An interview with the Techstyle crew – the birth of a new attitude.
Reported by Latex Zebra
Submitted 08-03-05 10:21
Techstyle has been bringing techno to the hard dance crowd for just over a year now. From humble beginnings at the George IV on a Thursday night to now sitting alongside the legendary Saturday techno nights like Nuclear Free @ Club 414. It is fair to say they have come along way in a short time. With an eclectic bunch of residents playing alongside techno stars like D.A.V.E the Drummer and the Liberators, as well as getting djs more known for banging out hard dance to come and play techno. They have also teamed up with the Wired afterparty boys to create Infectious, a Friday night party combining hard house and techno over two rooms at the lovely Deep Blue in SEOne.
I probed the minds of Marco Pilf and B.S.E, two of the residents and promoters to find out more about the plans for techno domination.
How did Techstyle come about and who came up with the name?
Firstly Dan, I would like to say how overwhelmed the crew and I are that you have chosen Techstyle for an interview topic for Harderfaster.
About 1 1/2 years ago I had the idea of putting on my own party. Initially this was because as a techno dj, sets were hard to come by and by having my own party it meant I could play out every month.
In December 2003 I noticed that the George IV advertised the venue for mid week slots, so I saw this as my chance to start a techno event. I approached a few Harderfaster djs that I knew played techno and together we created TECHSTYLE.
The name Techstyle was a joint invention really, we wanted it to sound techy but not your average dark name normally associated with techno events. We wanted the name to sound a little less aggressive with a more relaxed sound to it.
You have quite a varied group of residents, who are they and what particular brand of techno do they play?
OK in no particular order you have: G-Whizz, he plays seriously pounding UK acid techno! Marcopilf plays driving European techno, quite a lot of Italian influences. Tyrone plays dark pounding metamorphic, I think he called it, techno. VoodooBass spins some truly great tech-breaks. Then there’s me! I play mainly acid techno but the earlier I play the funkier my set becomes as I’m quite partial to the funky end of the techno scale. And finally there is Stakker, a TechStyle founder who’s been traveling the world for the last year and returns to us this month. He’s known for playing pounding electro beats that we’re looking forward to having back!
Would it be fair to say you are trying to bring the Techno sound to the more Hard Dance orientated crowds? If yes, how are you marketing yourselves?
Yes, as a collective of techno djs that have a bond with the hard dance scene in one way or another, we noticed that techno and hard dance had started to merge with each other and that the clubbers had started to dance to techno at hard dance events.
With this in mind, we decided that our event should be a more approachable techno event for the hard dance clubbers that may want to venture over for a preview of the genre. I have heard it so many times whilst talking to ‘hard dance’ clubbers that they hate techno and then I would turn around and see them dancing to a techno track.
So from the beginning whilst being an actual techno event we wanted to educate the hard dance scene, hence our motto ‘the birth of a new attitude’. So just for the record ‘we are not from the dark side’! We play a wide range of techno like electrotech, bassline breaks, funky techno, tribal tech, techno, pounding techno & acid techno.
What would you say to attract someone from a bigger party on a Saturday night down to a techno party at 414?
Well, you have to offer something different, which we do! With our varied music policy, including regular guest djs, our truly up for it crowd and the recent and ongoing improvements to the 414, we at TechStyle promise it to be a party you’ll want to return to.
What does techno actually mean to you?
Techno to me technically means electronic sounds manipulated to produce a rhythmic and energetic sound, it means mature dance music, it means percussion, it means sounds but mainly its all about how it makes you feel. You can’t beat the sound of rhythmic bongos in a funky techno track it just makes you wiggle! Like most music it has a different meaning to each and ever one of us.
I think most hard dance/house clubbers will eventually end up liking techno in one form or other. I don’t think most people are aware of the variety of techno and would be surprised how much they hear over a weekend even on the radio in various forms.
Techno is one of those genres that seems to have waves of popularity, why do you think that is?
You’re right. I think it’s down to a stigma, if you’d like, attached to it. Some people think techno is a dull repetitive form of music where not much happens. After a little education people see it for the varied and detailed form of music that it is and learn to appreciate it. So I think the waves happen as lovers of other styles of dance music pick up on techno, find they like it, and adopt it. I think this sort of thing is happening at the moment in the hard dance scene.
You started on Thursday nights at the George IV and then moved over to 414. Why the change and how are you settling in at 414?
Thursday nights at the George IV was a good starting point for us, it was cheap enough for us to afford if things went wrong. It gave us a chance to learn the ropes of promoting and the George IV was at that time well known for school night events.
Later on in the year we had a few problems with the management of the George IV who wouldn’t confirm our dates which meant we couldn’t promote our night until the last knockings, so we decided to go and hunt for another venue.
We didn’t have far to look and found a new home at the infamous 414. For our first event we decided to re-launch the night and had 3 very special guests D.A.V.E the drummer, Chris liberator and Jon Rundell. Needless to say for a Thursday night party it was rammed.
At that particular time Club414 had just decided to go back to its techno roots, so we were very lucky when the lovely Louise and Tony who own Club414 offered us a monthly weekend slot which is the 3rd Saturday of each month.
We are settling in very slowly as some clubbers are a bit dubious of the 414 but with it recent revamp and lovely staff I can’t see why. But we are slowly getting there with the help of Louise and Tony and hopefully we will see more and more attend as we gain strength.
You’ve just had your first birthday (well you will have by the time this goes up), what are your plans for the next year both musically and guest wise.
The first birthday was fantastic! Wow! Has it really been a year? As for the coming year well, I can tell you now that you can expect Roland The Bastard, and Rachel Racket in the coming months but I’m hardly going to spoil all the surprises now am I!? Suffice to say we are going to be bringing you the best-established artists in the techno business and the boys and girls who are on their way up!
What would be the ultimate Techstyle line up?
I think our inaugural party at Club 414 was pretty much there with Chris Liberator & D.A.V.E The Drummer, Roland The Bastard and obviously the residents, and I think that would be mine.
I would also add the likes of Marco Bailey, Mauro Picotto and Lars Klein.
You are also involved in Infectious, a hard house/techno double genre party. How did this come about?
This all started in the beginning of summer 2004, three of my best mates Baz, Glenn (Type1) and Viki from WIRED were having a chat at their afterparty, when we decided we would put together an event like no other. It would involve two rooms, one techno and one hard house, with some of the best underground DJsound. With nearly 6 months preparation behind it we held our first INFECTIOUS event in November and it was one of the best parties I have ever seen, especially as we had put it together ourselves.
Your first one was very successful and well attended. What plans do you have for the next one and is this something you will be doing regularly?
INFECTIOUS will be hopefully be held every 3-4 months. We set this time span so that the best line ups could be achieved in both rooms and to make it a little more special.
The next INFECTIOUS will be held on March 11th @ The Deep Blue SEOne, this one has been the hardest event to put together as many of the named djs we have tried to book were already fully booked. But we have come out trumps and have the following djs playing for us:
Ian M (2 hour set)
Julian Liberator (flying in from Brazil via France)
Lucy Fur (who was out of the country for the 1st event)
Thermobee (top London techno producer, dj, label owner etc etc)
This event will sell out so for £10 concession list email email@example.com MOTD
How close together do you think the techno scene and hard house scenes are these days musically?
I think they are relatively close. You do hear quite a few influences of techno in hard house and vice versa. And I think it’s having a positive effect on both scenes.
More and more of the London techno djs like Chris Liberator and D.A.V.E The Drummer are appearing on Hard Dance line ups. Is this something you see happening regularly and can we expect to see the Techstyle residents on alongside them soon?
This is a trend that you’ll see continuing. I think that as the two groups of music lovers become more exposed to each style there will inevitably be demand for quality djs that appeal to both. Infectious at Deep Blue, where the TechStyle residents also play, is a perfect example of techno and hard dance mixing superbly.
Are any of you involved in music production or have plans to move in that direction?
With Vinyl Zoo I have had four releases, one solo, one with you, and two as the threesome of The Zoologists. I loved every minute of it! I’m hoping to get back in the studio soon I have loads of ideas buzzing around and oodles of acid lines taking up space on my PC!
I have Reason 2.5 and Cubase at home which I am teaching myself through trial and error. However I have been talking to Tyrone (our resident) and Hutch from KIK records about studio work.
As mentioned above Tyrone has been producing tracks recently and has just started a new label called KIK records with the first tracks released last month, side A: Grimey & side B: Bomba. Go check it out!
Our other residents all dabble so yeah I suppose we all have a hand in production so maybe in the future a new label may appear, let’s see!
Name your current top 3?
Baguette - Mauro Picotto
Discocop - OD404
Jetflange - Andreas Kauffelt
Get it together – where?what?when?
Pandomia – DJ Randy
Acid Dribble – Damien & The Geezer
Revolution 909 -Daft Punk
Vitalic - La Rock 101
Manipulated - Ben Sims
Are there any Techstyle anthems or trademark tunes from the DJs?
No, not really but If I play a pounding set I normally end with WITCHHUNT the Black Jackal on blackout audio.
I don’t really have any but I’d say Where? What? When? Get it Together is pretty close!
Quick Fire . . .
House or garage?
Up or down?
Marco: Ask Lucy? You probably find its up!
Bert or Ernie?
Ketchup or brown sauce?
Marco: Ketchup on everything!
Melodic or fluffy?
Marco: Melodic, I already have FUR!
Marco: He copied my answer!!!!!!!
Techstyle is the third Saturday of every month @ Club 414, Coldharbour Lane, Brixton. The next Infectious is @ Deep Blue, SEOne on March 11th.
Thanks to HouseGuy, Marcopilf & Pink Kitty for their pics.
Friday 11th March
Deep Blue / seOne London [map]
10pm - 6am
£10 Concessions MOTD
Email Concessions to INFECTIOUSEVENTS@HOTMAIL.COM
The Promotors of WIRED & TECHSTYLE proudly brings you a new hardhouse/techno collaboration event:
Held at the infamous DEEP BLUE @ SE ONE 11th March 2005
Over many years clubbers have been devided between the two genres, but recently they have become more associated with one another with the new crossover style tunes hitting the decks as the scene progresses.
So the two crews merged and INFECTIOUS was born, one room of hardhouse & one room techno the choice is yours. For the first event with have collected some of the uk's finest djs including the legendary Ian M, Julian Liberator, Lucy Fur, Thermobee, Type 1, Marcopilf and many more. With a huge sound system and lasers there will be two rooms with 15 djs in one night! This event is not to be missed.
This event will sell out so secure your £10 guestlist entry by emailing in advance to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Other Features By Latex Zebra:
From Little Acorns to Mighty Oaks - How Chilled in a Field has grown
Bar 414 unveils a new dimension with Base Mosquito
Brandon Block gets Funky 414 London!
Dissecting Scot Project
The HarderFather speaks! Meet him yourself at the HF vs The Residents Xmas Party
The views and opinions expressed in this review are strictly those of the author only for which HarderFaster will not be held responsible or liable.
| From: B.S.E on 8th Mar 2005 10:35.01|
Look Ma, I'm famous!
From: karl davis on 8th Mar 2005 11:23.05
great stuff gald its going so well long time no c, hope to head over in awhile n go mad
From: ~deleted1390 on 8th Mar 2005 12:15.14
No worries, its nice to see the "underground" getting some props rather than another interview of the month with a "Big Name DJ"
From: marcopilf on 8th Mar 2005 13:54.52
wey hey, look at us!! Techno is gathering pace in the hard dance scene, and I truly believe you will see alot more techno around so we will see you on the dance floor!!!
From: Type 1 on 8th Mar 2005 14:04.46
Excellent work guys!! Techno all the way!! Glade to be working with you mark!!
From: G-whizz on 8th Mar 2005 14:08.33
Yet another fine interview ! nice one Dan
From: voodoobass on 8th Mar 2005 14:58.21
ooh, can't wait to show me mum, haha!
From: slacky on 8th Mar 2005 16:03.46
Latex Zebra - The Parkinson of the Hard dance scene - Cool Interview
From: Chris Humphreys on 8th Mar 2005 16:27.47
Great Interview! The lads deserve success more than a lot of others. They keep it real and stick to doing what they love! Nice work guys!
From: SexLoveandMotion on 8th Mar 2005 19:49.37
Was at the First one @ Deep Blue, Excellent all the way. Bring back the TECHNO.
From: ~deleted9531 on 8th Mar 2005 20:04.53
Wicked interview guys, I'm so pleased to be a part of it. Bring on the 19th March...
From: Vivacious on 8th Mar 2005 20:06.28
Great interview guys! *wipes tear* I'm so proud of you all!
From: Lucy Fur on 8th Mar 2005 22:29.06
From: Tyrone on 8th Mar 2005 22:47.26
Nice one lads, thats brilliant!
From: Stakker on 9th Mar 2005 07:10.18
Good boys. Definitely on the map now. Lets keep pushing it.
From: DIRTYBITCH on 14th Mar 2005 17:33.04
Well done Mark!...xxx
From: Yojo - Cyberkitten on 22nd Mar 2005 11:31.52
Excellent interview. Wish Mark and the TechStyle crew every success! See you at the next one (an' look forward to having a TechStyle tour up to CK in MK) xx