Chicago's Techno artist TUNNEL talk's about 'webuildmachines'


Chicago's Techno artist TUNNEL talk's about 'webuildmachines'

In the windy city of Chicago synonymous for it's House music, along with it's respected label's and artist's, but now there's an underground revolution happening that is techno record label 'webuildmachines' based out of the city. From the outset they seem to be interested in expanding the definition of what is music, what is techno, and what is dance.

The label is the love child of techno artist TUNNEL who has released on Teggno Records as well as Etichetta Nera, Rheostatus, and Coum Records! He's certainly one to watch over the next few months, as well as the label itself - knocking out some quality productions and banging Techno.

The label and it's creative director/producer - Tunnel have been getting some serious support with Dave Clarke pumping their latest work for the acclaimed Etichetta Nera label on his latest White Noise podcast. Plus additional support from the likes of Surgeon, Inigo Kennedy, Sandrien van Rossum, Project 313, Victor Martinez, Darren Quail, and Sebastian Krenzlin to name but a few.

We thought we'd fire over a few questions to Sound Designer/Producer and Creative Director of 'webuildmachines' - TUNNEL to find out a little more about their ethos and thinking behind the label and productions.

1. How would you describe the sound and the ethos of your label?

The sound of Webuildmachines is defined and redefined by each release, by each Ep. I would say the same for the Tunnel project in general. When I started producing music, I really esteemed 'a sound,' a sort of singular vision, perfected, honed, crafted. Now, I think I'd be quite bored by that 'vision.' For Tunnel, it is an exploration of sounds that is exciting. It is an exploration of form, and function, that is interesting. There is always something to be said for the 'singular sound' path. It just isn't MY thing. As I produce more and more music, my sound becomes more and more eclectic, varied, rich. Discovery is my drug, or at least the pursuit of discovery. My ethos, and that of Webuildmachines is just that, exploration and discovery, within the genre of techno music, which I love dearly. And the beauty of it is...anyone can discover something. There are no rules for who can, and cannot, discover something in music.

2. Which venues in your hometown of Chicago play techno and which is your favourite to play?

There are several clubs in Chicago that play techno. Marcel Dettmann played Spy Bar recently. Sigha, DVS1, Drumcell, and others are keeping Smart Bar busy with Oktave Events. Primary Nightclub is also hopping, but it depends on who's promoting, of course. A scene, a culture, requires everyone to get involved of course. My contribution is producing music, and hopefully soon, performing it live. Thus far, Tunnel is virgin territory. Whoever books our first show will certainly obtain a karmic 'get out of jail free' card. Perhaps we haven't kissed the right rings. But, truthfully, it will come in time. Perhaps in the UK, before our own hometown! That being said I spent the better part of the late 90's and early 2000's playing techno events throughout the Midwest, all underground, all vinyl of course. So, I've rocked venues, just not as Tunnel.

3. How did you find the artists on your label?

The artists on Webuildmachines either approached us, or we approached them. No mystery to it, really. For every artist featured on Webuildmachines, there is an appreciation for their style, their 'take' on this thing called techno. Conservative, safe producers...need not apply. There is certainly room for growth in this regard, and we intend to do so, branching out in terms of who and what is featured as 'techno' on the label.

4. Do you run events in Chicago, if yes, then where and why?

I do not. I've promoted nights here in Chicago in years past. I'll happily let someone else take the reigns on the promoter side. Music is my thing. I'll stick to that. Time is precious. Whatever time I have goes into the music, and the label. I think that's enough. That's my contribution.

5. Outside of the USA, have you ventured to any other countries to DJ or perform?

As Tunnel, not thus far. Tunnel, as a project, is just now coming into it's own. It's developed. It's ready for an audience. We'll see what the year ahead brings!

6. In your own words, why the mask and anonymity?

Sure! The point of maintaining anonymity, within any platform, is freedom. We're free to express, to be what we choose to be, without the constraints of a branded, marketable, sex appeal, or a branded, marketable....DARKNESS. I didn't have to be the 'cool guy.' I mean, at the end of the day, every DJ or Producer becomes their own brand. I just wanted the freedom to become something ambiguous, anonymous, and in doing so...unique. I have no doubt the mask will come off eventually, but the view from inside, looking out, is quite comfortable at the moment! When an audience sees Tunnel, they see an abstraction, an entity, removed from their daily life. I like that. That makes for a great show in addition to the music. So, the Tunnel concept, the cloak and mask thing, is a bit freeing, a bit of stagecraft, and all in On with the show!

7. What is techno to you?

I could go on and on about techno, our experiences with the music, the power of it as a ritual experience, a sort of shamanistic tool for energy transfer. I could also go on, at length, about how directed energy, particularly sound energy, unifies a collective consciousness. As a performer, and creator of sound, I direct sound to guide a collective journey. What an honor! What a uniquely human experience. What guides our music, and our performance of music, is always how it 'feels.' Does it feel right? Does it feel exciting? Emotive? Interesting? Music is an immensely magical thing that never gets old to me. In the right hands, techno IS energy. Techno is power. Techno is beauty. It can also, simply put, devolve into everything BUT that. The choice is always in the hearts and minds of the audience.

So there you have it... One very cool Techno fiend in our eyes, and most certainly one to watch... You never know you might see him sooner than you think!