With his signature sound combining elements of the classic, older and golden eras of techno with the more modern, groove-ridden sounds dominating the genre at current, London DJ and producer Alan Fitzpatrick is a man widely renowned for the bold and brash nature of his sets. The era clash is not only a staple of what is now a sought after clubbing soundtrack, but also simply a microcosm for the artist's unadulterated passion of the eras and subcultures he experienced himself, those that shaped and defined influences that seep into his sets and productions. Fitzpatrick's ability to weave those vintage references of the famed rave culture and trance styles that took over the UK in the 90s in between the relevant techno of today is a clever mix of the nostalgic and the contemporary, creating an accessible yet completely unique brand of techno.
Ahead of a huge all night long set at iconic London venue Fabric alongside Maceo Plex, as well as a nocturnal set at Edinburgh's Liquid Room and a headline set at The Move's Warehouse Special in Stoke, we caught up with the techno don Alan Fitzpatrick...
You are known to often reference the early eras of dance music within your sets and releases, what is it about older imprints of the genre that still appeal?
I could answer this question in about three or four ways different ways but to be totally honest, for me, it is purely about being true to myself. About where it was that my influences came from and the vibes, music and specific tracks that have stayed with me. From a DJing perspective I also really enjoy the process of matching up modern music with tracks from 15/20 years ago. That’s what makes DJing fun for me - being able to pick from all the music I like rather then just the latest batch of promos or whatever.
Do you feel it’s important to include these older elements to the younger crowds that didn’t experience them first time around?
In some ways yeah I do because I don’t think very much contemporary music is made with the same freedom of style or expression that you would find with music from 90’s or early 00’s, and I think that is a shame that younger crowds maybe miss out of that a little. That said, every generation is different and it is possibly a bit preachy of me to be saying “you all need to be vibing off this tune cos I used to vibe off it 20 years ago” so I don’t make a massive deal about it.
Is techno still about sounding somewhat futuristic?
I am absolutely not a purist when it comes to techno, mainly because I have always listened to and enjoyed other genres of music just as much, if not even more, so personally speaking I don’t tend to carry around any baggage about what my music is or isn’t supposed to be which has been very helpful in being able to create sounds that are unique to me or to be pioneering - both of which are more important ambitions for me.
You recently released ‘Colour Of A Dream’, can you talk us through this EP?
Without knowing it, and certainly without planning it, I think this EP has become quite an important landmark for me. Personally I feel that creativity it has put me back on track. I feel very comfortable and confident right now with what I want to do studio-wise and that is something that I had been missing for a little while. One interesting fact that won’t be immediately obvious from listening to the EP is that all three tracks were written at very different times, like 2 or 3 years apart, which is definitely a first for me, but thats just how it came together.
Your releases are more melodic than other techno comparisons - where do those influences stem from?
I love my melodies, what can I say! It might also have something to do with the fact that I am an 80’s music obsessive and also have more than a passing interest in 90’s trance… :)
Outside of techno, what are you currently listening to?
Mostly Prince these last few days. I am a HUGE Prince fan and so his anniversary means a lot to me.
You’ll be hitting Fabric soon - what do you think it is about the London club that gives it an enduring allure to such a broad demographic?
I think it is pretty simple - they have been at the top of their game for the best part of 20 years and this means a lot of people have experienced the care and attention that they put into their events. Even if you have not been to the club you will be very aware of their reputation and intrigued to check the place out.
What’re you most looking forward to about your upcoming Room 2 takeover?
Fabric is such an important club to me personally that it is always a pleasure to be returning, but this time is that extra bit special as it’s actually been a little while since I have played Room 2 as my last time at the club was in Room 1, but the party on Saturday is hosted by my We Are The Brave brand so we have Reset Robot playing live which will be really cool and also Leonardo opening up the room. These guys are also amongst my oldest, best friends so there is a lot to set this particular gig apart from any others.
What else have you got planned this year that you’re excited for?
Insane levels of busy on all fronts hahaha… my touring schedule is about to go crazy - as it does each summer - with loads of big festivals and of course the Ibiza season starting. Ive loads of music being released too, on We Are The Brave plus some really cool labels like Hot Creations, Bedrock, Unknown To The Unknown.
We always finish our interviews on a track - do you have a go-to set closer at the minute?
Hmm… given we are at Fabric together on Saturday then it has got to be Leonardo - Quetzal. Ive been closing my sets with this on and off for almost a year because, well just listen. It’s absolutely epic!
Following on from Alan Fitzpatrick's all night long set at London club Fabric on Saturday 28th April with Maceo Plex, Terry Francis and more, you can see Alan at Edinburgh's Liquid Room on Friday 1st June. The Move will host Fitzpatrick for their Warehouse Special alongside PBR Streetgang and more on Sunday 26th August.
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