1. Hello, Paul and Rich (Spektre)! Thank you for accepting our invitation to this interview. 2013 is almost finished - do you believe that it was a good year for the development of your career?PM:Thank you for inviting us! 2013 has seen us mainly focusing on our new album and making sure it’s the best it can possibly be, so this has meant we’ve probably had a bit of a lower profile this year due to being locked away in the studio, but now the album is out we have time to concentrate on other things again.RW:In terms of developing our career we will hopefully start seeing the fruits of our labours when the album is released.2. For those of not already familiar with you can you briefly introduce yourself and the style of music you are best known for?PM:We were both producers and DJs before we met, but Spektre was formed about 7 years ago as a collaboration focusing on Techno. We’ve always tried to bring other influences into our sound, but Techno is the backbone of it all.RW:We are a live techno act that is best known for our brand of dark and atmospheric techno as well as our love for all things rave!3. Your 2nd artist album, released on Toolroom Records, has received already many positive feedbacks. What is the message behind “Cyclic Operations”?PM:With Cyclic Operations, we were aiming to strike a balance between incorporating lots of diverse influences and ideas, and still making tracks that work on the dance-floor.RW:Yeah, our first album was very experimental with lots of different sounds and styles represented on one album, I think at the time people expected something a bit closer to the style we were known for from our releases. So the main aim for this album was to make something that is much more club-focused but still demonstrates our diversity as artists. But I would say the album is still very much a musical journey that we hope people will keep coming back to again and again!4. Between music production and DJing, which one is your priority?PM:For me personally, I was a producer long before I got my hands on a pair of turntables, so the studio will always be my natural habitat. That said, the two go hand-in-hand, so I wouldn’t really say that either has priority over the other now.RW: I was a DJ a long time before I was a producer. Production came as a way to advance my DJ career. That said, I would definitely say that in recent times production has become equally as important as DJing for me. Without one you can’t have the other, and expect to be successful.5. Regarding your producer skills, what are the main influences? How do you get inspired when you produce a track?PM: We listen to lots of current stuff, including the many talented artists on our label – Respekt - but often have one eye on the past. We’ve both got record collections that stretch back far beyond when we got into music ourselves, so trying to take the essence of some older music but presented in a fresh way is definitely a common thread in Spektre’s productions.RW:I’d say our main influences come from noting production techniques and ideas from tracks we listen to. These can be either from contemporary artists or from old music that we love. Both of us have a similar past when it comes to our entry into electronic music so you can guarantee that as soon as someone says ‘do you remember this track’ it usually means about another ten tracks follow that lead to ideas for our tracks.6. If you had to choose one element of your music that defines your music as a whole, what would it be and why?RW: I would have to say the 909 drum machine sounds are a common theme throughout all of our music. If you are struggling to find the right sound for a job, you should always turn to a 909 sound. It hasn’t let us down yet!7. What are your views on the current state of techno and how do you see the genre progressing?RW:Techno will always be underground, which is why it will always be a very strong scene. The sheer volume of producers that are coming through means that it is a very exciting time for the genre.8. How important do you think it is for DJs to also be producers?PM: From a 'career' viewpoint, it’s really the only way to raise your profile these days. That said - being a great DJ doesn’t necessarily make you any good at producing and vice-versa!RW: For me these days you can’t have one without the other and expect to be successful. You have to be an artist with your own musical output before people are interested in booking you as a DJ. Although there are a few DJs left who don’t produce these are usually legends in their own right or from the old guard of DJs. To get noticed in the current climate, it is usually through your productions.9. Your favourite producer at the moment.PM:Probably Tom Laws – I’m a little bit biased as he’s a regular on our label, but we keep signing his tracks with good reason!RW:Paul Maddox … He’s my hero! lol10. Who would you like to remix your music?RW:I’ve always been a massive fan of Maetrik’s production style. I would love to hear a remix of one of our tracks by him. PM:Or it would be great to hear someone like CJ Bolland or Laurent Garnier do an old-skool take on one of our tracks.11. What kind of equipment did you start out with? How much has that changed to this date?PM: I originally started off on a very primitive hardware set-up, but by the time we started SpektreI had moved over to the software world. Since making the move to doing most things inside the computer, the biggest change was probably switching from Cubase to Ableton Live a few years ago.RW:From a DJ’s point of view, believe it or not, I actually started out on the old Denon dual CD players. I used to mix between compilation CDs that were already mixed! It wasn’t long before I had my first pair of Technics and the majority of my student loan was spent on vinyl! Obviously, after years of feeding my vinyl habit I progressed onto CDJ’s and then finally onto my laptop and Traktor when we started doing the Spektre Live show.12. What’s your most treasured tool in the studio and what’s so good about it?PM:The Spektre sound is all about atmosphere, so reverbs are an important tool for us – my favourite being 2C Aether - you can go really deep into the programming of it and make some truly otherworldly spaces.RW:For me U-he’s ‘Diva’ synth is my favourite to work with. It is perfect to get those crisp analogue sounds and the user interface is very ergonomic.13. Which was the best event that you have played?PM:Probably Hyperspace in Budapest - one of the largest crowds we’ve played to and some of our heroes on the bill above us – It was definitely one to remember! RW:Yeah, Hyperspace was definitely up there. Also, more recently, Lehmann Club in Stuttgart was one to remember - awesome crowd and a perfect warehouse style, low ceiling club, which made for an amazing night all round. 14. Which DJ would you like to swap places for one day if you could?RW:Carl Cox - legend, still at the top of his game! If I could be as happy as him behind the decks playing to those crowds, week in week out, then life would be good!15. There are lots of new producers and fans coming into techno now, to what tracks should they listen to educate themselves with a history of the genre?PM:Techno is such a huge genre with such a rich history that it would be impossible to pick just a couple of tracks to encapsulate the whole of it. A couple of my all time favourites though, are Hardfloor 'Acperience 1' (youtu.be/-SGH_ZwGcZ0) and Dave Clarke 'Red 2' (youtu.be/SB5h5Z8peDs)RW:Mmmm… Tricky question! As Paul says, there are so many! For me, any techno fans would have to start with Joey Beltram’s “Energy Flash” on R&S Records. Pretty much anything on R&S will give you a good insight into the early European techno scene, and also what inspires us as artists. Another one to mention that has been a feature in our sets recently would be Laurent Garnier’s “Crispy Bacon”.16. If you had to come up with a slogan to sell a Spektre set what would it be?RW: Dark, moody, atmospheric techno with a live twist!17. What do you hope to achieve in the future?PM: Really, to just keep doing what we do – as long as I’m making music (and even better if people like it), I’m happy!RW:I agree with Paul, as long as I can keep doing what I’m doing, I’m living a dream. If you can live your life comfortably doing something creative, that you love doing, you are winning half the battle.18. A message for all the people out there who love electronic music.RW:Keep it real, remember your roots and do your research! Oh… and Respekt!PM:Good choice, well done!
Interview made by Adriana-Laura L. © 2013 DJs Arena. All rights reserved.