Vocode interview

Cheers : I was speaking with Santino and he's said you might be
down to do an interview for my "conversations with" series of
articles I'm doing on the City of Bass Electro Blog [Dispatches
form Vocode Project] if you can provide HQ promo pictures that will
help the articles pop. Studio pictures are great as well, and
pictures from your city/daily life (ie something you feel
comfortable sharing). Email is djmadwax@gmail.com

here the initial questions. I may come back with more questions
pending your answers. I'll then flesh it out,edit it down and send
it for your approval before I post it. My aim is to give you dope
exposure, so try to be as thorough as you can in the answers - the
more folks know about you, the more they're apt to connect with the
grooves and click-through for more info etc etc...

1. First things first, tell us a little about yourself
(background, where you're from, real name if you share it, where
you currently live, your passion for music production, what drives
you as an individual - I know a lot of this information is on your
bio - I'd like perhaps a condensed version of that bio but focus on
the what drives you as an individual angle - I want to give the
readers more than just a simple bio answer - make sense?)

My name is Starrie Williamson. I also go by the monikers Selekta
Stjarna and Stjarna. I currently live in Charlottesville, Virginia
in the United States. I am originally from a small town near the
Atlantic Ocean in the state of Delaware. I grew up in the eighties
and like most other American youth, was exposed to electro via pop
music. My parents were very close with my Uncle, whom lived in
Manhattan, so we used to visit him several times a year. Even
though I lived in a small, isolated town, I kind of grew up exposed
to city life. When I hit my early teens in the late eighties my
interest in underground music exploded and I started hitting the
record shops in NYC and became interested in clubbing culture. I
started seriously collecting music at the age of 14. There was an
underage club night which played industrial, dark wave, house and
early techno tracks near where I lived, so my friends and I would
go every weekend to dance and hang out. When I was old enough my
parents let me start going to clubs in New York City such as the
Limelight. I was fascinated with the culture. When I was 20 years
old I went off to college in Philadelphia. At the time the rave
scene was exploding on the east coast. I went to an art school,
lived in the dormitories and it was inevitable that I was going to
be sucked in. I remember that there used to be buses that came to
or dorm to pick kids up to take them to raves in nearby NYC. Philly
was nurturing it’s own growing scene at the time, and I was going
out about 3 times a week.

2. I understand you're the driving force behind the
technobass.net electro community, along with some assistance from
Morphogenetic. Can you tell the readers a bit of background with
the site (why you created it, what was your original vision, has
that vision changed since you began the site, what your future
plans are if you can share etc )

In 1996 I was in a record store in New York City called Strange?
On Avenue A. I believe Andrew, the owner of Satamile Records, used
to work there. Colin Strange, the owner, was there that day. I
remember I was shopping for some new jeans and some new releases
and Colin put on a cd compilation called “Origins of a Sound” which
has a bunch of Detroit Techno Bass artists on it like Aux 88,
Drexciya (look more up). Before the first track was even half way
through I asked Colin “What is this? I want it”… I instantly loved
it. I had not heard music like that before. ”. I think he was kind
of amused that he had only played a couple of minutes of it and I
had instantly said I wanted to buy it. It was my new favorite style
of techno, and I became obsessed with collecting what I could on
vinyl. 611 Records in Philly carried some new Direct Beat releases
when they came out, and I would always snatch them up when I could.
I had had a few DJ gigs around Philly, and I was sure

3. Do you envision the site as more of a community for scene
producers, DJs, label heads and radio folks to gather and
collaboraote, or is it also geared for fans of the music?

I have had a different vision for the site over the years.
Originally I envisioned the site as a place where artists could
promote their music, but I was limited technologically as to what I
could do. I started out small. I contacted a few artists and asked
them if I could feature their mix on my site, and create an artist
profile for them. I considered the idea of creating a forum for the
site, but decided against it as there was already an abundance of
them on other electro sites. more of a community for artists:
Producers, DJs, record label owners, visual artists, dancers etc to
come together and network and collaborate. However, I think the
site also serves as a place where fans can come and check things
out and listen to music.

4. I have to ask, who did your bangin' graffiti logo? And do
you/are you planning on selling t-shirts (or getting a promo one
for me? heh)

The logo was actually done by my husband’s cousin. His name is
Gary. I am indeed planning on selling t-shirts. I really should get
on that and make it happen. When it does I will definitely send you
one as a promo!

5. Going off the logo tangent, why did you decide to call the
site techno bass. The term for me, brings to mind the sounds of
detroit electro, but obviously as a member of the technobass
community, I see the full gamut of electro styles/cities and labels
are represented there.

When I first got into what a lot of people call “new” electro in
the mid-nineties, it was through artists on the Direct Beat and 430
West label, who were of course calling their sound “techno bass”.
So, that’s what I called it, too. Around the year 2000 I read an
article about Aux 88 on some webzine, where they were talking about
the background of this style. Miami bass + Detroit Techno. It made
sense to me.

6. What's your approach in the studio for creating music (what
drives you, whats your process, what gear/software do you use)

LOL, I am still figuring that one out. Actually I feel like I
have been making great strides in my approach to making music in
the past year. I use Reason, Cubase, a Korg MS2000, Microkorg,
UM-5E

7. Tell me about your joint project with morphogenetic,
Metatron.

Metatron is a project that Santino and Fernandez and I conceived
of quickly after we met several years ago. There are a few tracks
we have been intermittently working on throughout the years.

8. Are you working on any solo material? (if so can you speak
more in depth as to what vibe you're going for, etc details on the
project)

Yes, my solo material is what I am currently concentrating

9. Whats your background with electro - how did you get
involved?

I’ve been into electronic music since the late eighties when I
was a burgeoning teenager

10. Any new electro artist, labels you have your eye on that
you'd like to shout out?

Currently I am really into the material on Umwelt’s New Flesh
label – specificall Deemphasis, Umwelt and Spectrums Data Forces. I
also really like the new Blastromen that just came out on Dominance
Electricity as well as . We also just signed a new artist to
Fundamental Bass Intelligence – MicroControlUnit and I am very
excited about his release coming up. This guy is really
talented.

11. Where can bassheads find you on the web (list all sites
you'd like linked to)

http://www.fbirecordings.net http://www.technobass.net
http://www.selektastjarna.com

12. Thanks for taking the time to chat with me. To wrap up,
whats next for you as an artist, and whats next for
technobass.net?

For the foreseeable future I am taking a classes at the
University of Virginia in the Music Composition and Computer
Technologies program. There are a lot of smart and talented people
there from which I am learning a lot. Right now I am up to my ears
learning the Max/MSP/Jitter programming language and eventually.
I’ve got a lot of ideas about how to use these tools to do a really
dope multimedia live performances.