Jay Clarke InterviewJay Clarke

Jay Clarke Interview

Last month we had the pleasure of picking Randolph Quan’s brain about his stellar, nomadic techno night VOID. Following on from this, Void resident and talented producer Jay Clarke was kind enough to share his thoughts and musings on art, techno and porridge.

He was also generous enough to deliver us a superb mix of functional, and exhilarating techno ahead of his appearance at Cafe 1001 for the Void New Years party, which you can expect to hear in the near future.

2012 has seen a resurgence in the harder industrial influenced edge of Techno, ****with people like AnD, Blawan, and MPIA3 drawing heavily from the ‘Birmingham S****ound’. Your sound on the other hand seems to go for something groovier, ‘deeper’ ****and altogether more subtle. From a musical standpoint what are you primary ****influences and can you recall a definitive record or album that really captivated ****you?

If you look at my productions then you might say I’ve had a big house influence and I’d prefer to go and watch someone like Levon Vincent over Surgeon. When actually my main Techno influences’ come from a background of harder Techno; people like Hood, Mills, Marco Carola (when he was running Zenit), Technasia, Dave Clarke and Ben Sims.

They have all helped me a build a solid understanding of groove and funk which I would like to think translates into my productions. I would say I have been a fan of the ‘Birmingham sound’ for the last 5 years. For me I have always been drawn towards Surgeon’s and Female’s productions!

My musical inspiration is so varied that I don’t think it would be fair to pick one album or track which has captivated me in the last 10 years. I would say when I was 11 years old The Prodigy’s Fat of the Land album was a clear indication that I loved electronic music. Techno as a whole was captivating, it still is. It’s music made by machines, it’s raw and it makes me want to dance and lose myself.

Does your work as a graphic designer affect the music you make? Do you find ****there is an interplay between the visual arts and (your) music?

The creative process is always going to be similar; ideas, development and then creating the final piece, oh and then there is spending countless days afterwards seeking perfection. I find going to art exhibitions and watching films has a positive effect on my productions. Similarly when I am out of the studio and creating artwork I find myself listening to more experimental or alternative music to inspire my mind and let ideas form freely.

In my mind there has always been a connection with music and art. I have always been inspired by Motion Graphics & Animation. Studios such as onedotzero, Pleix, United Visual Artists, and Anti VJ are just as important as my musical influences. The Anti VJ project below is a clear indication of how audio can help to create impact and suspense along with the building mapping. It’s brilliant!

Music helps build suspense in a film or it can be used to empathise with a character. A scene of someone walking down a dark corridor can be made ten times scarier by the use of a sound with a long attack, the power or suggestion can be so powerful. This video is a great example of how important audio is in motion graphics to create music. It’s a beautiful piece of art.

How do you approach the music making process?

A bowl of porridge and a big mug of filter coffee and I’m away. I find jumping in the studio as soon as I wake up is my most productive time. I let my tracks form themselves. I prefer the freedom, if I like the sound I am creating then I ‘take it for a walk’ to see what I can do with it. I like the experimentation, the creative and scientific process. I like to get lost in sounds. We are all geeks deep down with cool haircuts. I still don’t have a set process, I like that. Sometimes I will open an operator (in Ableton) and create a sound and build a hook and build the rest of the track around it. Sometimes I will use samples and others I will create a track from the low end upwards. I like to keep things interesting when I am in the studio.

My first introduction to your music was hearing your track ‘Entity’ which was played by everyone from Nihad Tule to Marcel Dettmann, consequently Were you surprised by the widespread support the track got?

Yes. I didn’t initially like the track at first; it took me a while to really love it, I think it’s because I was living at home temporarily while I was moving to London in 2011 so I didn’t have a studio space set up nor time to appreciate it fully. So when I had heard Ben Klock played it at Berghain (twice, in one set) and then I heard it being played out at Cable in London I think It changed my perception of the track.

What records do you find are currently getting the most rewinds when you DJ?

Haha rewinds! That’s such a drum & bass term… us techno producers/DJs have a beard to stroke don’t you know…

Finally, can you tell us what to expect in the future from yourself and the ****VOID crew?

Ah that would spoil the surprise now wouldn’t it? Some good parties planned for 2013 so head to our Facebook page to stay updated.


  • Published
  • Dec 28, 2012
  • Credits
  • Words by Straylandings
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