Militant _ Interview with REALMZ
Sonic Groove leviathan REALMZ comes out of the shadows for some dialog and a mix that will challenge your understanding of what Techno is. Greatness!!
Rob D’Atri is a Pittsburgh based Techno Producer and has been making music and DJ’ing in one form or other, for quite a while now. Apart from his own label – Realmz Technologies, he has chalked up many releases on the seminal Sonic Groove.
His Bio reads exactly the way his mix for subsekt 013 sounds:
Architect in the realm of Techno, electro, experimental, ambient, post industrial and various other ineffable sound creations.. tending toward cinematic, surrealistic, dream like worlds with a strong focus on sound design and vibe.
The mix has been constructed with lots of love and care and the majority of the music here are Rob’s own tracks. He set out to do something a little different for us and he has succeeded for sure. We’ve been listening to Realmz for a while now, so it was really great to find out about the guy that’s responsible for the incredible music.
Next up on 014 is rare legend – Convextion – Wednesday 28th November 2012 @ 2200GMT.
Meanwhile.. Here is subsekt 013 with Realmz. Enjoy the words & music.
We were talking ages ago and I believe you were saying that you used to produce DNB. Was that the first electronic music to grab you?
Well actually.. I’ve never tried to produce drum & bass. It was just one of the styles I was into from around 94-95 to about 04’. Sometime around or after that the sound started to shift in ways I wasn’t feeling quite as much. As far as production, by the time I was able to afford a sufficient enough set up to make my own tracks I really didn’t feel compelled to make one particular style or another, I was more into just sonic exploration. I also felt that the drum & bass of the time was being produced at a level beyond my means technically, not to mention from lack of the proper equipment. I felt that D&B had progressed about as far as it could in many ways and that the production aesthetic began to demand most of its emphasis on the cleanliness and what people call the loudness wars – to the point of most tunes sounding rather clinical and sterile to me. At the same time I was exploring more of the techno/ electro angle along with everything else I was listening to at the time which I perceived as being much more open ended. I still go back from time to time and listen to some of my favorite d&b tunes…far too many to link to do it justice, maybe I’ll do a mix at some point in the future.
I’ve been attracted to various forms of electronic music for as long as I can remember, from 80’s pop to hip hop then to what some people call industrial/post industrial. The thing is that I discovered a lot of music in a short span of a couple years from groups like Skinny Puppy, Front 242, Coil, Throbbing Gristle, Ministry, Nitzer Ebb, among many others, around the same time I went to a rave on LSD and heard gabber and jungle for the first time and soon began listening to mix tapes and what not.
I have always experimented with different genres. Yes, from collaborating with friends to my earliest solo material which was a genre-less blend of elements from industrial, electro, experimental for lack of a better description.
There seems to be a good few producers who are finding success recently in Techno who’ve come from a DNB background. Are there any similarities between the styles?
There are some similarities. The stripping down of jungle to its more tech-y two step form with styles like tech step and in turn Neurofunk were pretty much directly influenced by what certain techno artists were doing at the same time, which was a return to a more stripped down, minimal, barebones and at times more militant sound. Also some of the DNB artists who pioneered this new direction sampled Kevin Saunderson’s Reese bass line which would go on to evolve into a staple of the new sound. There are still other tunes where you can hear the classic Detroit chord stabs being implemented. So yeah, as always there is a continuing bouncing back and forth of ideas between American and European sounds.
The attraction to drum and bass is definitely the vibe and energy when experienced on the dance floor in front of the proper sound system with the right tunes – it can be unbelievable. Like any style that I’m into though there’s probably only about 10% of the music that I’m actually in to. Also when jungle came out it sort of made other forms of dance music look primitive by comparison in some ways. Also a lot of it has to do with having been there to experience first-hand the sound as it was unfolding and evolving. What I didn’t like was the increasing use of mc’s over time both live and on mixtapes.
Not sure how important they are but I think most people have different influences. A lot of mine come from outside the genre that I usually work in. My 2008 album Coagula was pretty genre-less and experimental.