Techno producer Paula Temple is an electronic musician known for cutting her teeth in the early 2000s as a developer of the MXF8, the first midi controller used for live performance. Following a long hiatus from production and touring, Temple reappeared in 2013 with two stellar releases on the legendary label R&S Records, which resulted in gigs at Tresor, Berghain / Panorama Bar, and other top techno institutions and cemented her status as an in-demand selector and live performer. Towards the end of 2014, she launched her own imprint, Noise Manifesto, which, among other accomplishments, has become known for its collaborative Recon/Decon series.
Rebekah is a Birmingham-born DJ and producer with releases on labels like Soma and Chris Liebing's CLR. Rebekah began playing techno in the UK in the late 1990s, and since her own productions started to appear in 2007, she has become a mainstay on the international techno circuit with dozens of releases under her belt and a consistently formidable touring schedule at top clubs and festivals throughout the globe. She also owns two labels (Elements and Decoy), has contributed to XLR8R’s Real Talk series, and recently released a debut LP titled Fear Paralysis on Soma.
Now both based in Berlin, the two artists have become close friends via their shared love for metallic, booming techno and music production, and they’ve just announced their first collaborative project: a joint hybrid live set which will premiere this weekend at the No Sleep stage at Serbia’s Exit Festival.
In anticipation of their performance at Exit, Paula and Rebekah answered some of our questions about artistic visions, their new collaboration, and what’s ahead for them both in 2017. Exclusive photos of the artists are by Berlin-based photographer and visual artist Camille Blake.
You’ve both just announced the world premiere of your joint live-hybrid performance at Exit Festival. What can we expect to see on July 5?
R: We will be linking both of our set ups together which will be a hybrid b2b session. So expect explosive energy with interesting twists.
P: Expect to celebrate techno in all its forms and sonic directions. We’re gonna cover a broad spectrum of powerful techno from two people deeply involved with the scene for twenty plus years. I’m very excited about bringing our energies together.
Have you played Exit before? Why did you choose Exit for this live debut?
P: I played at Exit in 2002 and after 15 years I still regard it one of the best DJ experiences of my life. It was the way people enjoyed the music, dancing out of their minds in complete surrender, that I knew I wanted to be back for a special occasion.
R: I have played Exit a couple of times before; once in the VIP area and another on the stage on the outer side through the dance arena. It was my first big international festival that I experienced back in 2006 and I was blown away by the Serbian crowd. I remember vividly the sun coming up over the dance arena and how beautiful that experience was, it gives me goosebumps now even thinking about it. So with that, what better way to showcase this project to the techno community?
Have you collaborated together in the past? What made you choose to work with each other for a live performance?
R: I think we both have a mutual respect for how the other one plays, Paula has such a long history of techno and is not scared to push the boundaries with her selection which for me makes her sets really interesting and inspiring, as well as being the best fit in regards to energy. I think the combination of how she works her breakdowns and my intensity will make for a unique combination.
P: We are friends and have a lot of respect for each other’s contribution to the techno scene. This is the first collaboration.
What roles will you each play in the live-hybrid set? And what’s your setup on each side?
P: To me, our rolls are the same, just expressed in different ways, to give a story in the language on techno. It doesn’t make sense to do a back to back where we each play one track and then swap over, simply because the way we both mix techno is very quick and layered too. It worked really well in a practice session yesterday when we each took turns to play a cluster of tracks, that way it feels like we are taking the crowd on a journey of mini techno-stories.
My setup is Ableton Live, Push 2 and Allen & Heath Xone K2.
R: My set up consists of Traktor and the Roland TR-8, Paula has Ableton running with the Push 2 controller. The idea is to take it in turns to play and the other will jump on the TR-8 and handle the effects.
Rebekah—you’ve just released your debut LP, Fear Paralysis, on Soma. Do you think it was a learning experience for you?
R: I think it was a way of channeling some emotions I was dealing with at the time but now that it’s completed, I can look at it and see what areas I want to work on in the studio now. It's definitely time to approach creativity in a different way; whether that is working more with live jams and audio editing or investing in that modular system that I’ve been wanting, time will tell.
What can we expect to see from you for the rest of 2017?
R: The Fear Paralysis album tour is in full flow now until the end of October and then I have to decide if I want to carry on playing with this setup or change it up again. The next installment of my Elements concept label is due out the first week of September, this project was delayed with the focus being on my album in the last year, but now I have the free time to really pick this up again. There are also releases coming on Sonic Groove and Mord towards the end of the year which I am very excited about as its finally a return to a tougher sound.
Paula—the second record in the Recon/Decon series on your label, Noise Manifesto, was released earlier this year. Can you describe the concept of this series?
P: Decon/Recon stands for deconstruction reconstruction. It is a special collaboration project with other likeminded artists who are socially, politically, and spiritually aware, where we each contribute our sounds to a shared audio pool, and then we each make a track to include sounds from each of us. On the release we are all credited equally, regardless of who made which track. It is a statement to challenge norms of hierarchy or competition in society and in the music industry. Creatively as artists it is very exciting and challenging to work together in this way too.
What else can we expect from Paula Temple and Noise Manifesto in 2017?
P: I’m making a lot of tracks right now, so it is possible there will be a new release later this year, or I hold them back towards an album.