Sketching _ Interview with Timothy Alexander
Ok.. well just to step back a little. You’ve relocated to Berlin. Is it possible to make a career out of techno in the UK or is moving abroad inevitable?
I have a day job which funds everything. A career in Techno is possible. You just have to get on with what you do and don’t expect to be ‘big’. Being distracted by fame and all that bullshit takes you away from making good quality techno. Don’t get bogged down with what is current either.
How long have you been there now? Has it been as productive as you’ve imagined? Any highlights or surprises along the way?
Yeah, it’s been about 4/5 months now and thanks are going pretty good. First few months was just settling in and working on a few pieces but since then I’ve been busy with my Sonic Groove EP, some remixes for friends and some new EP material. I’ve also been working on my attempt of a DJ/Live hybrid. One of the highlights had to be the Downwards night. Cut Hands was absolutely disgusting. And meeting Adam X was also a great highlight! Big surprise was the Unterton Panorama Bar night…Disco DJs and a live act that made me feel like I was in an episode of Fresh Prince or something. It was actually really good fun!
Have you been trying to get any gigs there, or is it saturated with ex-pat wannabes? hahaha
I’m next playing at Forsetzen in Neukölln in February alongside Doc Daneeka and Recondite. The promoters are from Manchester and put on the Continue night at Sankeys so should be a good laugh. I try not to push myself with gigs. If someone wants me to play, it means they’ve listened to my tracks and they appreciate what I do.
How do you think the influence of this period is going to be translated in the music and general direction of the label?
Well I’ve started to re-imagine our whole approach to releasing work and have some pretty interesting things lined up this year. Experimentation will play more of a role in the actual music. I’m hoping to have 4 EPs out this year on Diacope starting with “Omittance” out in late February/March. I’ve also got “Sentience” coming out on Sonic Groove which should be released around Spring.
And with the releases.. Is having a high profile remixer to back it up important? If you had to give a 101 on setting up a label & trying to establish a presence… what advice would you give?
Do your own thing, make sure you get a following of your own music before you start bringing other artists onboard. If you go down the route of bringing outside artists, how closely do they follow your philosophy? A big name may bring some immediate attention, but what if in 2 years time they’re not the flavour of the month anymore?
With the likes of Juno and Beatport, starting a label is ridiculously easy. However, the promotion takes 200% more effort than you think!
Do you miss the UK? Is staying in Germany forever on the cards?
Not really. When I went back at Christmas and I found it a little strange. It’s a hard place to live right now with everything that’s going on economically and politically. Maybe not Germany forever as I still want to explore Norway, Iceland and France.