Jeroen Search has been a leading light in the underground techno picture for some time now, we caught up with him to discuss his latest release SPC Z, bringing his studio to the stage and the future of the techno scene
The Netherlands is now a predominant hub for techno with clubs such as ‘De School’ and festivals like ‘Awakenings’. Was this always a case even when you were growing up?
Well I think that techno only has started to really come up to the forefront for the past few years, and to me thats a good sign, finally.
A lot of upcoming artist are choosing to only play live and not DJ sets. Being at the forefront of playing techno live, what advice would you give to any new artists coming through with that same ambition?
I can understand why the young and upcoming artists choose to play live. In my opinion, playing a decent DJ set will take some serious years of practice to get a real hold of, playing not only at home in your bedroom, but also out the in clubs for a live audience.
While learning this, you have to take some risks, and grow by trial and error. If you compare that to live sets, which you can much easier prepare in advance (if you choose to).
Thus, to some younger artists it probably feels “safer” and more in control to do a live set. The only advice one can give is: just practice, don’t be afraid to take some risks, it doesn’t have to perfect all the time, and most importantly try to stick to your own sound, be yourself…
What were your main influences when producing your latest SPC Z tunes?
Well a lot things can influence my creative process, but the key thing in this to release is knowing upfront it would be the last of the SPC series.
Being part of the SPC-series has been an important element of my career, so when Len asked to finish the series, I felt I needed to do it ‘right’. This brings pressure, but at the same time, I managed to channel this pressure into ideas to work out. Also being part of the ‘Figure-family’ is an important thing to me so I tried to translate this feeling of belonging into some of the music.
Techno is constantly evolving and pushing the limits of production with new synths, drum machines and software each year. In five years where can you see the scene being taken? Do you think its headed in the right direction?
Yeah sure why not? Evolving is just a good and somehow natural movement. I think techno has been constantly in motion since the early days, the constant evolution of the genre is what keeps it alive.
Your tracks always have that one element that makes everyone know that this is a Jeroen Search track, how do you maintain your perfect consistency with your tracks?
Pfff… Tough question, I don’t know exactly what it is, but I think it’s just the way I work. I record all of my tracks in a single take and don’t edit or polish them up afterwards. Also some of the machines that I use in my studio, have been with me for so long now, that they slowly became a key part of my signature sound.
Speaking of machines, I saw you play in Dublin last time you were over and was in awe at your setup. What are the top pieces of equipment you need for your productions and live set?
Both my studio setup an my live setup are constantly changing to keep it exciting, but of course a few key elements always remain. For production, I always fall back on a TR-909 for drums, Ableton for sequencing, my trusty Roland JX-3P for all kinds of freaky synth-sounds, plus some effects, and I’ve just bought the new Korg Minilogue, which I am very excited about at the moment.
For my liveset, I lean on Roland Aira range, the TR-8, MX-1 and TB-3, complimented with Ableton for sound-loops of the synths that I can’t bring with me on stage and some reverb/echo effects to spice everything up a little.
Together this creates a nice compact touring setup, that allows me to bring the same vibe I have in the studio, out on the stage.