Spektre are fast making their way up through the elite ranks of techno labels with a sound that is very on trend. We sat down with the guys (Rich Wakley and Paul Maddox) for a chat.
Hi guys, tell us about you. Where did you meet and how did you come up with the name Spektre?
PM: We’ve been working together for 13 years now, and met through a mutual friend. It was actually quite surprising we’d never met before though, as it turned out we’d spent a lot of time on the same dancefloors!
RW: After going through a few different names we finally decided on Spektre. I think the dark, ghostly connotations suited our musical direction at the time.
What made you both first get in to dance music?
PM: My first exposure was things like Judge Jules and Dave Pearce on Radio 1, which led to buying some of the early Ministry compilations and the passion grew from there!
RW: I will always remember my Father recording the Top 40 on to tape when I was growing up. He used to put his headphones on me which were about the size of my head and made me look like an astronaut. Wasn’t long before I was thrashing around to Rage Against The Machine and Prodigy on my paper-round.
Where was your first gig?
RW: Our first proper gig was at Dirty Disco in Leeds back in 2007 at the student union. It was absolutely packed and hotter than Gandhi’s flip-flop but I will never forget the reaction we had to some of first tracks.
What was the first tune you made and how has the workflow improved between you?
PM: Our first tune together was a track called “What Lies Beneath”, which was released on Dance Electric. Our workflow hasn’t changed that much over the years really, although we kinda know what the other is thinking without having to say it most of the time after over a decade, haha!
Talk to us about your latest release on Funk’n Deep and the inspiration behind it.
RW: Both “Lucid Dream” and “In Reverie” take some fairly unsubtle cues from our shared history going to clubs like Gatecrasher and Cream back in the early 00s. We’ve always incorporated melodic elements into our stuff, but these two tracks wear the trance influence firmly on their sleeves.
There’s been a trend this summer with techno DJs dropping trance tunes in their sets. Some of your tunes are pushing the boundaries on techno a little. Has this been in response to trends or is it just you?
PM: It probably goes both ways – as Rich mentioned above, the trance sound has always been an influence on us, but the fact that the style has come back into fashion is all good as far as we’re concerned. Things like this tend to be cyclical; you can almost guarantee that whatever the least cool thing imaginable is right now will be back en vogue within the next ten years or so.
RW: One undeniable constant in dance music is melody. Something we have and always will use in our productions. Nothing else quite like it to give you shivers and goosebumps.
What really pisses you off about the scene right now
PM: The short shelf-life of music is a bit of a bugbear of mine. It’s inevitable with the ease with which a digital release can be thrown together, but it’s a shame that sometimes tracks can be seen as “old” within a few months.
RW: Sometimes it feels like talent has become a secondary requirement over self promotion. Seems like a degree in marketing would be more useful than becoming musically trained. Needless to say my Physiology degree hasn’t been as useful as I first anticipated.
Which other DJs or producers are you really liking right now?
RW: In terms of established names, Luca Agnelli, Ilario Alicante, Ramiro Lopez and Arjun Vagale are all constantly on our playlists but also producers we look up to and inspire us musically.
PM: We’ve signed some great music to Respekt recently from Luca Gaeta, Joe Blake and Steam Shape, who are all consistently putting out great work.
What are your preferred labels?
RW: Some of our favourites include Drumcode, Soma, Etruria Beat, Kraftek, Funk N’Deep and of course our very own Respekt.
Tell us about your DJ setup.
PM: Our DJ setup is fairly conventional; Pioneer CDJs and mixer, but with an iPad running an app called Samplr for a few extra FX flourishes. We’re working on a new live setup at present though, which is a lot more interesting – all will be revealed soon.
What’s been Spektre’s biggest achievement?
RW: It would have to be our recent signing of ‘Nasqueron’ to Drumcode’s A-Sides compilation. Adam Beyer has been a great supporter of our material for some time now, so to follow that with a release was a huge achievement for us.
What can we expect from Spektre soon?
PM: We have a follow up EP on Elevate next, then following that we have releases on Odd, Unrilis and a rather large one from us on Respekt called ‘Forged in the Heart of a Laserbeam’ due out before the end of the year.