New York raised, now located in New Jersey, DJ Spider stands for all things underground with a distinct affection for experimental and abstract themes.
Anything from futuristic technoid sounds, to warped, glitchy Electronica, to Jazz inspired House come out of Rob’s inventive and creative mind; yet repeatedly presented with an unmistakable, gritty and analogue function that is set deep in the DNA of his works.
We caught up with him recently after he remixed our first vinyl release for DEAD CERT. Records towards the end of 2015…
> 01. Which artists and genres inspired you to start producing music?
I’ve been a musician since I was a young kid and in the early 90’s I started playing guitar in a death metal band. So as far as inspirational artists and genres go, I’m at both ends of the spectrum. If I’m to name names though, Kenny Dope, Kerri Chandler and Jeff Mills are just a few that have influenced my house and techno productions. I was always in awe of their incredibly consistent output of music for the time.
Growing up in New York I also loved early Hip Hop producers like Marley Marl, DJ Premier, the RZA, Large Professor and Rick Rubin. Hip Hop has had a huge influence on how I make music especially my use of samples which brings out that feeling in tracks that I use to love back then.
> 02. What production hardware or software do you get the best results from and what does it bring to your work?
Hardware: My two Moog synthesizers (Moog Rogue & Moog Minitaur) and my MPC 1000 (custom modified). The Moog’s never fail in giving me that quality thick sound and my MPC is a sampling beast that has some very dope features.
Software: Reason is my favourite. I learned so much about hardware through this program. It is a virtual rack that you can fill with many amazing units, many of which are only available in Reason. Now that they have incorporated recording audio into it I now can use this program exclusively. Before I used to have to record all of my live audio into Logic and then run it in Reason using a sampler. Also I used to have to bounce every single track down and then put those stems into logic to mix my final track which was sometimes a hassle but not anymore. I love both analog and digital instruments and advise all new producers to not get caught up in only one.
> 03. Which tracks from your own back catalogue is a staple in your DJ/Live sets?
“Gutter House” from my Under the Radar EP (2010)
“Wicked Priest” from my Samurai Chronicles EP (2011)
“Crimson Bat” from my Curse of the Underground EP (2012)
…all of which were released on Plan B Recordings.
> 04. What aspect do you enjoy the most from working in music?
Producing and writing, but DJing enables me to see the world and I am very thankful for that. Learning to balance everything in your life around music is a challenge but I am getting better at it.
> 05. You are known to be a vinyl head, tell us about your love affair with it and why you feel so connected?
Yes, vinyl is my format of choice. I rarely use anything else really other than the occasional CD or USB for unreleased or reworked material but vinyl is what I’m most comfortable with. All I knew when growing up was vinyl and 8 track cassettes. I have have been a collector since I can remember and have built thousands of relationships with all of my records over the years. There are just some feelings you can’t duplicate.
> 06. What’s your passion outside of making music?
Cooking and eating good food. I spend most of my time in my home studio with my girlfriend and our dog making music, drinking coffee and enjoying life.
> 07. Where has been one of your most enjoyable gigs to date and what made it so special?
Osaka, Japan. My fans there are such amazing supporters and it’s always great spending time with them, but I’ve had so many great gigs that I just can’t pin point one.
> 08. Which track by another artist has really caught your attention recently?
DJ Qu - “Redtones” [Strength Music Recordings] (2015)
> 09. Which artists do you keep a close eye on and rate highly for the future?
> 10. What forthcoming projects or releases are we yet to see?
I have EPs coming out in the next few months on Vanguard Sound, Plan B Recordings and Radio Slave’s Rekids label.