Since its inception thirty years ago, Keith Tucker has been intrinsic to the evolution of Detroit Techno. Also known as DJ K-1, Optic Nerve and Alien FM, Keith was co-founder of the pioneering techno group Aux88 who coined the Techno Bass sound.
One of the most prolific artists and producers to come out of the Detroit Techno scene, Keith’s latest four-track EP under the Optic Nerve moniker is the 600th release to be dropped under duo Slam’s legendary Soma label. He had some things to say about the new release titled ‘Far Away’. Enjoy !
WWD: How has 2021 been for you so far?
2021 Has been very busy for me with a lot of studio mixdowns of upcoming Optic Nerve LP secret project and alias K-1 electro and Alien FM on my Puzzlebox Records along with upcoming Dopplereffekt collab, Anthony Rother collab and DJ Godfather collab and about 5 remixes for various artist coming…..I will start prepping my live show in a few months for the future so when the pandemic gets a little manageable I’m ready.
WWD: What influenced the sound of the new Optic Nerve EP, Far Away?
The influence of my sound is a combination of Detroit Techno, Juan Atkins and Kraftwerk.
WWD: Can you tell us what inspired the title of the EP?
The title is inspired by an interstellar space flight. Optic Nerve is an entity, embodying many forms and travelling through space looking for inspiration and exploration.
WWD: When was the EP recorded?
The EP was recorded in quarantine in the summer of last year amidst the global pandemic.
WWD: What’s your creative process like?
I use strings and melodies to provoke an initial mood, and then the rhythms are created. Vocals conclude the tracks.
WWD: How does the EP’s sci-fi manga aesthetic reflect on the EP’s sound?
The artwork for the release embodies what I originally dreamt of when I created the music. Music released under Optic Nerve is inspired by sight in an abstract sense – of visualisation. Just as we use our eyes to see, we envisage sound in a similar way through our ears. Kyle Irvine’s artwork embodies everything that Optic Nerve represents.
WWD: What’s your favourite track from the EP and why?
My favourite is Far Away. You can close your eyes and it will take you to another place and make you want to dance at the same time. Not many artists can do intelligent techno in that way anymore.
WWD: Have you always been a fan of Soma Records’ releases?
Yes – Soma is legendary in terms of their roster and releases.
WWD: Where are you most excited to play once live shows return?
I’m very excited to play in Japan, Australia and the festival circuit armed with amazing visuals.
WWD: What does the rest of 2021 hold in terms of releases?
I’ll be releasing a full-length Optic Nerve LP titled “UNCHARTED”. I’ve also got some collaborations lined up with Anthony Rother; DJ Di’jital on Mechatronica; Gerald Donald of Dopplerefekt on Puzzlebox Records; and a release under the K-1 alias with DJ Godfather – as well as some classic Alien FM represses.
The EP is available now on Beatport and on Bandcamp on 19th Feb where it will also come with a unique sci-fi inspired comic by Scottish artist Kyle Irvine.