The Long Game _ Interview with Nomad Spectrum

Nomad Spectrum

Part of the subsekt crew & cultivator of dark spacy ambient techno – Paul Spectrum will be supplying a live set of his own material for our August mix – live on Fnoob & Ustream.

His show – Distant Void – is one of the most popular on Fnoob, however he rarely even plays his own tracks. A big fan of the phrase “Play the long game” – he has simply been waiting for the best setting to showcase his unique take on the dark techno sound. This is probably understandable given his punk and live performance background. Past and present lives have involved punk bands, terror jazz in Ronny Scotts, ambient rooms, art instillation’s, special commissions and computer game soundtracks. Its certainly been colourful!

The whole event is even more meaningful when you consider that it is being performed live – so its a bit of an exclusive to say the least.

So, tell us a little about your background? You have had some interesting phases so far!

Well I suppose if I go back to the beginning, I got into punk back in the late 1970’s.. but I was already attracted to bands like Throbbing Gristle, DAF, Ultravox – with John Foxx. During this time I was going to Northern Soul underground warehouse parties and the gay high energy scene so in a way a real mixed bag of musical tastes. If I’m honest, was I still living in London I’d be going to the same sort of thing. I still like going to the local pubs near me and watching a random live band as you can’t beat it. Not that there is much choice here.

And when did you get interested in Techno? What tracks grabbed your attention?

Hmm interesting one as I look at the bands I have mentioned before as the catalyst of techno. I always loved Cabaret Voltaire. Like most youth who were into the alternative scene at that time I was an avid listener of John Peel, so I most likely heard what would be classed as a pure techno track there. I remember listening to Voodoo Ray and thinking that sounded pretty fresh and then producers like Joey Beltram came along, as did the rest of the Detroit collective. I remember seeing bands like The Shamen turn from an indie band to a more electronic direction which was more my sort of sound.

When did you start DJ’ing? You were playing out regularly weren’t you?

I began DJ’ing in the late 80’s. I was playing Acid Jazz at parties, but that was for fun and I didn’t have a clue really. When I got myself a pair of technics I never looked back. I certainly was a vinyl junkie and was buying anything and everything. Thank goodness for second-hand record shops. I then got invited to play some squat parties and it sort of took off. I had a couple of residencies in little techno nights around south London and as I had a lot of contacts in the gay scene, I played regularly at gay fetish clubs and even played at Trade once.. which was really the pinnacle of my DJ career.

So what happened then? You took a bit of a break from it, didn’t you?

Yeah – The real reason I broke away from the scene in 2000 was my partner at the time wanted kids and we both wanted to get out of the club scene and move out of London. Since she was Welsh we moved to South Wales – and I became normal for a few years with a well-paid job. I failed as I couldn’t hack it. It was just not me. I hated the idea of it as I was working my guts out to make someone else’s money

Haha – your current job is a bit more humane so.. You work as an advisor for a charity now?

Yeah I work as a Debt Project Worker for Citizens Advice.  As for what that entails – not sure where to begin.  I’m basically trying to get a client out of the financial pickle they’re in and try and save the roof over their head. The problem is that debt is usually not the only issue; people could have just been made redundant, have a mental health issue, or be experiencing domestic violence, so really, it’s dealing with all those problems as well. My workload is insane I have roughly 89 clients right now.

Nomad Spectrums exclusive live mix for subsekt will be available on Fnoob @ 2200GMT Friday 24th August 2012

And simultaneously on Ustream.

Event on Facebook :

Sniffing Butane is out now & available from Beatport

Enquiries: nomadspectrum [at] gmail [dot] com

Music production and history are my biggest passions in life. Though people often say that Techno is faceless and should be about the music blah, blah, blah.. I believe in the need to document the people and stories behind it. Techno is a very small world in reality and I think it needs a proper resource. I hope that everyone who is interested in Techno finds this blog accessible in terms of the way that it is written. I personally prefer to hear the artists voice as loud as the music and never enjoy synopsised and pasteurised versions of old conversation; the sort that's peppered with the occasional quote here and there.


  1. subsekt Mixtape #1 _ Unsigned & Unreleased music | subsekt - 20/04/2013

    […] Interview with Paul Spectrum on subsekt […]

Leave a Reply