Bryan Black aka Black Asteroid has been on the forefront of the techno scene for a while now. With oodles of talent and releases on two of biggest techno labels, CLR and Speedy J's EDLX, Black Asteroid has become synonymous with heavy duty techno that drives the dance floor and the listener. But you would expect nothing less from someone who's shared the stage with Depeche Mode and Kraftwerk! He's just back from the Great American Techno Festval in Denver where he played a blinding set and is off to ADE and Tresor soon. Here's our catch up!
CGNY: When I hear the name Black Asteroid, I immediately think of dark, industrial heavy techno. How did your sound evolve and when/how did your moniker come about?
Black Asteroid: My first band "Haloblack" was industrial rock. Then I explored electro "Motor", synth pop "Xlover", and finally techno. All the music I have produced has always had an industrial edge to it. Black Asteroid is rooted firmly in techno, but with my love of industrial sounds... and then arranged in a classic song-structure. I started Black Asteroid shortly after we recorded the last Motor album. I wanted to get back to my techno roots and do it on my own terms.
CGNY: Your association with CLR has been great over the past few years – how did that come about?
Black Asteroid: Chris Liebing remixed the Motor single "Sweatbox" back in 2005. So when I started Black Asteroid I immediately sent him the first demo, and he signed it the next day. Everything happened so fast. After 2 releases on CLR, I released 2 EPs on Electric Deluxe as I was a good friend and admirer of Speedy J and really liked his label's approach to packaging and design and showcasing the more experimental side of techno.
CGNY: What software/tools do you use to produce your tracks?
Black Asteroid: Logic Pro and some Native Instruments synths. I spend most of my time making my sounds from scratch and avoid using presets whenever possible. It’s very time consuming, but the results are worth it.
CGNY: What do you think makes a good night for you as a dj? Is the crowd, the promoter, all of the above? What are some of the things that irk you about the dj/music business?
Black Asteroid: the crowd is the most important element, followed by a good sound system. The commercialization of dance music in the US has been awkward. The EDM thing is just this ugly thing that has no real roots in dance music. Kids have been taught to expect a "drop" every 10 seconds or they get bored. EDM events are more like a WWF wresting spectacle more than anything else. But I'm sure over time things will improve and people's tastes mature.
CGNY: Are you based in New York? And if so how do you think the scene here has changed over the past few years – has it become more ‘techno-friendly’ in your opinion?
Black Asteroid: Yes I live in Brooklyn. I love it here, I travel almost every weekend, and I always look forward to coming home. The techno scene is definitely growing. It is nowhere as developed as Berlin or Amsterdam, but it’s on the right path. It’s interesting to see underground techno djs playing bottle service clubs here, but that’s just a sign of techno crossing over.
CGNY: Where/what have been some of your most memorable parties?
Black Asteroid: ADE in Amsterdam is always a highlight every year. Last October I played with Speedy J and Len Faki at 11am on a Friday morning. Next month the Electric Deluxe ADE party is even bigger and I'm looking forward to that. Last year I played 4 gigs in Japan around New Year’s Eve which I will never forget.
CGNY: What labels/artists are you loving/listening to at the moment?
Black Asteroid: Torque and LSN from Japan, Sienna Obscure from Chile, Brood from the US, Mute and of course Electric Deluxe and CLR.
CGNY: Tell us about future gigs/productions that are out now or coming up?
Black Asteroid: My next EP comes out on CLR in late October, followed by an EP on Electric Deluxe in December and my debut album sometime in early 2014. In the next few weeks I will be in Italy, Germany, Holland, South America and hopefully back in the U.S soon.