K.A.R.L. talks T.E.C.H.
Reported by VinDiesel
Submitted 30-12-06 03:52
Through sheer hard work, focus and dedication over the past 3 years, K.A.R.L. has worked to become one of the best known djs on the London scene. From tech trance through to main room techno sets, K.A.R.L. has firmly established himself as one of London ‘s favourites, well know to many a HF-er who have seen his rise to prominence over the last few years.
Midyear 2006, just as he had established himself as one of London ‘s leading tech trance jocks which included his main room debut for the legendary Gallery at Turnmills; his music style evolved to what K.A.R.L. himself defines as T.E.C.H. A powerful combination of techno, tech house and tech trance combined with an array of his own productions T.E.C.H. saw K.A.R.L. dazzle crowds at leading techno, trance and harder edge parties across the capital and beyond in 2006.
K.A.R.L.’s due diligence has not only applied to being behind the decks, but within other areas of the industry including helping to create and promote the hugely popular Saturday daytime party One, his work on parties such as Twisted and Faith and his production work including setting up Elektrotek Digital with the legendary Dean Peters and Turnmills rising star The Viceroy.
Next month sees K.A.R.L.’s huge and diverse list of parties that he’s played at expand to include headlining the Prehab room at the world famous Gallery at Turnmills, the first of many appearances at Turnmills for various parties over the coming months including Party Proactive, Kinetec and Vaccine at The Gallery. I caught a few moments with this ever increasingly busy chap as he braces himself for his busiest year yet ahead of his headline slot at Prehab at The Gallery on January 5th.
You were predominately known for being a trance dj, but have evolved to playing more tech based sets. Why was this and what genre of music did you learn to mix in?
I was playing techy based trance for quite some time and it literally was stumbling across other types of techy based music whilst out shopping for tunes and out clubbing that opened my ears to other genres that were rooted in the same idea as the one I played. It felt like a very natural progression and whilst I started learning to mix in tech trance it is not that far removed from some of the tech that I will be playing at Prehab or indeed at other events like the main room at Party Proactive. For me its just good quality dance music on a techy tip which some of the leading trance jocks like Eddie Halliwell, Paul van Dyk and Ferry Corsten have been embracing for years.
I was also getting sent great funky techno demos from Marcopilf about a year ago and wanted to find out more about this music, so I also blame him for some of the reason for me liking this T.E.C.H. music. Lol!!!!
It’s said that to get ahead of the very wide and competitive range of djs out there, you have to offer something distinct, something different that marks you out from the rest. How do you define your style?
I definitely agree with that statement. As far as my style, I call it T.E.C.H. — a fusion of techno, tech house & tech trance. Music which often has a driving, dirty but groovy & funky feel to it.
You’ve played both opening and closing sets, either can be difficult, but which do you most like?
I don’t have any preferences to be honest. I like both as it gives me a chance to showcase the various styles of T.E.C.H. music that I play. Of course everybody wants to play the peaktime sets but it is just as rewarding to do a warm up and then read the message boards after, and people say it was a musically amazing party. I have a saying which I firmly believe in which is ‘Always play the right music for the right time.’
How do you go about constructing your sets?
I think about the party I am playing at and also who is on before me & after me, and different parties have different crowds.
For Prehab it will be a mainly tech funk set. Stuff like Cirez D, Valentino Kanzyani and The Filterheadz. For Kinetec it will be more rolling techno, stuff like Pedro Delgardo, Hertz, Axel Karakisis.
For Vaccine it will be more tech trance. Stuff like Marcel Woods, Randy Katana, Sander van Doorn.
For Proactive it’s a mixture of all three.
In 2004, you teamed up with Conrad to launch the highly successful Saturday daytime party ONE, which supported many a new dj and established name in the London scene. What do you think were key reasons for this party being such a success?
I think most of the success was down to the venue. I am not going to delude myself and think we were bigger than we actually were, which is a common mistake made by some promoters after one successful party. It was free entry with cheap drinks and a place to meet up before a night out or come and hangout at. Of course we promoted the party and gave some djs their first opportunities to play out, so they got behind it so word spread about the party, but I always said it wouldn’t run forever.
People often ask if we are going to restart it, but why? It wasn’t that busy for the last few parties, so if it wasn’t busy then, why would it be busy now?! We had a great eight month run of really busy and memorable parties and I want to keep them memories.
Why do you think there is lack of a high number of trance parties in London ?
I think there is a lack of good quality parties full stop in London. There is too much of the same old, time after time and too few promoters who are willing to stick their necks on the line and do something different. It’s one of the reasons why parties such as Party Proactive have done well this year because they have offered something completely different to what everyone else is doing.
Look at two of the most successful parties in London this year: The Gallery and Party Proactive. Both play a wide range of cutting edge dance music in the main room. In my opinion, there is a lack of parties which do this on the underground scene and that is one of the reasons why the scene has come to a bit of a standstill. Not enough promoters take risks. They just stick with a tired old formula which obviously isn’t working anymore and do not want to embrace other music styles which are currently popular.
As far as trance goes, there are good parties out there such as Vaccine for your cutting edge lineups, and on the underground tip Boundless, Spangulation and Zoology Trance are fantastic parties. Electronic Sessions is another party to look out for. It has the potential to be a major force on the underground scene.
You once said to me that your New Year’s resolution was to be the ‘number 1 trance dj in
London ‘. How close do you think you are to achieving this?
Well, once I saw Jurrane was emerging as London ‘s no 1 trance jock I kind of gave upon that one. Lol!!!!!!
You’re often mentioned in many people’s list of the best djs, but who are your favourite djs at the moment?
I have various favourite djs. From the leading jocks such as Sander van Doorn, Pedro Delgardo, Paul van Dyk, Eddie Halliwell, Valentino Kanzyani and Andy Farley, through to some of London ‘s finest like The Viceroy, Jurrane and Marcopilf. All of these guys always play music which gets me up & dancing which is what it’s all about.
You’ve built a steady career over the past three years, was this well planned or more ‘go with the flow’?
It was definitely a case of go with the flow, but have been lucky enough to get to a level where I can take things seriously but still have fun.
This year saw you make your debut at Twist. You played both in the main room and arcades there. How do you find playing to a crowd of somewhat weary clubbers who have been out all night, compared to those with a fresh set of legs the night before?
First of all can I say, I was honoured to be asked to play the main room at Twist. It has a very strict policy of who plays the main room and the fact that I am not a hard house dj made it even more satisfying, so a massive thanks to Steve and Jennie for booking me. As to how do I find playing at afterparties, I think the music has to be groovy and interesting with no big breakdowns, which is why I think techno and hard house work perfectly. Often people are flagging so they need music that has energy and doesn’t stop for too long.
Your change in music style and steady rise in profile as a dj is best seen for me in your massive main room sets for one of the biggest parties of 2006, Party Proactive. How did you end up being involved in Party Proactive and what do you think has been the key to this parties undoubted success?
I have known Paul and Jo for a number of years and played for them pre Turnmills and was booked to do the first ever Party Proactive at Turnmills in May 2006. I like everything they are about, their forward thinking mentality, Paul and Jo’s attitude to not only the industry but clubbers and individuals alike. It’s a refreshing change to the old way and we can all see it’s clearly one that works.
I was then invited back to play a later set in November and it is only the start as I feel we are so suited for each other. Party Proactive is set for massive things next year and am chuffed to be included in its plans. Plus it’s one of the few places where I can truly play K.A.R.L. music alongside world class djs in a world class venue.
The past year has seen you move into production. I see you have worked with Dean Peters on a few projects. He is a legend from what some say is the golden era of hard house (1999– 2001). How did this come about and can you tell us a bit more about your new label Elektrotek Digital. Is this solely going to be focused on techno music or will you be producing a wider range of music?
Dean and I have been friends for years and we both have arrived at producing this kind of music from different angles and at different points in our careers. For me I am just embarking on the production journey with a mind full of ideas and influences. Dean is an incredibly talented producer who has very little left to prove to anyone. There are very few who have produced some of the quality that he has and done what he has done over his career, and we both have got into this kind of tech music at exactly the right time. Both of us are embarking on the same journey feeding off each other’s strengths to make some new cutting edge music and it’s been really rewarding for the both of us to see the results being well received, and it’s only just ‘The Beginning’ (no pun intended)!!!!
As such the label Elektrotek is intended to showcase not only what we are pushing out of the studio, but also cutting edge music from a range of producers. The first track for the label is a collaboration between two djs/producers who are normally renowned for their trance in the shape of Frase and The Viceroy, who have knocked one of the filthiest slices of tech with ‘Search Warrant’ already hammered all summer long by Marco V. We will be following this up with ‘Fluxx’ and ‘Future Funk’, two tech funk tracks by Dean Peters and myself.
Where do you get your influences for developing tunes?
By listening to tracks and going ‘I like that sound’, by sitting in the studio and going through sounds with Dean and by just having ideas in my head.
Who are the producers that you have particularly followed and liked?
I love producers like Cirez D, Sander van Doorn and Valentino Kanzyani mainly and I think the tracks I have had a hand in producing reflect this. But I also grew up listen to a lot of 80s electronic music such as Depeche Mode, Human League and New Order and love that whole electronic sound.
And finally you are headlining the Prehab room at The Gallery, Turnmills on January 5th who are hosting a best of London line-up to kick off their 2007 Gallery residency. What will you be planning on playing and who else on the line-up are you looking forward to seeing play?
I’m really looking forward to this. I played for Prehab in its early days at the legendary Southside Bar and it’s great to have seen it grow and now host a room at The Gallery. The line up is superb and in resident Dave Irvine they have one of the best techno djs on the London scene. He knows his music inside out so can’t wait to hear him play in particular.
P.S. — hey I hear that there is a hip new bar in our local neighbourhood called Funky Gorilla, a bar that promises to bring the west end to suburbia. Will you be dropping off your demos into them, in the hope of opening up the minds of the locals to our great underground sound?
He he. I saw that place. Yeah why not. I can just imagine the locals dancing away to a bit of Sander van Doorn. I think it would scare the life out of them!!!!!!
Photos by Crimson - Crazy Fool and MadaO. Not to be reproduced without permission.
Prehab @ The Gallery - 1st party of 07
Friday 5th January
22:30 - 07:30
Click here to buy tickets
After its amazing rise in 2006, Prehab returns to The Gallery for its first T3 session of 2007.
2006 saw Prehabs amazing rise from free party to a Gallery room residency receiving recognition from top djs and producers.
Jon Gurd (The rendition, CR2 Records) - 'Prehab was one of the best nights I've played this year, it's truly all about the music for the punters and promoters which is very refreshing to see! '
Ali Wilson (Tekelec) - 'Really enjoyed playing Prehab @ The Gallery, an amazing crowd made this one of the best gigs I'ver played for a while!'
This month we bring you some of the finest Upcoming talent London has to offer. First up, our headliner, who is no stranger to turnmills, having rocked the main room for both the Gallery and Party Proactive we have the pleasure of rising techno star K.A.R.L. he has always been a firm Prehab favourite from the early days and we look forward to having him bring is funky driving techno sound to T3. Next up, another rising star in the making, famed for his dex'N'fx and his electro house style, we bring you Ben Gomori, who will be making his debut for Prehab this month. We have two more debut makers in support this month, Matt Kaycee, no stranger to big room action, will be opening the night for us, this boy is one to watch so make sure you are down the front early! Our final Guest this month is Rory McCart, another talent in the making, we welcome Rory to Prehab and look forward to the house sounds on offer!
In support of the guests, Prehabs residents are back in force. David Murtagh steps back in to the groove with some fine tech house and after receiving rave reviews from the last Gallery session and all through '06, Dave Irvine will be finishing off the night in the normal Prehab funky chunky techno way!
We cant forget T1 & T2 either, both with amazing line ups...
Riley & Durrant
King Unique 4hr set
Get your names in for the £8 concessions list!
2007 looks set to be another massive year, so we hope to see you down at the Gallery to start it off in style!
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Other Features By VinDiesel:
Bioshokk Triplicity: Matt Melody speaks to Webbo, with VinDiesel taking notes to make the magic three
Across the divide - It's Alex Mac and Zeebra Kid
Alf takes the Technikal View
Cheers! ReFre5h is 2
Get attracted to Magnetix
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: paul jack on 30th Dec 2006 09:16.31|
looking good sir!"
From: prehabDJ on 30th Dec 2006 11:26.54
Good interview mate, glad to have you down at Prehab.
Will speak to you during the week.
From: Tina Martin on 30th Dec 2006 11:28.20
A man that knows his music! Great interview hun 2007 looks like it's gona be a massive year for you and the new label..
Roll on 5th Jan..
From: Si T Fi on 30th Dec 2006 12:29.18
Nice one Mate! You've done fantastically well in 06, im sure 07 is gonna be even bigger!
From: Jennie B on 30th Dec 2006 16:01.33
Nice one Karl!
Once an enemy...now a great mate
Looking forward to having you back at Twist in 2007...if you can fit us in
From: Mizz_behavin on 30th Dec 2006 17:08.45
Quality interview hunny
Roll on 2007
From: Frase.org.uk on 30th Dec 2006 18:16.46
Great interview, 2007 will be nothing but success for imo one of the best DJ's on the London scene!
From: AENEA on 30th Dec 2006 18:35.00
awesome interview mate! keep up the good work, 2007 is gonna be a good one for you! I look forward to hearing your next set, i know it will be quality as always.
From: dr phil on 30th Dec 2006 18:35.39
Good work karl!
From: Alan-Banks on 30th Dec 2006 19:56.16
Nie work Karl - your patience and smart thinking have now paid off. 2007 is gonna be an even better year for you
From: James Terry on 30th Dec 2006 20:23.41
Top bloke with a mouth watering taste in techno. Wicked interview matey, see you on the 5th.
From: Jacob on 30th Dec 2006 22:29.29
From: Mizz Chief on 30th Dec 2006 22:36.37
Great interview mate - good luck in 2007 xx
From: dani d on 30th Dec 2006 23:43.16
Nice interview ,top fella!!!Best wishes for 2007!!!
From: anushka007 on 31st Dec 2006 00:07.03
wicked read babes, and go K.A.R.L.
love your work and wish you even more productive 2007
From: snowqueen on 31st Dec 2006 12:23.58
nice1..loved ur set @prple turtle in reading for mmentum, with all those classic choons, u topped it like a goodun
From: ~deleted1390 on 31st Dec 2006 12:29.03
A wicked and forward thinking DJ.
It's a pleasure to know you mate.
From: Jurrane on 31st Dec 2006 14:22.47
Great interview with a fantastic DJ and, more importantly, an awesome friend. Congratulations mate: you deserve every success and I hope 2007 brings more of the same success you've enjoyed over the past few years. Onwards and upwards!
From: Ashley James on 31st Dec 2006 14:48.50
Good work mate. See you very soon I'm sure.
From: Mat Lock on 31st Dec 2006 17:09.13
All the best for 2007 karl, it's going to be a busy one for you
From: Mike Harris on 31st Dec 2006 18:59.47
I met Karl when he was promoting one at southside and i was promoting Addiction, we instantly got on and have been best mates ever since!
He is not only one of the best dj's i know, but hes also one of the most forward thinking.
Ive watched his musical style/tastes develop over the years into this T.E.C.H music and i love it!
He's the only dj ive ever seen where you never know quite what to expect musically, which i think is brilliant because you never get tired of seeing him play as each of his sets are always unique!
Long may it contine, see you soon mate!
Best of luck for 2007 although im sure you wont need it!
From: marcopilf on 31st Dec 2006 19:41.37
Wicked Interview fella, such a great guy and fellow dj. Glad to be of service to you and another person converted
From: Martin Begley on 31st Dec 2006 20:30.21
It's kinda all been said!
From: theviceroy on 1st Jan 2007 10:32.21
K.A.R.L. is first and foremost a great ambassador for the scene in general, someone who has time for everyone and is genuinely interested in everyone and everything that surrounds him in the London scene.
Secondly he is one of the most forward thinking djs in London and beyond combining cutting edge music with the ability to always play the right music at the right time which makes him someone with a unique sound always guareented to rock the place which is a rare skill in DJs
Thirdly Ive been lucky to see K.A.R.L. develop his production, and has been responsible for some of my biggest tracks that Ive been playing at The Gallery such as Electric Storm and the Prodigy bootleg with Dean Peters and with more planned for next year he is truly one to watch.
A true gent and a great friend, congrats on an amazing 2006 and hope 2007 is an even better one
From: VinDiesel on 1st Jan 2007 12:52.58
hI GUYS . glad you enjoyed the interview. It was my upmost pleasure to interview one of the most prolific, hard working and most down to earth djs , you could ever meet. K.A.R.L. has helped me expand the boundaries in opening me up to techno music. And put up with my many wind up ups about the fluff!!! he he!! See you for a jar or two in the funk new happening Kingsbury ..when i get back from Goa...!
From: dimitry on 1st Jan 2007 15:18.34
well done mate. see you soon
From: suzy-q on 1st Jan 2007 20:17.55
awesome stuff K.A.R.L.
From: Pandora S-K on 2nd Jan 2007 09:38.29
Nice little read there C.H.A.V
See you on Friday 5th!
From: Alex Buck on 2nd Jan 2007 09:45.04
There's not much I could possibly add to what has been said already. One word does it all - L.E.G.E.N.D.
From: Carine on 2nd Jan 2007 13:06.03
One was such a good little party, I really miss it
Karl - the sky is the limit for you and I know 2007 will be a great year. See you Friday
From: 2 PhUnKEd Up on 2nd Jan 2007 13:38.10
Fantastic stuff Fella. It's all going down properly... Very happy for you. See you soon...
From: the Greg on 2nd Jan 2007 20:45.15
THE KARL-MEISTER! GO ON MY SON!HERE'S TO A MAMMOTH 007!
From: Glyn Waters on 3rd Jan 2007 15:13.26
Nice read mate, looking good for '07
From: Nishhh.....! on 3rd Jan 2007 15:39.31
Best Dressed Dj on the scene....ay KARL?
From: sexyminx on 3rd Jan 2007 21:32.15
Wicked interview Karl, nice one Keep up the good work & all the best for 2007 and the future x
From: Lady Bianca on 4th Jan 2007 06:53.18
Very nice interview!!! You deserve it! Where on earth did you dig that pic up from.. LOL!! All the best xxx
From: dean peters on 4th Jan 2007 10:01.20
I think you look fab in that pic Bianca!
From: *cheeky chick* on 4th Jan 2007 11:01.46
and 2 of them photos are mine
From: benz on 4th Jan 2007 12:25.43
good work Dude, looking forward to playing alongside you on Friday!
From: dean peters on 4th Jan 2007 12:58.28
This is my 2nd attempt at writing this - the first effort really didnt do Karl justice.
As many are aware I have known Karl since 1989 when we both worked together for Natwest! Our paths drifted apart but we were reunited in a rather strange way - across the decks at Camden Palace - a few years later. A story in itself...
Karl has always been a good friend and therefore my opinion will be biased but I have not come across anyone who has such a vast knowledge of dance music (although he is too humble to admit this). But this hasnt happened by accident because Karl has an unrivalled thirst for music and for extending his musical knowledge. I think this drive is shown clearly within his sets which I know he spends considerable time researching to try and get his music just right. Right music/ right time as he always says.
Like he has done for many already Karl has opened my eyes to different styles of music and through his enthusiasm I am once again re-establishing my love for dance music.
Certainly the most forward thinking DJ I have come across and therefore it is a pleasure to work in the studio with him because we are always trying something new.
Im lucky enough now to be starting a new label with Karl and I cant wait for the journey.
Top man/ dj/producer - wishing him all the best for 2007.
From: Lorenzo Barrero on 4th Jan 2007 16:05.43
Top interview mate, and from the Tech master! Roll on another great year for you!
From: Becka on 4th Jan 2007 22:05.49
Wow what else can I say that hasn't been said already. One of the most straight thinking, down to earth guy in the industry i know. Someone that really know's and appreciate's their music and is always very open minded. Always such a pleasure to be out and about with. Good luck in 2007! Mwahxx
From: blondie on 5th Jan 2007 08:44.05
Great interview Vin, with a great person.
Congrats on conquering clubland Karl, I still prefer the fluffy trance though!
From: Shaf De Bass on 5th Jan 2007 09:43.26
I met K.A.R.L when I used to flog him CDs in Camden Market!
He was buyer @ Cyberdog, I was seller @ Alphamagic. Good ol' days!
From: dave_irvine on 5th Jan 2007 09:56.29
Nice read guys. Looking forward to having you down at Prehab tonight mate!
From: Mat Lock on 5th Jan 2007 10:27.53
Are you wearing pink tonight Karl ??
From: STACE on 8th Jan 2007 18:22.44
Nice one K.A.R.L! How many comments????!!!
From: Maria on 10th Jan 2007 13:33.43
Nice one K.A.R.L. Keep it tech! mmmwwhhhaaaaa
From: K.A.R.L. on 12th Jan 2007 15:53.27
Wow !!!!! Cheers everybody for their kind comments and a massive thanks to everyone who has supported me over the last year. You know who you are.
If this year is half as fun as last year I'll be very happy.
From: Andy Dunford on 12th Jan 2007 17:02.17
Can't really add much to what has been said above but I think the amount of repsonses says it all.
I'd like to echo what Dean Peters said, there's few on the scene who have such an in depth knowledge of so many different parties and also such an in depth knowledge of music.
Being a total trancehead myself, it's always a pleasure to see Karl grin when he occasionally plays a techno record that has me jumping around the room
Well done mate
From: Twisted Hannah on 21st Jan 2007 04:35.04
BUSTED!! You rock! Hope you are well and you deserve all that is coming to you. Best luck in the future hunny. Miss ya!