We spoke with CLERIC – one of the most interesting figures in contemporary techno –world – right before his performance at the legendary INSTYTUT on September the 28th.
He tells us the stories of the old „Madchester” days, his new album and favourite places to play and…how important it is to make your dreams come true.
Artur Wojtczak: You repeat often your idea that techno music is like religion to people and the club becomes like a church. But religion used to be also the cause of lots of evil on Earth. Do you see it similar with club culture: has club- life also dark sides?
CLERIC: I wouldn’t suggest evil. Religion can be an escape system for many people globally, and that also parallels within club culture too.
You were introduced to electronic sounds in high school and started going to clubs like Sankeys or The Warehouse Project. Did you meet there any key figures of the rave-movement from the old Madchester days?
Madchester (laughs)! I love that you called that period by its correct name. I did get told to fuck off in a club by Peter Hook once, but I never really met any of the old timers from the early 90’s. I’d love to have a night out with Shaun Ryder and Bez, but I think they prefer to sit in front of the TV these days.
Is the spirit of old-skool raving still alive in Manchester?
There is definitely something still embedded in the mancunian spirit, but I don’t think it’s really revolved around that free spirited rave era from the 90’s. I’m guessing the people from this era moved on. They’re all mostly in their late 40’s now, so I can’t imagine they’re all still mad for it.
The smaller club culture is growing here, with new clubs opening such as The White Hotel and Cotton, there is something to look forward to. The Warehouse Project also just opened up a new venue, Depot for 12 weeks a year. It’s great to see people like Aphex Twin coming to Manchester, but the majority of line ups are recycled risk free year in year out.
You have released your records on labels such as Arts, Figure, Soma and your own imprint Clergy. Are you also working on a solo album? Or is club club music still more oriented on 12 inches ?
I’ve been playing with the idea of an album for some time. I make a lot of experimental tracks, but find it hard to commit to creating an album. I’ve got up to the point of finishing premasters for an experimental IDM album, before massively overthinking the outcome and changing my mind completely. I think i’ll release these tracks in the future, but under a different alias.
In an interview you have mentioned a very important moment in your life, when you decided to give up your job as a haidresser and focuc on music-production. Should we all be brave enough to follow our dreams?
Yes, one hundred percent. You have to take risks in life to achieve an outcome that will make you happy.
Unfortunately, the majority of jobs trap you into a state of fear of taking risks in your life. For instance, I was working in retail where they only give you enough money to tick over. Pay rent, buy food, pay tax and the occasional drink to complain about how shit your job is. Better to fail taking a risk than to never try.
You play your sets all around the world: from Europe to Australia and Asia. What was the weirdest , strangest experience you faced during the gig so far?
There’s been so much weird stuff I’ve experienced whilst touring, most of them I wouldn’t want to say on an interview.
In September you’re going to play in Warsaw at the legendary INSTYTUT-rave. Did you hear anything about this party?
I played last year at the festival and was blown away, the venue was something else.
As I mentioned in another interview recently, you can always tell which festival or event planner has a genuine passion for the scene by the way they do their programming.
What are your 3 favourite club clussics that still sound brilliant / work on the dancefloor?
Go Hiyama – Geometrical (Surgeon remix) I’m writing this after my set at Vault sessions, Amsterdam, which I ended with this. I haven’t played it for ages, but it’s always nice to hear in a club.
Basic Implant – The Revenge Of The 101
and Gaetek – A1 (The last three mounts).
With the sound nowadays getting faster, it’s great to come back to some of these old tracks.