Exclusive Interview with Steve Rachmad
Steve Rachmad is a Dutch techno producer, DJ and remixer. By many, he is considered a father of Detroit techno in the Netherlands, respected in the world of electronic music for his deep, groovy sounds that tend to rest on impressive strings, melodies, funk and soul.
Siam2nite had the opportunity to have an exclusive interview with Steve Rachmad, shortly before his performance at Glow Nightclub on Friday 4th January.
How would you describe your music in a few simple words?
Techno in the widest sense of the word.
For those that are not familiar with your music yet, what tracks should they listen to as an introduction?
That's a difficult one because I used so many pseudonyms but to mention a few.
Sterac – Secret Life Of Machines (100% Pure)
Ignacio - Virton (Music Man)
Sterac Electronics – Nightheat (Music Man)
Steve Rachmad – Bling It Up! (Rejected)
Parallel 9 – Dominus (Music Man)
There are so many more but these are just a few. On my Youtube channel is a bigger selections bundled together. I still have to find and add some more.
How did you get in touch with electronic music in the first place and made you start to create it and not just consume?
I started very young when I was 12 years old in the early 80's with electronic 80's disco, electro and pop stuff. When I started producing house music didn't even exist yet. But house music made it easier for me to step into the music world and made it possible to do it at home in my bedroom back in the days. Back in the days it was mostly pirate radio stations that got me into electronic music because they would play more underground than the national radio stations.
You are involved in Techno music for 25 years. Are you happy with the way the music has evolved over time?
Yes, very happy actually! It sort of evolves every now and then which keeps things interesting. From time to time electronic music has to re-invent itself so it doesn't become boring. But new technology, new generations of young people, collaborations of styles and people etc. all help it keep it going.
One of the things that make you unique is the fact that the equipment you use for production is mainly analogue. How come?
Actually the right word is “Hardware” because I do use some digital hardware as well. Simply because when I started there was only hardware to produce on. Nowadays I combine soft- and hardware but I do still prefer hardware because of it's sound being less static and I like knobs to edit the sound instead of the using a mouse. But at the end it is all about what you feel comfortable with and what you are used to. Instead of asking yourself what is better. It's all personal.
Your album “Secret Life of Machines,” which came out in 1996 is up to this date considered as one of the all-time techno classics. Now 17 years later you released a remastered release of the album. What was the motivation behind remastering it and in which ways does the remastered release differ from the original one?
It is different in a few ways. First of all the tracklisting is not completely the same. This is because I didn't have enough time to redo them or I thought some were not necessary for this moment in time. Some tracks that I really liked were in my opinion to fast for either the style or too fast for this moment in time. So I redid those tracks with my old machines and slowed them down and remixed them the same way as they were. Here and there I did some minor changes.
One other motivation was fans that were looking for the album but couldn't find it anymore. And friends/artists that convinced me with the fact that they thought it was timeless music which was not known by the newer generation of music lovers.
You are currently on a worldwide tour to promote your newly released album. In November you played in China and Hong Kong. Do you enjoy playing in Asia? Hoes does the crowd differ from the western crowd?
So far my experience with the Asian crowd is that in general the crowd is much more responsive than the western crowd. I guess we are a bit more spoiled because we have tons of techno parties to choose from weekly.
What were your highlights of 2012?
My 2012 highlights were a few this year. My alternative adventures at Fusion festival in Germany twice this year and Landjuweel at Ruigoord in Amsterdam, and my AustralAsia tour were all great and will stay in my memory for a while.
What were the most memorable moments of your career so far?
I can't just pinpoint them to just one memorable moment because there were so many and I experience new ones every year still like my 2012 highlights for example. But to name a few my releases on Derrick May's Fragile label and Robert Hood's M-Plant label. Two heroes of mine who wanted to release my music :)
What was the funniest thing ever occurred during any of your performances?
It was a time I was playing in Dublin, Ireland. I was doing the nigth with Thomas Krome. At some point he came all in panic to me while I was playing and pointing at the monitor next to me. I looked left and I saw that the monitor was on fire. Not just smoke but real flames came out of it. I froze up for a bit because I couldn't believe my eyes. Then I realised that I had to take my records away from the monitor and kill the fire. Which I almost did with a full glass of whisky.
On 4th January you will perform live at Glow Nightlclub here in Bangkok. Will it be your Bangkok debut or have you played in Bangkok before?
It will actually be my Thailand debut! Never played Thailand before so I'm really looking forward!
What can Bangkok’s party people expect from your performance here in Bangkok?
Expect a variety of some warm and funky techno and techhouse and more.
Thailand is famous for its food, especially its spicy food. Are you adventurous if it comes to food? Will you give it a try?
I loooove Thai and spicy food but can't handle it too spicy. Medium spicy is ok. Thai spicy is way too strong for me. I get sweaty and my head gets itchy. Thai food is my favorite food and I will try out stuff as long as it doesn't get to crazy within my standard. Already very much looking forward to the food :)