Interview in the company of the iconic and legendary Alan Oldham aka DJ T-1000, born in Detroit and based in Berlin, called “Detroit Techno’s Renaissance Man” by Muzik Magazine.
Owner of the Pure Sonik Records label, Alan is also an international DJ, producer, remixer and art designer. Since 2015 he has been part of the Bpitch Control family where he recently released his latest “The Dirrty Undergroud” EP.
01. Ciao Alan. In the 90’s, speaking of your history as a producer, different aliases come to mind us such as DJ T-1000, Signal To Noise Ratio or X-313. What memories do you have of that period considered by many to be the “golden era of Techno”?
It was a period of discovery and personal growth. It was the very first time in my life that something I did in my hometown had impact around the world. I was just learning how to produce and put out records. A lot of guys were busy in those days and competition in the scene was high. The American rave scene was just beginning and I started my life of travel, then Europe opened up to me. Friends were made, more friends were lost..A very exciting time.
02. What relationship do you still have with Detroit?
Before the plague I went home once a year to mount art shows and to attend Movement, in 2019, I played the Main Stage there. I’m still cool with a lot of people back home.
03. Do you still carry on your works as a cartoonist and illustrator started in 87′ with the comic “Johnny Gambit”?
Of course, I never stopped drawing and painting. I’ve had art shows in Detroit, Amsterdam, Paris, Vienna and Berlin, and I’ve recently done clothing collabs with Cavempt, Extro and Ghostly. I’m also bringing “Johnny Gambit” back in 2022 in a brand-new graphic novel. Almost finished with it now.
04. Where did your first musical influences come from?
My mom and dad. I was a baby during the heyday of Motown and my parents kept that on in the house. I had older cousins who were into Hendrix, Sly Stone, Pink Floyd and Bowie, so that was my rock side. And then I had uncles who taught me about jazz, so there was that side. My mother’s side of the family was very musical.
05. In 2014, you moved to what is called “the capital of electronic music”. How did you find the city of Berlin at that time and how do you think the clubbing scene has changed in recent years before the covid? And what future vision do you have for clubs and parties?
Well, Berlin was slowly changing when I got here full-time in 2014. A few clubs had closed even then and the old “Berlin Insane” vibe of the 2000s was calming down a bit, but still wild by other cities’ standards.
At this time there are some open-air events this summer, but we won’t know how the club scene has changed until clubs fully reopen at this moment.
The Business Techno scene and the same DJs who play all the festivals and Ibiza and mega-clubs, that won’t change. It’s business as usual for that crew. For most of us, it will be smaller crowds, maybe more local talent, not as many headliners. But time will tell.
06. In Berlin you joined Ellen Allien Bpitch family, when and how did your collaboration start?
In 2015 a mutual friend of ours Matt Edwards aka Radio Slave did a Christmas pop-up store and I ran into Ellen there. It turned out that she was doing an event at IPSE (RIP) and wanted me to DJ. So the party went off, I played the gig, and that Tuesday I was asked if I wanted to join the booking agency. Not long after I went off on tour with Ellen, I made the “Ratchet Traxx” EP for BPitch.
07. Last week your new EP called “The Dirrty Underground“ came out, when did you write it and what inspired you during the production process?
I started it in March, 2021. I watched some of Ellen’s balcony sets to get the vibe. I also wanted to make something faster for the new-school rave DJs like FJAAK, SPFDJ, VTSS, Hector Oaks, etc. I wanted to make it dirty and distorted.
08. A track from the EP you are most fond of?
I love “I Fucking Love Berlin” would be an anthem if clubs were open here in Berlin. I’m shocked nobody had used that sample before.
09. 3 songs that never missing in your bag?
Joey Beltram – My Sound
Terence Fixmer – Electrostatic
DJ T-1000 – Thesis
10. “You Know I’m Jackin’” and “Body Signal” are the latest works from your Pure Sonik Records, is there any more material to be released in the coming months?
Yes, always! I took time out to make music for other labels, but will be back to Pure Sonik soon. We are also doing more digital re-masters from the old DAT files. The Generator re-releases on Bandcamp were very successful.
11. Any news in the future as DJ Sets, productions or works of art that you want to anticipate?
I’m going back to the US in October. Playing Detroit and St. Louis so far with other gigs TBA. I also have new music on the way from Arkham Audio, Sound of Berlin, a downtempo album for my own xfive. sub-label, and an album for Elypsia in 2022.