Techno and the city of Detroit are synonymous with each other. Plunge into the soft fleshy insides of Techno and at it’s core you’ll find a heart beating to the rhythm that Detroit programmed and its genesis. FIT Siegel, the enigmatic head of FIT Sounds is a growing part of Detroit’s Techno legacy. As a distributor, he helped push the city’s vinyl output to rest of the US and Europe forging personal and creative alliances with some of the D’s major players. At the beginning of this year, Siegel chose to close FIT Distribution after 10 years in the game, to focus on the label and his own artistic pursuits.
Here, he talks ahead of tonight’s FRACTAL where Motor City meets US East Coast via Corsica Studios.
First off, what is on the immediate horizon for you at the moment? Have you got any releases penned for release soon? Are there any FIT Sound cuts that everyone needs to keep their eyes open for?
Looking forward to heading back over to London! I had to take the month of May off from the studio to do some construction at my house in Detroit, now that’s over I can get back to music. I just finished a remix for a label called Saft and I have been diving into a lot of unfinished tracks that I had forgotten about. There were some nice bits in there and I want to finish a few of those up for the next EP. As far as the label goes, people should check out the last 12″ (FIT-022) that features some new talent from USA – Katrina Fairlee and Joshua Cordova.
You have been a bike courier, party promoter and booker, producer, DJ and record distributor. A lot of these pursuits require a bit of imagination and a ‘for the love’ attitude – would you agree with that? Is that an important drive for you musically?
Shit, I could add a few more things to that list..but yeah if you want to do anything well it’s going to require imagination, love and TIME. I think its important when you’re young to take advantage of that energy because that love/ambition/motivation is really “pure’ in some ways…most likely you’re not thinking about business or the future or any other “adult” types of things, and just going for it in that moment.. trying to make something happen out of nothing. That’s perfect brew for creativity and finding “out of the box” solutions to do what you want to do. .
Your last release was a collaboration with Kassem Mosse, can you talk a little about how the partnership came about? How does this release differ to when you collaborated on FXHE and Kassem Mosse produced as Gunnar Wendel?
Both of those records were made under similar situations. Gunnar was in town a few days between gigs on a tour and came by to kick it in Detroit. We jammed in the studio, edited the sessions, and the results are there on the records. It was a natural collaboration.
You hail from Detroit, a city steeped in a rich musical heritage. Do you feel coming from a place like Detroit has an effect on your sound? Are there tropes in your music that you feel are directly connected to the city? Is there a pressure involved in making music and coming from Detroit?
It has effected my sound in ways I don’t know how to describe in words. I’m sure bits and pieces of everyone’s environment seep into their work. For me, it comes from hearing DJs and producers here. It comes from the records I pick up at the stores here. It comes from the feeling I get driving around at night. But as far as that kind of pressure goes, absolutely not. That’s the kind of pressure that kills creativity. The only pressure I put on myself is to do good work.
Can you talk a little about your time living above Submerge and Exhibit3000? Do you feel like that time spent there changed or reinforced anything in your sound or overall philosophy to music?
That’s family right there. Eternally grateful to Banks for giving me a spot at Submerge. Mike has been very generous in sharing his knowledge and experience with me. Beyond that, he encouraged me to dig deep and find my own sound. Its an inspiring environment. Sometimes if I was in a bad place mentally I would just go downstairs and sit in that museum in the middle of the night. Just sit in silence. It would recharge me.
Catch FIT Siegel and DJ QU at FRACTAL tonight. FRACTAL with FIT Siegel & DJ QU is part of this year’s Creative Elephant – a cultural festival seeking to shed a spotlight on the wealth of creative talent and venues that thrive in Elephant & Castle. From exciting new choreography to cutting edge club nights, radical theatre to radio shows, Creative Elephant features the rising stars of tomorrow across art, dance, design, music, screen, and theatre.