A Sit Down With DJ Technasia
Despite the change, Siegling has always been the front man in terms of DJing and performing live, so Technasia is as thrilling and full-bodied a live experience as ever. If anything, Siegling is even more determined to infuse every aspect of Technasia with his utter absorption in sound, the passion born of 25 years engrossed in electronic music. ?Born in Paris and raised in an 11th century chateau, Charles grew up listening to everything from Depeche Mode, Jimi Hendrix to Legendary Pink Dots and Einstuerzende Neubauten. His music-loving dad even introduced him to early British rave tunes. As a university student he continued his musical education the clubs of Paris listening to the likes of Derrick May and Robert Owens; and taking note of the records Laurent Garnier and DJ Deep played on their radio shows.
The performance aspect of Technasia is complemented by artist albums Future Mix and Popsoda which are modern classics. Siegling is also an outspoken promoter of young talent, using the Sino imprint as a launch pad for talent including Joris Voorn, Renato Cohen, Steve Rachmad and young Catalan producer Dosem. He has straightforward criteria for what makes a Sino artist: talent and individuality. Charles is refreshingly direct he has no patience for industry politics and he seeks out musicians who have a similar strength of character and clarity of purpose.
"You can come from anywhere on this planet, even from the far deep ass-hole of the world, be of any colour, any culture or any political or religious mind, skilled musician or not, and yet become very successful at it."
How was Technasia formed? And did you two have any musical training or experience in music production prior to the collaboration?
Technasia was formed back in 1996. Charles Siegling and myself had met by chance through a mutual friend in Paris and had met up in a club. It was funny because we got along very well right away. He had just came out of Film school and i had graduated from university. We were both from completely different backgrounds but it was the music that had brought us together. Charles had suggested that we work together and come up with a label. At that time, i thought it wasn't going to be as easily said then done, however there was a feeling of confidence we both had. We were really hungry for music back then, and in some ways even angry because at the time there wasn't any much emotional sounding techno out there. It was then that we decided to start putting material out. As for your second question, Charles and I had something in common: we both loved going clubbing! At the time Charles was experiencing with vintage synths and keyboards. I was doing a bit of that too, but i was DJ'ing a lot more at the time.
You have been a key figure in the rise of the Spanish electronic music scene for a long time now and the Spanish scene has been going from strength to strength in recent years. Give us a bit of insight do Spanish producers and DJs tend to work with one another, and do you see things continuing to grow as they have?
I am very pleased that our scene is continuing to grow and doing very well. Everyday there are new and surprising artists. There are geniuses, even though some are still hiding out there, waiting for someone to give them a chance. As regards to music, the fact is that the work is excellent. The only problem is that being a relatively young scene there are still things to improve on, such as the relationship between artists. There are still too many gaps, but things are definitely getting better.
The album title "Popsoda" has a strong 'Pop' image and is also an alias you sometimes release under, what is the background behind this title? Can you tell us a bit about the concept of the album
Pop as in music yes it sounds like we are talking Britney Spears, but when you Pop a soda or Pop a question it can be a refreshing, and even a reinvigorating feeling because one would be expecting a burst of this, that and the other of which you never would have thought would happen if you didn`t pop it initially. The concept and thematic style is simple, the album has to stand the test of time and has to be a fresh take to the long standing techno genre. The typical Technasia sound design consists of an importance to the flow of the album that has to be energetic and the necessity of the story board from which the listener can dream and dance to.
What do you look for in another artist that makes you want to collaborate with them? Do you go for things in common or enjoy an artist who sees and hears things completely differently?
The most important is that each artist can share a common place with the music and DJ style of the other. What you do can be very different, but because you have that space in common, you can always get back to it and fuse with the other guy. I think this is what weve been able to achieve so far, UNER and I. Manu (UNER) likes to play a deep and darker sound with long epic breaks, and Ive always been into the funkier techno sound, but we are always able to keep a nice energetic flow to our show. We dont speak much about what were going to play and all, we just like to read the crowd and decide on a general direction and we let the magic happen after that. Things cant be too prepared anyway. You need to keep that spontaneous feel to be able to surprise yourself and appreciate what you do as much as the public in front of you, and of course, you need to be in collusion with your partner in crime. Friendship really helps in a back-to-back project, and Manu and I have no problem on that end.
With techno exploding in Europe now and with big named DJ's giving you and Charles heavy rotation, what are your thoughts in the possibility of techno becoming more mainstream and less underground?
Mainstream vs. underground has always been a touchy subject in electronic music. In a way the media has taken a big part in this segregation. For example, Daft Punk when they first released their debut album they signed with a major label and brought underground house music to the "overground". The people who had supported them before were basically saying "hey these guys are selling out." I like to stay away from this whole issue because at the end of the day if people continue to listen to our music and keep giving us the motivation to continue this, we will be there. In terms of techno being bigger than what it is now, the people that attend the big parties out in Europe are just average everyday people that want to get away from the city and enjoy themselves at an event. We play them hard techno, we play them emotional techno and they enjoy it very much. But as for Hong Kong and China, i think it will take a bit of time.Everything needs time.
Do you still set yourself goals, do you have things you would like to achieve?
Making your way in this music world is a goal in itself, and a pretty tough one I would say. The market has become highly competitive amongst DJs because everybody think they can be one. The wrong approach is always to take the electronic music world as a hobby, forgetting that its above all a work.
With the explosion of digital culture and computer software plugins, how has Technasia adapted to this change in technology?
It`s funny because when we first started, many of the software guys like Steinberg were coming out with plugins and this was fairly new to a lot of the producers. During the years, we have made many friends around the world who make techno music and we often talked about this subject. Everbody pretty much did the same thing. Starting out with a sampler as the main outboard, and then running a few synths through Cubase. In the early days, there were not many people who were actually making good of the harddrive. They would be mixing down directly from the Mackie into ADAT. We went through the computer route and did all the mastering and effects on the computer. To be quite honest, i didnt quite like it at first. But then as time went on, there were more interesting plugins being released on the market and we almost felt we had to at least experiment. Now we do alot of the stuff through a computer based setup rather then a vintage based setup.
Whats the thing you are most proud of in your career?
To still be here kicking it 20 years after I started!To be honest, I think its quite easy to make a breakthrough in the electronic music world, as long as you have a certain talent for DJing or music production. The most difficult part is to be there to stay and grow. That is not given to everybody I think. It requires a lot of hard work, to be surrounded by a good team, and being able to reinvent yourself from time to time.
What key advice do you usually give to young and talented producers and DJs?
Its not easy to start a career today. Theres a lot of bullshit going on, with lots of new pretty faces with no talent at all literally buying their spot on the market, with proper PR and managers. And when youre a talented young guy and you start out in this jungle, things can be quite frustrating and destabilising. At any point you can get lost quite easily. I think its important to always work hard and do what you really believe in. What people enjoy one day, they can dislike the next, so you just need to be 100 percent ready when the change comes because it comes only once or twice.
Some people tried to burry me during the late 00s because I was playing techno and minimal was the shit that was making them jerk off at the time. Now, all these dudes would bend over for Klock or Dettmann if they could, and all because techno is trendy again. Its a shame but the scene is just like that. Once you understand how it works, you need to keep your focus on what you do, and things will pay off sooner or later.
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