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Interview : Wildtek

Wildtek is a German based DJ which is planning to have his first album out, after many EP out those last years. Before discovering his new production, he answered Tendances FY's questions. Let's discover him !

Hi Dimitri, first of all, can you introduce yourself briefly ?

Hi Florian, as said my name is Dimitri 'Pike', also know under the name 'Wildtek'. I'm DJ, producer, remixer, I also run a weekly radio show and when possible, events. I devote all my time, energy and love to sound in all it's aspects.

And about your music, how would you define it ?

Techno. I try to put in my productions many things I couldn't or don't want to talk about with words. Ideas, concepts, internal conflicts or expectations are all hiding somewhere behind sounds, tracks structures and drums.

What are you main musical influences ?

At top of all Detroit and Berlin techno but it would be very reductive to limit my influences this way and I find inspiration or influences in hip hop (huge fan of Wu- tang Clan), classical music, rock and pop music or in more obscure categories like darkwave/coldwave, since recently punk or even movie soundtracks.

Can you speak a little about your last track Microfunk Live ?

Microfunk is not my latest production but the latest I offered as a gift online. I'm a lover of Native Instruments Reaktor and sometimes, some 'ensembles' allows you to produce maybe not a complete live act but short suite of tracks following a mood/feeling or a concept due to the very complex structure of used instruments.

Microfunk is a project made from a very strange sampler that works on a random basis, you couldn't produce two times the same sound/melody with it. I played with this ensemble a few hours and found something funky but still very minimal and felt the need to record it and then decided to offer it to those who follow what I do through Internet.

You're based in Germany like other minimal/electronic producers, how do you explain that Germany is the most important country of minimal music ?

Right, I'm now a Berlin based musician since a relative short time but my relation with the city started in 2003 when I played the Tresor club and joined the Frequency Berlin DJ team. Since 2008, I started to go there more and more and finally decided to live there. I also have very great friends in Cologne, Hamburg or Dresden. There I can tell you that Germany is a country where electronic music is alive.

It's not only Berlin like many peoples seems to think but definitely all Germany. I think German peoples supported electronic music since the very beginning and it's good to remember that Kraftwerk, pioneers of the genre are from Germany. Detroit techno has been supported by Dimitri Hegemann and Tresor label/club since 1991 ! A bit later, big clubs all over Germany was as well supporting this music, add to this big events like Mayday... Electronic music, minimal or not is definitely part of the German modern culture. They took it not like a trend but like an evolution of what was available before and helped it to be alive and evolving at many levels.

Also, from what I know, they didn't suffered of repression like us in France. Remember the 90's... Press classifying us as gays (nothing on my side against gay peoples)under drugs pushing buttons and claiming 'we make music', stopping any efforts to organize rave party's with CRS and police / administration limitative requirements for any events.

Violence against ravers, disinformation and many attempts to reduce the techno culture as something only for peoples on the edge of the society.

Many countries like Belgium, Netherlands and Germany had it hard at first to believe how bad it was going in France.

I remember times where just saying you're a french DJ / producer was like a joke because France was just not existing on the worldwide electronic music map. We have to give a lot of respect to Laurent Garnier, Eric Morand, the F Communications label and many lesser know peoples for fighting and wining a minimum international reconnaissance for French musicians. I think about Technopol, Out Soon France, Coda, Trax, etc...

The 'more open' position of Germany authorities regarding this emerging culture certainly helped artists to develop a more professional approach of events, production, business around music. So far that events like Love Parade showed to the world how one million peoples can party in the streets without major troubles (except this past summer disaster and I'm very sad for all those peoples who was basically there to party and died or have been injured in such a catastrophe).

But in this case the music and artists are no way under responsibility.

What about your upcoming projects ? Any EP or 12" planned ? Or maybe a new album ?

Well, my last 12" was produced on the Detroit Techno Militia label right before the summer and has been extremely well received by many techno DJ's. Anthony Shake Shakir, Alan Oldham, DJ 1315 aka The Butcher, Claus Bachor, they play it and they all said me how they appreciated my track 'Death Announced'...

This comfort me in a dream I have, starting my own vinyl label. But at the same time, I'm still a bit cold about this project. If I see it from a passionate musician point of view... I press a vinyl after replying this interview.

But a label is a business, you need to make it 'reliable'. Many past experiences learned me that it's not possible to work only with passion. If I'm artistically ready to manage a label, I'm actually not totally sure on the financial aspect.

I would need to play more in renowned clubs and/or festivals to make it 'reliable'. I'm not anymore a young talent but I'm not already an established artist so patience and hard work will be the key for me I think.

Next projects are on the table, a couple of excellent labels asked me for material and I'm working on it. I'm sometimes a bit long but I want to provides my very best, not just 'something'.

Now, I have to explain something. My move to Berlin has been a cultural and artistic shock for me. I shared time with peoples from very different social levels and very various culture / education origins. A concrete example ? I had profound discussions with some squatters / punks / anarchists and on the other hand with managers of big mainstream TV channels or marketing experts from medical products companies...

All of these discussions and moments deeply convinced me in my ideas or at some points helped me to think another way. I didn't fundamentally changed my visions but I found alternatives perspectives and possibilities.

I had to put this on some music, some tracks. So, I recorded what I would call an album, the very first I ever writed. The project will come under the name 'Reverse Thinking'. Reverse because I had to go reverse in my established ideas coming 'I guess' from my education to understand the real meaning of what we was talking about. Thinking because these discussions and meetings made me think, a lot. Something has changed inside me and my music is going to reflect it more and more.

I don't want this project to go in hands of a label that is not mine because it's the most intimate tracks I ever writed. So, I'm going to put them out on my digital label 'Wildtek Virtual' that was on hold since a while.

And what about playing in club ? Do you prefer playing live or DJ set ?

I'm actually looking for a place where I could re-start my party originally started in Belgium called 'In Space With...' I hope it will end up as a great regular event in a cool place. I fight for, believe me.

There is so much great DJ's and Live PA's around me I would like to help being better know, so much artists I respect and I would like them to play at my events, so much others who helped me at one point or another and my wish is to give them a good 'thank you'... I'll don't stay there sitting and waiting, I'll make it happen one way or another.

Another project is actually at work with one of my best friend and great DJ in Belgium about a tour but I can't really talk about it right now since it's a bit of a surprise. But, we're going to be on the road for a 3 months period in territories we never had the chance to visit before and we're quite excited about it.

Regarding playing live or DJ... Let me tell you that I'm a pure vinyl DJ even if I use digital techniques regularly these days. I worked on a live PA but I don't know, I don't feel it. With vinyls, I can better interact with the dancefloor. I can do things that even the latest Macbook Pro will be never able to let me do. Also, on a very personal opinion, I would feel pretentious playing only my own music during a live PA despite I love to hear others playing their own... Paradox !

And do the live influence your music ?

Of course ! I'm very impressed by few live performers actually. The Black Dog from UK who manage to play techno and ambient or 'electronica' with maestria, Substance (DJ Pete) from Berlin who is a guy I play productions from in nearly all of my sets, I love his music. His live performances are simple (Mac + MIDI controller) but so good musically talking. Monolake who constantly defy the laws of multimedia performances, Shed also from Berlin who produce so incredible tracks, again from Berlin guys like Regis and Function, Ancient Methods, Redshape, my deepest dream on this side would be to see/hear Autechre from Warp... I just love them.

I also had the opportunity to enjoy some pure punk concerts these last weeks and I can't explain how much energy was coming out of the scene, it was a surprise to me as I've never been into punk music before... It's changing :-)

Who know ? Maybe I'll shave my head and keep only a few pink hairs on it... Just kidding. But yes, I've been recently impressed by few punk bands from Sweden and Germany who offer this music something new and fresh and confirms the famous sentence 'Punks Not Dead' !

On my side, at the best, if a club / festival let me do it, here is the set up I would use :

2/3 technics, my loved EFX 500, computer + 2 MIDI controllers, drum machine, maybe one special synthesizer and the luxe would be a VJ who know well what / how I play... And I would love to work with a classical trained musician for a very special idea I wish to develop. This way I could do a melting pot of Live / DJ performance in which I would feel confident.

Finally, when would we see you in Paris ?

I absolutely don't know but I can only hope 'as soon as possible'...

Paris has always been a bit like a legendary city for me. The Rex club, the Batofar, the Tolbiac bridge, Laurent Garnier, Manu Le Malin, Guillaume La Tortue, so much references that helped me to forge my passion. I even discovered about Frederic Djaaleb (Jeff Mills manager) on a radio show called 'Max Radio Libre' on Fun Radio... It was a daily nighttime radio show and 'Max' had many guests like Frederic and there was even, for a few months, the 'without concessions' show by Laurent Garnier on Friday evenings...

I don't have a booking agent and work almost alone. So, it's difficult to find contacts there. But if this interview can help me to be heard :

" I'm open to any propositions " Ah Ah Ah !

Thanks a lot for those answers and see you in Paris !

Thanks a lot for offering me to be read/heard. So, Paris, noted, at work on it ;-)

To illustrate this interview, let's discover an exclusive track To take away from his upcoming first album Reverse Thinking.

Le myspace de Wildtek

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