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The electric nature of Tom Wax

Author: Michelle Pirovich
Monday, September 15, 2003
Rewind to August 2001 and Tom Wax has just found his mobile phone, one day after having lost it at Melbourne's Revolver. "Someone tried to call all the famous DJ's I had in my phone, but thankfully with the time difference between Australia and Europe they couldn't reach anyone."

Prior to the days of mobile phones and famous friends, Tom Wax (Tom Wedel) was quickly making a name for himself in his hometown Darmstadt, Germany.

"I started to collect records in the 80s and by 1988 I had the most records of all my friends, which meant that I was the one who had to DJ at every party we had in school or around my home town."

Drawn to the emerging sounds of acid, techno and house, Tom and school friend Thorston Adler were taught the ways of the Roland TR 909 and TB 303 from a sound engineer they met in 1990.

The pair learnt fast and experienced success early when their first two releases 'Microbots' and 'Psycho Drums' were signed to 'Overdrive Records'.

Driven by their "freakish passion" for electronica, Tom and Thorston began the 'ARPEGGIATORS' project. Housed by Sven Vath's 'Harthouse' label, the music was a fiercely addictive combination of trance, techno and electro and once again success ensued, this time for the release of 'Freedom of Expression' and 'Discover Your Innerself'.

1994 saw the formation of 'AweX' (Adler-Wax-eXperiments) - a place where electronica was to know no limits. The first single released under the moniker, 'It's our Future' became the anthem for the Berlin Love Parade. It catapulted Tom and Thorston into the limelight and from that point on success followed their every production.

Today however 'AweX' has been put aside as Tom and Thorston follow other pursuits.

"AweX will always be our place of real experimentation, but in the last year we have been concentrating on different spots and out of that we haven't produced anything since our last 12" called 'Underground' which was released on Superstar Recordings in April 2002."

With Tom and Thorston's reputation for producing original and hard-driving dance now tattooed inside the heads of label owners, Tom was offered his own label with Undercover, 'Phuture Wax.'

The Phuture Wax imprint became a platform for Tom and his friends (Watchman, Wave Captain, John Chevalier, Kinetic a.t.o.m. and Cozmo Giant) to produce music exactly as they wanted, when they wanted, as opposed to adhering to the time delays and restrictions put on by the larger record companies.

"With Phuture Wax, my only philosophy is that I release tracks that I like personally. I have produced them all but I also like to give my good friends a platform to release their great techno music."

Throughout the later part of the nineties and early 2000, Tom's efforts began to move heavily into remixing; alongside Norman Feller the 'Tom and Norman' project found them breathing new life into the works of everyone from Erasure, to Yello, to Hardfloor and Mark n-r-g.

In fact it is near impossible to find a hard dance remix that is not associated with one of Toms many guises, but these days Tom has traded remixing for pure production.

"In the past I loved doing remixes, but nowadays I prefer to produce tracks for myself because I feel you always waste a lot of good ideas in a remix. You are often better off using the ideas for a track of your own. But if there is a request by an artist or DJ I personally like I would definitely do a remix for them."

Without a doubt Depeche Mode would be on that list. Having already remixed the Depeche Mode classic 'Stripped', Tom owes a lot to the synth pop pioneers.

"Depeche Mode are my all time music heroes and I love all of their tracks! They have always had a cross-over of great pop songs with great electronic instrumentals and that is what has made them so unique. For you I think I have 3 or 4 different bootlegs of DM in my record box as well as a Dave Gahan solo 12"."

To keep up with Tom's ever-growing list of p