March 10 | 2023
About Reset Robot
Producer, engineer and DJ extraordinaire Reset Robot is the alias of Dave Robertson, an accomplished artist based in Portsmouth on the south coast of the UK. Since launching the pseudonym in 2009 he has traveled the globe, DJing at many of the world’s most influential clubs and festivals, as well as rolling out a slew of well-received productions on labels such as Drumcode, Mobilee, Hotflush and his own platform Whistleblower Records.
As a DJ Reset Robot’s unassuming approach belies his magnetic appeal and innate ability to craft sets that are polished, enthralling and full of shadowy allure. A self-confessed studio hound, he spends all day, every day at the controls, allowing creativity to flow out of him and refining his skills. Two decades of experience feed into his output, and he prefers to keep things uncomplicated in the studio. The resultant sound is his signature; brooding, sombre, yet accessible and contagious.
Reset Robot’s visceral rhythms infect your subconscious urging you to dance, while captivating motifs and riffs stay with you long after the rave has ended; earworms of the highest order. It’s a sound that has caught the attention of tastemakers across the industry, picking up releases with some of the most respected labels around.
Hello Reset Robot! I hope you are doing well. First off, what inspired you to start producing techno music, and how has your creative process evolved over the years?
I was inspired to produce music from an early age. I had my first clubbing experience at the age of 16 and knew then that I wanted to get into Djing and production. It took a while before I got my first computer based setup but when I did I started using reason and still do to this day. I used to produce everything in the box but over the years I have collected some nice hardware pieces and use them heavily in my productions now.
How do you maintain the balance between experimenting with new sounds and staying true to your established style and brand?
I write a lot of different styles at the moment and have recently taken quite a long break from touring as a DJ so I feel I’m not quite as bound to a certain style as I was. I’ve been releasing some of my usual sound as well as experimenting with melodic sounds, electronica and breakbeat.
I can see you have been going a different direction with your music. From Techno to the more emotional / melodic house & techno just like your new upcoming ep: Duplicate. Can you tell something about this new ep?
Thanks for noticing. There has definitely been a shift. I just try to go with whatever happens in the studio. I tend not to force a direction or go for a certain sound. I find it suits my workflow to write music like this. The new EP on Poker Flat has been in the works for a while. I had Hyra and Service but Steve wanted something more “peak time” to complete the release. ‘Duplicate’ was a very basic idea I had started just with a kick, bassline and the siren/vocal synth that rises throughout the track. I stumbled across the idea and knew I could turn it into something quite rolling and clubby.
How do you approach collaborations with other producers or artists, and what do you look for in a potential collaborator?
Most collaborations I work on are with people I’ve known for a long time. It's really nice to work with friends and get creative in the studio. I’ve been working on some new music recently with Jon Gurd and that's been amazing fun and we’re writing stuff that we’d never produce on our own. I’ve got more stuff coming out that I’ve worked on with Alan Fitzpatrick as well. We’ve worked together for years and we always seem to find a vibe we both like!
Can you describe your approach to live performances and DJ sets, and how do you keep your sets fresh and engaging for your audience?
As I mentioned above I have taken a significant break from touring. My last show was in 2019. I’m not sure if I’m retired from DJing and live sets but it's possible.
What do you consider to be some of the key elements that make a great track, and how do you incorporate these into your own work?
That's a good question. I like warm, dynamic sounding tracks. Nice drums and a decent bassline are normally enough for me and then keep the melodies and other parts quite simple. I spend quite a lot of time crafting my drum grooves and basslines and try to find some interesting musical parts from some of my hardware or samples that I have. I also like to put musical loops into a drum machine and mess with the pitch and start points of the samples.
Can you discuss any challenges or obstacles you've faced in your career as a producer, and how you overcame them?
I’ve faced many. Plenty of times where I felt I’d lost my mojo or musical identity. I always kept writing, always going to the studio to try again, trying to find that spark. Sometimes it feels it will never come but being patient and sticking at it always pays off.
How do you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in electronic music production, and how do you incorporate these into your own work?
I try and keep up to date with all new software and hardware that's about. Even if I don’t use all of it I know what's out there. I’m not a super nerd but I do love twiddling knobs! I would love to have more stuff but with limited space I have to be quite picky with what I buy. I recently bought an old Roland JP-8000. Not a classic but it does sound awesome!
How important is social media and other online platforms in promoting your music and building your brand as a techno producer?
I have to say I’ve always been awful at social media and it's not something I’m interested in spending any of my time doing. I never felt it was very fulfilling so I haven’t been on social media for a long time.
What advice would you give to aspiring electronic music producers who are just starting out in the industry?
It would be an interesting time to be starting out for sure. I would say networking is still a huge part of getting anywhere. Going to parties and industry events to actually meet people can cut through all the social media nonsense. Being really good at bandcamp or spotify as well. I think nailing your presence on the platforms where people actually listen to and consume music is really important.
Thank you for your time and sharing your experiences!
Thanks for having me!
Latest release of Reset Robot
Following on from his 'Tired Voice' EP Reset Robot returns to Poker Flat Recordings with a new three-tracker entitled Duplicate, a perfect blend of crafty house music and slick tech vibes.
With this EP he flaunts a lot of his signature sound - the title track grooves along nicely around a shuffling beat before building and dropping with maximum effect. Hyra has a more classic techno feel, the blippy groove compliments a Detroit-eque pad.