Hi Chris, where are you based and how did you first get started in the scene?
I’m currently based just outside of Austin, TX in in the Hillcountry, but working out of LA. I had to temporarily move the core of my studio to Texas to take care of my moms who fell ill, but my household is in LA storage and I work as a DJ, promoter, member and partner with 3rd Eye Tribe LA.
I got started making rap music back in the late 90’s in middle school, but in college around ‘04 I discovered the rave. I was introduced through trance and techno in Texas and dub, d&b in Amsterdam. After I finished my bachelors at University of Texas I enrolled in audio engineering school and started making techno and cross genre dance music. After toying with progressive, psy and trance genres for about 6 years, I finally came back full circle and found out deep techno is my true love. It’s been a journey…
Talk to us about your local scene. Who are the big names locally, plus how often are you playing?
In Texas, Barbuto is king. Not really anyone else currently in Texas Techno on his level. It’s cool and inspirational because I watched his come up since like 2010. I hung & blazed plenty with him at local shows back in the day.
In LA, tech house is the main sound. Desert Hearts and Dirtybird currently reside as kings of the local underground-ish dance music scene, but there are a good number of us making changes to this. There’s tastemakers making things happen in proper techno like all the local artists associated with the Incognito and 6am events circles. Funk’n Deep also has a notable following- although I haven’t seen Durtysoxxx play a ton of local shows. If you’re listening Durty, hit me up! MDA is doing more tech housey business in OC. Then of course there’s my squad @3rdeyetribe_la . Things overall are still pretty mainstream in general, but techno definitely has a promising future in LA.
Currently I’m only gigging around once a month as I’ve been so focused in the studio honing my sound for the past year. But I’m working on setting up a new show series in LA, bringing in big underground techno acts. I’ll definitely be playing those shows and plan to start making myself more available for booking this fall after I wrap up some current work.
Tell us about your DJ setup when you’re performing
Lately I’ve been more of a traditionalist working in Rekordbox and Pioneer. I started with tables and decks long ago, then for a while I was sculpting live sets in Ableton and performing with my APC 40. I definitely plan to get back to live sets and even try incorporating some synth hardware once I’ve built my catalogue up enough and feel more comfortable performing live. But in the meantime I’m staying club and warehouse ready with my flash drives.
How did you come up with the alias Chemtrailz and is there a meaning behind it?
Since the early 2000’s I’ve operated a sort of production label under my Organic Chemistry Music imprint, and for the longest I played, performed and released as the Organic Chemist. When I made the switch to deep techno I came up with a more fitting alias. I feel my job is to act as a medium translating higher vibrational frequencies into the 3D format to assist in the current shift of consciousness. I’m sort of “spraying the masses” with a higher vibrational sound disguised as something dark and impactful. I wont get into details, but I feel there are forces out there attempting (and generally failing) to disrupt human evolution and keep him captive. I’m merely offering an alternative for those still playing the duality game..
For those that are not aware, how would you describe your sound and style?
My style is deep, melodic, bangin techno- often dark or melancholic in nature. There are also a lot of progressive elements in my sound due to my taste and past influences. I don’t purposely chase a dark sound, I just translate and express the vibrations I receive..
We premiered Sophia’s Sorrow which is super dark techno. Where does the inspiration come from in you to create that kind of sound? Is there any meaning behind the track?
I have some deeply ingrained inspiration from the artists I follow and my past influences from dark prog, psy and trance, but tracks like Sophia are basically channeled. I was tweaking synth patches and came up with some ridiculousness that sounded like the Earth crying. At that point Sophia basically took over. The message is simple,”Mother is crying. Don’t make her sad, let us make Gaia Sophia glad…”.
You’ve released all your music on TwistedVintage so far? What chose you to release on the label and how did you get signed?
I actually have a number of tracks under different aliases on different labels, but I just started releasing as Chemtrailz this year. My first EP as Chemtrailz was dropped on Darkground out of Barcelona in January. They somehow managed to submit a typo in my artist name, but instead of canceling the release I decided to leave it be. I kinda stumbled across TwistedVintage on accident. Was shopping demos and all the labels I follow were telling me my music is cool or awesome, but it didn’t fit their sound. So I started thinking outside the box, looking through track listings on Repostexchange, and found TV. They loved my music and their professionalism was a cut above the rest, so I hopped on board.
What are you goals for the future and do you have any other things planned that you want to share?
I have at least 3 EPs worth of new material in the pipeline. Most of it I’m still undecided on who to release with, but I can reveal that I have a single coming out on La Famiglia Records towards the end of this summer. Big shout out to Johnny Marciano for the love.
I’m also really excited to present the legendary Yellow Heads in their LA debut this September. I’ll most definitely be playing. This warehouse banger will be one for the books. Follow me and my Tribe’s IG for info on upcoming LA warehouse parties and club shows: @ochemtrailz and @3rdeyetribe_la