearts?” directed by Tim Lee that was in the 2011 REDfest in London. Otherwise I’m wrapping up design for the insert going in a vinyl release of electric gospel/blues guitarist Re.Charlie Jackson coming very shortly from http://50milesofelbowroom.com

64 bar: Talk to me about the 64 bar project, when was the first time you got involved
I think it was number 2. I missed the boat on the first one. I can’t even remember what the first track I did was or when that mix came out! I’m guessing it sampled some drum sounds from Art Blakey.

64 bar: What has been your favourite mix so far?
Number 4 seemed to stick in my headphones longer than any other so far.

64 bar: What about standout tracks, what ones leap to mind?
Minotaur by Mr. Rough always gets me–that synth is just redonkulous. There are so many great tracks that it’s tough to say. Proof of Concept’s stuff in v5 was killer.

64 bar: Talk to me  about the Ninja Tune forum
To directly quote Hunter S. Thompson, “The forum is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.” The forum just hasn’t been the same since Hunter left.

64 bar: Any other business youd like to discuss?
Yes. I’m taking up a collection to pay for important surgery needed to save a fixture in music business. It’s an experimental procedure, and not covered by any insurance plan. But if we all come together and pitch in I’m sure we can find a way to have the large stick removed from Steve Albini’s rear end. Thanks for your kind support.

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