Recloose On His DJ Career: "Expect To See Me in the Club Well Into My 60s"
What can you tell us about your DJ and Electronic Music Production program at Auckland's Music and Audio Institute of New Zealand? What sort of education do your students receive there?
I've been program-leading and teaching here now for four years. While we focus a lot of energy on technical skills (production and DJing), our larger goal is to encourage original artistry. We do this by first explaining to students just how much competition is out there (especially with the proliferation of laptop producers and DJs) and how important it is to set yourself apart from the pack with original ideas and music. Through their production and DJ work, we give them feedback on how they might develop their sound and test the bounds of their personal "comfort zones." We also spend a lot of time looking at the pioneers of electronic music and DJing -- using them as examples for the type of radical imagination our own students must exhibit to be successful in this field.
You're also working on your masters program at the Institute. How do you plan to apply this education to your career in the future? Do you see yourself eventually transitioning to a full-time academic type of role, if and when you get tired of the club scene?
I've been spending the last year interviewing artists, reading and writing about music -- and Detroit music in particular. All of these activities feed into my own inspiration, challenge me, and keep me learning. It also gives me other outlets to forge a career and earn money. But having said that, I don't think I'd be a very good academic if I wasn't also a practicing artist. So expect my to see me in the club well into my 60s.
Your Fingertips label has been kind of quiet lately. What do you have in store for the label in the future?
Fingertips has always been pretty quiet. To date, we've only really done a few projects: a live recording of the band in 2007 and a Hit It & Quit It radio compilation in 2011. I am always amazed at (and maybe jealous of) artists who can juggle their own labels on top of everything else. It is no easy feat. Chalk it up to having kids? I'm making excuses now.
So what can we expect from you next? Any forthcoming projects or releases?
I've just completed remixes for Motor City Drum Ensemble (release imminent) and one for Funkadelic's "Sexy Ways" that will appear on a Westbound-commissioned remix compilation featuring some of Detroit's finest producers. Beyond that, I'm working on original material for labels Rush Hour and Delusions of Grandeur, as well as setting up some studio collaborations that I'm not at liberty to expand on, but I'm very excited about. I'll keep you updated via my website recloose.com.
Recloose. Presented by Safe Miami and Electric Pickle. Saturday, April 27. The Vagabond, 30 NE 14th St., Miami. The party starts at 10 p.m. Call 305-379-0508 or visit thevagabondmiami.com.