Guest of Honor: Octave One about the global developement and future of techno

Guest of Honor: Octave One about the global developement and future of techno

Mar 2, 2015 |  by  |  Music
About the author
Born and raised in Amsterdam, lives to dance and dances to live on electronic music, has a small vinyl addiction, appreciates a little sarcasm now and then, thinks musicals are annoying and loves those moments where you lose track of time completely.

The Detroit-based brothers Lenny and Lawrence Burden (you might know them as Octave One) have been releasing records and performing all over the world for over 20 years. You might say that they’re pioneers. They’re performing at 5 Days Off this week, which gave me a nice excuse to ask the guys some questions about the global techno scene. I reckon they’ve been around long enough to give me some interesting insights.

You guys remixed some impressive artists such as Massive Attack, Steve Bug and Aril Brikha. Are there artists you still want to remix in the future?
“Yeah, we had fun doing a variety of remixes during our career, but honestly, we don’t know who we would be rubbing our hands together to remix right now. There are so many good artists making some really good dance music right now, and we admire their work so much we actually don’t want to touch it.”

You have two record labels, 430 West Records and Direct Beat. Why do you have two and what’s the difference between them?
“Direct Beat is on ice at the moment until we decide if we want to wake it back up again. This was our Electro/TechnoBass outlet which was a totally different style altogether. And of course 430 West Records is our main putting-it-to-the-dance-floor-experience label!”

You guys have been producing and performing all over the world for over 20 years. How have you seen the global techno scene develop musically over those years?
“Music is always going through cycles no matter what genre it is. Dance music is just coming off of a very, very minimal vibe which we know is now rolling into a more progressive techno style.”

What about the business?

”Its crap! Nobody’s really making any significant sales but of course we all try to exploit the music to the best of our ability. But it’s sure has added one interesting aspect to what we do. The marketing side of making those sales really has become quite creative almost brilliant, to say the least.”

And the audience?
“The crowds are really starting to grow again for techno. The amazing part about them is how intense they are compared to previous years. The amount of women now getting into the genre has easily doubled compared to years ago as well!”

Where do you think it’s headed?
“The future is going in the direction that fans really want to see you doing something on stage other then pointing your finger at the breaks in songs. They really are slowly starting to demand that you have to break a sweat for them on stage, which is cool ‘cause its pushing the true performers to the front of the pack. And its going to make ‘seeing a show’ really seeing a show!”

You’ve played in the Netherlands before. How do you experience the scene here compared to other countries?
“Well, with the Netherlands having so many festivals it seems like the crowds are a lot more educated to what they are listening to, which is really good! The flip side to that is they make you work hard to entertain them, but that’s cool; we like busting a sweat anyway!”

What do you think of the other artists that are playing on Friday in the Melkweg during 5 Days Off?
“Mad respect to all the other artists playing. It’s nothing like meeting new friends that you’ve heard a lot about on stage or seeing peeps you haven’t seen in a while. This will be the first time we have the opportunity to play with Bicep, Paul Woolford and FunkinEven. We’re familiar with their performances and we’re excited.”

Do you have time to stay in Amsterdam for a little bit?
“We get the chance to stay for a day or so. We’ve been here many times before and we have a few friends here we love to hang out with, so we’ll probably look them up and get into some kind of trouble. No doubt we’ll try and do the official tourist things this time, if we can fit it in as well.”

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