Materielle is leaving a lasting imprint on the worldwide sonic tapestry that is dub techno. Her style pays homage to the genre’s deep roots in sound system culture while innovating to broaden its horizons.
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A familiar face at clubs and warehouse spaces throughout Southern California, Materielle has firmly ingrained herself in West Coast techno. Her spacious sound signature breaks from the local scene’s status quo, however.
Despite having now played records casually for over a decade, Materielle waited until 2019 to start her professional music career. She debuted at The LASH in LA, and in the years since she has performed at Academy LA, BANG BANG in San Diego, and Techno Taco Tuesday in Las Vegas. She also regularly plays at underground parties organized by Dirty Epic, Synthetic Minds, and Incognito, not the least of which is the Spring 2023 edition of RE/FORM FESTIVAL.
2019 also marked the launch of DECKREKORD. Originally Materielle’s Twitch channel, it grew popular as the pandemic unfolded the following year and naturally expanded to function as a record label. Her first-ever track release, “Dichotomy,” appeared on the imprint’s inaugural 2021 compilation The Offering. Soon afterward, she landed on Delusional Records with a remix of “Out of the Shadows” by label cofounder Marie Nyx and they later signed her third release. “Satin,” a 2022 single that speaks to Materielle’s range of creative expression. Lush and atmospheric yet purpose built for the dance floor, its brutalist synth stabs perforate tightly woven ripples of reverb delay. Materielle captures a similar dynamic in her DJ sets. She alternates seamlessly between airy ambience and low end frequencies that somehow resonate at a high vibration to explore the cerebral side of dance music.
Materielle has positioned herself to open the minds of music lovers across the globe. With each passing day, her future grows more closely intertwined with that of dub techno. Today, Materielle has a chat with SIX AM to talk about her background, her label, and of course dub techno.
Photo Credit: Dean Paul de Leon
Hey there Materielle, it’s a pleasure to chat with you! How’s everything going?
Hi! And thank you, you as well. I am doing pretty good. Just getting back from the Carl Craig piece at the MOCA. I am still processing it. I didn’t realize how special it was going to be and how much it was going to impact me. Especially as someone who has been going to warehouse parties for 15 years. It’s a remarkable art form we are all co-creating.
You have quite the unique alias, what was the inspiration behind it?
It stems from the word materiel, which refers to the weaponry and equipment in commercial supply chain. I’m also naming all of my songs after fabric material, like Satin, which is out Delusional Records. I am a hobbyist clothing designer and have spent a lot of time with many fabrics and sewing machines. I really liken DJing to sewing, actually. It’s the interwoven idea of separate materials weaving together.
What’s your musical background? How did you end up getting into the techno scene and what drove you to become an artist?
I tried several instruments when I was young, strings, keys, and woodwinds. I went to my first punk show at 13 and was also into metal and dub reggae. I was pretty much hooked on amplified sound since then. I was always chasing underground shows, with heavy breakdowns and new cool venues. Around 2006 I started hearing UK bass, drum ‘n bass, and dub influenced music. This pulled me away from bands into warehouse parties and raves. We have a very special underground warehouse scene with incredible curators in LA, its really abundant here. I was invited to my first techno underground in 2011 and I think Silent Servant and Speedy J were headlining. The music was like nothing I had heard on a system like that. It was hard and technical with an addictive hypnotic groove. I was pulled in easily. It was the sound systems, the technical production values and the culture as a whole that I experienced that have influenced me to become an Artist. I have worked professionally in the music industry for 8 years, and it just started to make sense to finally play the music in my mind and heart with everyone. I thoroughly enjoy producing at my home studio and playing these creations on big systems.
In your sets, you like to oscillate between ambient, atmospheric music to then going into some of the harder, high energy frequencies. What is your philosophy on sliding around on the techno spectrum during your performances?
My Materielle project is all about dub techno. Within this sub genre, it has its own full spectrum of sounds. I think that is what makes it so beautiful. I have recorded sets with slow bpm’s where you can get lost in the droney reverb, and I also have sets recorded with peak hour tempos, that still have iconic reverb and echoes. Pulling from 90s era Detroit and classic dub tracks, I really try to fill the spaces the sound system was made for. I want to give room for all the frequencies to breathe and create a sonic journey. Whether cerebral or dancey I try to evoke something for the listener. These classic sounds over a hardgroove have been very exciting, and what you can expect in my SIX AM mix and future releases.
I have recently experienced dolby atmos and 7:4:1 sound which has been super inspiring. I see my next steps into my journey there more. The evolution of sound technology is inspiring in general.
6AM Guest Mix: Materielle
Can you tell us a little bit more about DECKREKORD and how it’s evolved over the years? What’s your ultimate plan for it?
The main influence for DECKREKORD stemmed from MixMag and HOR Berlin. In the end of 2019 I wanted to make an online venue or channel and showcase under represented talent in Southern California. Within a couple of months we went into lockdown and having built the venue online already, it took off like a rocket ship. Within weeks after that I was the main tech backline for major record labels and brand takeovers with live viewers hitting over 20,000. Over the next couple years I was able to showcase over 100 musical acts from all over the world and saw the channel reach all of its fantasies. During this time several artists that I was collaborating with were also working on track productions, so in a natural way it became a record label. I have released a compilation, EP’s, singles and overall the project really is driven by its own community. It’s been very cool to witness that and seeing some of the early featured artists now on global tours. We had an exciting 3 track techno EP from up and coming 3rd Project land in January, that everyone should check out.
Lately, I have chosen to shift focus working on my brand and music. I do envision for it to continue as a record label (keep the demos coming) and a channel, and I still have big hopes for its first IRL event. I am also open if any other artists, record labels or brands want to collaborate. The dream would be a venue that will allow me to curate weekly or monthly for them.
Being in the game for a few years now, what would you say are your biggest accomplishments so far? And what are some of the goals you would like to achieve down the line?
Giving back to the scene and providing a platform for under represented artists was the goal and witnessing it unfold was a very cool accomplishment. Owning a record label with amazing digital distribution support is pretty mighty too. Playing the last RE/FORM festival at the warehouse stage! Playing a desert party, San Diego and Las Vegas supporting all kinds of global techno talent has been super cool and awe inspiring. Biggest goals are now, shopping some unreleased tracks and sync with more bookings. Who knows, maybe even a road tour one day!
What’s your schedule looking like for the rest of the year? Any upcoming gigs you’re getting excited about?
May 12 with ATROXX and Spartaque!! I am super thrilled for this one, and very excited to share some of the new dubby goodies I have to test out. I treasure every booking and really value that precious time with the dancefloor. Excited to also head back to Detroit later this month.
Thanks so much for your time Materielle! Is there anything you’d like to share?
Thank you so much! It meant a lot to tell a little more about my story and excited to have a SIX AM mix out now. Appreciate all your support and invitations. Enjoy and see you on the 12th!
Connect with Materielle: SoundCloud | Instagram | Beatport | RA | Linktr.ee