Spektre are peak time techno artists who have played headline DJ sets at festivals and large-scale events across the globe.
Spektre are a techno duo from the UK consisting of Rich Wakley [RW] and Paul Maddox [PM], and for over a decade they have released music on some of the world’s most prestigious record labels such as Filth On Acid, Drumcode, Kraftek and their own record label Respekt.
Respekt is one of techno’s most respected record labels, and it’s a right of passage for many an up-and-coming producer. Its catalogue also boasts Loco & Jam, Cristian Varela, Marco Bailey, Sasha Carassi and Spartaque.
These days it’s rare for Spektre to feature original music via their own record label, but when they do, it’s always a special occasion, as often they save their best tracks for Respekt.
Out last week on the 2nd of June 2023 was Spektre’s new release which was a three track EP on Respekt, and we invited them for this interview to learn more about that release, plus some of their passions outside of music…
Hi Guys, it’s great to be talking with you today, could you start by telling us where you are currently based, and what you think of the local music scene?
PM: “Thanks for having us! We’re both based in slightly different parts of Yorkshire, UK. My home city of Sheffield has a huge amount of musical heritage which you can really feel to this day. We booked a few days in a rehearsal room before our live shows last summer, and hearing all the upcoming local bands doing their thing was really inspiring.”
RW: “Leeds has always had a strong music scene since the 90’s and I’ve been lucky enough to be involved from an early age. There is a massive electronic music culture that goes back to the early days of clubbing brands such as Orbit and Basics. However I do feel the scene has dipped in recent years, at least as far as techno is concerned. We lost quite a few important venues post Covid however there are still some clubs keeping the candle burning such as Mint Warehouse and Wire which is great to see.”
Also, it would be great to know the story behind how you met, and what made you decide to collaborate, as I understand you both started out as solo artists?
PM: “We were going out to a lot of the same clubs here in the UK back in the early 00s, but our paths hadn’t really crossed until a mutual friend introduced us and said “you guys should get in the studio together!”, so we took his advice and the rest is history.”
RW: “Yeah, we used to be regulars at the same club nights back then but had never been introduced until a mutual friend in the scene suggested we work together. We had already been producing music and DJing with our solo projects in different genres but it was a mutual love of experimenting that saw the Spektre project come to life back in 2005.”
Your music is quite dark, and I wanted to ask if you ever take influence from books or film, and if you could list some of your all-time favourites?
PM: “Science fiction in general (both films and books) has been a big influence on the Spektre sound. I’m a huge Iain Banks fan, so quite a lot of references from his novels have made their way into our tracks and titles.”
RW: “I’m a huge movie geek and we share a mutual love for science fiction. Some of our ideas naturally spawn from our love for film and the dark cinematics that inspire us both. We have referenced many movie quotes and chord progressions from soundtracks over the years. It’s just a natural source of ideas for our musical output.”
I hear that Rich is also into gaming, and it would be great to know what you have been playing recently, any recommendations?
RW: “I used to be an avid gamer, much more than I am now. I found it was a useful way of disconnecting and switching off from the noise of the music industry. I still have a healthy love for any ‘first person shooters’ – my main go-to’s will always be Halo and Call of Duty online on Xbox, but I also love to pick up my Nintendo Switch and rinse some MarioKart every now and then. I’ve been gaming since I was a kid so I have a huge love and nostalgia for the classic games I grew up on.
I’m told that Paul is big into mountain biking, is this on-road or off-road, and what are some of your favourite places/routes to cycle?”
PM: “I’m a keen amateur, but have never really tackled any huge stuff, just nice recreational rides and a few local trails. I live right on the edge of the Peak District National Park though, so I’m lucky enough to have loads of great routes and trails nearby and try to get out as much as I can in the gaps between touring and British weather.”
I understand you are both big fans of F1, what do you find appealing about motorsports, and have either of you ever tried racing anything with a bigger engine than a Go Kart?
PM: “I did a single seater track day a few years ago at Silverstone, which was a fantastic experience. Not hugely powerful cars, but with proper aero etc, so you could really imagine what driving the same kind of thing scaled up would be like!”
RW: “To be honest I’ve never raced anything bigger than a go-kart, at least not legally. But I’ve always been into motorsport since the early days of watching Senna and Prost go head to head. The narrow margin for error and the intricate competitive detail of the technology that separate the teams at the top has always fascinated me.”
Talking high-octane things, you are known for having a fast and furious techno style. Can you tell us about your new release, as I understand it’s out via your own record label Respekt?
RW: Yes our next release is actually one of ours entitled ‘Bring Me Fire’ which includes three tracks. Two peak time techno bangers; one of which is sci-fi inspired and cranks the BPM’s a little. The other features a vocal from the super talented Lisa Rudy, which we have been sitting on since lockdown and itching to unleash. The third track is a slice of blissed out electronica for those warm summer nights.
What’s your studio set up like, and when working on music do you usually sit in the same room or share files via the internet?
PM: “Our main studio location is at my place (pic attached). It’s a mainly in-the-box setup, as I also do a lot of studio work for other acts, so I need to be able to switch projects quickly and easily. We have a nice monitoring setup and a few outboard toys, but it’s 95% software.”
RW: “Our Spektre studio has always been located at Paul’s house, however I do have a small set-up at my home as well. We always aim to be sat in the same room together whenever we are producing Spektre music. There have always been occasional times when we work on ideas separately and then come together to finish them off. We always find our workflow to be optimised when we are able to bounce ideas off each other and capitalise on our musical chemistry.”
How are things going with your record label Respekt, as it’s a pretty respected imprint within the techno community, and it would be great to know what’s forthcoming?
RW: “We have forthcoming material from Ko:smo, Jo Poole, Bolster and rising talent Joris Turenhout lined up, as well as another fresh EP from ourselves later in the year.”
PM: “Yeah, loads of exciting stuff lined up. A lot of it from artists who we’ve seen develop and grow over the course of a few releases too, which is great to see.”
Thanks for taking the time to talk with us, is there a message for fans or anything else you want to add before we finish?
PM: “Thank you for having us! We’d like to give a big shout to everyone who comes to our shows and supports our music: You’re the reason we do this! As always, keep an eye on our socials for details of forthcoming dates and releases.”
You can pick up a copy of Spektre’s new ‘Bring Me Fire’ on Respekt from HERE.