We are counting down to the next “Disco Droppings Presents” at Kremwerk. I’ve got performing artist Goodwin here to talk about his musical shenanigans. A personal favorite from the Motor night, you can see his live Techno set this Thursday. It’s a pleasure to join forces..
DD So with music, you started out more experimental. What drew you to Techno?
G So the strange but true story of my musical progression is that I was actually really into electronic music in high school during the 90s “electronica” wave. I started out buying stuff related to the Prodigy, Chemical Brothers, Daft Punk, etc. and progressed to some amazing (and some totally crap) compilations that really opened my mind. From there I fell in as resident nerd in a group of much cooler kids who were DJing at my friend’s house and just getting deep on all kinds of shit. I found jungle/drum & bass pretty quickly after that, and amassed a decent collection of 12″s while working and was still living at home with my folks. But by the time I moved to Seattle I had gotten a lot more interested in punk and hardcore music. Mainly because as someone underage I could legitimately participate in it and it was really pro-youth empowerment. And those elements were really absent from the, at that point, heavily commercialized Bay Area rave scene, or at least my experience of it. By the time I got to Seattle that sort of naturally led me to start volunteering at The Vera Project, and from there helping my friends do experimental pop, noise, and free jazz shows. So at that point my musical education started all over again, which was fantastic.
A lot of factors drew me back to House and Techno as I got more and more into playing experimental music. A few of my peers had been making “noise” music that referenced a lot of stuff in the Chain Reaction and Raster-Noton universes and while I love that music, it wasn’t the exact territory I wanted to tread in. Around this time re-discovered a cache of mp3s on my hard drive of stuff like Mr. Fingers, Model 500, Ron Hood, Frankie Knuckles, and Phuture and it all really drew me in all over again. And from there, these funny coincidences kept happening that kind of drew me further and further into dance music again.
DD I see I see. We’ve both been encouraged by Dave Segal over at The Stranger. Your Ramparts EP was described by him as “tonally and melodically advanced”, quite the compliment! What’s an influence that you would give that same description?
G A really foundational influence for me is Juan Atkins, especially the Model 500 stuff. I think of any major influence of “GOODWIN” that’s probably who pops into my head the most as someone that phrase would apply to. So many of his songs hit it home for me even after so many years of listening to them. On songs like “Night Drive” or “No UFOs” especially, it’s really the totality of those songs that strike me. For me, every element in those songs is a hook and that’s always been impressive to me. There’s so much craft there. Other folks that I can think of right now are probably artists like Fela Kuti, Meredith Monk, Talking Heads, Steve Reich, Kraftwerk, and Curtis Mayfield. For me an important part to GOODWIN is making music that’s rhythmically dense with lots of interlocking melodic parts, and I definitely think about those folks a lot in that context.
DD Love it. I first saw you play at the Motor night in Seattle. Kremwerk hosts, and that vibe is one of my favorites currently in the club. What do you enjoy most about Motor? For people unaware, maybe you could also give a quick summary of the monthly..
G For sure. MOTOR is a monthly club night and label based in Seattle that was founded by Sam Melancon in 2012 and is now run by Sam and a collective of folks. I can’t speak for Sam, really, but MOTOR more or less evolved out of a tendency in the last few years for artists with backgrounds in experimental or drone or psychedelic music to flirt with rhythms from house, techno, italo, and other dance musics. I think what I like the most about MOTOR is how broad its scope of music is, and just how deep of trippers the general audience is. It’s people who are fucking enthusiastic about good somewhat strange dance music. I have to give it up to Sam and crew for just making a space for folks to come in and play in Seattle and be well received and have shit be done right.
DD So, going into performing, what’s your live setup consist of?
G It’s been pretty consistent lately, though I just had my laptop take over sequencing and drum duties for my ailing MPC. But generally it’s MPC or laptop on drums and sequences and then a Roland TB-303 clone I built, a Volca Keys, a Yamaha TX81Z, and then lots of FX boxes, both pedal and rack. Mixing and EQ and FX routing plays a big role in my live sets because things like delays can help add that rhythmic density that I talked about that earlier and modulation FX add that cosmic element a bit.
DD Well I am very excited to have you at the next Disco Droppings Presents. Till then!
G Hey thank YOU, man.
- Jimi Jaxon