Across the board of electronic music there are not as many female DJs as male. In techno that ratio is even lower. Whittle that down to Female British UK techno DJs and producers and I expect you could count the “successful” ones on your fingers – on one hand.
is in in that minority – a small but perfectly formed ball of techno, boshing out beats from Birmingham’s Que Club to Berlin’s Berghain and beyond. A fan of Blawan, Karenn, Planetary Assault Systems and Surgeon Rebekah’s own uncompromising style is modern with a nod to the 90s and definitely delivers a punch.
Since joining the CLR roster in 2011, Rebakah’s career has continued to go from straength to strength. With her own remixes and releases on renowned labels like Cult Figures, Naked Lunch, Coincidence, 8 Sided Dice and Stolen Moments, is also a talented producer. Her tracks regularly make it onto set lists for the likes of Richie Hawtin, Chris Liebing, Adam Beyer, Perc, and Tommy Four Seven. There is much on the horizon for this passionate artist, with the next few months seeing her second EPs on both Cult Figures and CLR, and this next release on Coincidence Records in the next few weeks:
After jet setting around the globe we catch up with before she heads back to her homeland and ask her about everything from techno to cupcakes…
1) Growing up in Brum, did you go to clubs there in your teens? Or in London? If so which ones and for what events?
In my teens I spent most of my time in clubs in Birmingham; Wobble, House of God, Atomic Jam, Sundissential and other local parties. I actually ended up working for Sundissential for a short time which definitely gave an early insight to how clubs should and should not be run but after being already exposed to Atomic Jam didn’t really enjoy the hard house as much, it was way more about getting hammered than the music at those parties! In London I only visited Ministry of Sound at around the age of 18, I remember enjoying it and being excited to go. Atomic Jam was always the stand out party and to this day will hold its own at the Que Club. One of the Ostgut DJ’s played a few years back and was absolutely in awe of the venue and the atmosphere and that’s someone who holds a residency at Berghain. I am very proud of the Birmingham techno heritage.
2) When was the first time you heard a techno record and what were your first thoughts?
It was not quite one record but rather sets played by Colin Dale, Dave Clarke, Billy Nasty even a back room Derrick May set was an early exposure to the genre. I just remember thinking how funky it was with all these rhythms and also how crazy the music could be where I would actually lose control. The rave element was still alive and these guys knew how to work a set and of course still do. Leaps and bounds away from other DJ’s and genres I had previously experienced.
3) What is the first album (of any genre) that you bought with your own money. Do you still have it?
I am not actually sure which came first but I remember owning the Bad album by Michael Jackson and Madonna’s True Blue album, whether it was out of my pocket money I can’t say but these two were my first vinyls and yes I still have both in my collection.. My early memories of enjoying these albums would be singing along at the top of my voice to all of the Madonna tracks, so yeah not a cool kid, I had many an awkward moment growing up.
4) When was the last time you were on a dance floor as a punter – who did you see?
The last memorable time I was on the dance floor was listening to Sandwell District, a little before they split up, at Berghain. It was bloody awesome and a shame they don’t play together anymore. They really know how to play serious techno but still with a proper party vibe.
5) What is the record you currently can’t put down – techno or otherwise? Aside from techno, what music/artists do you listen to? What’s your guilty pleasure?
My guilty pleasure is currently Lana Del Rey, her songs started coming more and more into my consciousness and then I looked in to her and its so weird how the way she looks and the way she sings kind of was not what I expected and as I looked more deeper in to her background (yes I get obsessive) I found she struggled with alcoholism and is in recovery and can never be on tour for too long as she now helps other people with addictions by volunteering her time, which just made me love her more. Her songs are so sad and i suppose its a way for me to connect to music other than techno. Other artists I listen to are Ben Howard, Mount Kimbie, Lucrecia Dalt, Nirvana, Aphex Twin, London Grammar and I have also been loving Tommy and Alain’s project as These Hidden Hands.
6) What do you have in store for us on the 22nd March? Are you looking forward to playing to the home crowd? What is your favourite venue/city to play in?
Firstly I always have fun when playing with Drumcell, his sets are so strong and it encourages me more to play tougher, so I suspect its going to be a pretty full on night, I will of course be digging deep and pulling out some older stuff and more experimental, as I know the London crowd are very open minded. I don’t have a favourite place as such, its just when all the right elements for playing techno come together and that usually consists of a pretty dark space, a great sound being generous on the sub frequency range, minimal red lighting, there are a few places around Germany who have this set up and it completely suits the vibe, it is also a great way to experience the more experimental side of the genre.
7) Where do you see techno going in the next few years?
Really I have no idea, right now it seems to be getting more pure and harder with more emphasis on analog sounds and more rhythms but don’t be fooled this stuff is tough as. For me techno is still a place with plenty of room to be versatile, by not pigeon holing the music to one continuous groove of techno there is much music out there to be enjoyed and to be adventurous with.
8) How do you cope with life on the road and managing to keep in touch with family and friends?
The traveling is just part of the excitement, I had a very low period around 4-6 years ago when I was partying too much and being overwhelmed by the traveling and just focusing on the negative aspects too much, being alone and not sharing the experience with etc but thats just rubbish, I share the music and moments with other like minded people, the travel allows some gentle reflection and to really appreciate what I am doing and how amazing the connection with music and people around the world actually is.
9) How do you prepare for a set?
I download promos and new music throughout the week and then will spend a day practicing and getting to know the music in the studio. Then I will prepare a playlist and dig in to my virtual crates of older music to create something more unique for the set.
10) What’s your favourite piece of kit and why?
At the moment I have been working with the Doepfer Dark Time, its basically an analogue sequencer which controls other analogue kit in the studio such as the Moog Sub Phatty and Dark Energy but also connects via USB to sequence all of my soft synths too. You can get some amazing grooves with it and being hands on in the studio is way more fun than just using a mouse. Melody has never been my strong point so this really helps in my productions.
11) And one just for fun… pick one of each pair…
Madonna or Lady Gaga? MadonnaCupcakes or Macaroons? CupcakesShower or bath? ShowerThe Wire or Breaking Bad? The WireBotox or growing old gracefully? Growing old gracefullySummer Olympics or Winter? WinterCats or Dogs? CatsDetroit or Berlin? BerlinHeels or trainers? Trainers
On March 22nd will play at Illusion Sound at iCan Studios alongside fellow CLR artist Drumcell and Morgan Tomas who present presenting their Reloading Records showcase. London’s own Kontrol Room will also be bringing their cutting edge live set to the line up for what is sure to be a four to the floor feast of a night. For Tickets head to Resident Advisor: http://www.residentadvisor.net/event.aspx?545103