A few weeks ago, Truss hit us up seeking a way to parse his long trail of accumulated aliases; to explain the method behind the madness of multiple monikers. Turns out, it’s as much a way to build a wall as scratch an artistic itch. Here’s what he wrote.
1993, French class. Our teacher, Mr Hater calls out registration: “Trussell?” Class laughs. Nickname sticks. Not long after, it’s shortened to Truss. From then until I moved to London in 2003, almost everyone, bar my parents, referred to me by my nickname. And so it seemed the logical name to use when I started DJ’ing and later began producing. I toyed for a while with calling myself DJ Mega Rave Conductor, but ultimately I decided that the name Truss had slightly more integrity and longevity attached to it.
Truss is my main project and the one constant I have. Whether as a DJ or producer, it’s the name I started out with and the name I will continue to use. I do though enjoy taking on pseudonyms from time to time, either solo or in collaboration with other artists. I also enjoy killing them off. There’s something I find very enjoyable about building a musical project, forming it’s identity and then ending it. Having a sense of finality is very liberating.
Techno all too often has a tendency to crawl up its own arse and I felt that it needed pulling back out.
In fact the general reason I take on aliases is to achieve a feeling of artistic liberation. I’ve found that it suits my personality to be able to adopt different character mindsets when I’m working in the studio. The freedom that comes as a result of distancing myself from my real, everyday persona is something that I’ve found immensely satisfying and creatively rewarding.
People are often surprised when they meet me and realise that I’m not the rowdy, obnoxious cunt that a lot of my music would suggest that I am. That’s not to say I’m not a cunt, just more of a quiet, mild mannered one. MPIA3 however is a cheap, cider-swilling, angry crusty who is in dire need of a shower kind of cunt.
MPIA3 was my reaction against the tide of beige, droney, wishy-washy kind of techno that dominated a few years back. Techno all too often has a tendency to crawl up its own arse and in 2011 I felt that it needed pulling back out. I’m fully aware that I wasn’t doing anything remotely new or innovative with that project but, at the time, it felt like the antithesis of a lot of the other stuff that was around. In short, it was mindless, anti-intellectual music designed to be played at very loud volumes.
Blacknecks was a stream of diabolical, overblown, underproduced, overhyped techno records – of which I am very proud
It was a similar situation that brought about the worlds first (and worst) italo-gabber pop group, aka Blacknecks. I was chatting one day with Al Mathews – aka Smear, aka Bleaching Agent, aka Element Abuse, aka 1/2 of FSG aka fuck knows how many other aliases he has but it’s way more than me and so, going by that logic, he really should be writing this article instead – and we had a good old moan about how most techno was sounding very dark, serious and ‘samey’. So we embarked on a quest to make some of the most extrovert, camp and brutally over the top techno that we could muster.
The result was a stream of diabolical, overblown, underproduced, overhyped techno records – of which I am very proud. For better or worse (the answer is better), I still don’t know of many other tracks out there that sound much like “To The Cosmo, Let’s Go” or “Don’t Say It’s Goodbye”.
A little known alias of mine is Meibion. I’ve barely released more than a handful of tracks or remixes under this name, but I’ve written a fair bit that has never seen the light of day. In contrast to the heavy and often brash music I make under most of my other monikers, the music is generally more inward looking and more in line with my ‘real’ personality. Oh and just to be clear, Meibion has nothing to do with the Welsh nationalist movement, Meibion Glyndŵr.
For the record, I detest nationalism.
Then there are my collaborations with Donor, Perc and my brother, Tessela. I’ve found that collaborating helps me to break out and be more assertive with creative ideas. I find a degree of confidence when working in partnership with someone that I perhaps often lack when making music on my own, unless I’m working anonymously.
Techno has so much potential as a musical form. It’s so ultra basic and primal, yet so malleable and versatile. And so it baffles me that so many producers stick together in herds like sheep and churn out very similar sounding music. I would rather fall flat on my face and be ridiculed for at least trying to make something that sounds different from everything else around at that given time. But up until now the only way I’ve found the confidence to do this is by hiding behind a moniker. Trying to overcome the fear of what people will think of me via my music is something I’ve battled with for a while, hence why I’ve felt more comfortable working anonymously or in collaboration.
But now is the time for me to focus on my own solo stuff as Truss for a while and try, at least for once in real life, to be a confident cunt.
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