Since 1999 Andrew Boie has been spinning vinyls to the thoughtful nods of techno druids. Under their watchful gaze, he begun fueling the ovens with operations like his kansascitytechno.com as well as regular enamel tearing sets on Closer PDX.
We shot him some questions so as to get more of an idea of who he is and his insight is into the techno scene, read on below.
A mention should also be given to the detail in the track list provided. In this age where music sales don’t exist anymore, it’s humbling that credit is provided in such detail.
You’ve been playing techno and house since 1999. What drew you to the electronic sounds and made you want to get started dj’ing?
I caught the so-called ‘electronica’ thing that was going on around then. I was in the military at the time and made some friends who were into watching MTV’s Amp, Astralwerks, drum ‘n bass, Prodigy, Orbital, big beat…I was listening to all kinds of stuff but I remember 2 mix cds really got me: Josh Wink’s “Profound Sounds Vol. 1” and Richie Hawtin’s “Decks, EFX, & 909”. Those pushed me towards techno, it was only a year or so later before I was buying Cari Lekebusch and The Advent records. I was very hard-techno focused for a while but eventually branched out and started getting interested in various house sounds as well.
How is the techno culture the Midwest of the USA now compared to back when you started out in the scene?
When I first started in the late 90s in Kansas City it was crazy. There was a very strong house scene. There was decent warehouse party every weekend, if not two of them, often with multiple rooms. I remember going to shows in Omaha with 5 rooms. Techno was welcome too, this was when most techno DJs were playing super intense drummy records at 135bpm or faster, I miss sets like that sometimes. Around 2002 the RAVE act pretty much shut all that down very quickly. Nowadays in Kansas City the kansascitytechno.com crew and other people have been working hard to bring techno into the bars and clubs but it’s a bit of an uphill battle. Other places in the Midwest I think it varies, I see a lot of cool stuff going on in St. Louis, Iowa City, and Minneapolis. Since about 5 years ago I relocated to the Pacific Northwest, there’s all kinds of parties here especially in Seattle.
Having observed the evolution of techno over the last decade and a half, what are your thoughts on how electronic music has progressed over such a long time? What is important in a good techno beat these days?
This is a tough one to answer! Looking back the late 90’s I think people got a little too much into the fast drumtrax/schranz sound, and the mid-00’s weren’t that great either with the whole Minimal craze. I actually dropped out of the scene for a couple years around then when I was in grad school. A 2009 trip to Movement in Detroit was like a huge breath of fresh air. I think techno is in a pretty good place right now.
I guess there’s a couple approaches to sound design that I really get into lately, not all of them related. I’ve been getting into the grungy analog aesthetic of labels like Lobster Theremin, Forbidden Planet, Russian Torrent Versions, Mister Saturday Night…I like more straightforward techno tracks that have a lot of attention to detail in them, recent work by Post Scriptum I think is a good example of this. There’s some producers like Luke Slater, Joey Anderson, or Kassem Mosse that have really wild imaginations I always want to hear what they are up to. I guess at the end of the day it’s important to find and/or make music that doesn’t sound like it came from some template or preset, ya know? Keep things going forward.
I first heard your works after someone has posted your 6.5 hour mix from a house party on reddit. How was the party?!? How did you keep the pace/how did you keep them interested for 6.5 hours?
It was a “white trash christmas party” and people started showing up around 6pm, by 11 there must have been 50 people crammed into my house. It was great. I grew a horrible mustache just for the occasion. We had a whole bunch of locals come in and play sets. I went on last around 2am and just kept going well past dawn, everyone who was still there was dedicated at that point. Past about 4am nobody was wearing pants. We get kind of wild in Portland. So I just jammed. As far as pacing things I switched between techno and house a few times in that mix to keep people (and myself) from getting bored. Any set longer than an hour or so I think you need to get into different styles, tell some stories.
On the subject of having enough material to play for that long…just how large is your record collection?
I have about 3000 records, it’s a habit!
What excited you most about the future of techno? Do you have any favorites your listening too at the moment?
The mix has a lot of my favorites that I’ve picked up recently as far as banging techno goes. I hadn’t made a straight-up warehouse techno mix in quite a while. Looking ahead I’ve been on the hunt for slower techno, I might make a mix soon of some intense stuff I’ve been finding around 120 bpm…
Why do you think electronic dance music has taken off so strongly in the last decade?
Well this whole EDM thing has been getting a lot of press and money lately. It doesn’t seem rooted at all in the original house or techno scene, to me it’s something separate. The music doesn’t do much for me but it could be good if it gets some people into more interesting kinds of dance music. It can be hard to get the under-30 crowd to show up to techno/house events where I live. If they come from a scene where it’s all crazy build-ups and drops all the time something hypnotic and meditative like techno can seem boring to them. If you present on a really good sound system though I think it helps people new to techno ‘get it’.
Alstadt Echo – Modern Cathedrals pt. 1 [Modern Cathedrals]
Bleak – Rampage [Naura]
Dax J – La Haine [Weekend Circuit]
Antigone – Enter [Token]
Oscar Mulero – Mentally Induced Action [Pole Recordings]
Robert Hood – Shaker [EPM]
Par Grindvik – Folium [Stockholm LTD]
Rødhåd – Kinder Der Ringwelt [Dystopian]
Exium – Magnetic Flux [Pole Recordings]
Confucio – Where The Logic Ends [Tresor]
Mike Gervais – Grind [Mistress Recordings]
Post Scriptum – Human Timescales [Ostgut Ton]
Staffan Linzatti – View From The Collapsing Centre [Balans]
Reeko – Star Phases [Modularz]
Stanislav Tolkachev – White Blood Cell [Semantica]
Voices From The Lake – Sentiero [The Bunker NY]
Josef Gaard – Obsidian Falls [Blankstairs]
Polar Inertia – Floating Away Fire [Dement3d]
Nthng – Human [Mörk]