Electronic music was never meant to exist. In fact, the Japanese government accused Roland founder, Ikutaro Kakehashi, of making up the whole idea just as a way of avoiding taxes (there was a category in the Japanese tax code for instrument maker, and for electronics engineer … but the two together were considered impossible). Those who brought it to us had to build it up, one component at a time.
Of course, fundamentally, electronic music is just like any other music, in that it accomplishes mastery over a medium that makes sound. The disciplined medium renders something that makes those listening to the air it vibrates feel ‘moved’ (whatever that means), and at times it even makes them feel connected. The medium for electronic music is, of course, electricity. And the tools of this discipline … these are called components.
“I love gear,” says Pittsburgh U.S.A based, Mr. Stitch, with a broad smile that stands like a grill in the middle of his dense, wild beard. “I have like … [starts looking around the room and counting] an analog summing mixer, a solid state processor over here… the left and right channels are both full frequency for mixing and mastering …” he stops to look at the camera “I’m all in. This is what I do.”
Mr. Stitch has been a part of the international Tech House movement for some 20 years, working the national rave circuit, and producing tracks that get played as far away as Spain (where tech house is properly recognized as a premier EDM genre). In the stories he tells me about his career (really just entering its middle stride) one feel like they are listening to the war stories that founded our current EDM nation.
“I went to my first rave back in Oregon … 1992 … and it was like, you know, life changing. It was like: What is happening? because everything is different now.” The event was held in an old warehouse that was turned into a party with bolt-cutters and innovative power grid hacks. “I walked out of that thinking ‘that was some amazing shit, right there … I like that.’”
He entered the rave scene not just for the PLUR energy, but also because a lifelong love of music was now finding a genre that fit his need to make music, and perform. “Music is the one factor in my life that’s always there … its gotta be. Because without music … I am a sour ass motherfucker,” he starts laughing a loud, boisterous laugh, “my wife will tell you!”
Electronic composing became his outlet for music in a way that previous attempts at multiple instruments (trumpet, piano, bass, voice) hadn’t been able to fully fulfil him. He clearly had talent: participating in a regional boy’s choir, and a member of a hip hop group that had a small local release. But DJing and composing are where he eventually settled down, so he could focus on what matters the most to him in music: “the feeling.” In fact, that is one of the fascinating features of talking to Mr. Stitch … who in many ways works with technical machines in a very technical way, yet his focus is primarily towards the organic, the ethereal, and the transcendent. For instance, check out his explanation of the software he uses to work. Note his discussion of very technical issues, and his demonstration of understanding the mechanics of the work:
“I used [Abelton] Live up until Live-9, but it started to really piss me off, so I swapped it out for studio1, and I have studio1 4 now, but that’s for mixing and mastering. When I’m writing music, well I’ve been writing all my music for years in Reason. … [Stops to take a big puff of his blunt] … So it’s a two part system, because in Reason I’m just so damn fast in a really quick amount of time, but for mixing and mastering I think it’s a little clunky, so I basically dump those tracks into Studio1.”
Out of this process of interlacing software and multi-layered processes, Mr. Stitch creates bouncy, fresh melodies, which blend the melodious “progressive house” sounds that he enjoys, with the rawer Tech House genre which gives his work edge. The ability to work these electronic machines as if they are musical instruments was supposed to be impossible … it’s the transcendent space.
“Reality is just a play between energies,” he explains, “if you harness energies you can get yourself into a better place.” And isn’t this exactly what he does with music? Is this not exactly how the movement between his vision of sound, the interface of software and the vibrations of bass and bodies work? All of them components in the process that makes some people, for whatever reason, for whatever it means: feel moved.
Mr. Stitch is true to his name: stitching together components to flow energy, and at its center is he, himself, centering. “I do a lot of meditation he explains … like an hour a day.” Time spent without motion, without electricity, just stillness. It’s what keeps him moving.
“If I can help just one person, then I’ve done what I can,” he explains of his ultimate motivation as an artist, and as a DJ. “I just want to make people dance and have a good time. We need a lot more love in this world and a lot less hate.” All components of successful vibration.
Mr. Stitch Drop4Drop mix Trax Lixt
01. Mr. Stitch - Pop
02. Gettoblaster, Chris Larsen - Bounce Yo Body (feat. DJ Dagwood) (Original Mix)
03. Hiphouse (Original Mix)
04.Get Real - Jolean (Extended Mix)
05. Gold Rush - Drop Low (Original Mix)
06. DJ Rashad - She A Chicken Head
07. Taxman - Burn Da Roof feat. DJ Funk (Original Mix)
08. Bad Boy Bill, ZXX, Gettoblaster - Pimpin Hoes feat. DJ Dagwood (Original Mix)
09. Spinstyles, Gettoblaster - Dat Booty (Original Mix)
10. JOTRIDE - DAMN feat. Freddie Gibbs (Bonus Track)
11. DJ Funk, Gettoblaster - Get Dat (Original Mix)
12. DJ Godfather - Get It Girl (Original Mix)
13. DJ Emerson, DJ Mahatma - Boogie Pimps
14. Walker & Royce, VNSSA - WORD (Original Mix)
15. French Fries - Mother French
16. Destructo, E-40, Too Short - All Night (Dirty Extended Mix)
17. Nico Crespo - Thots (Hot Pot Remix)
18. Meat Katie, Ben Coda, Carbon Kingdom - Devils In The Detail (Original Mix)
19. Visions Of Glosters, Syrte - Satellite Funk (Syrte Intergalactic Uplink)
20. Wuki - Chicken Wang (with Diplo & Snappy Jit) (Original Mix)
21. DJ Funk - Titties & Beer (Ken Ishii Remix)
22. Mr. Stitch - I GOTTA HAVE MORE
23. Josh Wink - Acid Breaks
24. Josh Wink - Higher State Of Consciousness (Adana Twins Remix One)
25. Ghettoblaster, DJ Skip - Bang It (Original Mix)