We caught up with producer and percussionist Don Turi to discuss his debut release on Scratch Massive’s bORDEL Records.
Don Turi - Interview
You began your career in music as a musician/drummer before you stepped into electronic production. Tell us about your musical background and how you got into the electronic scene.
My father is a drummer and he introduced me to music from a very early age. I studied classical piano for a few years, but I preferred going to the basement of my house to play the drums along to Led Zeppelin albums. I finally stopped piano lessons to focus on drumming from the age of 12, going on to the conservatory CNSM in Paris where I finished my studies. During the early years of my career I played jazz and accompanied French artists on stage and in the studio. The first electronic music band I worked with was Noze. At that time we toured a lot all over the world.
Production work has always interested me and over time I have abandoned collaborations a bit to focus on my music and one day I sent a track to Get Physical and they decided to release it; Don Turi was born!
What artists have influenced your sound most?
It’s hard to know which artists have influenced my sound, but I know which artists have influenced me by their artistic approach, their integrity, their clairvoyance… My first inspirations come mostly from jazz musicians, like Ornette Coleman, Keith Jarrett, Monk, Miles Davis, Charles Mingus and John Coltrane, who have all changed my life.
The first time I was captivated by electronic music was when I heard Aphex Twin in the mid 90’s. Then it was Autechre, Squarepusher, Pole. And later I was fascinated by composers like Schaeffer, Henry, Reich, John Cage. During the 2000’s I discovered Ricardo Villalobos, Trentemoller, Stephane Bodzin, Richie Hawtin, Chris Liebing. Today I am very influenced by the work of labels like Arts, Odd or Drumcode.
Over the last few years you’ve put on some live shows that have gotten a strong reception. What inspired this and what do you enjoy most about playing live?
I come from live music! I spent years behind a drum set playing in front of a crowd and the stage is probably the place where I feel the most at home. I can’t imagine my music without performing live. When producing my music I’m constantly thinking about the live performance. It’s natural for me, it’s in my DNA.
You have a new EP coming out on bORDEL Records. What can you tell us about it?
I really wanted to do my techno! I have chosen to use the codes of the music I prefer, trying to do something that really resembles me. I believe that there is no sound that does not fully satisfy me on this EP. It was kind of my personal challenge.
And at the same time I really wanted to create music dedicated to the night and the club. I kept wondering if I’d like to hear those sounds in the middle of the night surrounded by sweaty people… It was my second challenge!
We know you are a man who loves his machines. What gear did you use for this release?
I do love my machines! The base remains almost always the same: Roland SH 101, Sequential Circuit Pro One, Korg MS20, TR 909, TR 707, Vermona DRM1, Novation Peak, Roland Juno 106. But for this EP I also spent a lot of time on VST (Diva, Serum…).
On this topic, I find that production tools have really advanced, meaning we can make great music with little equipment. As far as I’m concerned it’s more a story of pleasure, I prefer turning knobs, than using a mouse.
You’ve released on some major labels like Get Physical Music, Kitsuné and Citizen Records. What makes bORDEL the perfect outlet for this record?
First of all I’m a big fan of Scratch Massive. I feel in tune with their way of making and breathing music and so I was very proud when they decided to release my EP. I know they will be able to bring this EP to life so I’m very excited about this collaboration.
Lastly, thank you for joining us today! What can we expect from you for the rest of 2023?
Lots of gigs! I continue to produce a lot so maybe still some new music. But for the moment I hope above all that you will dance throughout the frenzied nights to ‘A Teknoid Shadow’!
Don Turi - Links
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