Deadly sonics from a prolific US producer.
DJ Spider's style is so well-honed that you could analyse it through practically any of his releases. Take The Final Revolution, his next 12-inch. It's pretty dark, right? That's usually the first word people reach for when discussing his music. You'll notice, however, on tracks like "Extropy" and "NEXT," that he likes to let a little light in. On "Throwing Hairs" and "Distress Signal" you'll hear Spider's knack for weird sound design. The first features what could be someone dragging a pickaxe across gravel; on the second there's simply a car alarm going off in the background. Hypnosis is a recurring theme in Spider's work, and we get that on "The Final Revolution." Listen to the way the bass and the percussion interact—it's the kind of groove that glues you to the floor.
It's not surprising that Spider has developed so distinctively: it seems like he hardly leaves the studio. "I can't identify with people that work on music one or two days a week," he told us in 2012. "The people I like working with are in it all of the time and that's all they're thinking about." The upshot is that he never stops releasing music. Much of it appears on his own labels, Plan B Recordings and Sublevel Sounds, but he's also been spotted on The Trilogy Tapes, Rekids, Killekill, NORD and BleeD. He's also no doubt drawn inspiration from his many collaborations and side projects. Since he started putting out records in 2008, Spider has worked with notable names like Dakini9, Marshallito, Hakim Murphy, Phil Moffa, Brendon Moeller, Franklin De Costa and Grey People. Through his alias Spider Bites, he's been able to indulge his taste for sludgy soundscapes.
Spider says he plays 80% his own music in the club, but on RA.538 we get almost 100%. As these 21 tracks illustrate, Spider's sound is best suited to the deepest depths of the night.
What have you been up to recently?
I took a bunch of time off from touring this year to regroup here at home and in the studio. I did a few European shows, but no extensive touring. In January, I was back at Panorama Bar, in March I was in London's Pickle Factory with DJ Deep, in May I got to play the Rekids ten-year anniversary party at Oval Space in London, and in July I was back at Freerotation Festival in Wales for the third time. There were some local gigs here in New York that I got to play, but that was it. I'm trying to only travel overseas for a few days at a time, rather than weeks at a time like I used to. I might tour more in 2017, but for now my focus is on my music and labels that I run, Plan B Recordings & Sublevel Sounds.
I'm in the studio working on a lot of new releases for 2017. My release schedule is usually all planned out 12 to 18 months in advance, mainly due to pressing plant delays and other logistics with the labels that I work with, so there are a lot of new records coming out that I worked on last year. I was lucky enough to get a few newer tracks released this year that I made in 2016, but the rest of them will come out next year sometime. I feel like the quality gets better with each release and I'm very proud of that. I work very hard to keep the quality of the content as high as possible and I am very grateful to have been able to translate my ideas very clearly through my music and receive great support from all of the labels and artists that I work with, as well as the fans of the music.
How and where was the mix recorded?
Here in my Jersey City, NJ home studio. Two Technics MK2s, a Rane rotary mixer and a Pioneer CDJ for the opening track. Simple, but an effective setup.
Could you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
I wanted to share new music and unreleased tracks that are coming out soon. People who have seen me DJ know that I usually play at least 80% my own music and music from my labels, so I didn't have to change my format or style in any way. The last mix I did for you guys was in 2012, for our Plan B Recordings Label of the month feature, and that one featured our music exclusively.
How would you say that you've developed as an artist since then?
I think that I have become more refined as an artist in the last four years. My vision is still the same, but my technique has gotten better both in the studio and the DJ booth.
You tend to release records with impressive frequency. Are you generally someone who feels inspired in the studio the majority of the time?
Yes, of course! I am a musician first, producer second, DJ third and label owner fourth, so I spend most of my time in the studio working on music. Making music is my first priority, then the gigs and then the labels. I am always inspired to make music, because there is always something new that I want to do but never have enough time to translate that into a complete track. It is a never ending process of creation and personal expression, so I could never see myself uninspired. Everything moves so fast these days too, so I feel like I am always behind in terms of my expression and ideas. Most of what anyone hears from me is already old to me, since I work on music all the time. By the time the music is actually pressed and released, I have already listened to it hundreds of times. Also the concepts of the tracks can get dated as well, but I look at it like a library. You can always go back in time and check out what type of head space I was in by the track title or album titles. Everything that I research or read about ends up becoming part of my music in some way, shape or form.
What are you up to next?
Next week, on Friday, September 23rd, I'll be in Brooklyn to play the Broke City party with Joey Anderson and Alex Falk. And at the end of the year it looks like I'll be back at Dude Club in Milan, Italy for their final show of the year. Maybe some other local gigs in between. Many new releases are coming as well. Some of the new records coming out are: The Final Revolution EP (Thema), War Ritual EP (Hooded Records), Human Erosion Field EP (Sublevel Sounds). I did two remixes for the Spinning Plates label and a remix for the new Brendon Moeller EP, which is coming out on Plan B Recordings in November. Also, I did a split EP with Bleaching Agent entitled War Hammer Machine Cult, which will be out on Plan B Recordings in January.
In February I have an EP coming out on the Green Village label out of Jersey City, NJ and I'm super psyched for that one as it features some really diverse house and techno that I made a few years ago, all of which is very personal to me. Three of the tracks feature some amazing musicians. My friend Jon Hester and Sly Scott played saxophone on two different tracks, Boyd Jarvis played keyboards on another and another my good friend Sunny Climbs from NY played keyboards on one too. I can't wait for people to hear it!