did you start DJing, what were you into at the time?
i bought turntables. i was a jungle dj at the start, back when
jungle was still very very interesting & evolving rapidly.
that´s what made me want to be a dj. rupture´s the
name i´ve been spinning under or more less since the start,97ish
i suppose.I´m know for my DJ work but i also release original
tracksas DJ/rupture. Nettle is mostly me, but sometimes a friend
in Madrid collaborates. Nettle began inbrooklyn and then moved
to Madrid. with Nettle we´re interested in composing taqsims
for electronics & samplers.a taqsim is a non-metered modal
improvision in arabic music, and the more i found out & read
listened abot it, the more i realized it
lot of connections to how i was programming with the laptop--
a heavily processed improvasitional piece that was anchored by
a very specific series of elements and techniques and evolved
with a rigorous logic in the middle of all that improv. freedom.
so with Nettle we explore this side of composing, not necessarily
did you start producing music ? Can you briefly sum up your contributions
in Toneburst, its raison d'être and contributors ?
was one of the founders of Toneburst. we got together late 96.
basically Boston, Massachusetts (where i was living ) had no scene
of experimental electronic music whatsoever. there was simply
no place to hear the music my friends and i were listening to.
there was a very strong and supportive radio network at the time,
so a lot of connections happened from that. we began doing experimental
audio- and visual-events in alternative spaces around boston.
we-d invite DJs, musicians, people doing installations and video
art as well. we wanted to really work on social environments ,
often we´d have a room for more dance or beat-oriented music,
and another with more live experimental stuff. IT was a fabulous
time. it´s over now, but we had a lot of amazing events
when it happened, a scene really grew & a lot of wonderful
community was made.i would help produce events. we were a collective,
collectively run. some people certainly did more work than others,
but we mostly shared the duties, and most of us were both event
producers & artists. it took massive amounts of time, i really
respect people who do events where they live, it requires a positive
did you decide to found Soot ? Has it to do with your setting
up in Europe? Why have you decided to set up in Europe, and why
Spain, and why Madrid and then Barcelona !??
Soot-- so i could release exactly what
i wanted to hear. i was doing a lot of radical programming &
i simply didnt see a platform for it. it is all 12" for djs
to work with. i want to start making CDs soon, though, i know
too many people with only cd players. even me right now, my turntables
are in madrid & i´m in barcelona. i came to ,europe
because of a spanish woman! first we were in nyc, then madrid.
it´s easier to be a working artist in a place with a low
cost-of-living. i love NYC but the place is so expensive it was
becoming impossible to remain dedicated doing what we love _AND_
pay rent every month. barcelona because it it more cosmopolitan
and curious and polyglot than madrid...
you see your sets as musical decontextualisation or digression/fusion
? Or just mixing all the musics you like in a coherent and dynamic
like to use the plurality of DJing to do many things at once:
to some people it will be a fun dance party, to others it will
be an alternative look at musical genealogy and influence, and
to some people it will just be confusing... I´m not interested
in decontextualization-- quite the opposite, when I DJ i create
a context for all the shifts I do. That´s really important.
work with music history but take a highly personal route through
it, but since i know the history of a lot of different styles
of music, i can then turn the history on its head in an interesting
way. the best abstract painters
a strong figurative ability as well. it´s similar with experimental
djing i think. i know how to rock a hiphop party & how touse
vinyl with more of a free jazz tradition, and when i DJ, all those
different performance modes come together to create my specific
context, to make all the different sounds talk together, sing.
these days decontextualization is a lazy thing. it meant something
back when Marcel Duchamp was doing it, but today it´s just
is an obvious geopolitical dimension in your work (DJ/Rupture
and Nettle) , could you precise and develop this concept/commitment
? I have the impression that Tradition and Digression are two
important axis in your work, do you agree ?
a friend once joked to me "you either listen to completely
synthetic music or completely traditional music". but basically
i look for soul in music, something that grabs me. and it happens
all over the place. Nettle is based around the idea of our imaginary
space somewhere home between south spain, north africa, and deep
brooklyn... we like to work with all our influences, to try and
bring lots of elements from music we love and make something personal
from that. but i love, for example, all the versions and histories
and tradition and innovation in reggae. that´s a fantastic
tradition because it goes so avant-garde and unpredictable!! when
i DJ i try to create stories, its a very narrative approach. i
like to begin people with something they can easily relate to
in a physical way (dancing) and then slowly move towards more
alien structures, while keep that original understanding between
me and the audience intact. so i like to cycle through genres
and styles, and mixing styles as well--going from a very smooth
hiphop mix style to a punk christian marclay type of improv turntablism.
or whatever i need to do to get the emotional effect i want. i
started off doing only jungle, spent a year or 2 in nyc doing
really experimental turntable work, and these days I combine those
two experiences. bilingual.
Do you feel close/influenced by the New York "Illbient"
yes! they were doing some AMAZING things in
the late 90s. WE, Wordsound, DJ Olive, Raz Mesinai, and all these
other lesser known people, they were doing these beautiful events
when people with a serious history in dj music were taking it
in radical new directions. the first experimental djing i ever
saw< was in nyc-- DJ olive & Firehorse-- and it inspired me
to start working with more than just jungle in my dj sets. i´d
been into avant-garde , musique concrete, noise, all this other
stuff, but i hadn´t encorporated them into my live performance
until i went to these events in NYC and saw that people could
do that in public and not be kicked out of the club!! sounds funny
but the DJ world has all these silly rules and i´ve faced
many angry crowds who´ve wanted me to play "dance music"...
Do you share Tigerbeat6's taste for critical recycling ?
at this point, at least for media-saturated americans, using
fragments of pop culture in something more underground is quite
normal. we like breakcore, so we´ll work with breakcore.
we like Timbaland, so we´ll be influenced by that too. i´m
not a fan of the pop music bootleg scene, mostly it is very simple
producers and DJs who have suddenly discovered the fact that you
can play 2 different songs at the same time. it´s bored
people playing with pop culture, shuffling it around like cards,
a very end-user, consumer approach. when i dj of course, everything
goes into the mix. after i did GOLD TEETH THIEF 2 people asked
me to do pop bootlegs. i used female vocals and composed my own
music. i´m not interested in pop´s shine.
do you work in the Nettle project ? Do you see it as a step beyond
DJing or something completely different ? I see Nettle as something
between traditional North African Music, DJ Scud and Fennesz,
do you agree ?
yes, i do agree! Those three areas are a big influence-- traditional
north african sounds & composition techniques, powerful noisey
serious beats, and then the more delicate textual electronica
complexity. Nettle is all original tracks. i spent a LOT of time
in the studio composing. The album was a very intense process
or evolution, erosion, layers of complexity & carving sound
out. i create the Nettle music with enormous attention to details.
so while it has certain stylistic things in common with my DJ
sets, the actual act of creating Nettle is completely different
than improvising with vinyl to a dancing crowd. Nettle comes from
this idea of living in an imaginary country -- between south Spain,
North Africa, and Brooklyn.
will be your next projects ?
the Nettle cd "Build A Fort, Set That On Fire" has just
been released on theAgriculture. I have 2 DJ /rupture remixes
coming out soon--a remix of Timeblind´s "Rastabomba"
on Orthlorng Musork CD/lp, a remix of King Honey (hip hop mcs
from philadelphia, VERY GOOD mcs!!) on Sound-Ink 12". in
February there will be a DJ /rupture vs. The Bug (Kevin Martin
from Techno Animal doing amazing heavyweight dancehall originals!)
12" on Tigerbeat6. around the same time there´s be
CD/12" on my own label, Soot. this will be a split 12"
between Rupture & Ove-Naxx.
Gold Teeth Thief (Tigerbeat6)
DJ/Rupture Minesweeper Suite (Tigerbeat6)
Nettle Build A Fort, Set That On Fire (The Agriculture)