What is it about the legendary Greek figure of Perseus that you empathise with enough to name yourself after him... beyond the obvious association of house artists named after mythical Greek characters?
Possibly his persistence and integrity, I'm unsure. He was put on the spot when asked what gift he would present to the King. Everyone said a horse was fitting, but he said nothing less than the head of Medusa. Next day he was ordered by the King to get the head of Medusa, otherwise the King would take Perseus's mother. An impossible task, he had help from the Gods, but the King raped his mother. So he exacted revenge by turning the King to stone. He also gave away the Kingdom rather than rule in place of the King he had just killed. The films don't tell this story, and even in ancient mythology there are two slightly different versions. I like the idea that he was kitted up by the Gods to perform an otherwise impossible feat, a mortal using the tools of the immortals. But that doesn't really answer the question I'm afraid....
Do you think you could take Medusa in a fight like your namesake did?
Medusa was HOT but she lost her looks!! She was the only mortal of the three Gorgons, but I'd probably need the same amount of help defeating her, so Athena would need to show up and hold the polished shield. I'd also need the cap of invisibility to get away, and some trainers that make me fly. As the ancient Greek Gods seem to have retired, I think I'd be pretty much up the creek on this one.
You're pretty vocal about your love of analogue and basic equipment and hardware. What's your most loved and most used tool you utilise in your productions?
That’s quite tricky as I use everything equally, the MPC and the desk and effects units always get used, as does the Juno Alpha 1 and the MKS-50 (rack-mounted Alpha Juno). As a rule I write music to record with a mind to performing it, and so I use what I'm able to take out with me. Maybe one or two bits stay at home, but that’s it. I think though, the Juno's are my favourite....
Why do you feel the need to have quite so many aliases?
It’s not a need as such. There have been different things for different moods. The recent stuff is Perseus, but appropriate sounds go with appropriate names. Nite Vision isn't just me, N&N Tracks (Neville and Nigel) isn't just me and Sir Leon Greg is all about edits and jams, so is an anagram (edit) of my own name. Underneath, it’s still me; the names are more about reference points for other people, which is why the first question was a bit tricky.
What one track has had the biggest influence on the music you produce as Perseus Traxx?
I don't think there can be just one track.
Why is jazz awesome?
I like the moods, it lets my brain unfold and helps me relax and drift. I don't listen to nearly as much as I should. Quite often I'm locked into what I'm doing and don't get a chance to relax and listen to other things. I suppose the speed at which my brain races means I feel I have to be occupied to prevent thinking to much about things that otherwise may trouble me.
What do you think of DJs who don't go to record stores?
I have no problem with that. There isn't one in York so I can't go but I can't really afford much vinyl at the moment. I don't have a problem with buying online. It’s a shame though; the decline in record sales (despite the recent upwards bump) has meant the closure of record shops all over the world. Though enthusiasts can still get music, a community is lost. Digging in crates and second hand shops has been lost to the "idea" of what the majority thinks it is be a DJ. This is evidenced by the rise of mediocrity and celebrity. The masses buy into it. That’s fine, it doesn't effect me as I don't go to those clubs or buy that music. Being a DJ is about searching for tracks, as much as playing, so whether it’s about going to a record shop or tracking down and buying online it doesn't matter, it’s all about the obsession. This is what differentiates DJ's from people who are just spoon-fed what they will listen to and buy, and are happy to just accept that.
What's your favourite track of your own you've done?
I'm not too certain. They all have special resonance for me, and different memories and qualities. There are also 100 or more that are unreleased and some of those mean a lot to me too. It’s like asking a parent to choose their favourite child.
If you *had* to rid the world of one musical genre, in your opinion, what could humanity afford to lose?
Not sure if it has a true genre, but we could all do without the soulless, polished dirge the $wedi$h Hou$e Ma££ia and their ilk "produce" - oh I mentioned being spoon fed before didn't I.....
What was the last piece of music you listened to that made you outright grin?
I was at a friend's place the other week and she pulled out a copy of the edits of Don't Take It by Armando Gallop. It’s the Thomos Edit that I particularly like and was on the Lets Pet Puppies label, which was made up of re-edits of unreleased recordings from back in the day. I don't have a copy unfortunately and with the lowest price on Discogs being £20 it seems I'm unlikely to get one any time soon which is a cruel cruel shame! I particularly like the Sharvette's voice on this. It’s just drums, subtle acid, some effects, and her voice. I love it. She sounds like the same person who did the intro of Drexciya's Bubble Metropolis where a female voice announces, “This is Drexciyan Cruiser Control, bubble 1, to Lardossen cruiser 8-203X, please decrease your speed to 1.788.4 kilobahn, thank you, Lardossen cruiser 8-203X please use extra caution as you pass the aqua construction site on the side of the aquabahn, I repeat, proceed with caution.” I guess that’s the best reference point in terms of the sound of the vocal, though the content and context are very different.
What can we expect from your set at Society?
I haven't planned a set as such, though I do have some nice bits, old and new, waiting to get played and am eagerly awaiting the postman's arrival with some new releases. There will definitely be some Legowelt / Chicago Shags in there, maybe some disco. I'll just have to see how it all goes....
Perseus Traxx plays Society Presents: Robert Owens next Thursday 27th September from 9pm - 2:30am and has a new split EP with Aroy Dee out now on Photic Fields called Hope.