Recloose On His DJ Career: "Expect To See Me in the Club Well Into My 60s"
You're an accomplished turntablist, having performed with Carl Craig's Innerzone Orchestra and the Uri Caine ensemble. Do you consider yourself first and foremost a DJ or producer? Which of those two roles is the most rewarding for you and why?
Um, thanks for the props, but I would definitely not say I was an accomplished turntablist. [Laughs] But I like to think I have my own spin on the art -- pun groan. I love both DJing and producing equally, but sometimes I'm more enamored with one over the other. At the moment, I don't get enough time to make my own music, so DJing has been a crucial creative outlet. I think the longer you do it, the more therapeutic it actually becomes. So while these DJ tours can be quite grueling, the performance side can really clarify your understanding of what it is you do, and what moves people.
As far as your original production work goes, it's pretty obvious that you're a classically trained musician with serious chops in the studio. How do you typically approach the songwriting and production process on a track, from start to finish?
I have different approaches, really. Sometimes, I'll lace up drums and just start jamming basslines and chords. Other times, I'll start by mining for different samples and throw them together to see what sticks. The sample route usually works pretty well, because it can reveal new things about music and how you can go about creating it. There's nothing worse than getting stuck in a creative rut -- for instance, recycling the same ideas and techniques over and over again -- so needle-dropping some bizarre leftfield records on top of your early demos really helps challenge you and break you out of boring habits.
What's the status of the Recloose Live Band? Any plans for future releases or performances?
The band has been laying low for a few years now, but it was an amazing experience for the five or so years we did it. That said, we did some recordings in 2009 as Starblazers that were never properly released, so we are looking at putting these out soon with a local label.
What prompted you to move to New Zealand of all places? How has living and working there shaped you artistically?
I moved here to be with a woman, but also to explore something as different as I could imagine from the States, and Detroit in particular. George Bush II's election helped spur on the decision way back in 2001. I have grown as a musician, especially through getting to work with the amazing caliber of musos I had in my band. It has also allowed me to develop other endeavors.