Perhaps better known as Audio Injection or Truncate, the output of David Flores has been nothing short of staggering in recent years. Despite three years since its release, his ‘Concentrate/Focus’ EP can still be heard quaking dance floors at 6am, but tracks like ‘Dial’ and the more recent ‘Breakdown’ on 50weapons have showcased his ability to sonically experiment outside the bracket of what he describes as ‘just DJ tools’.
Ahead of his show at Fabric on the 22nd alongside Ben Sims and Steffi, we caught up with Flores to talk about London, independent labels, and Flying Lotus.
So you’ve just released your brilliant EP, ‘Pressurize’ on 50Weapons. How did your involvement with the label come about?
You know, Modeselektor hit me up on Twitter and was like “hey man, I love your tracks, I wanna talk to you” and we had a little back and forth and eventually he said “hey you wanna do an EP on 50Weapons?” and I was blown away.
It sounds a lot more boundary pushing than the usual Truncate releases. Was this intentional?
Yeah. I wanted to try something different, and Modeselektor wanted me to try something different. He was like “I want you to kind of step out of your comfort zone and do some broken stuff”. He was like “I know you got it in you, I know you can do it” so that was pretty cool.
So have you been listening to a lot of music outside the realms of techno recently?
Yeah I’ve been listening to a lot of Flying Lotus and that kind of stuff, where the tempos are a lot slower, and you have all this off beat percussion and heavy kicks drums – that’s been a real influence on these tracks.
Do you think this is the start of a new direction for your Truncate releases?
I’m still doing the DJ tools, because that’s what I like to do. I have a lot of tracks that I’m experimenting with that are broken beat and are a similar vibe to the 50Weapons release, but I want to perfect it and get some really good stuff together before I start putting more tracks out that are like that. It’s definitely not going to be like the last EP.
So what spurred the creation of the Truncate moniker in the first place?
I wanted to go back to my roots with techno and house sounds with influence from Chicago and Detroit. I just wanted to keep tracks simple and not too complicated, and I DJ on Traktor so I like playing loops and parts, so that was another thing; it was a DJ mentality versus… writing ‘tracks’, you know?
Do you think you’re going more in that direction now? More club-oriented?
Yeah I think so. Besides trying the new broken beat stuff, the 4/4 stuff is taking over, even my Audio Injection stuff is starting to sound more like Truncate now. That’s just the vibe that I feel right now.
You’ve done some pretty amazing remixes as well, a favourite of mine being that of Roman Poncet****.**** How did that come about?
Len Faki just contacted me and said ‘hey man I’ve got these tracks from this new guy and I’d really like some remixes from you’. It was supposed to be one remix but I kept going with the sounds and a whole EP came out which is pretty cool.
Have you got any remixes lined up for the future?
When I’m not traveling I’m always in the studio doing remixes. I have some stuff coming on Sinewave for Damon Wad’s label, I even have a remix coming out on my own label, Truncate, which is a remix of my old ‘Concentrate’ track with remixes from Mark Broom and Ben Sims so I’m still pretty active with the whole remix thing.
Do you have something of an ethos for your own label? Is there an intentional ‘sound’ to your label that you keep separate from other releases?
Yeah it’s basically just a medium for my own tracks, which are just like DJ Tools. That’s the whole reason I started the label – to have these tools on wax basically. I’m kind of keeping it the same all the way through – even with the remixes, I don’t want any crazy complicated tracks, I just want some good club tracks. For now. (laughs).
These days it seems like every producer wants to start up their own label to release their own music if they have enough money to do so. Why do you think that this is? What is the appeal for you of owning your own label?
I guess because you don’t have to deal with sending tracks to this A&R guy saying “no we don’t like this, we don’t like that, we’ll take one track out these ten you sent me”. When you have your own label, you have control of whatever comes out – if you feel comfortable with these four tracks that you wrote, then bam you can put them out - and hopefully you’ll get a good response.
So you’d definitely say you prefer self-releasing than releasing with an external label?
Yeah. I mean I can write five tracks and send them to a label and the label will be like “we’ll take these two” and I’ll be like “well all these tracks kind of go together” but “no – we’re not feeling those”. Where as if it’s my own label if I want to put all these tracks out at the same time I can do it. It’s just more control – I think that’s what it is.
What can you tell us about the scene in California? Obviously you have Developer and Drumcell but are there any other people around at the moment you could tell us about?
Well alongside Drumcell & Developer, Silent Servant is out here in L.A who pretty much everybody knows. The duo Raíz who are also part of the Droid guys as well. You have these kids that are throwing parties in L.A here now called ‘Involve’ – yeah there’s a bit of a scene here in L.A. It’s not as crazy as Europe obviously but we have shows pretty consistently and we get as many big artists as we can out here (when we can). Drumcell & Raíz are always on tour but whenever we can put a show together it happens.
Does it seem to be growing?
T: Definitely, I’d say within the last two years it’s been growing. I mean these kids from Involve they’re starting to do shows now where basically before it was the Droid Behaviour crew throwing all the techno shows and now these kids are coming up and they’re starting to bring artists out as well. So it’s pretty cool to see someone else taking the initiative.
And cool to have you guys coming over to London as well! Obviously you’re playing Fabric on the 22nd**, have you played there before?** T: Yeah this will be my second time.
Would you say you have a history with London itself? What was it like last time you played?
Last time I played it was for Ben Klock’s Fabric mix release party - I loved it man. The soundsystem was amazing, and the crowd were pretty crazy. I find the London crowd really cool, I like them. That gig was actually my second gig in London so it was pretty good for my second gig there to be at Fabric.
In what way would you say the crowd here differs from other European or American cities?
T: I guess in London they like the harder music, so you can kind of go as hard as you want – they just want you to bring it.
Lastly is there anything you can tell us about your future projects for this year, and what you’re up to more generally?
I’m definitely doing a lot more Truncate stuff this year. I got remix EPs coming out, the next one like I say is coming out with Mark Broom & Ben Sims. Hopefully I’ll be working on another EP for 50Weapons although it probably won’t come out his year, but maybe early next year. I’m doing some little side things as well - I don’t really want to mention them yet but yeah, busy in the studio and touring a lot!
Interview by George McVicar