British Industrial Techno

Steve Bailey – aka Makaton – has been at the forefront of techno releasing peerless, influential and experimental techno music since 1998.
Bailey is from Birmingham in the UK, and along with Surgeon and Regis pushes an upfront and raw sound.
With his heritage rooted deeply in the heavily industrialised ‘Black Country’ area of the Midlands, he operates in the dark and industrial landscape.
After releasing tracks for over 15 years, he continues to be one to watch with outstanding releases on Token, Blueprint, Rodz-Konez creating surprising and exciting works that never get stale and always interesting.
Makaton’s exhilarating liveset has seen him bolster the techno scene across the UK, Europe and in the US.

01. Let’s start from your musical roots: when were you first drawn to the possibilities of electronic music production?

I have always been interested in sound. I started by doing mixing on cassette tapes to emulate what I heard hip hop djs doing with vinyl. I started buying music at young age mainly hip hop, electro. When I could afford it I bought a sampler, AKAI s900 and some other equipment.

02. What is it that you find so interesting about the genre techno? And how did you get into that genre of music?

I like that its open ended genre, so concepts can be introduced and experimented with. As I said previously it’s a natural progression from hip hop, electro, electronic music etc I bought when I was a youngblood.

03. How do you go about approaching a new track, do you have a certain method or is it about spontaneity?

I dont have any specific methods I always try to challenge myself and never feel content with a singular approach.

04. You founded Rodz-Konez in 1998. What made you decide to launch the label?

I felt it was right to time to start the label and add fuel to the fire.

How important has location in general been to the music that you’ve made over the years?

It isn’t where you came from, it’s where you’re going that counts – Ella Fitzgerald. I dont think location matters. It’s not something I think about to be honest it doesnt affect my art.

05. Over the past two decades has the label adhered closely to that initial vision, or has its identity and direction changed over time?

Rodz-Konez has still has the focus, the same vision. Dark, Industrial and Experimental.

06. Rodz-Konez’ roster proudly includes great artists as: Regis, Inigo Kennedy, Tomohiko Sagae, Fumiya Tanaka, Paul Damage and many more…
How did you first encounter Karl O’Connor and Inigo Kennedy, two of the greatest British techno flags?

I met Karl in a chip shop, he was buying a battered sausage. We clicked straightaway. Inigo I met in Soho, London we shared an interest in flyering phoneboxes and blue movies.

07. The scenes most of the time were somehow connected to urban contexts of Detroit, Berlin or… Birmingham.  The industrial roots of your city obviously fit really well into the stereotype of a fertile ground for electronic music. How do you see it from the inside?

I dont really see inside or outside. The people I know from Birmingham are friends that share similar interests, we are all on our own paths, only rule is no weakeners allowed!

Also what do you think of the current state of techno in the UK?

Clubs are getting shutdown / closed far too regulary all over the place. Gentrification kills culture. Rave music will survive, as it’s the base of youthful expression and the more you oppress the harder we come.

08. Your new EP ‘Immaculata’ is going to be released on a pillar imprint of the market like ‘’Voitax’’, how your cooperation with the German label began?

I played in Berlin at a Voitax night. They are good people and support my music and I like their vision too.

09. What were the key pieces of musical equipment used to make this ep and is there any particular technical process you’d like to tell us about?

Equipment I used: EMS Synthi, noise generators, microphones. I recorded some glass being crushed and spectrally morphed them with EMS Synthi to create the synth lines and background atmospheres.

10. Being an excellent live performer brought your career to a top level in the electronic scene. Here we have some curiosities about your live setup —and the approach you take to playing live—based on what you have in the studio?

I constantly change the live and studio setups. At moment live I do live sampling, noise, improvise, nothing planned.
In studio, I have probability based sequencing, noise generators, microphones, modular system etc.

11. You’ve been making music for a fairly long time now. How easy have you found it sustain your personal interest in it over the years?

Well I don’t pay attention to trends that other walking moral vacuums do. I am on my own path and focus on my own sound. I enjoy producing music and experimenting with sound.

12. What is the thing that you are most proud of?

That I can continue to play live and produce music and that everyone in the scene knows a Makaton track when they hear it.
I would like to show support to all the Makaton fans and promoters that believe in my music. House of God/UK, Timeshift/Italy, Black Hole/USA, Rottweiler/Sweden, Pseudomonarchia Daemonum/Slovakia, Diskonnect/Germany, Constant Value/Seoul, Deepheat/Belgium, Vault Sessions/Holland, Astron Bar/Greece and anyone else I cant remember! Without you I wouldn’t be able to poison the minds of the local youth! 666. Rave on.

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