Techno with a twist.
When it comes to techno, Adam Rivet is a classicist but not a purist. His music brims with the spirit of the genre's halcyon days but he never adheres strictly to techno's tenets. Funk, breakbeat, jungle and house music colour his style, and in the studio he's fond of ripping up his own rulebook and starting over. This is true of everything he's released since 2011, the year he stepped out as Rivet. The project was a means of distancing himself from his past productions—a fresh start. He found a home on Naked Index, a short-lived Frozen Border sub-label, and he went on to work with Kontra-Musik and Skudge Presents. Kontra released his Bear Bile EP last month and it points to everything that's great about Rivet: smart samples, crunchy productions and tons of variety.
Rivet brings this cavalier vibe to his DJing. He explains below that he fell in love with mixing at a time in the '90s when jocks like Dave Clarke and Jeff Mills would basically fuck shit up. His RA podcast, a roughed-up techno mix with an impressively broad purview, channels that same "craft and attitude."
What have you been up to recently?
Release-wise I've had a busy few months with the Driftwood and Bear Bile EPs coming out on Skudge Presents and Kontra-Musik respectively. Also been remixing a few odd bits such as Dronelock for Weekend World and a few others that are not yet official. Other than that I've been moving back to my hometown, Malmö, after ten years away. Good to be close to family, friends and an airport again!
How and where was the mix recorded?
At my studio with four decks, a mixer and a reverb. No fancy pants were harmed.
Can you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
In the second half of the '90s when I started going out to see my DJ idols (at the time Jeff Mills, Dave Clarke and Surgeon), techno DJing was mainly about mixing. Even if you had the records at home, it was totally different hearing them played by someone else. "Knights Of The Jaguar" played by Dave Clarke using double copies making a faux delay effect was completely different to when Mills dropped it on top of James Brown, pitching them simultaneously in the mix from -8 to +8.
In the last ten or so years, I saw this kind of DJing totally disappear off the map. DJing today is generally about making smooth transitions between more or less full-length tracks while keeping the mood/style linear and flowing. The goal is perfection, at the price of individuality. I try to keep the craft and attitude alive, and that's what I want to show with this mix. Using tracks as bricks, building a new thing every time that can't be replicated even by oneself. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but that's what keeps it exciting and vivid.
You seem to be a big advocate of traditional means of DJing—turntables and a mixer. Why is this something that's important to you?
Jeff Mills said it so well in the RA Exchange. It has a lot to do with the crowd's experience. As a kid I came home after a party and immediately got on the decks trying to do the things I had just seen and heard. Those inspirational experiences have kept me working the decks for almost 20 years now. It is a very special feeling to master a craft after so much hard work, yet having so much to learn still. What are kids doing after parties today? What is driving them? And towards what? Will they bang their synced iPad DJ app for 20 years? "Easy come easy go" might be the slogan of the century, but it's sad nevertheless.
Would it be accurate to say that you have recently rethought your approach to presenting your identity?
When I started Rivet I wanted a fresh start, to have people listen without the subconscious telling them what it was. The mask was perceived as a gimmick and got more attention than the music, which was the exact opposite of my intention, so I got rid of it.
What are you up to next?
Working on my new EP, Slow Swirl. There are some clear '80s vibes in there, much thanks to Veronica Vasicka who is a huge inspiration currently. It's coming out (on vinyl) via a Swedish music/visual art collab. Can't say more at the moment, but first release is due this August.
Photo credit: Macs Moser