circus maximus

Subversion et Globalisation

DJ et musicien, l'américain Jace Clayton trace des diagonales improbables entre les galaxies musicales les plus éloignées. Sous le nom de DJ/Rupture il trouve des affinités à la soul, la musique concrète et le hardcore digital en les intégrant de façon cohérente dans ses mixes protéïformes. Nettle, son second projet musical, participe également de ce décloisonnement culturel, puisque Clayton y transpose des fragments de musique traditionnelle d'Afrique du Nord dans un contexte digital évoquant Fennesz ou Kid 606.
Outre son esthétique de globalisation et sa façon unique d'appréhender la géographie musicale, le travail de Clayton est un manifeste pluriculturel festif engageant à plus d'un titre.

What were your first contacts with music? Which musics attracted you first ?
I wasnt interested in music at all until my mid-teens. i started listening to alternative rock bands (back when alternative meant something) and somehow quickly found myself a big fan of Japanese noise. it´s a chaotic trajectory--roots industrial, dub , electronica, jungle. i was huge Test Department fan.
Have you ever try to learn and play an instrument ?
iI know the piano a little bit, took lessons for a few years.

When did you start DJing, what were you into at the time?
1996 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 and listened abot it, the more i realized it had a 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 rhythm based...

When did you start producing music ? Can you briefly sum up your contributions in Toneburst, its raison d'être and contributors ?
i 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 dedication.

How 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...

Would you see your sets as musical decontextualisation or digression/fusion ? Or just mixing all the musics you like in a coherent and dynamic way ?
I 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 have 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 lazy.

There 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 ?

sure. 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 of sample-usage 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" scene?

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.

How 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.

What 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.

(Christophe Taupin)

DJ/Rupture Gold Teeth Thief (Tigerbeat6)
DJ/Rupture Minesweeper Suite (Tigerbeat6)
Nettle Build A Fort, Set That On Fire (The Agriculture)