When you look at whose charted or played Developers (Modularz) tracks, it reads like a "who's who" of the techno world. Deep, grindy and at at times ethereal music that just gets you on your feet; this to me is the Developer sound. His label Modularz iwith remixes by artists like Truncate, Markus Suckut, Jonas Kopp and many more, proves that the L.A scene is not only surviving but thriviing. We're hoping for an NYC visit soon but in the meantime, check this out!
CGNY: What’s your earliest recollection of hearing any piece of music and where did you hear it?
D: I was very young. Music was part of my growing up especially around my family, my friends and my neighborhood. It was a blur of all sorts. I’d say my earliest memory of street music was in 1982 I was seven and that’s when I discovered Electro & Hip Hop.
CGNY: When and how did you get into djing? What was your first piece of professional gear? What was your first gig like?
D: In 1988 I was a 13 years old kid and really into graffiti and everything that comes with the territory getting into trouble etc. and as many of my friends I grew up with were getting into gangs, going to jail or getting killed I decided that it was lot more fun listening to music and dancing with girls so I started going to backyard parties around my neighborhood and my city and in 1990 I discovered Techno and House music I already had a huge interest in dj-ing as a kid growing up on electro and hip-hop I watched the videos of djs on TV and the only place I had ever gotten close enough to actually seeing a dj mix in person with vinyl and a mixer was at the local swap meet on the weekends or standing next to the older guys at the backyard parties. In 1992 I got enough cash saved up to finally buy my first turntables direct driven technics 1800. These were the ones with the dial for a pitch control along with a pyramid mixer. Don't laugh! The mixer had laser sounds and effects built in. My first gig was at my house playing with some local friends and then I eventually started to play around my neighborhood and 2 years later I landed a residency on a local radio station 88.7fm. I’d say this was the beginning for me.
CGNY: You’ve just released the superb Modularz 8 with Truncate, Jonas Kopp and Stanislav Tolkachev on it. (I loved it but esp Dirty Drive 2). How long did it take to put that together? (Editors Note: 2 new releases since then - check out on soundcloud!)
D: It was done pretty quick I had three tracks finished, 2 from myself and one from a good friend of mine David Flores (Truncate) who occasionally releases on the label and felt it was a good time to try something a bit different and include some remixes to give a different perspective on the release. I contacted artists whose music I like to play and that I felt were consistent in their work and decided on Jonas Kopp, Shifted and Markus Suckut. They all finished the remixes fairly quickly and before finalizing the EP, I realized I had room on the vinyl for one more track. Since I had been in contact with Ukrainian artist Stanislav Tolkachev and have been listening to his promos, I found one track in particular and thought it would be a great finish to the project.
CGNY: What do you look for in a track or artist that you want to release or work with?
D: I’m pretty easy about that. I have to like your stuff and want to play the tracks; that’s the most important thing. I get a lot of people sending me music with them emphasizing that they release on so many labels and they are in the Beatport Top 100 with every release etc. etc.. And it actually doesn't mean anything to me I only release music I want to play. That’s my criteria. I'm never thinking about if it’s going to sell or if people will like it. I think it’s better to do your own thing anyway. That’s an honest answer. If people like your stuff they will look for it, they will want it. If they don't, something is missing or you made a wrong turn.
CGNY: What’s the L.A scene like for techno these days? I know we have a lot of great producers/dj’s coming from there - Silent Servant, Drumcell & Truncate to mention just a few but as far as a clubbing scene is concerned, is it thriving?
D: Yes for sure! RA just did an article on LA and gives a general idea of what’s going on in LA's dance culture. I think over the years every techno or house dj in the city gave a crack at the promoter game at some point. The thing is that the city is just so damn huge. It’s one of those cites that you need a car and have to drive great distances to get somewhere a lot of the time. You can find a lot of different pockets of dance music culture in LA. I used to throw events in the mid to late 90's well into the late 2000's but since I've retired years back and don't go out as much as I used to I've lost touch a bit from what's going on. As for techno it’s consistent and well taken care of. If you’re in LA and you’re looking for techno you will find it. There’s a decent amount of shows happening by Droid and others around town and the community is really into supporting their locals.
DEVELOPER ARCHIVE 3 by Modularz
CGNY: What or who would say most influences your sound or frames your productions when you go to work in the studio?
D: Hard to say I love a lot of the older techno, house and hip hop from the 90's I like old sci-fi films. I'm influenced by modern architecture and design. I guess I'm influenced by everything. I like to put myself and my mind in places and environments that I like.
CGNY: Where have been some of your favorite places to play both here and abroad?
D: I don't really have a favorite place to play I’d say any do that is honest will agree that if the sound system is banging, the crowd is hyped and responsive and enough time to blow minds I’d say these are my favorite places to play.
CGNY: Where are you playing next and any plans for an East coast visit?
D: I’m on my 4th European tour right now and will return again in a few months. As for NYC, it's been a while since I have been there to play to be honest I would love to play there. But there hasn't been anyone on a professional level approach me to play yet I’m sure I will eventually make my way there. (NYC promoters take note!)
CGNY: What is one of your pet peeves (if you have any!) about the industry you work in?
D: Flaky promoters, long flights and not enough sleep!
CGNY: An alien lands from another planet and has no clue what techno is! What track/album do you hand over as a learning tool?
D: I’d say it's his lucky day and give the aliens the complete libraries to: Axis Records, Tresor Records, Basic Channel and of course Modularz.
For all things Developer - go to www.modularz.com