Upfront 009 / January 11, 2015

Head Front Panel

A new audio mix series where we call upon the most interesting artists/DJs/record labels and ask them to peer into the near future. How they take it from there is entirely open to interpretation. This week, Tabernacle Records regular John Heckle fronts a mix of totally live, analogue style techno for their Head Front Panel sub-label.

About this mix

This session was recorded using the following: Roland Juno 106, Roland Sp808, Korg Polysix, Eventide ModFactor, Waldorf Blofeld, Roland SP404, Roland Tr-8, Jomox Xbase 09, Waldorf Microwave XT, Alesis Microverb 4, Kawai K4, Doepfer Maq 16:3, Roland Juno G, Studiomaster Trilogy 206 and a Zoom H2 recorder. We’ve been booking John since 2008 for our Slabs parties in Glasgow and I’m from Liverpool so knew him from techno circles back there. In fact I think I first spoke to him watching DJ Bone, we were both trying to i.d. this track.

In terms of allies, I guess as Head Front Panel, both John and Tabernacle have worked most over the years with the Lunar Disko lads in Dublin, and Signals in Newcastle. Our parties, releases and general outlook on this whole music thing are pretty similar. With the HFP project, we just let John do his thing and take it in whatever direction he wanted, whilst discussing different ideas and concepts for each 12". So some have been spacey (HFP#008); some more experimental (HFP#006); others utterly relentless in a Hood/Mills style (HFP#005), plus a few epic dancefloor pleasers (HFP#004).

As a series we are delighted with how it has been received, it has given us encouragement to try a new electro / oddities focused sub-label for 2015, whilst at the same time keeping the Tabernacle releases coming. By simplifying things, we reduced costs and focused on self-distribution as a new approach. With the presentation, although our main aim was just to try and release as much of John’s music as possible in a way we could afford, we still wanted each release to be more than just a white label. The tribal inlays were the perfect compromise and have given each release a visual identity, although I’m sure most people just use them as beer mats!

John Heckle

Boiler Room says...

Glasgow's Tabernacle Records is one of those labels that perfectly encapsulates all that Boiler Room loves about quality and rootedness in underground music: since 2010 their constant flow of underground house, techno and warehouse electro has had nothing to do with trend or hype and everything to do with the personal vision and club-level experiences of Andrew Ingram and Joel Shaw. And since the beginning of 2014, their Head Front Panel sub-label has expressed an even more focused and personal vision thanks to its beautiful presentation of tracks initially presented as anonymous – but in fact all by Tabernacle regular John Heckle.

John's live and analogue style has resulted in some incredible releases and powerful live sets – as you can see, this mix comes directly from his machines – and has been seen by some as part of a techno revival. But as we discussed with Sunil Sharpe back in November, the current interest in analogue kit, anonymous vinyl and pounding electronic funk has nothing to do with revivals and everything to do with a living, breathing tradition, a continuation of techno rituals that have been going on in dark strobelit bunkers nightly for 20+ years. Head Front Panel is simply another demonstration that quality abides.

Gabriel Szatan

Gabriel Szatan

Gabriel is one of the show programmer/hosts, and BR's Editor-in-Chief – somehow.