In the first of a new features series we talk to Atomic Jam’s resident Chris Finke as he drops a joint EP with Bas Mooy on Luke Slater’s ever impressive Mote Evolver label.
what’s the first track(s) that made you want to get involved in music?
The first time I consciously thought about it in any way was when i first heard “We are i.e.” by Lenny De Ice. It was a total game changer for me. When the break drops for the first time with that vocal sample and baseline its carnage:
how did you get in to techno and what was it about it that made you want to take DJing seriously? and do you still see that in the scene today?
To cut a long story short(ish) I started getting into techno as a ‘genre” when rave was splitting off into dark/jungle stuff, techno and happy hardcore. Derrick May, Dave Angel and Laurent Garnier were incredibly influential to me and going to the first Tribal Gathering where there was a techno tent was a big eye opener. Fast forward a few years to 2001 when I changed my career and wanted to DJ, so I started the Flux parties with Andi purely to get some gigs, started getting booked outside of the UK and and it just went from there. For such a long time nothing has come close to what things were like when I started out, but in the last year or so things have started getting exciting again.
what track(s) most represent the Atomic Jam at the Q Club to you?
Atomic Jam has a pretty knowledgeable crowd and when you drop tracks they surprise you sometimes with their reaction which is good. There are so many but classic tracks like Dave Clarke’s “Red 2″, and the ridiculously heavy Mike Dearborn’s “Birds On E” never fail to smash it. On the personal side of things, my “Petrolbomb” track always does the business which is nice.
what’s next for atomic jam?
Onward and upward – after leaving the best venue in the UK we are going to be coming back somewhere new which I think is going to be perfect for us. We are looking at putting together a tour as well so lots happening. Im going to kick start the “Chris Finke pres. Atomic Jam Podcast” series again soon as well.
You dj around the world, what’s the craziest place you’ve djed at, and what are the new scenes to look out for?
Japan is a totally mental place – I’ve never been anywhere else like it, its bonkers. For a traditionally reserved country they love letting go in clubs it’s just brilliant. As for new scenes, the UK bass/future music side of things is really interesting, I’m doing a few of those clubs these days and they are pure party people, I love it. For someone like me who plays a mixed bag its like Christmas day!
what tracks never leave your bag/hard drive?
My current favourite which will be in my sets for a long time to come is Dense & Pika’s “31″. And no techno DJ should ever leave home without James Ruskin Work (Steve Rachmad Remix)
I’ve noticed you drop a few non-techno tracks in your sets, what’s your current 3 favourite non – techno tracks you play out?
Yeah I reckon i play anything up to 50% non “techno” tracks in my sets these days. Hmm 3 that immediately spring to mind are Helix “Honig”, Kodiak “Stereo Superbus” (best track of the year so far IMO), and I:Cube’s “Transpiration”
and please name a track you own but really a techno dj shouldn’t admit to having?!
Im not too proud to admit that my first record was Shakin’ Stevens “Green Door”. Its a stone cold classic from a fantastic turn, well overdue for an edit. Love that guy! He made crazy acid house tracks after his 80s pop heyday under different pseudonyms by all accounts.
as a producer, what other producers and productions do you really admire from the technical side of things?
I always struggle to answer these. Off the top of my head, Paul Woolford’s stuff is incredibly well produced, i’m really blown away with what he is doing these days. Blawan is wicked, he has a totally different sound, love his stuff. Sorry I always go a bit blank when I get asked specifics!
what’s your favourite studio plugin? synth?
Sound Toys are amazing plug ins and i’ve just got the Omnisphere synth which is utterly incredible. I’ve not even started looking into it and finished 2 tracks using it, both of which have been signed. Thats going to be my best friend I think.
there are lots of new producers and fans coming into techno now, how important it is to you that they understand the history of the genre? what tracks should they educate themselves with?
This’ll be controversial to the purists, but most of the best music coming out at the minute is made by producers who haven’t got any sort of clue about the history of techno and don’t even think about pigeonholing their music as anything in particular. Techno is the one genre above all others that has suffered terribly over the years from being too insular and obsessed with the past which is ironic as the very essence of it is it is music of the future. So at this stage in the game, looking ahead and spending time creating is far more important for music than educating.
Rob Booth’s Electronic Explorations recently featured a mix by Chris: http://electronicexplorations.org/?show=chris-finke
Chris’ Mote Evolver release is out now but at Beatport hereRead More