This Saturday's edition of cult gay rave Tusk sees the Dalston Superstore debut of an artist who has been on our radar for as long as we can remember. Co-founder of Jacktone Records, prolific techno producer and regular Honey Soundsystem guest Doc Sleep is ready to unleash her prowess on the lazer basement this Saturday! Hailing from San Francisco, she made the leap across the pond to Berlin where she has been setting floors alight with her distinctive brand of experimental, leftfield techno and electronica. In between her residency at ://aboutblank, managing new releases for Jacktone and producing her own music, we caught up to chat Panorama Bar, partying in the Mid-West and plans for Tusk!
Hi Doc Sleep! We are so excited to have you join us for TUSK! How has your 2017 been so far?
Hello! I love the TUSK crew and have always wanted to experience DS so I’m excited about what I’m going to get myself into over there. :) As far as 2017… it’s incredibly busy, but I’m up for it.
Can you tell us a bit about your Jacktone label that you run with Darren Cutlip? How did you two come to work together and what inspired you to start a label together?
Darren and I initially exchanged messages on Soundcloud, then met up at a Honey Soundsystem party in San Francisco. After sharing many techno and 4AD tracks back and forth, one thing lead to another and the first Jacktone record came out in 2013 from Exillon, who was also part of the label in the beginning. We didn’t want to release in just one genre with this project, so we’ve put out everything from acid, kosmische, ambient, bleep, techno, house, EBM and electro. We’ll hit catalogue number 40 later this year and I truly love the label more with each release that we’re fortunate enough to put out.
You made the switch to making electronic music in the 2000s, having played guitar previously – what inspired the change?
I had listened to house for quite awhile, but, it wasn’t until I met a queer sound engineer in San Francisco who not only had a great record collection, but also an amazing synth collection, that I started trying production and DJing. We started working together, I would play synth and processed guitar, she would make beats and mangle field recordings. The results were mixed, but, I’m forever grateful to her for giving me the push.
What is your earliest musical memory?
My mom playing piano in our living room.
If you had to choose one person who most inspired you as a producer and DJ, who would it be?
Well, the FIRST person to inspire me in this direction was Andrea Parker. I heard her DJ Kicks release in '98 or '99 and it opened wormholes to entirely new dimensions of music. I had never heard that kind of music before, like Gescom and Dopplereffekt, and she was stitching it together with things like Gil Scott Heron, Kool Keith - brain wires were melted.
You recently made the move from San Francisco to Berlin – how do you feel that has influenced you creatively?
Berlin is obviously a very nightlife-driven city, but it’s also peaceful - beautiful parks and lakes, quiet streets, etc. I’m able to be inspired, clear my head and focus here.
What is the craziest thing that has ever happened during one of your sets?
There was the time a promoter stole the turntable right after I put on my last record...but, that used to be a normal night out in San Francisco.
Your list of past gigs reads like many DJs bucket lists! Has there been a standout highlight for you?
Not a surprise, but Panorama Bar was so lovely, definitely a standout. You’re playing to a room full of enthusiastic dancers who are really up for the journey - it lives up to the hype and remains such a magical place.
If you had a time machine and could go dancing anywhere/when, where would you go?
I’m originally from the rural Midwest and would actually love to go back to some of those early parties in the '90s. We used to dance at a bowling alley, it’s where I first heard things like Adam Ant and Armand’s Professional Widow remix haha. I would love to experience that type of musical discovery all over again.
One track that you’re planning to unleash at TUSK?
I’ve been enjoying this one lately:
Solitaire Gee - Slumberland (Rhythm Invention Mix)
Catch Doc Sleep at Tusk this Saturday 26 August from 9pm-4pm at Dalston Superstore!