There’s no second-guessing Tom Demac. From his earliest output in the fertile techno scene of his native North Wales to his most recent world-beating 12’s, he has never shied away from trying something new. His music first reached the world matching the experimental spirit of minimal to a tougher techno sensibility. This gave rise to tracks brimming with creativity and packing a punch, thanks to the gutsy analogue set up that has been Tom’s calling card since day one. An important member of the Kompakt family, Tom Demac recently released on Jamie Jones Hot Creations. The two-track EP saw him team up with Skream and the label boss himself. As part of our Behind The Headphone series, we sat down to find out what makes him tick.

At What point did you decide you were destined for a career in music?

I suppose the penny finally dropped around 10-12 years ago when my parents finally began to understand how passionate I was about music and making a career from it. It’s such an alien subject for people of that generation to get their head around, so for them to understand and get behind me early on in my career really made me believe in myself further.

What has been the proudest thing to happen in your career to date?

I’ve certainly achieved a lot in my career and performed in some amazing places all over the world, but on a personal level, I suppose my proudest moment was when I signed my first single to Kompakt. For Michael Mayer to respond to my demo with ‘this feels like my first MDMA moment all over again’, was pretty special.

What do you think has been the most detrimental thing to happen to electronic music since you have been active in the scene and why?

It’s been a pretty rocky road during the time I’ve been active in the scene, with the decimation of physical music, and the income for independent music sales dropping to practically nothing.. amongst so many other twists and turns over the years. The latest catastrophe has obviously been COVID-19, our scene seems to have been forgotten about once again, we’re still unable to operate properly in our environments, whether it be clubs or festivals. Our basic right to dance, stripped from us for almost a year. One thing I do know though, the underground music scene is a truly resilient force, and one can hope we’ll be back better than ever before.

Amongst other things we have noticed a shift during lockdown and what we deem an increase in creativity from the scene in general. This includes live streams, artists making less dance floor orientated music and various unique and interesting content. how do you think the landscape will change post lockdown?

Like you have listed above, we as humans, musicians and creatives have all had to evolve very quickly in the face of quarantine and isolation. It’s been pretty inspiring to see, with artists hustling, and thinking outside of the box to make an income or to present their art differently through such strange times. I think the landscape is going to change and already has changed dramatically. I just hope people’s perception of the value of music continues when we’re all out of this, and continued support for artists via outlets like Bandcamp continues to flourish.

What is the biggest challenge when playing live and how do you overcome this?

The problems always arise from the computer when playing live, and not my analogue hardware or my modular synth. Midi controllers always fuck up on me mid-set, and stop communicating with the computer, which usually means playing live for 30minutes with a mouse and a few keyboard shortcuts. Not ideal.

Finally, if you could produce a track with anyone past or present who would it be and why?

Thom Yorke! I shouldn’t need to explain this one!

Buy Skream & Tom Demac – ‘EMF’ HERE

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