T Minus has been driven by creative and technological inspirations over the last 10 years. From his early days, playing Trance and Progressive house in Switzerland and the UK, to discovering a sound rooted firmly in Minimal and Techno, his pursuit for music that is delicate and elegantly composed to makes you think as well as move to, he creates a sublime journey in every set he plays. A frequent guest at Killer Robot, South Africa’s longest running Techno night, supporting international acts both here and abroad, as well as hosting his own nights, T knows his way around the sounds that makes the music he plays something very special.
What was your inspiration behind this IDM Life selected mix set?
Just good music really. When you find tracks that just get you going and work well with everything you put with them, there’s nothing better. I used it as a chance to try out some new toys I have. I’ve recently got an iPad which, together with some new software, allows me to create any kind of controller I can dream of. Using this along with the two Native instruments Kontrol X1’s I use gives me greater control over the various layers and tracks I’ve used.
When you were young, what were you playing through the headphones of your walkman/discman?
I had a range of music to keep me bopping back in the day. Anything from Beastie Boys and the Pixies to Pearl Jam and Soundgarden. I grew up with my father getting me into the Beatles, Chicago and Electric Light Orchestra to name a few. From an electronic music point of view Leftfield’s Leftism was and still is my biggest favorite along with the Cream Colours EPs, Carl Cox, Goldie, Roni Size, Prodigy and Chemical Brothers.
I work in the advertising industry. I studied as a Brand strategist and copywriter but also dabble in design when the right job tickles my fancy. A little more recently I’ve started conceptualising iPhone and iPad apps and design the User interfaces as well. I also work with my mother as the only accredited caviar importer in South Africa.
Which producers and DJ’s have helped you shape your own sound and why?
Too many to list them all but if I had to pick one it would be Richie Hawtin. I’ve always loved technology and the new opportunities it creates for one to do something different. Richie has been very good at that and I’ve learnt a lot from watching what he does, how he uses the various toys and taken that as inspiration to do my own nerdy explorations. At the end of the day, all these things (software, hardware and the like) don’t make you a better Dj, they’re just tools. It’s how you use them to make something different, something new that, makes you better and there are only a few people who do that really well. Hawtin is one.
What is your most memorable night at a gig and what happened?
Probably my time in Morocco. I was up in Marrakech for NYE a couple years back. 14 close friends in a palace for 8 days. Best party ever. I can’t really go into too much (such was the party) but I met and played with Magda who also gave me some great lessons on what Traktor can do. Close friends became best friends and the one thing that brought us all together was the music. We all walked away from that party saying we’d honestly never be able to top it!
To describe your energy during sets and attitude towards music with a quote what would your quote be?
I can’t remember who said it originally but for me this sums it up perfectly: “Music is what feelings sound like”.
It’s Techno. I think try to describe music is like trying to tell a blind person what the colour red looks like. When you do, you end up basing it on an emotion it brings you and that’s quite personal at the end of the day. The tracks I like are dark, sometimes simple, sometimes complex but always have a driving emotion behind them. I really like tracks that give your mind space to think around them. I quite often use older tracks just because they’re so distinct in their construction and sound and love to layer things, a simple loop here and sample there can make a completely new track when used correctly. That’s what I try do.
Are there any exciting developments/projects you have lined up?
I recently became a part of the sSHADOWORKSs family which has opened up many new doors for me but more importantly it’s the people I’ve met that has been the real bonus. I’m going to be doing some really cool stuff with Audiophile 021 going forward and maybe another DJ collaboration with Monique Passcall and a few others. There really is so much on the go but more than anything I want to get my production skills up to par and start releasing my own tracks. Hopefully within the next year.
WORDS: Mary Honeychild
PHOTOS One Small Change