with a moniker like matrixxman, it’s no surprise that charlie duff has time on his mind. a san francisco based DJ/producer with roots in arlington, virginia, duff has only been making music as matrixxman for a handful of years, sparked by an early listen to a juan atkins mix cd. although his musical history spans hip-hop and chicago house, his techno is hard-edged, restrained, impeccably produced with the gravitas of an artist who’s been in the game for decades. an infatuation with computers, AI, and technology has led duff to a kind of intrinsic interest in futurism — a techno DJ fundamental that, whether he likes it or not, permeates everything from his DJ sets to his productions.
do you believe in time travel?
i have mixed feelings on the subject. it’s something that i wouldn’t rule out of the realm of possibility for other highly advanced civilizations although i’m inclined to think we don’t realize said technology here on earth. or that if we do, maybe it’s only one-sided — like we can travel forward but not backward, otherwise we most likely would have undone things like the holocaust, slavery, or other events that we deeply regret as a species.
yuka is a wanderer. she is a shaman. she’s a designer and an artist. she’s a collector. she’s a crate digger. she’s a songbird catcher. she’s a dancer, a guitar player and an inventor. she’s a traveler. she is so many things — but most of all, yuka is a music maker.
born in 1974 in the industrial beachside town of bratsk in eastern siberia, yuka’s home offered red earth and harsh climates; a fact that she doesn’t romanticize, even today. the town’s remote location in the depths of the taiga, as well as the severity of the soviet regime, meant that she relied on imagination, imagery and music to fuel her creativity.
in 2007, a berlin-based producer, composer, sound engineer, and installation artist named robert henke wrote an essay entitled live performance in the age of supercomputing. it was a two-part piece that detailed the subtleties of live performance, and the different ways to move your audience. and henke should know. he has more than two decades of experience in the electronic music industry under his belt, not only as a producer and artist but likewise as the co-founder and developer of ableton.
his live performances — whether under his own name or as part of cutting-edge electronic act, monolake — have brought him everywhere from the stages of mutek montreal or unsound poland, to the jagged rock cliffs of mexico or the empty airport hangars of france, to the dripping concrete walled nightclubs of his native germany. he works with anything and everything; lasers, kinetic light objects, field recordings, drum kits, helium balloons, computers, networking software. there is no limit to what henke can turn into music.
a few years after live performance in the age of supercomputing, henke rewrote the essay as a hitch hiker’s guide. the age of supercomputing, it seemed, had caught up with him. digital publication began calling for short, punctuated pieces; so henke obliged. written with a wink of irony, henke broke the essay down into accessible, easy to understand sections with titles like “play stuff the audience knows,” and “make sure it sounds great.” for our littlecity exclusive interview, i took a leaf from henke’s book: herewith you’ll find the hitch hiker’s guide to robert henke, an exploration of his work and values using the same sections as his pervasive essay. Continue reading