Mon, 14 Dec 2009  /  Post a comment
5 Questions for Abe Duque...
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Interview: Abe Duque
Cancel Interview: Abe Duque
5 Questions for Abe Duque...
It’s been a great year for Abe Duque – even a great couple of years. While this year his biggest release has been his recent album Don’t Be So Mean, he’s spent the last five years having a run of hugely successful underground 12”, starting with the tracks Acid, Disco Nights and of course his huge hit with Blake Baxter, What Happened? – recently remixed by Beatport Marc Romboy and Max Cooper. He’s also been touring his live act from Beatportal Panorama to Japan to New York, and as he prepares this weekend to play at Rote Sonne in Munich on Friday and in East Village in London on Saturday, we grabbed him for five questions about his life…
1. Who is the most interesting person you’ve worked with?
There’s been a lot of people. Blake Baxter, for instance.
But my hero was a guy called Arthur Weinstein, who died last year. If I had a child I’d name it after him. He was in charge of the lights at the Limelight in New York, where I used to DJ and promote a night called Abuse Industries.
Arthur was always in the club, day and night. He was hardcore. You’d have DJed the night before but he’d never remember you the day after. He’d still come up and shout “who the fuck are you?” right in your face.
You’d say “I’m with the DJ”. Or “I am the DJ!” But if you didn’t stand up to him, you’d be out.
When a new DJ played, he’d always wait a track or two, then ask “Do you have any good records in your case?" He did that to me, the first time I played. And the second. Probably the third as well.
Even Grace Jones was wary of him.
2. Which DJs and producers do you think are up and coming?
In New York, Genarro LeFosse. He’s been part of a huge techno supergroup Program2 and he was signed to Warner Bros at one point. He’s been around a long time but he’s having a resurgence at the moment. He’s playing every weekend. Great techno. He’s working with John Selway, who is also a serious talent.
3. What’s the strangest gig you’ve ever done?
Maybe not the strangest gig, but the one that people forget was the Rancho Relaxo Allstars, a live electronica group. I’d set up couches, a mixer, some synths and hardware in the chillout room of the Limelight. John Selway, who I’ve known for a long time, Dietrich Schoenemann, who now releases my vinyl, plus Jochen Reiter, Jason Szostek, Clé Kahlke, Prozac, who also ran the lights at the Limelight – they’d jam in and out and I DJed and played as well.
We did that every Saturday for three months. By the end the Rancho Room was always the most rammed room in the club. So we shut it down.
Always end on a high.
4. Your vinyls are all very underground, very unmarketed. You called your first album “So Underground It Hurts”? Is all this to make a statement – or are you just anti-marketing?
Abuse Industries was a collaboration between myself, a bunch of producers and an artist, Andy Orel. We put on shows at art galleries, we worked with Helmut Lang, we did tshirts.
Andy’s stuff is amazing. He was one of the first guys invited to get involved with Photoshop. The stuff he did looks easier now, but before there was Photoshop, no-one could do cut ups like Andy did.
He did the early visuals for Gigolos, too.
You could call my vinyl anti-marketing, but that wasn’t the point. When we stopped doing Abuse Industries, I stopped with visuals. If I was going to do them, it’s going to be with someone like Andy. Otherwise what’s the point?
5. What’s next for you in 2010?
Musically? There’s still mixes coming from Don’t Be So Mean by Digweed, Huntemann, Jay Haze doing Disco Nights. We did a remix competition this year for What Happened, and the winning mix is out on vinyl soon. I’ve also remixed Daniel Meteo, Remute, and there are others coming.
I’ve also restarted my series of tour videos (http://www.youtube.com/abeduque). I take a tiny camera out with me, with promoters. I record the lunacy that goes on outside the gigs, not the gigs themselves…..
But the big news for me is that Andy and I are restarting Abuse Industries.
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Abe-Duque/90121941228 | www.youtube.com/abeduque
Tue, 25 Aug 2009  /  1 Comment
We're hooking up with Process Recordings to give you the chance to remix Abe Duque and Blake Baxter's "What Happened?" - a modern classic if there ever was one. The winner will have their mix featured on a new remix package alongside versions from Marc Romboy and Max Cooper.
What dancefloor were you on when you first heard Abe Duque and Blake Baxter's "What Happened?" At that time, Abe Duque had spent a few years in the wilderness. He'd fallen from a regular on the European techno touring circuit to eking out a living as a carpenter, with barely enough money to release his own music - the legendary early Abe Duque Records twelves, one-sided, with messages from Abe hand-scratched into the vinyl lacquer on each release.
And with good music drowning in a rising tide of bad mainstream minimal, Abe and Blake Baxter were both at their wits end. Blake recorded a killer vocal over a dark, springy Abe groove, asking where the love had gone. "The Limelight, NYC. What happened? Can someone tell me? Studio 54. We all know what happened..."
The 12" took Abe and Blake right back to the centre of techno - twenty-five thousand sold on vinyl, and dancefloors round the world asking "Hip house - what the f**k happened? Drum and bass - what happened?" Now, as the world drowns under a new flood of conga-afro-minimal, Process Recordings and Resident Advisor have set up a remix competition for Abe Duque and Blake Baxter's legendary track, "What Happened?"
To enter, you will need to join the Abe Duque list via the Process Recordings site
. If you aren't registered on their site, then you will not be able to obtain the parts to remix the track, or be eligible to win the competition.
After the competition closes on October 1st, Abe Duque himself will decide the winner, and it will be released as part of the Abe Duque Classics package including remixes by Marc Romboy and Max Cooper, as well as a spanking remix of Disco Nights by Jay Haze. Abe Duque's new Don't Be So Mean
album can also be picked up in shops now.