Sensory Deprivation with selective response

Author : Marco Sgalbazzini
November 12, 2019

Sensory Deprivation with selective response

Earlier this year, selective response released his first music to the world, scoring a premiere and support on the coveted HATE YouTube channel. Both his last single-track releases ‘Scorched Earth Policy’ and ‘Weekend At Nik’s’ provided a clear indication that the California Native was not messing around, with his powerful, industrial driving productions. No doubt, a new name for many, his productions have already had early support from Cleric, Dax J, I Hate Models and Perc.

This September he launched his imprint Crisis Of Man and after the success of the first release, brings a hard-hitting second round for November and the darker months ahead.

The title track of this EP, titled Sensory Deprivation, features a huge kettle drum kick and rumbling bass to lead the way, joined swiftly by sparse percussions and unsettling, tensive sonics. Something of an oasis midway sees new percussive tones added before the tension is heaped on for the big payoff.

Far more insistent than the first, “Help Me Hate You” features scattergun melodics that add to the melee before hats and rides hammer the aggression home. Heightening the tension throughout, becoming almost visceral by the end. Aptly named, this track derives from dark emotions and soundscapes.

Today we not only premiere “Help Me Hate You” from the EP, but present to you an exclusive interview with the man himself.

Hi Kane, how have you been since we last saw each other at ADE? Recovered?

Yo! Yes, all recovered. I went to Berlin after to recover, which sounds strange to say…

That was your first ADE. What did you think of it?

Honestly, it was such a great experience. It was so great to finally catch up with all these people I’ve built relationships with but unfortunately never get to see. I also randomly got to meet loads of people I had been wanting to meet, which is how these types of events go. Huge success overall.

I know you had some personal highlights from the week. Can you share them with us?

As I mentioned, the biggest highlight was just getting to hang with my friends I rarely get to see. Another was getting to go to events I’d been wanting to get to, like Awakenings, the Reaktor party, Dockyard Festival, etc. I also got to witness a few of my friends play out some of my unreleased music to massive seas of people which was extremely humbling. And of course, cruising the streets of Amsterdam was great. Such a cool city.

It’s been a very good year for you with your Selective Response project. Can you tell us where the idea to launch this project came from and what your goal with it is?

Since the very beginning of my career, I’ve always made all kinds of music and still do. As my love for techno continued to grow, I, of course, wanted to start making it. Honestly, it was extremely tough in the beginning. I was making more mainstream stuff, but the biggest issue was learning to let go of old production habits and to make proper techno.

Eventually, I started to get the hang of it, and at the same time, started to develop a love for the harder underground sound. After some time, I ended up with a decent number of tracks that I wasn’t quite sure what to do with. My initial plan was to continue releasing everything under one name, but I came to find that a) it was so unorganized and didn’t fit with the rest of the music I was making, and b) the techno scene isn’t too keen on such things.

I sent out a handful of the tracks to a few people, one of which being Cleric, who gave me great feedback. This, paired with the fact that, when I was making this music, my body was reacting in a way that was so much different than ever before, helped me conclude that I needed to focus on this new sound was the way forward. So, on January 1st, 2018, I officially started selective response, and here we are.

It’s fashionable these days to add interesting adjectives to describe “techno,” some of which can sound pretty ridiculous. Jokes aside, how would you describe Selective Response’s music?

This is true, and sometimes it gets really out of hand. That being said, I would describe it as straightforward “hard” industrial techno and. I’m not too keen on the term “hard techno”, because the term “hard” sounds a bit cheap. But, I certainly enjoy making music that will kick your teeth in. It’s also worth noting that not all of my tracks are industrial, or contain industrial elements, but overall yeah…

While it is safe to assume that you play your own tracks out, do you feel your productions always mirror what your sets sound like?

Yes, I do. This is something I’m acutely aware of. I’ve never understood why artists make one style of music but play something completely different. As DJs, it’s our job to play to the crowd, but with some of these artists, it’s like they are two different people. Just doesn’t make any sense to me.

This isn’t your first project, but it does seem to be the one you have found your biggest success in. Why do you think this is?

I touched on this a bit earlier, but I think it’s because, after nearly a decade, I’ve finally found my groove. Cliche aside, this project seems to come naturally. There’s rarely any resistance when making music, and I seem to never run out of ideas. The way my body and heart react when I am deep in a session are clear signs that this is what I’m supposed to be doing.

Are you putting your other projects on the back burner then, or are you going to be pursuing different musical avenues here?

As I also said earlier, I’ve always made and will continue to make a wide variety of music.

Fortunately/unfortunately, I hit a bit of a “dead end” with the other project, which opened the door for this one. Coincidentally, and rather ironically, ever since I took the focus and pressure off of that one, I’ve started making great music for it, and have started to see some success with it. I do plan to continue releasing music under that alias, but Selective Response is 100% the main focus. In my opinion, you shouldn’t stifle your creativity if you enter a flow state, you just need to learn how to prioritize and where to focus your efforts.

Let’s talk about yourself for a bit. Where did you grow up and how was your childhood?

I’m from the OC (Orange County). Yes, that one. Although that show was filmed in Malibu… My childhood was ideal for the most part. There was a darker side to it, but overall, it was what made me who I am today, and I am eternally grateful for how everything turned out.

Can you share your musical journey with us? What genres did you first listen to, and how did it progress to electronic music and eventually techno?

Growing up, I was always surrounded by music. Whether it was my mom playing Blondie, Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, or my dad playing Guns N Roses, Randy Travis, or even Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass, music has been there from the start. I listened to a lot of punk and metal growing up as well, as the OC is arguably the birthplace of west coast punk, and the city I’m from gave birth to Thrice, Rage Against The Machine, and even No Doubt (well part of the band was from my home town…)

I was introduced to electronic music by a friend’s brother around the age of 8 or 9 years old, the first song I ever heard being Moby’s remix of the James Bond theme. He also introduced me to Happy Hardcore, which absolutely blew my spastic pre-pubescent mind to bits. The first CD I ever bought was Happy Hardcore Foundation Vol 1 mixed by DJ Brisk from Dr Freeclouds. I still have it, and that shop still exists…fuck me that was nearly 20 years ago!

From there, I sporadically listen to random shitty remixes of things like the Gundam Wing Endless Walts and Megaman themes, and whatever I cam across via Limewire (if you know you know). I was then later introduced to deadmau5 and Kaskade in high school, and that’s when I really started to get into electronic music. My big love when I first started producing was trance music. I still like some of that stuff from back then, and some of my closest friends are actually top producers in the genre, but one friend in particular really introduced me to techno via psytrance strangely enough. He’d play both on his radio show, and I still think that they mix very well together. Maybe not the stuff I’m playing now, but the lighter stuff for sure. From there, I continued digging and started going to techno parties. I remember the moment techno clicked for me was seeing Adam Beyer and Ida Engberg in LA maybe 7 years ago? It was quite a while ago, but hearing it on a proper system made me realize it was my genre.

How is it living in LA? What do you like and what do you dislike about it?

I actually don’t live in LA, but still in OC. Costa Mesa to be exact. I love it. I lived in LA for a bit when I turned 21, but it was too much. Too far from the ocean. I like going to LA, but being able to get out and disconnect has been the best thing for my brain and soul. I live far enough to not get caught up in the sauce but close enough to where I can get there within 45 min usually. I also live 10 minutes from the beach. The ocean and surfing have been the second biggest part of my life, and I’d rather make the commute than give it up. I do dislike driving home at 8 am after partying all night, but I actually don’t party that much anymore, so that’s not really an issue anymore.

How about the scene there? What’s your taken on what is going on and how does it influence (or not) your musical output?

Even though I don’t live in LA, I would say that I am (mostly) part of the scene there, and I’m proud of that and how far its come. There’s truly something for everybody. Sure, we aren’t quite on the international destination scale yet, but, I am calling it now: give it two years and it will be. While I say “mostly”, the scene has no real bearing on my musical output. I take my influence from my friends, nature, and my own thoughts and emotions. I also don’t think that the LA scene is strong enough yet to really have “a sound”. Hopefully, I can be apart of developing that, as I believe in our scene and our promoters.

In terms of parties, well, let’s just say you guys know what you’re doing. Remco and I are still talking about that night! As for the other promoters, love and respect to them and they have my full support.

Besides music, what do you like to get involved with back at home?

As I mentioned, surfing is the second biggest part of my life. I occasionally spend a little too much time doing it, but it helps me connect with the energy source that is life and nature. I’m also extremely into things like training, the mind-body connection, reading, art, skateboarding, cooking, and more recently, gardening. I’m huge on succulents. My roommate and I have a sick little garden going with loads of cacti and such. I’m also growing an oak tree, a Norway spruce tree, a polka-dot plant, and an asparagus fern. My parents are really into gardening and growing things, and I’ve always thought it was cool, but only recently have I really taken a serious interest in it.

While it might seem kinda random, I think it comes from a couple things. First, there is something truly fascinating about planting a seed and watching something come from seemingly nothing. Second, after I started down the path of meditation and mindfulness, I started to really pay attention to my surroundings and started noticing the beautiful little details I’d always taken for granted. Nature is such a trip. There are no mistakes in nature. Sure, there are things we don’t understand, but there are no mistakes.
I try to view life through this lens. Everything happens for a reason, because you, whether consciously or unconsciously created the conditions for things to happen. That got really off-topic, but I could talk about this shit all day.

What’s your favorite LA food joint? We know there are many great spots, so you can name up to two!

Oh dear. I am a massive eater. It’s actually a bit fucked. I’m not really one for fancy dining, as I end up paying loads for a good meal but am not satisfied. Fortunately, there are plenty of Japanese and Korean BBQ joints that keep me temporarily satisfied. Unfortunately, there are so fucking many of them that it’s almost impossible to know where to start. Personally, I love Gyu Kaku. They have great food and you never walk away thinking you’ve wasted money. On the Korean side, Quarters is really good too. A bit hidden, but it’s worth going to for sure. As I said, there are countless others, so it’s hard to say which is the best without trying them all.

In N Out is an obvious choice, so I’ll skip it, but in OC we have TK Burger, which I actually prefer over In N Out. I’ve actually converted a few die-hard In N Out fans. Then there’s tacos and ramen. Fuck! So difficult. I’m also a huge huuuuuge fan of the bacon-wrapped hotdogs from the street vendors outside all the clubs and bars. Gotta pay my respects to the hustlers holding it down every single night. Plus, what’s better than a hotdog, wrapped in bacon, covered in grilled onions and a jalapeno? As my friends and I say, get it doon ye!

Back to Selective Response… what is on the pipeline for the next year or so?

The next release on my label Crisis Of Man is coming in November, then it’s looking like February for the third, but not 100% yet. After that, more releases, remixes, and gigs. I am also going to start working on a live set, and aim to be playing it out by this time next year.

What are some of the goals you have set for yourself with regard to this project?

In short, to stand shoulder to shoulder with the people who’ve inspired me most. To expand on that, my goals are to continue making music that represents me as a person, expand my label and release on my friends’ labels, move into a bigger studio, play the parties and festivals I’ve dreamed of playing at, and help cultivate the Los Angeles techno scene/develope the LA techno sound. I also eventually plan to press all of the Crisis Of Man releases to vinyl, and then continue pressing the future releases to vinyl as well.

These are all small goals in comparison to the overall goal, which is to have such a powerfully positive impact on anyone I come into contact with, that they, in turn, want to do the same. There are a lot of negative people and things in the world, in and outside of our scene, but by if we are to make any progress in changing that, we must first start with ensuring we are true representations of what we want to see in the world.

selective response’s next EP Sensory Deprivation is available for pre-order via Beatport

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