ne of the most exciting up and coming names in sophisticated big room techno is Birmingham’s Rebekah: over the past few years, her name has been gracing the bills of clubs such as Tresor, Berghain, Studio 80, fabric, Cocoon and Atomic Jam to name but a few, and she just released an excellent mix compilation for Chris Liebing’s CLR imprint (‘Reconnected 03’).
While her touring schedule covers pretty much every continent, Rebekah’s also a hot in demand producer whose discography includes cuts for 8 Sided Dice, Stolen Moment, Naked Lunch and Cult Figures. But how did she get where she is now? We managed to caught her in-between flights to talk her rise to techno prominence, her involvement with CLR, and future plans.
Hi Rebekah, how’s life?
No worries! Life is really good thank you! Busy but that’s just how I like it!
Let’s first talk about your partnership with Chris Liebing’s CLR booking agency. How did this co-operation came about?
It stems back to a remix I did on Stolen Moments of Matadors Blond Slackers. Chris was passed it by Tommy and he started playing it a lot and wanted to hear more music from me, which I kept on sending. Eventually there was a track he really liked and wanted to add it to a V/A EP. CLR asked me to do a podcast and they had good feedback and then invited me to join the roster. We now have 4 tracks for a solo EP. I am very excited about the release.
One of the first projects you did for CLR is a mix for the label’s Reconnected series, which was released on February 25th. Can you reveal how you created the mix? What criteria did you used for track selection?
Choosing the tracks took a little time, there are already two other Reconnected Compilations by Emerson and Monoloc previous to this one so a lot of tracks had already been taken, so I didn’t want to repeat them again. The tracks would all be something I would genuinely play in a set and music that has different elements. I selected more tracks than needed, adding them to a play list and then just jammed with them to see what works and what didn’t. Then once I roughly have the selection the mix was recorded. I use Traktor with two X1’s with 4 channels open in my DJ sets. This is a little too much for a “studio” mix but I still prefer the live feel it gives over arranging the mix via Ableton Live. I’m not massively in to FX as I feel it is a little obvious and can be over kill but I hope to capture a certain energy within the mix.
You originally hail from Birmingham, UK. Would you say growing up in that city has been pivotal in getting into DJ’ing and music production? How’s the Birmingham club scene in general?
Birmingham is a great city. Growing up in the clubbing world of the 90’s definitely was the inspiration to DJ and now to make techno music. We had such great nights and still do like Atomic Jam, House of God and then the house nights like Wobble back then. My love of techno really stems from that period and I was so unaware of the “Birmingham” sound but it has definitely found its way in to my productions, on a subconscious level. Nowadays Birmingham is still a pretty happening place for clubbing, you can generally get all types of music there ranging from House through to DnB which still has a strong hold in the city. Not so much techno now but there are small pockets of it that can be founded, Resonance and AUM are doing monthly parties and bringing underground DJ’s in to the city. The other most influential night of the 2000’s is Below and is where Subb-an and Adam Shelton really cut their teeth. Early days, there was a lot more minimal techno and deep house played and it was crucial in my return to proper techno.
Can you reveal some of the projects you’re working on at the moment?
Yeah sure, I have just completed the four track EP for CLR, this should be coming out in the next few months. I also have an EP coming out on Brood Audio, we are just finalizing some more tracks for it. I have also launched a record label called Decoy, which has seen its first release back in November, with Decoy 02 dropping in March.
… and how about an artist album? Any plans for that, perhaps?
I have a concept that is just in the creation period so yes, there is something I am starting to work on and very excited. Feeling very inspired at the moment will also be incorporating more Live elements into my DJ sets.
You’ve already played at various renowned clubs and events across Europe. What has been your most memorable gig so far?
Ahh so many! Tresor in Berlin has been awesome on both occasions I have played there and Lehmann in Stuttgart is pretty special too. I recently played in Marseille which was like a mini festival which was so much fun. Overall for me there is a specific techno experience of clubbing, which is great sound, dark room and smoke and the occasional red light! It’s the contrast between the house experience being on a terrace somewhere in the middle of the day. There are more and more clubs sharing this experience.
If we would walk into your studio, what would we see? Can you reveal how you work in the studio?
You would see it’s not a studio as such but a project room, I have a teeny room in my apartment and its crammed with my DJ set up, studio equipment and a tumble dryer! Working in the studio I am predominantly DAW based, I am looking at this year to include a couple of analogue synthesizers and some FX peddles, and that will be incorporated in to the new concept, alongside field recordings. There are also photos on the walls, I really enjoy creating music from imagery and feelings and so the studio is a little hive of art and memorabilia.
Speaking of equipment, you established a partnership with Akai Pro, and you’re using the Akai APC40 into your liveset. How do you look upon co-operations between artists and brands in general?
I did some work with Akai a few years ago and really love the APC40, it’s so easy to use and gives you a lot of flexibility in the studio and out Live. I view the partnerships as being productive and pushing the technology forward. The developers need the artists and DJ’s to road test the products and to give honest feedback, especially at Beta level. As an example what Richie Hawtin did for Final Scratch by moving in to Traktor is probably one of the biggest technological advancements in DJing in recent years. And with Pioneer and James Zabiela who has helped develop the CDJ 2000.
To conclude, any final words of wisdom for our readers? Anything goes!
Just thanks for reading and taking the time! Hope you enjoy the Reconnected 03 mix and to see you on a dance floor soon.