Decka – Splintered [Unterwegs]

Decka is a UK-based DJ and producer renowned for his crafty sounds that take the listener on a journey of bare-bones techno and bass – specifically hypnotic polyrhythmic patterns. Having grown up in the south-western city of Bristol, Decka boasts a unique presence through his music, blurring the lines of both UK and EU techno.

First making noise back in 2015 on Darwin’s Berlin-based label SPE:C with his Begyndelsen EP, the Bristolian has since racked up high-octane releases on his very own label Unterwegs that he shares with The Lady Machine including his forthcoming EP Splintered. A follow up to his Elimination Techniques EP released in July 2020, Splintered exposes a more fierce and rough edged boundary of the producer’s music capabilities whilst retaining his hypnotic, groovy, club-ready trademark sound he has built up throughout the Unterwegs discography so far.

First of all how are you? And what have you been getting up to recently?

Good, thanks! Mostly working to be honest but also enjoying a bit more of life again since there are less corona restrictions these days. It really is a great feeling to have clubs back, especially!

How have you found the last year and lockdown in general? And how do you feel now everything is opening up again?

It was tough at first, of course. Musical inspiration was low at points, but it became easier after accepting that it would go on for quite some time. I have a day job which did not stop during lockdown which helped to take my mind off things. Now everything is open again, life has in some way resumed, things are much better. I am very grateful that live music is back!

Releasing Resistance EP earlier this year, how did the last year and a half impact your motivation and creativity levels as a producer?

Those tracks were made before corona! It just took a while for them to come out. As I said above, it was hard at first but after I accepted the situation and took my mind off things I really ´knuckled down and I think I ended up producing some of my best music so far!

Originally hailing from Bristol, UK – describe the impact the city had on your journey into music and what you think of the current scene down in the South West?

Especially in my early producing years, Bristol had a huge impact on my musical direction. Bristol is where I first went clubbing, first was introduced to electronic music and the place where I first started producing and ran my own record label. Nowadays, of course it has evolved from living in Berlin for quite some time now but there is still an influence there. I am a bit disconnected from the scene there right now if I am honest, but one venue that seems to be pushing through some good local and international musicians is a place called Strange Brew. There is always a lot of good talent from Bristol, so it is good to see they are still getting their voices heard.

You are a big fan of playing vinyl during your sounds. How long did it take you to master and would you encourage upcoming DJ’s to do so too – if so, why?

I have been mixing with vinyl ever since I started to learn to DJ, about 8 years ago now. I would always recommend to anyone starting out to learn on turntables first. It really teaches you to learn and forces you to know your music. There is no screen showing you when a drop is, or what tempo a track is at. You need to use your ears.

You are set to drop your highly anticipated EP on your very own imprint Unterwegs. Can you tell us about the inspiration behind the record and how you would describe it?

The inspiration of any record I have ever made is to make music that I want to play and hear. My music can also reflect my mood and state of mind at the time of producing it but all the time I am making music for me.    

What was the creative and production process behind the record?

I did not have a concept or an idea before making the tracks. My creative process usually involves programming and jamming with one or two machines until I am happy with a basic idea. Very importantly: I will record everything. After this, I will do some cutting of the best bits, make a simple arrangement and then add some layers – hi-hats, percussions, FX, a second synth or bassline if needed. Once I have everything recorded and arranged, then comes some post-production and mixing. I like to not over mix things and try to keep the magic and transitions that occurred whilst jamming. You cannot replicate this in-the-box, so recording everything is a production process I really value.

If you had to choose a favourite track, which would it be and why?

The B2 – Singularity. For me, this is what techno is all about. It might sound like a lot is going on but really it’s just one drum machine, one synthesizer and an FX box. The machines just really gel together on this track.

You run Unterwegs alongside The Lady Machine and have released some splendid techno. What is the philosophy behind the label and where do you hope to take it over the next couple of years? Any plans you can share with us!

The main philosophy was to have a platform to release music we wanted to release and not have any restrictions on that. The word Unterwegs in German means On the Move and we felt that quite fitting to the idea of no boundaries and constant evolution and change of music. We do have plans next year, quite a lot but I cannot speak about them right now.

Finally, have you got coming up that you would like the Dance Wax readers to know about?

Apart from this new record, no more new releases or music this year. Next year there are lots of things coming so you will hear and see them soon!

‘Splintered’ is releasing November 22nd via Unterwegs and is available to pre-order on Bandcamp.

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