You will already have heard of Randomer. In 2013 and even the year after, almost every single good techno set contained one song, whose power shone out like a beacon from the depths of its darkness. A haunting melody and soundscape over a kick as elegant as it is piercing, ‘Bring’ more than earned its place in our top five techno tracks of the year. The man behind it, londoner Rohan Walder, finally appears in the spotlight he deserved since the beginning in 2008 as a lover of drum’n’bass, dubstep and all things bass-laden.
On Trax, Happa and JoeFarr were quick to sing the praises of their English peer and his unmistakable brand of techno, always sprinkled with some indeterminately addictive secret ingredient that keeps us hooked to the mysterious man.
“I just like making crazy sounds.”
You’ve been making music since 2008 but you’re keeping a low profile, there’s not much information about you on the Internet or in the media. You prefer to let the music do the talking, don’t you?
I’m not trying to make any point with my music, so there isn’t too much to talk about. I just like making crazy sounds.
How did you come to techno and become Randomer?
That was quite recent actually. I didn’t like 4/4 music for ages because it sounded bland compared to the drum’n’bass and dubstep world that I came from musically. But when UK Funky came along, it gave me a push in the right direction and I got totally hooked on house and techno after watching an old UK documentary called Pump up the Volume about the beginnings of house and techno.
You probably have one of the most elegant and yet powerful kicks in techno music these days. And we can qualify your whole sound as the same. Are you an analogue geek? What’s your set up at the studio?
I like what people would sonically perceive as “analogue” however, this sound can be reached a number of different ways. You don’t need old equipment or analogue equipment at all. I use both analogue and digital. Variation is inspiring.
JoeFarr, Happa… Even on Trax, a lot of guys from the British techno scene told us they have a lot of respect for you and your sound. After your first official EP from 2008, would you say you have found the right formula today?
It took me longer than a lot of other artists, but now I think I have refined the musical elements that I like into something good. I think people appreciate the heavy weight I put into my sound, but also the tangents I go off on stylistically.
“You don’t need old equipment or analogue equipment at all.”
What are you looking for when it comes to making music? Are you simply looking for the most ‘banging’ sound?
It helps when you create something that sounds powerful. I want to move myself, physically, emotionally.
Your track “Bring” from 2013 on Hemlock can be heard in every good techno set in Paris since then. Have you felt this success too? How can you explain it? What is the story behind this track?
It’s the track most people know me from. I’m happy it happened, because at the time I was writing it I really wanted to make a big hit. When I made it though, I thought it wasn’t particularly good at all. I didn’t send it to anyone at first. Then a few weeks later I started enjoying it again and I had a hunch that Ben (UFO) might like it. So I sent it to him and he played it on the Hessle show on Rinse FM. From there people started to react crazily to it, I couldn’t understand the reaction at all. But I learnt to love it. I hope I have a moment like this again in the future.
About Paris and France, do you know a bit about the French techno scene? In comparison, how is the current UK techno scene? I’m thinking of Blawan, Surgeon, Happa, Perc, Untold… A few guys you know.
There is some amazing techno coming out of France. And the parties in France are always incredible, great atmosphere, crowds and promoters. The UK is more fragmented in terms of peoples tastes, which is natural, we have so many different little genres of electronic music that people love.
“I want to move myself, physically, emotionally.”
You released an EP last month, Concierge. What was the idea behind these tracks “Woodwork” and “Concierge”? As the name suggests, you used samples of wood noises in « Woodwork », right? And what was the idea behind “Concierge”, how did you make it?
There’s no samples of wood in there. When I was making “Woodwork”, I was listening to a lot of underground 90s hip-hop instrumentals, particularly tracks which sampled musique concrete. I wanted to create this vibe on some techno tracks, and I used some musique concrete samples, and created instruments out of them, and then created my own melodies. “Concierge” has a similar story, it was natural that they fit together on a release.
If you had to guess, which one of them could reach the top 10 best techno tracks of the year?
I don’t know. I like “Concierge” the best.
Finally, your upcoming release, Running Dry takes a noticeably more melodic turn than the previous one. Was this a conscious decision, perhaps because it’s coming out on Dektmantel?
I make a lot of melodic tracks, but I prefer to keep most of these for myself. Melodies can be quite emotional and personal when you write them. I do actually put melodies in a lot of my techno, but people might not think of them as melodies because of the instruments which are performing them, eg. percussion. Working with Dekmantel was certainly a good way to bring some of these tracks to the public. They have got an amazing response, so I’m looking forward to showing more of my melodic work in the future.