#113 - Exzakt
At the vanguard of US electro for the past two decades, Larry has continued to champion the legacy of bass driven electronics that can be traced back through early hip hop, breakbeat and IDM to Afrika Bambaataa and Kraftwerk. Having recently remixed Dave Clarke on Skint and EPM’s own Oliver Way he also re-launched his Monotone label with releases like MonoTrax Volume 1 & 2 with The Advent, The Hacker, Cosmic Force, DeFeKT, 214 and EggFooYoung, released the entire Exzakt Discography with Exzakt - Electrology USB series and has a new Exzakt EP ‘Electrology’ coming out the end of January on Monotone. Not only busy in the studio, he found time to flex his DJ biceps with this storming electro, techno and breaks mix full of energy, warmth and passion. From the opening beats of London Modular Alliance’s ‘Lucid’ on Hypercolour to the electro kick of Alpha 606’s ‘Zombie King’ and the subtle electronics of Mor Elian’s ‘Starlight Mesa’ on Radio Matrix Exzakt brings the realms of electro and techno together under one bass driven roof for the EPM Podcast.
Exzakt is a veteran producer and DJ that has been in the industry for almost 20 years strong. Touring worldwide he has played top clubs such as The Loft Barcelona, Fuse Club Brussels, Boiler Room & Griessmuelle Berlin & Club 3000 Dusseldorf. His DJ skills are undeniably energetic, yet deep, bridging the many facets of Electro & Techno while pushing the limits of the sound into other genres. Recent highlights are his official remix for Dave Clarke feat Anika - I'm Not Afraid on Skint Records, a full length album ‘Intelectro’ on the prestigious label Shipwrec and a recent full length album ‘Genesis’ on Monotone. With Monotone Larry has also created one of the most influential Electro labels, releasing the likes of The Advent, Dynamix II, 214, DeFeKT, Alpha 606, Max Durante & DJ Overdose.
Larry has travelled and performed Live at venues around the globe reaching hot spots in such cities as Budapest, Brussels, London, Barcelona, Tel Aviv, Madrid, and Frankfurt just to name a few. As well as his healthy production catalogue he has held down a spot as a touring artist on one of Germany’s most prestigious Techno labels, Datapunk, to operating various websites like the Electrowax Online Record Store and Electro Alliance and has become a fixture in the Electro music world.
These days Larry McCormick is reinventing himself while making a strong comeback and continues to be an integral part of the Electro movement. He continues to produce ear-catching electronic music and is ever evolving as an artist, performer, and producer. Whilst he has rocked crowds across the globe with his charismatic stage presence and energizing performances for almost 2 decades this Exzakt mix shows that he is still very much at the razor’s edge in contemporary electro.
Q&A with Larry McCormick (aka Exzakt)
- Let’s start with the mix. Did you approach this differently to a club set?
I approached this particular mix similar to what I would play in a club. I usually try to give different levels of energy for all situations. I like to give something close to a club experience however I will play a little more moody on a recorded mix.
- Can you remember when you first became aware of ‘electronic’ music as opposed to just music on the radio?
When I went to school in Boston I wandered into a club there and heard what I would say was my first taste of “Techno” as it was called back then. I did not connect the dots until years later at “The Edge” in Fort Lauderdale, Florida when I began to take interest in collecting records to start making my own personal tapes of music I enjoyed the most.
- What was the music of your youth?
When I was really young I used to come home from school and my dad worked late nights. In between the time I would try to keep myself company with his reel to reel which had Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin & Pink Floyd.
- What made you gravitate towards electro?
When I started to get into ‘Techno’ in the late 90s I loved Electro & Liquid Drum & Bass the most. I decided to concentrate on one and I selected Electro because the production interested me the most. Also early Electro music was my first love when it comes to music.
- Can you recall your first studio set up? What became your main equipment?
My very first studio set up was an Akai MPC 2000 and a Juno 106. This was my core for many years until I expanded to a Roland TR808, Jomox 09, ATC-1 and an Access Virus KB. After going mostly digital around 2012 a couple years ago I started the process of going back to hardware.
- Your recent album as Larry McCormick ‘Today is the Day’ not only showed another string to your bow, with a big step away from the dancefloor, but also your versatility as an electronic artist. Did submerging yourself into a more ambient long play format give you the space to stretch yourself artistically and perhaps produce tracks you maybe didn’t realise you had in you?
I actually made this album around 2006. At the time I lived in Germany and all I had was a laptop as I never settled into my own full studio. When I started that album it was something I was going to submit to Fax, Pete Namlook's German Record Label. However it never panned out. Recently I finally had the guts to release this and it was fitting to release it on Monotone as it was a very personal piece of work. I created this album on all soft synths but wanted to give the impression I was on vintage gear.
- At the moment there seems to be a big focus on electro styles and sounds but in the previous decade the press by and large forgot it even existed. As someone who has supported it through thick and thin how do you view these trends and how does it effect you as an artist?
The current state of Electro is quite exciting. The new energy is emerging and I think it’s wonderful that there are some well deserved artists in the spotlight. While I do have some small reservations that the press is sometimes misrepresenting the true underground nature of the music, it’s nice that it’s getting some recognition. Now it’s up to those that are getting the press and stage to do the correct thing with it. That’s where it faltered in the early 2000s, the last time Electro started to gain some traction.
- Over the years, what have been your favourite parties to play at?
Miami & Madrid. Miami because it’s where I got my start. Madrid is my absolute favorite place to travel to and play. The culture and people are just so full of energy and enthusiasm. I look forward to returning this year on a special tour of Spain that is in the works.
- Miami is obviously in your blood. What makes it home for you and if you left what would you miss most about it?
South Florida in general is always going to have a special place in my heart but I plan on moving in the future to have a change of scenery and create more opportunities. There are things you take for granted when you live here a long time, but when I spend a lot of time elsewhere I end up missing the beach and the energy from my friends and family.
- What production plans do you have for 2019?
I am in full production of the Exzakt:EvolveD album. This LP has been in the works for quite sometime and this year will see it completed with my biggest effort in the studio and my most dedication to the actual finished product. It will be my first album released on double vinyl and the artwork is going to be the most elaborate to date. Also Monotone is in full swing and the releases that are already in production will by far be the most we have put out in one year. I have several other Exzakt records coming out as well but it’s a little too early to give details.
EPM Podcast 113 – Tracklist
London Modular Alliance – Lucid - Hypercolour
Djedjotronic – Cruising - CPU
Alpha 606 – Zombie King – Cultivated Electronics
Cosmic Force - Maximilian Of Roma - Monotone
The Advent & Zein - Eye's of Envy - Loose Club Edition - Monotone
Exzakt – Kreep - Monotone
BFX – Jelly - Monotone
Raito – Serum – Boyz Noise Records
SDX - MS - 04 - 138 Remix – Dusk & Haze
No Moon – Acid IX - Mechatronica
Mor Elian - Starlight Mesa – Radio Matrix
Collin Sullivan - Matrix Run – Shapeshifter Records
kan3da - Output Vector – Transient Force
Ring – Force - Datafruits
Oliver Way - Dust Storm - Exzakt & BFX Remix - EPM
Assembler Code & Jensen Interceptor – Random Pain – Mechatronica