TF Archives

DJ C1 On Mix CDs, Sao Paulo and Techno's Spirituality

Author: Jonty Adderley
Monday, August 19, 2002
As well as being the mainman behind Carl Cox's independent label In Tec Records, DJ C1 is one of the fastest rising techno DJs, picking up gigs (and fans) in recent months from Colombia to Japan. Recently back from a mega-successful trip to Brazil to launch his hotly tipped mix CD Shifting Gears, he took time out to chat to Skrufff's Jonty Adderley about his CD and most of all, his beloved techno.

"Techno appeals to me because I'm a music lover of many different styles and techno can incorporate all those influences," he says. "People miss the point when they think it has to involve some kind of driller killer, painful experience."

Skrufff (Jonty Adderley):I understand you mixed Shifting Gears in one take without overdubs, did you have several attempts then choose the best one-

C1: "It was a painstaking process, actually. I find mix CDs particularly difficult because I usually DJ very much in the moment. Of course, I organise in advance which records will go in my box but when I actually do it, it's about the atmosphere, what the DJ was like before you and what the crowd is like that matter. Doing a mix CD involves loads of time spent on licensing and getting permission to use certain tracks, and also when you're doing it, you're not in a club, you're staring at some wall in a studio, so it's totally different. So in this case I worked out a running order beforehand them did about four takes on the mix. The first one was the best which either tells you a lot about Djing or a lot about me.

I've never been a beats nazi where I pre-prepare my set and force people to listen to it regardless. I also had in my mind that many techno mix CDs are quite dull to listen to. Techno makes perfect sense in a club but frequently doesn't make sense out of it, so that was another consideration I thought about."

Skrufff: What does that mean in practical terms-

C1: "It means concentrating on holding the listener's interest and not turning the mix into a trick-fest. Doing tricks and pulling stunts are things that I do to create excitement when I'm playing out but does that mean a listener will want to play an album repeatedly once they know a certain trick is coming- I've tried to think about these things, to make the track selection something that holds your interest, even if you're sitting at home or in the car. A lot of techno mix CDs even by DJs who I really like, are just about pounding beats from start to finish. There's a lot more to techno than just pounding beats and very hard drum sounds."

Skrufff: How was your recent trip to Brazil-

C1: "Brazil is definitely one of the top three places in the world for the type of techno that I like, they seem to have an appetite for it. I played at Sao Paulo's Lov-E Club last weekend, then before that in Colombia so I didn't have as much time in Brazil as I would have liked. I played for four hours, going from minimal vocal stuff, towards jazzy techno then Adam Beyer type techno (loops). I don't think there are many crowds in Europe who'd appreciate that range of music. Sometimes you find the most sophisticated audiences in the places you'd least expect it. Obviously, they're quite a long way away from the mainstream dance scene in Brazil and that's what has kept them so fresh. They've got loads of local talent there and it's a place that I hold very close to my heart. Brazil's not what you expect, I think people imagine it's about people dancing samba in the streets, but Sao Paulo is quite an industrial, dark, very built up city."

Skrufff: Did you catch any other parties apart from your own-

C1: "I partied for about three days- I went to six different places and they were all incredible. One place was Stereo which is a gay dominated club but no-one gives a shit about things like that- there's gay people, straight people, beautiful women, beautiful men, everything. That went on until ten in the morning and the vibe in there was fantastic- absolutely electric at 10am on