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Spektre

Techno duo make a pilgrimage to paradise

2017 Jul 25     
2 Bit Thugs

We catch up with the Leeds-based twosome as they prepare to drop their refix of a Sourmash classic

Formed some 10 years ago, Spektre began as a side project for Rich Wakley and Paul Maddox, both of whom were already established producers in their own right. But they've gone on to become a well-established fixture on the techno scene, with three albums under their belt to date and releases on such respected labels as Veryverywrongindeed, Toolroom Records, GU Music, 1605 Music Therapy and Trapez Ltd

Their own Respekt Recordings, meanwhile, is nearing the 150-release mark, and has put out material from the likes of Marco Bailey, Tom Hades, Phunk investigation, Cristian Varela, Lutzenkirchen, Paride Saraceni, Matt Minimal and Filterheadz.

The duo's latest offering is a remix of Sourmash's 1993 Prolekult classic Pilgrimage To Paradise. Rich and Paul's rerub keeps the cut-up vox and pounding techno 4/4s, but adds even more bottom-end kick while toning down the rave-y synths, and comes backed by the Original Mix.

The single's out next Friday (4 August) on Respekt, so now seemed like a good time to grab 'em for a quick chat...

According to your biog, Spektre 'began life as an experimental side project'. Can you tell us a little about that, and how it shifted from being a side project to your main focus?

"Sure. We were both busy working on our own solo projects but wanted to try something different. A mutual friend introduced us and it rapidly became clear that we had a lot of shared influences, so we moved from playing with a few ideas to releasing on some of the labels we’d been inspired by."

Re: the Sourmash remix... did they approach you, or was this done off your own bat?

"We did this one off our own bat. We’d been talking about doing it for ages, but finally got round to it earlier this year. Originally we were going to keep it just for our sets, but after sending it to a handful of DJs and getting a great reaction we decided to contact the original writers and license it for an official release on Respekt."

Do you have any personal fond memories of the original?

"Neither of us can get enough of the riff! For us, it was just one of the original rave classics - we grew up hearing the original on tape packs, as our clubbing careers started a little after the first release. So we’re extremely proud to be able to give it a re-release on our own label."

And was it daunting taking on such a well-loved classic?

"Yes and no. We were never trying to beat the original mix, just make something that worked in our sets right now, so we kept things simple and just used the saw riff, bassline and vocal part for a stripped-back version, which seems to do the trick!"

It's been four years since we had an album from you. Is there anything in the pipeline?

"Not any time soon on the album front, no - the reason for that being that we’re currently putting all our energy into designing and refining our new live setup, which we’ll be unveiling later this year."

Respekt Recordings is coming up to the 150-release mark. Any special celebrations planned?

"We don’t have a special release planned for the 150th release, but we are celebrating with a very special label event at Melkweg in Amsterdam for the Techno Tuesday crew on 8 August. Melkweg has been on the bucketlist for some time now, so we can't wait!

"We also have some killer releases scheduled for the rest of the year from the likes of Luca Gaeta, Chicago Loop and Steam Shape, plus a big original from ourselves."

You're based in Leeds. Who/what/where would be your top tips for anyone wanting to check out the local scene?

"There are plenty of amazing clubs to check out in Leeds, depending on what floats your boat. Mint Club, Church, Warehouse, Canal Mills, Space, Wire, and of course there's also Mint Warehouse for the larger events. The Cocoon In The Park and Made In Leeds festivals have also become permanent fixtures on the clubbing calendar."

Finally, what else is going on in Spektre World right now that iDJ readers need to know about?

"On the release front, following Sourmash we have an EP on Funk N'Deep and a follow-up EP on Elevate in October, as well as a big single on Respekt which has already been getting huge support from Adam Beyer. We also have some great gigs coming up in Argentina, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, Austria and of course Germany."

Words: Russell Deeks

Pilgrimage To Paradise [Spektre Re-Mash] is out on Respekt Recordings on 4 August

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Tags: Spektre, Rich Wakley, Paul Maddox, Respekt Recordings, techno, Leeds, Melkweg, Prolekult