Dave Clarke shows
Dave Clarke, the Baron of Techno, is a DJ with an anarchist streak a mile wide and punk in his soul.
Born and raised in Brighton, England, but currently resides in Amsterdam, a city which revitalized his life and work. The offspring of a technology loving father and a disco-soul loving mother, it was always evident that David Clarke would cut a swathe through music. As a youth he ran away from home, sleeping in car parks and on beaches. He took lousy jobs in shoe shops, living off £5 a day, to subsidise his income from badly paid local DJ gigs – anything to further his involvement with music.
“I didn’t really engage at all with the outside world,” he recalls, “I was your typical disenfranchised JD Salinger-inspired young adult that used to hide in and behind music.”
Clarke’s debut release was in 1990 on XL Recording, around the time the label was launching The Prodigy. He used the name Hardcore, a guise he then took to the legendary Belgian techno-rave imprint R&S where he released various EPs (some as Directional Force). By 1992 Clarke’s own label, Magnetic North, was on the rise and he unveiled the classic ‘Alkaline 3dh’ (as Fly By Wire), among others. A next level career boost was round the corner when his ‘Red’ trilogy were unleashed on Bush Records in 1994. These catapulted Clarke into a different league and he suddenly found himself remixing the likes of: Kevin Saunderson’s Inner City, The Chemical Brothers, New Order, Depeche Mode, Moby, Leftfield and Underworld. Undisputed landmarks in techno, DJ Mag rightly incorporated ‘Red’ in its All Time Techno Top 100 list.
Clarke’s debut album ‘Archive One’ followed, flecked with hints of breakbeat and electronica, a novelty in the puritanical techno scene of the time. Clarke’s mix CDs include the techno/electro double ‘World Service’ outings, one of which sold nearly 100,000 and made it into Resident Advisor’s top ten mix compilations of the 21st century. He signed to Skint Records – home of Fatboy Slim – resulting in 2004’s ‘Devil’s Advocate’ album, jammed with dark techno energy but laced with hip hop beats. When his production pace ebbed, Music Man Records gathered together ‘Remixes & Rarities’ in 2007, making Album Of The Month in Mixmag and receiving critical plaudits all over.
After a break from production, recent years saw Clarke make his presence felt again, working with Dutch partner Mr Jones (Jonas Uittenbosch) as _Unsubscribe_ and dropping remixes ranging from John Foxx’s seminal synth-pop gem ‘Underpass’ to Gesaffelstein, Detroit Grand Pubas and Octave One, as well cutting tracks for labels such as Houndstooth and Boysnoize. In 2016 an album of remixes, ‘Charcoal Eyes (A Selection of Remixes From Amsterdam)’, ranging from Placebo to A Place to Bury Strangers, suggested Clarke was revitalized in the studio. The new album confirms it and includes a track made with virtuoso producer Keith Tenniswood (AKA Radioactive Man).
As a DJ, Clarke plays out across Europe and the world, living up to his nickname, the Baron of Techno, a moniker given him by the late, great BBC Radio DJ John Peel. There’s the same attention to detail each time, his sets swooping whip-smart along the cutting blade of techno and electro, backed up by a seasoned bag of DJ tricks in which his early hip hop roots clearly show. Techno’s first and original “Man in Black”, Clarke blends into the background upon arrival and lets his music do the talking. That’s where he comes alive, where skills honed for years blow venues apart.
Catch the regular show every Saturday 8pm (GMT) 3pm (EST) 12pm (PST)