Five Influences – a Q&A with Dave Clarke

Dave Clarke is back in the studio and it comes at a time when his punk aesthetic has been sorely missed on the scene. His first release will be out on the 16th April and features remixes from artist such as Placebo, Gazelle Twin and The Soft Moon and more, once again highlighting the rock and punk influences that made him the endearing Techno and Electro artist he was throughout the nineties and most of the naughties. His music always featured a raw edge that followed him straight into his DJ sets and if you were looking for uncompromising Techno you’d have to look no further than Dave Clarke. Although his hiatus from recording was extensive, he’s never really gone anywhere and his sets like at his annual “Dave Clarke presents” at ADE are unparalleled for their authenticity and fervent energy. We know punk played a major influence on a young Dave Clarke back in his youth, but that’s just one layer of the artist that John Peel would go on to call the Baron of Techno, and in this piece we peel back some more of the outer layers of Dave Clarke while you stream the playlist if influences below.

What’s your earliest memory of hearing electronic music, and your first thoughts on the genre?

Tough one, but probably Tomita and then Devo, John Foxx and Moroder and The Sparks, John Foxx massively inspired me.

What piece of music influenced your decision to make music and how did your first tracks compare?

There is no one piece of music that inspired me to do the jump as I was edging into it slowly with Four Track tape decks and drum machines, but Steinski and Mass Media, MARRS and Bomb the Bass and Coldcut inspired the cut and paste mythology that was so important to following on from my hip hop influences.

Was there ever piece of music you made, that still influences your own productions?

I try not too listen to my old music very often, as I do not want to be in one area of time. It would be weird to reference your own work I think, limits possibilities.

Is there a song from another artist that was a big influence in your work and how has it influenced you?

Way way too many to list, I know it is a vague answer but the reality is I am a musical sponge, I am listening to Alt J as I type this (having a mini break in the studio), but all music can inspire me if I vibe on it, either in production techniques or of course the music and emotion itself. When relaxing I like some of Lulu Rouge’s work at the moment.

What has been favourite punk influence and why do you think it works so well in Techno.  

The Damned and The Ruts, I was lucky enough to talk to Marky Ramone recently and he knew by my accent that for me Punk was, and is inherently British and always will be. I like US Punk but for me, because there are rarely any political lyrics, it seems like aggressive (and of course good) Rock and Roll, but I think Jim Carroll was underrated. Musically, it inspires me and I will try and have a go attitude, but also to not trust authority. Real Techno has a lot in common with Punk Ethos, Tech House really does not.

*Dave Clarke will be playing at Jæger this Thursday alongside DJ Nuhhh and Karima for Retro.