Wonderfully functional techno.
"I am not trying to reach perfection," Markus Suckut says below. As a listener, you might think otherwise. Over the past five years, Suckut has become a master of powerful, precision-tooled club tracks. The German techno producer makes the sort of music that elicits almost existential questions—"How am I so excited by a kick drum and some hi-hats?" His best tracks come from the Robert Hood school of minimalism, where groove is king and arrangements progress through something as small as a cymbal line. Take his track "Hunt" from 2012. Basically, it's just a monumental kick drum, a Basic Channel-style synth and some hats, yet it's a potentially earth-shattering piece of music. Suckut has been exploring these sorts of moods on respected labels like Stroboscopic Aretfacts, Frozen Border, Horizontal Ground, Figure, Repitch and Mosaic, and he has a couple imprints of his own: Exile, which he runs with Johannes Heil, and SCKT, which he revived this month. On Heat On Feet, a recent release for Rekids, Suckut showed that his hand can be effectively turned to broken beats and lighter moods. But, as Will Lynch concluded in his review of the record, Suckut's appeal is less about diversity and more about doing one thing extremely well.
On Suckut's RA podcast he shows how this sound is best deployed in the mix, making subtle gestures with intense techno.
What have you been up to recently?
Enjoying life as much as I can, traveling on the weekends, studio work during the week, buying records and sneakers. I am working on a new project called Tales Of The Machines, which is about spontaneous, live-recorded jams. So it will sound different to my normal productions. Johannes Heil and myself just decided to welcome close friends of ours to our label, EXILE, and I brought back life to my own label, SCKT, after nearly two years of silence. Matt [Edwards] asked me to do an album for Rekids, so this is in process too.
How and where was the mix recorded?
It was recorded at home in my studio room mid of January, when I had some time off from traveling.
Could you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
I tried to show nearly all the sides of music I like to play, from deeper, dubby, experimental stuff, to techno and more housey stuff. Beside that I tried to record something timeless, which you could still listen to in a couple of years.
We'd describe your style as "wonderfully functional." Would you say that, as a producer, making people move is your primary focus?
First of all, thank you for these words. Well I would consider that more as the part of DJing. When I produce music it's an intimate process, and I nearly never think about a club situation or how people could react on the dance floor. I don't like these long breaks with build ups and effects—less is more, and personally I think that it's enough when the kick drum comes back. So when I produce, the focus lays just on me and if I like it.
Do you have a particular method for writing grooves?
The groove is most important in my productions and also in my DJ sets. I always say that it should be possible to make asses shake in a way. Do I have a particular method? I don't know. Maybe it's often part of an "I don't give a fuck" attitude, because I am not trying to reach perfection. If I record something to Ableton I just sync by ear and don't correct it afterwards. Everything that happens by accident is beautiful. When I make fast sketches they have always proven the test of time; if I can listen to a loop for a couple of hours without getting bored, and I get in a kind of trance, it's worth to work on it. I think it's amazing if something has potential to carry you through a long journey.
What are you up to next?
Preparing for the next DJ gigs, buying more records and producing more music that maybe will get released some day.