Noise Manifesto: Paula Temple's techno refuses to lie down - Features - Mixmag

Noise Manifesto: Paula Temple's techno refuses to lie down

Paula Temple's pioneering approach to dance music is vital now more than ever

  • Words: Patrick Hinton | Design: Vassilis Skandalis
  • 9 January 2017
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SØS Gunver Ryberg, Aïsha Devi and Rrose feature alongside you on Decon/Recon #2. What drew you to these artists that fits with what you’re trying to do with the label?

They have a really spiritual view towards the music that they make. Not in any kind of religious way but in a real pure energy way, and the way it makes you feel beyond your physical self. They're all really inside the music; they’re not looking for a formula, and are really following their intuition when it comes to making music. So in that way they're not following any structures and you really hear that in the way that they produce.

I reached out to all of them individually in different periods in the last three years. I'd seen a Resident Advisor chart that Rrose posted and the number one selection was the book Gender Trouble by Judith Butler. I was like, "oh my God, this person gets it!" SØS Gunver Ryberg forwarded me a YouTube video of her performing at Atonal in Berlin, and the thunderous sound! Even with shitty YouTube quality you could hear how wild her sound was. I'd never heard anything like that. It's the kind of sound I'd dreamt to make so I was like, "wow, I've got to get in touch with person." And the same with Aïsha Devi, I heard her music and was amazed, and then I saw a YouTube interview with her and the things she was saying I completely agreed with as well.

You can be surprised in disappointing ways when you get in touch with someone who you think is amazing, and then you start talking and realise you're very different people with very different values. But luckily with the three of these amazing artists we really understood each and connected. Then I asked them if they'd be interested in this collaboration and they understood it immediately and really liked what it stood for.

It’s getting on to nearly two years since Decon/Recon #1 came out. How carefully are you considering the movements of the label?

I take my time to get to know artists; it's more about the relationship with the artists that I'm working with. I don't really pay attention to time scale, or think that because I'm running a label I must release X amount of records each year. I don't feel like I'm running a record label; I feel like I'm working in collaboration and it's a matter of when that collaboration comes together at the right time.

You expertly use technology in your hybrid live/DJ sets, which are heralded for their precision. But is technology ever a limiting factor on your sets? Is there anything you’d like to be able to do which isn’t currently possible?

My craziest dream would be to have a church full of synths and modular just like Tangerine Dream.

I hope you get to realise that!

Maybe in a resource based system! But I don't think I could afford all that stuff. There are limitations, but I purposefully choose limitations because I want to get the balance right between enjoying my set, not getting too stressed out, having too much stuff, losing where I'm at, things going wrong, and taking forever to set up in the sound check.

The familiarity you have with all the intricate aspects is pretty amazing, and you rarely use headphones when bringing it all together. Some DJs seem to think planning a set to any degree is cheating and pride themselves on freewheeling. How does your method suit what you want to do in a club?

I'd like to think that people appreciate that I put consideration in, that I do think about the nights I'm about to play in, it's as simple as that really. I think it's really considerate what I do!

Do you think some DJs don't take their job seriously enough when it comes to playing in clubs?

I imagine that there are some DJs that could be like that. I'm lucky that I've not really seen a DJ that does that. Everyone that I've met in techno works really hard. Even though I have this kind of interesting setup, I always feel like I could be doing more. I did meet Pioneer to try their CDJs because I've still never used them and thought maybe I should switch to CDJs. They were like, "you just do this, this and this, put the USB stick in and it syncs." I was like, "holy shit, this is so fucking easy." Which is fine, but no one who DJs with CDJs could ever dare to say anything. I don't understand, you get some DJs who defensively say "I don't use the sync button." To be honest, the crowd ain't gonna know. There's no point declaring that. Just focus on doing amazing sets. There's no need to boast about not planning beforehand because they want to diss something else. If they want to do that, that's fine, we all have our own styles and everyone's to be respected for the way they DJ.

'Decon/Recon #2' is out via Noise Manifesto on January 27

Patrick Hinton is Mixmag's Digital Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter

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