SPEKTRE weaves an intrepid, complex web amongst underground dance music’s elite. The techno brainchild of DJs/producers Filthy Rich and Paul Maddox, the dark duo was formed through a shared passion for driving electronic music and a mutual desire to push sound boundaries using the most cutting edge technology available. The fusion of their combined experience in the studio allows them to construct dark, sinister sounds mixed with twisted, haunting vocals and unnerving, atmospheric foundations.
Why do you think you’re described as leading the ‘underground’ of electronic music?
I guess it's probably because Techno as a whole has always been an underground style. Whereas a lot of genres lend themselves to crossing over into more commercial areas, techno just naturally bubbles away under the surface. It's certainly nice to be described as leaders though!
How has the journey been for you, leading up to the release of “Casting Shadows Without Light”?
The whole process of the album probably took us over 18 months from start to finish, so it was a pretty long haul. Between us we're both easily distracted and very picky about the finer details so everything tends to take us longer than it should!
How would you describe your music/sound?
It's just Techno really. We've dipped into the harder, more melodic, minimal and every subset in between over the last five years and we like to keep it varied, but it's always under the umbrella of Techno.
What do you think is key to a good techno track?
The groove. It's the drums and percussion that make a dancefloor tick so that is always the most vital. The other stuff is just icing, and while we're big fans of good icing, the cake is still more important!
How has your label 'Respekt' progressed since it started?
Respekt is really gathering pace now. We initially focussed mainly on our own productions, but have now struck a better balance between our own material and supporting other great artists.
Your debut album “Casting Shadows Without Light” was widely acclaimed. What do you think was key to its success?
We really made an effort to make an electronic album that was a good home listen as well as having some good club tracks on it, rather than just being a bunch of singles mixed together. So hopefully that variety was part of it's appeal.
What’s been your favourite show this year?
Probably Hyperspace in Budapest. We were supporting Carl Cox & Chris Liebing, so without doubt the biggest lineup we've been featured on. It really had the right balance of a huge crowd but still with an amazing atmosphere.
Your live sets have a really good reputation. What is it that you do different to get the crowd going; what gives your shows energy?
Probably the way we change our tracks around; there's lots of looping, layering and different versions of our tracks in the live sets so it's always a bit different to the last one.
How have you experimented with techno since Spektre started?
Spektre has always been about experimentation really - we started the project as a release for our more out-there ideas when we felt a bit constrained by the styles we were producing seperately at the time. We still try to stick to that ethos of trying new things and fusing unlikely elements together.
What part would you say Beatport has played in your success?
Beatport is a real success story, and for the main electronic genres is THE place for downloads. The overwhelming majority of our digital sales are through beatport, so it's been very important.
What’s your studio set-up?
A Mac Pro running Ableton Live is the hub, with various plugins and instruments.
Is there an advantage of using analogue over digital synths? Which do you prefer?
There is a certain exciting unpredictability about real analogues synths, and I still have a couple in my studio, but to be honest the convenience of software usually wins these days. Being able to automate, duplicate and save everything in a second is to me more useful to getting music written.
Describe the process that goes into writing/producing one of your tracks?
We usually sit down and brainstorm ideas first, then spend a day in the studio getting a groove and the other main parts of the track down (in the session view of Live), then the second day will be spent arranging, mixing and generally finishing off. We'll then usually live with the track for a few days before spending a final hour or so doing any tweaks we've noticed.
Who inspires you?
We take inspiration from all sorts of places, from our peers in modern techno, the acts from the early 90s who started the whole thing off and lots of music we listen to from other genres as well.
Plans for the future?
Respekt is our main focus right now, building the roster of featured artists and keeping the quality of releases consistently high. Another album is something we have talked about but I think that will be a little way off yet!
:: QUICK FIRE QUESTIONS ::
Who or what is your favourite…
DJ :: Carl Cox
Live Act :: The Prodigy
Record of the Moment :: Egbert "Haasten"
Gadget :: iPhone
Food :: Literally everything - Love Seafood though
Restaurant :: The Milestone in my home city of Sheffield
City To Play In :: Mexico City
Saying :: Better to be too busy than bored
Piece Of Advice :: Look on the bright side
Way To Relax :: Climbing
TV Program :: Shooting Stars
Movie :: Leon
Website :: www.spektre.co.uk
You can catch SPEKTRE performing LIVE this Friday @ Favela, Sydney...