It is not known much about the Industrial/Experimental techno outfit ‘ A Birth Defect ‘ But despite the relative mystery and obscurity , their music has already been championed by the genre’s heavyweights. We dug a little deeper and found out that one half of this duo was one of India’s longest standing Dj’s. We finally caught up with Dale and Lakshya to get to know more about their journey and future plans.
Please give us a little bit of insight into your background in terms of music and career.
Dale - I grew up around a lot of music. I got into professional dancing in 94 & did it for almost 5 years while djing on the side for fun, non professionally. We used to mix on tapes and later on with cds. I enjoyed the music so I did it just for fun.
I started djing full-time in September, 99 soon after I quit dancing. My first break came when i got the Residency/ Artist Bookings at India's first super club called Elevate. It soon went on to be voted in 2006 as 35th best nightclub in the world by DJ Mag, putting India on the international music map. Four years down the line of my djing career, i also got interested to know the production side of the music. I was really fascinated and intrigued by the limitless possibilities in electronic music. The feeling was insane but I didn't really know or understand it so deeply at that time. At the time we didn’t really have much internet speed or much information online. Neither we had softwares and any gears nor much guidance but I still managed to get a bit of guidance from my peers and I have been learning ever since. I also did an online course from Berklee college of music in 2012. I wanted to use all the inspiration I had collected over these years to create & experiment with my music. A lot of learning and inspiration also came by sharing the stage with the producers/Artists such as Perc, Ansome, Vril, Mathew Johnson, Elite force, General Midi, Hybrid, Phil Kieran, John Digweed, Paul Oakenfold, Sasha, Dave Seamen, Boris Brejcha, and many more.
I grew up in Delhi and was more into academics during my childhood and in fact my parents thought that I would become a software engineer but I always had the love for music.
During my childhood the only source of music that I had was television, cassettes tapes and got access to the internet when I was 15.
It was during the last of my school days that I decided to pursue music professionally because that is what i love but at that time I had already enrolled for further studies. So it was only after I finished college by which I was 21, I started with music production.
I shared my ideas/thoughts about electronic music with a friend of mine who was a DJ and it was he who suggested to me that music production was the right thing for me and soon after that I started with my course. With no musical background I had some troubles initially but with help of good mentorship I was able to achieve what I wanted.
How did you come up with the name A Birth Defect? It's a rather interesting choice. Is there any relation or context to the style of music that you produce?
We came up with this name through our experiences since i (Dale) was really young i always liked different things compared to others and it soon translated into mostly everything in life, especially music. People always said I was listening to weird, dark, hard music, stuff like that and it was a similar experience with Lakshay when he got into music. People around him didn’t connect with the music in the same way as he did. Since people around us thought our music to be weird, we decided to keep this name as a satire 🙂
We don't think we've come across any artists in India like you that possess such a visceral sound. Have you always wanted to produce this style of music, or was it a natural progression from other styles that culminated into this?
We pretty much always loved the more experimental, harder sound. I (Dale) had always wanted to do something on similar lines and once Lakshay got into music, he also immediately connected to this side of music.
Your music has been played and supported by the likes of Rebekah and Paula Temple, probably two of the biggest names in Industrial techno. How did this come about? Will we be seeing you releasing or collaborating with them soon?
We were always fans of Rebekah and it was during her India tour we connected through Instagram. She went through some of our videos and liked some of the music eventually asking us to send her promos to play. She really liked 2 of our tracks “Industrial Invasion” and “Final Hours” which were released on Pitch Dark Records (Uk/Scotland) and soon after she invited us to release on her label “ELEMENTS”. We were super elated & honoured to have a release with one of our favourite artists/djs and looking forward to more releases on her label.
Paula Temple discovered our music through label promos and supported some of our music. We recently connected with her through soundcloud to send some of our new music and got good feedback from her. As of now with Paula, it's just mutual music appreciation and hoping it will bring something good in the future.
Considering most of the Indian music scene leans towards the softer side of techno, have you found it hard to cut through the circuit? Anything here that you personally think needs a change or could improve?
We have been doing house/techno gigs in delhi since 99 and have witnessed the scene deteriorating. What really needs to change here is people need to be more open and real in what they like rather than jumping on the current trends because it is ‘cool’ to be part of it. Subsequently the artists/djs can also help if they stopped tagging every music as Techno music as it confuses the listeners when someone plays techno music. The scene is slowly getting better here in some ways but to be honest we really don’t restrict ourselves by thinking about the scene here.
I had read an interview a while ago of Surgeon Aka Anthony child, and he said, ‘Techno can be anything you want it to be, I think too many people restrict Techno by giving it a very narrow set of rules to follow, I like impure Techno.’ This is also how we feel & the people need to broaden their thoughts. We also believe if promoters and djs/artists across the country, support each other and do things for one cause i.e. to promote techno culture, it will take no time for the scene to evolve.
Give us an insight into your production process. Any valuable technical tips for aspiring producers of this genre?
There is no process really it's more of a feeling based situation at times we jam and work with the material we have recorded during those sessions.
As for the technical tips, I would say learn the art properly, master it and experiment with it. Don’t copy paste or try to make music like someone else. It’s a good thing to get inspired but doing the same will not get you anywhere.
Is there anything else besides music that inspires you?
Inspiration comes from anything that we connect to could be, People, everyday life, technology Etc..
What are you working on currently? Any upcoming releases?
We are always working on new music and also working on our new project. We have a couple of releases planned for the next few months.
Favourite Indian artists
Upcoming New Comers
Unholy Existence, Cascading Effect, Sumerian Ancestry
A dream collaboration.
For us as a dream collaboration would be with Lingua Ignota, Locrian, Ansome, Oake, To be honest there are lots of Artist/Musicians we would like to collaborate with.
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