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Whether its his functional output as DJ Spider, the gloom of his Spider Bites material or his symbiotic production relationships, Rob Hampton has homed in on his craft while adopting a signature sound in the process. It only takes a quick listen of his material on his Bandcamp page to understand the length and breadth of the musical realm he operates in and what gets him going. Ahead of his appearance at 29 HOURS by THE29NOV films + STAUB, at Berlin’s ://about blank, DT caught up with the man himself to find out what shaped his unique flavour of electronic music. 

So you grew up in New Jersey, can you explain the reasons behind your move to New York?

I moved to New York when I was 20. That was in 96. Of course it was the always dream to live there. I’ve always been an artist, even as a kid. Playing music, I knew that I wanted to play music in New York. I’m back now in Jersey City, where my family is from. When I moved to New York I stayed there for 20 years.

So was that the main reason? Music?

Actually it was cooking. I went to cookery school after high school. I went to the New York Restaurant School. I graduated in 94 and I started working and cooking until about 2002. Got burnt out! It’s great I love it, but it’s a lot of work. The industry demands a lot. I went through other changes as well, so I basically just stopped it. But that’s why I went, it wasn’t just for music. I was in a band so I still wanted to make music, but I was gonna cook. Then I found out that you don’t have much time to rehearse and do things when you’re cooking! Especially with this, when you start out you gotta put all your time into it. In order to hone your craft and be good at it.

Cool. I understand you can credit your roots to hip hop and metal, did you go any further than listening to them? Did you make a lot of either?

Absolutely. I was in a Death Metal band.

What were they called?

Hell! [Laughs]. It ended up being a studio project so it was just me playing everything other than the drums. But yeah, death metal, hip hop. I’ve made some hip hop, I’ve never released any hip hop with vocals but it’s a goal of mine in the future, I think I’m probably going to branch out. Do that as well as other things too, like jazz, pop, hip hop, and other genres. I wanna do it all. I wanna keep producing and work with other people because I listen to such a variety of music daily.


We’re enjoying listening to artists making house or techno that’s been inspired by music that isn’t house or techno. It’s great to see people blurring genre boundaries.

That’s a very interesting perspective. You can do that because there’s so much techno but when I was growing up… there was no techno! There was no house, there was no techno and many other sub-genres of metal, didn’t even exist in the 80s when I was a kid.

Did you ever feel like you were an outsider when you first got into electronic music? I guess it wasn’t in its heyday when you grew up.

Absolutely! And I wasn’t into it then. I’m quite fresh to this too. In the 90s when I was partying and hanging out in New York, I wasn’t going to clubs to hear the big DJs at that time. I had been to some legendary clubs, and probably legendary nights but I was there for a different reason. I was more into partying and meeting people than the music in those days.

There seems to be a running thread of gritty, raw sounds running through your discography – is this a key element, all the different shades of anger?

Well, yeah I’m angry! I’m pissed off with the world. In a good way. I’ve had my rebel years and I’ve done a lot of crazy shit but… on the positive end of the spectrum, which is how I try to live today through positivity. With the state of the world – I’m angry at the state of the world. I guess with the aesthetic and the sound of it, people are thinking of it as the ‘analogue sound’, which it doesn’t have to be analogue to be gritty, you can be gritty with digital too. I just like warm, harsh, offensive sounds. The more offensive and harsh it is, the cooler it is. I like pretty stuff too, but when I’m producing music yes, because it’s so emotional and it’s coming from the inside, it’s usually a little bit harder or angrier or harsher or gritty.

Do you think it’s influenced from the metal days?

Absolutely. All the noise, all the industrial stuff, you know what I’m saying? All the anger mixed with that. It can be a toxic soup of audio.

So the hip hop you were listening to wasn’t the normal hip hop you’d hear. Was that the angrier stuff too?

I don’t like the candy coated hip hop. I was never into that. I was into the harder stuff.

Continued on page 2

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