An essential figure of techno history on his first album in 13 years.
Damon Wild is an exponent of one of techno's most fertile times and places: mid-'90s New York. He worked with Frankie Bones and Adam X at Sonic Groove, sold synths and drum machines at Rogue Music, and danced to artists like Aphex Twin and Jeff Mills at Limelight. At one point he and Joey Beltram lived together—Wild remembers hearing a half-finished "Energy Flash" through the wall of his roomate's bedroom. By then, he'd already been dedicated to what he calls "cutting edge music" for years, ever since his early days playing bands like Nitzer Ebb on college radio. But that bygone era of New York club culture set him on a trajectory that changed his life, and arguably techno itself, thanks to the era-defining records he released on his label, Synewave, and his own decades-long catalog of influential productions, from rave bombs like "Bang The Acid" to delicate groovers like "Spacerace," among many, many others.
Wild has been making and playing music for more than 25 years, and in that time he's ducked in and out of the spotlight. Creativity ebbs and flows, and the realities of an adult life aren't always conducive to extensive studio time and touring. But music was never anything less than essential for Wild. From the '90s to the present day, techno has remained for him what he calls a "language"—one he uses eloquently on Cosmic Path, his first album in 13 years, due out this month on Infrastructure New York. A couple weeks ahead of that release, Wild caught up with Will Lynch at RA's office in Berlin.