The vibes are golden with the return of Strip Steve. It’s been a while since we last talked on Disco Droppings. He’s been appearing in my sets for quite a bit now, latest favorite being “I Bump My Head :(“. You best check out his Crowd Control EP which features that one, along with “The Funktion”. I was playing his trax the other day and thought, “this dude is so underrated around here. I should see if he wants to do another interview.” Happy to say he was down, so here we go! For all you gear porn junkies out there, this dude is for you! We also talk about Seattle, his recent fabulous Rinse Mix, Ron Hardy and what he’s got cookin’ next..
DD Hi Theo! Nice to hear from you again, what are you up to?
SS Hey man! All good around here, currently working on the second part of the << Crowd Control >> EP in Berlin. :]
DD We met in March 2012, when you played the Boysnoize Records showcase at Chop Suey. I got to open for you, and I had sooo much fun chatting with Djedjotronic and Housemeister. Fun dudes! I believe this was all of your first time’s in The Emerald City. What did you think of Seattle?
SS Yes, part of a quite big tour in which we visited many American cities for the first time, so it was super interesting. Seattle seemed super chill & fun, especially the people, but we didn’t get to stay for so long so I can’t tell you much more sadly… Ah! If I’m not mistaken, the venue was split between under aged and adults with a clear barrier, that was an odd thing for us Europeans I must say…
DD Attack Magazine went inside your studio last year. I’m not a gear head (yet), but the pictures and the energetic way you described your set-up has me really intrigued. What’s the most unconventional piece of equipment you have?
SS Well, when I think about it I find myself working with pretty conventional equipment. The interesting thing would be how to use them in an unconventional way, how to go beyond their limited aspect (as opposed to a software like Ableton Live where you can virtually do anything). That can be anything – from chaining them without preconception of how it should be done (with FX pedals, cv or midi control etc.), to cranking the gain up to make it compress or saturate within itself before recording for example..
That’s what I love about making music with seemingly simple or limited machines, that creative will to transcend their boundaries.
DD That feature felt special. It’s intimate, taking everyone inside your music sanctuary of sorts. I imagine the person behind the songs more clearly, controlling all these machines. It looks like a world you could really get lost in..
SS It is an intimate place. And I’m very much in love with it, that’s why I felt I should share it. And yeah it’s definitely a place to get lost in. That’s really the purpose; losing a sense of reality when making music is the best feeling, and the environment plays a big role in that. My studio is like a cockpit & a playground.
DD Your Rinse Mix starts off so blissfully beautiful, bravo right off the bat. Was this your first time mixing for the station? I’m curious about what it’s like on the inside..
SS Thanks man! Yeah it was the first time, Manaré from Clekclekboom opened this Rinse France branch recently in Paris and I was there for a gig, so he offered me a 2h slow. I don’t know why but I love radio, I find it somehow romantic ahah…The studio is pretty simple, it’s just a small basement under a gallery, with a couch and some blinking internet servers.
DD Daft Punk are my biggest influence. Their Alive 2007 performance was the first electronic show I ever saw in Seattle, and that inspired me to become a DJ. This led to producing, starting Disco Droppings and eventually, connecting with you. I’m constantly thinking about their mindset when it comes to my own artistic work. You have a Ron Hardy shirt hanging in your Berlin studio, what about his life and contributions keeps you going?
SS Daft Punk was also a big influence to me. When my older brother bought Homework we were just listening to that in a loop for months… but that was way before I thought of producing. Later when I started really discovering electronic music I searched for more French House stuff, that lead to Chicago House, Ghetto House, and their origin: Disco & Funk.
I just love Ron Hardy’s shit, his tracks & edits feel somehow very advanced for his time, and you gotta check his recorded mixes, they had a certain ruffness & energy which I’m very sensitive to.
DD What’s next for Strip Steve? I hope our paths cross again!
SS A new remix for Funk D’Void out on Soma Recordings in the next few weeks, new EP’s on the way. I’ll maybe start writing a new album too soon but that’s too early to talk about it. :]
Yeah man really hope I’ll come back to Seattle someday and meet again!
– Jimi Jaxon