Monday, December 7, 2009

the purposemaker

"Dance Music producers have a strange habit of mimicking other producers. When this happens, large bodies of available tracks lean to a particular style - leaving certain areas of creativity un-explored and ignored. To be able to discovers these voids, I think one has to have a wide perspective on what other artists are doing and more importantly, why they're doing it."

"As a whole, I think that most Dance Music producers and DJs no longer produce at their highest level. Many simply do whatever it takes to get noticed and stay in minds of their audiences. It's a free and unstructured industry, so I guess there is room for everything(?)."

"I wish that people would demand more from producers/DJs, event organizers, club managers, media, etc. I believe a lot of negative things persist because we do not question others and ask for more."

"People are much more aware of what's available in the market now and I think the audiences listen more closely than ever before. It's a different time and it takes different applications. It would my great wish if this approach was applied not only by DJs/producers, but promoters, the production crew of clubs/venues and all others that work on events in this industry."

"I think that part of being a DJ is knowing the history and the possible future of what you’re dealing with."

"I think if DJs and producers begin to put more of themselves (not their machines/software) into their productions, try not to mimic and copy other people, adapt a mindset that any and everything is possible, we might have a chance of raising the level of the genre [techno] where new discoveries come more frequently then they have in the past decade."

"With the technology that most DJs and producers have and are using, we should be hearing many more interesting things. Perhaps it too early in the genre to measure what really hasn't been touched upon."

"Producers could consider making music without the objective of releasing vinyls, CDs, sounds files -- maybe they could make music for the sole reason of learning on how to make it differently. If this truly catches on, I do believe we would begin to hear extraordinary work."

"My perspective is that it [techno] isn't taken seriously enough. Just about any thriving art form takes a certain amount of attention in ensuring that the people are understanding and hearing as much as they want. I don't feel that this understanding is shared by most people in this industry. There are many people that make Dance Music for their life career, but when it comes to doing/saying things that may not be directly connected to themselves, they tend to not be involved or speak up/about. It's not like this in other genres of music, in art or in dance. It seems that Electronic Music distances itself by not being thoughtfully considered by those that are in the industry."

taken from


  1. "I think that part of being a DJ is knowing the history and the possible future of what you’re dealing with."

    My feelings exactly. Know your trade.

  2. Great interview there - what fantastic and refreshing thoughts about the scene.

    Having seen Jeff playing a techno set for the first time this weekend (at System in Leeds, the event the interview was for), I'm not really surprised he has such thoughtful opinions on techno - his three hour set was way, way above most other DJ sets I've experienced - in terms of energy, in terms of interesting and unique music, in terms of groove, in terms of technical ability... obviously a DJ with his finger still very much on the pulse. Consider me a Jeff Mills convert now ;)

  3. Some very interesting comments and I'd love to hear him practice what he preaches.

    He certainly used to and his place in techno's history as one of the true greats is unquestionable.

    Throughout the 90s he could barely put a foot wrong and most of his work still sounds absolutely amazing (particularly the Purposemaker stuff).

    As a DJ he blew me away the first few times I saw him but in the last 10 years I've found him to be less and less at the forefront of techno's evolution.

    Sure, he's taken techno into new places through his scoring for Metropololis and the work he did with the Montpellier Orchestra but I felt his DJ sets got a tad predictable and formulaic.

    Lost's insistence at booking him for practically every party was one of the reasons I stopped going there too - another techno institution that seemed to get stuck in a rut.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Mills hater (far from it!) and I wasn't aware of his new DJ set-up. If Mills truly is back in the game of consistently pushing techno's boundaries then there will be some very exciting times ahead - lets hope so!

  4. @RAW: i agree with what you say. my feeling is that mills doesnt follow through on what he says, but not because he isnt trying. i think he is fundamentally trapped in a framework that limits his ability to continually innovate. saying that, i also get the sense he is going through a real revival. his recent drummer EPs are bang on.

  5. also, even if he isnt following through on what he says, the words are still spot on, as far as i am concerned. worth listening to.

  6. Yeah, definitely agree the words are worth giving some thought to as there's certainly some innovative ideas in there.

    I particularly like the part about producers considering to make music "for the sole reason of learning on how to make it differently. If this truly catches on, I do believe we would begin to hear extraordinary work."...although I'm not sure how this ties in with not focusing on producing sound files

  7. I love this guy. It's obvious to me that he's on another level. Much respect.

  8. J. Mills is my absolute dogma, god, sign of perfection on earth..

    excuse me for i can't put my critical, western, civilized, educated reasonable mind to judge this man on anything..

    i just love him & adore him..

  9. I've been following his latest efforts vis his axis records website, twitter and facebook updates and feel he's starting to take off again.

    he's going into his scientific / outer space / explorer concept angle and is making some really interesting music.


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