Entries in press (4)


:: Interview with 5 Magazine

5 Magazine is a print and online zine out of Chicago. 

Interview by Terry Matthew

 You're in San Francisco now, which much like Chicago is often a way-station for artists who are from somewhere else. Where are you from originally and how did you get to the Bay Area?

I grew up in Dayton, OH until I moved to Boston to attend the Berklee College of Music, where I studied music synthesis. After graduating I decided to try out life on the West Coast. I have family in San Francisco so I've made frequent visits to the city over the years, and I knew from a young age that this place really appealed to me. The Bay Area in general is really beautiful and has so much to offer, and I am one of many Midwestern transplants out here.


Many producers start DJing and add to their repertoire as they go. Do you remember who you first heard performing a live PA? Do you ever DJ, and was there a greater learning curve to learn how to do a live PA?

The first live performances I remember really making an impression on me were from a couple of Ohio artists, Todd Sines and Titonton Duvante. Their music is pretty much what introduced me to techno as a teenager in the Ohio rave scene. From that point I started paying attention to the music coming out of other Midwestern cities, making the trek up to Detroit on many occasions. I actually feel pretty lucky to have grown up where I did, getting exposed to so much phenomenal electronic music along the way. I may not have ended up where I am now if it weren't for that influence.

A lot of people ask me why I don't DJ. I think it's because I grew up playing music, so writing and performing are both things I've been doing for a majority of my life. As my interest in electronic music grew over time, I knew I wanted to get involved beyond just going to the parties. It seemed like the next step was to start producing music of my own.

I don't know if there's a greater learning curve to playing live since I don't DJ at all... I've never even attempted it once. I'd have to try it out before I could give a real answer. But I do know that playing live is a ton of work. My set relies on regularly writing new material, because I don't want to be playing the same set over and over.


A number of the labels you've released music on but especially Beretta Grey have really pushed your name out there and made people like me notice. How did you link up with them - simple demos over the transom?

I've gotten a huge amount of support from the labels I've worked with so far. I like to be part of labels who sort of operate as a collective, where all of the artists support each other, the label has showcase events, and being on the label means more than putting a record out every now and then.

I hooked up with Beretta Grey because I was introduced to Brian Kage by one of the other artists on the label, Keith Kemp. I stayed in touch with Brian and sent him recordings of live sets I was playing, and he picked out some of the tracks that he liked. Being a part of Beretta has been amazing, in part because we're all friends with each other. It's one of the big reasons I look forward to the Movement festival in Detroit each year. I know there's a Beretta reunion in store.


There's a substantial underground scene in San Francisco, and you're a part of it with As You Like It. Pretend I'm a tourist. Can you give me a bit of an idea of what the scene is like?

Kontrol is definitely responsible for bringing the San Francisco techno scene to life a few years ago by launching a monthly party featuring international techno headliners. By the time I moved to SF, the party had been moved to the End Up, which is a legendary venue in the city because it stays open well into the night. Kontrol would definitely be a requirement for anyone taking a techno tour of SF.

As You Like It also brings in a ton of great talent. They throw a lot of their shows at two of my favorite club venues: BeatBox and Public Works. The AYLI events go off every time, bringing together a diverse crowd of SF electronic music lovers.

Housepitality is a weekly party every Wednesday, and is one of the best weekly events in the city. They book great artists and consistently get a solid crowd. It doesn't even matter that it's in the middle of the week.


When you perform a live set, how many of your tools are analog instruments? Do you bring a laptop with? Is this markedly different than your studio?

The three synths that I usually perform with are the Elektron Monomachine and Machinedrum, and a 303 emulator called the x0xb0x. I also have an Eventide Space reverb unit that I like to bring out.

I do use a laptop, because I have more gear in my home studio that's too big to travel with. One of my synthesizers, the Alesis Andromeda, is a huge full-sized keyboard and weighs over 50 lbs. It makes incredible sounds, but it's not something I want to carry on the road so I record it and throw the recordings into Ableton Live. I also can't think of too many club venues that would have the space for me to bring all my gear, so I try to limit the size of my setup and only bring the smaller synths out.


If I were to introduce someone to your music, which recording would I start with?

The Bloom set is one of my favorites because it the live recording of my first solo live set, at a party called Bloom. The concept behind that party was to feature female artists, and the promoter had been asking me to play for awhile. When she first contacted me, I was still really busy with [her previous partnership with Danny Patterson] Monocle and hadn't really started working on solo productions yet. So when I finally had a bunch of my own music together, I hit her up and asked if she could get me on a lineup. I was so incredibly nervous going into that night. People liked Monocle, and our sets were getting great feedback from people. I didn't want to go from that to playing on my own and have it go badly. But so many of my friends came out to support that night, my nerves calmed down and it went well. The recording ended up really good, I was very happy with it. • 


:: Ibiza-Voice features As You Like It

I have an anniversary to celebrate this weekend. As You Like It is turning one, and what a year it's been! As one of their residents, I've been lucky enough to play alongside the likes of Dan Bell, Sutekh, Ben Klock, and DVS1 to name a few. In celebration, ibiza-voice.com wrote a nice feature about this weekend's event, and our fearless leader Jeremy Bispo. He had some very kind words for his residents: 

"Few promoters give their residents the props they deserve, but Bispo doesn’t believe the AYLI parties would have ever reached critical mass over the past three-sixty-five without the support of his residents: Christina ChatfieldRich Korach, and Mossmoss, it’s a welcome change to hear someone put the locals in the same context as the out-of-town guests, and yet another reason why these gatherings are so distinguished."

Thanks for the love Mr. Bispo, I'm really looking forward to this show.

Read the rest of what ibiza-voice has to say about AYLI.


:: Interview with Housepitality

In preparation for my appearance at their weekly party that's coming up, the folks over at Housepitality had one of the men behind KontrolGreg Bird ask me a few questions.

GB: It would appear that much of your existence, from your job, to your creative pursuits, to your social life, seems to revolve around music. could you shed some light on how and why things turned out this way

CC: Well, I know some people say it’s a cliché answer, but it’s the only answer I have! I was raised by a family of musicians. My mother sings opera, my father is a pipe organist, and my older brother plays classical upright bass in an orchestra. All three are currently working musicians in their field. So as you can imagine, I’ve been surrounded by music as long as I can remember. I took lessons on several instruments throughout childhood including violin, flute, guitar, piano, and voice, but no one instrument really stuck for the long term. However, it was still pretty clear I had music in my blood (literally). Rather than follow in the footsteps of my other family members who mastered one single instrument, I liked playing many instruments and making many different kinds of sounds. As I started writing songs, I realized that I wanted to be able to control every aspect of the way it sounded. So you take all those things, and mix it with the fact that I ended up falling in love with electronic music as a teenager growing up in the Midwest, and it all led to me studying music synthesis in college, which led to producing music and playing live sets, etc. It’s been sort of a domino effect over time.

GB: what producers or DJs are turning your crank these days, and why?

CC: Oh wow, I could go on about this for days, so I’ll try to keep it short. In no particular order…

Currently I’ve been really loving Donato Dozzy. He played a show in San Francisco about a year ago that just completely blew my mind. I didn’t recognize a single track he played, and it sounded timeless yet fresh. Sets like that tend to end up really standing out for me. He is clearly one of those DJs who has been listening to and collecting music for a long time. There was a Krautrock mix of his up on mnmlssgs that also showed just how far the depths of his musical knowledge goes, and that mix is in my regular listening rotation. His productions are really astounding too. I like how heady and weird his music gets – people often use the term “hypnotic” for his music and I’d say that’s pretty spot on.

I also just returned from the Unsound Festival in New York, where I saw Atom Heart and Pink Elln play a rare live set together that was really incredible. It was all hardware, lots of vintage gear, and what turned me on so much about it was the fact that it sounded like future music. I also love it when vintage gear is used in music and it gives it a kind of retro sound. But to see those two play some of the most current-sounding and futuristic dance music I’ve heard in a long time, using classic gear, was a real treat. It was perfectly programmed from start to finish yet heavily improvised, and is definitely something I’ll be thinking about for awhile. I feel very lucky to have witnessed that performance because it was SO stellar. I will definitely be hunting down more music from those two.

I also get into more pop-influenced music as well, and have been liking a lot of Benoit and Sergio’s productions. Their track “Full Grown Man” is one of my recent favorites. Also Public Lover has been putting out some really beautiful, impressive music too with their EP Musique D’Hiver Pour L Ete. Brandt Brauer Frick is another group that is taking things in an interesting direction. I had the pleasure of seeing them perform at Mutek Montreal last year and they stole the show for me. Their album You Make Me Real is constantly playing on my headphones. The former music school nerd in me loves to hear great songwriting, and all of those groups cater to that side of music I enjoy. It’s refreshing to hear some catchy vocal hooks, jazzy influence, and live playing in dance music.

GB: When writing music, do you have a particular way in which you generally compose?  does it start with a beat and get fleshed out from there, or do you start with a melody or musical idea and work around that? how much of the end product is planned out versus spontaneous?

CC: I’ve had writing go both ways, planned and spontaneous. The planned tracks tend to get completed faster. There have been times where I get a clear idea in my head, a bass line, a chord progression, something like that, and I’ll go home and just knock it out. The title track from my Finite EP on Beretta Grey was like that, I wrote it from start to finish in about three days. It was one of the fastest writing processes I’ve ever experienced because I knew exactly what I wanted to do from the get-go. But having lots of hardware synths in my studio can lead to me recording 40 minutes of messing around, just getting lost in the gear and twisting knobs. I’ll go back and listen to those lengthy recordings and pick out a section that stands out to me, and build something from there. I’ve also had moments from a live set I played where I realize afterwards a certain part worked really well and I should expand that into a more complete musical thought in the studio. Those tracks are more spontaneous in the writing process, and can take much longer for me to finish as I find my way and figure out where I want it to lead.

GB: most live acts these days keep a pretty consistent set from show to show. I’m always amazed by the fact that you write a ton of new music (if not an entirely new set) each time you play, making each performance unique.  how do you stay so consistently creative, and what happens to all that old music after it’s been used in a set?

CC: I tend to be inspired by many different kinds of music, anything from old Nine Inch Nails to current bands like Blonde Redhead and The Soft Moon. My brother has also been turning me onto Brazilian funk. Depending on what I’m listening to at any given moment, it might inspire an idea that I want to go into the studio and experiment with. Drawing inspiration from all types of music, not just electronic music, helps to keep creativity and ideas flowing for me. Also, I have a pretty extensive collection of hardware synth recordings that I’ve made over the years, in addition to the new recordings I’m currently making. All of that provides a good palette of parts to use for live sets.

GB: finally, what is your favorite aspect of San Francisco’s dance music scene, and where does it have the most room for improvement?

CC: I really like the sense of community you experience in the music scene here. There are lots of talented producers that live here, and not really a sense of competition at all between anyone, but rather a sense of encouragement. I also really like that there isn’t drama between various promoters. People tend to work together, and again, it’s not a competition between promoters. Everyone is down for the cause…  you don’t see these situations where promoters are trying to sabotage each other or what have you. I also love that San Francisco is the kind of city that allows for outdoor daytime events in parks. Grabbing a blanket, some friends, and listening to tunes in the sun makes for a damn good Sunday.

One thing I would like to see more of is DJs playing extended sets. I’ll admit I get a tad envious when I see something like Bunker in NYC inviting Speedy J or Prosumer for an all-night set — they are the only artist on the bill for the entire night. There is no reason we couldn’t be doing more stuff like that in SF, I think people would be into it. And I don’t just mean visiting artists, we have many local SF artists I’d love to see playing extended sets too. I think one hour isn’t long enough for a DJ to fully make their mark, and for them to really take listeners on a journey. As a music lover myself, I find it really hard to whittle everything I like down into a small slice. I’d imagine it’s the same for a DJ trying to fit into one hour. These extended sets that start off with more chill music for the first part, then morph into full-on party music over the course of the night give DJs the opportunity to cover a wide variety of sounds. We’ve had a couple instances of that, like a party where Dan Bell played an 8-hour set (which was a really amazing night), and I would love to see that happening more often.


:: Finite EP review on Infernal Techno

From the people over at Infernal Techno...

Detroit-based Beretta Music is now in its eighth year since founded by local Brian Kage. With sublabels Beretta Grey and Beretta Red, the label as a whole stands for techno and house music with soul and passion. An all-star roster of artists, both national and international, that all unite under the same common thread of sound gives this unique label a great sense of community within itself.

With its eighth release, Beretta Grey presents Christina Chatfield's inspiring dub techno. Growing up near Chicago and Detroit in Ohio and raised by classical musicians, it's no wonder where Christina draws so much influence from in her music. Now located in the heart of San Francisco, she currently works with mate Danny Patterson together and performs as part of the live act 'Monocle'.

The Finite EP features two emphatic originals from Christina and a complimentary remix from Beretta duo Reference (Brian Kage + Luke Hess). The self titled track, Finite, is presented on Side A with little time for the listener to pause, constantly building upon itself until tension release. The warm chords sit nicely on top of soft house rhythms, giving this track a perfect mood for the dance floor. Side B sees Christina work with similar sounds, yet the journey and vibe completely set itself apart from Side A. 'Hands' features filtered chord effects and syncopated claps, giving a nice rolling impression of the atmosphere. Keeping the patience and filling negative space nicely between both tracks, Christina brings her own version of Detroit techno to life. Track 2 of Side B gives Reference time to revise 'Hands' and add their own personal touch to the song. Like any true remix, Reference gives 'Hands' an original outlook, with classic percussion and luscious pads reminiscent of mid 90s Detroit techno.