A Closer Look: Chance McDermott

Hey all, Its been a minute. I am back with another post to get you jump-started for a new release coming out of local Columbus Techno label Orange82/Absoloop Records by Chance McDermott on October 31st. Chance may need a bit of an introduction to people in our scene, but he is well known in the international techno community. He has releases out on labels like Etichetta Nera, Panel Trax, Black Nation Records, Mechanisms Industries, among others.  He was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan halfway between Detroit and Chicago (the birthplaces of techno and house music) growing up listening to radio hot mix tapes from the motor city and chi-town. Chance started creating his own sound, a unique style of Detroit minimal funky techno with a Chicago dark soulful sound of house.

His new EP Righteous Indignation moves his sound and the themes he explores in a new direction. The EP is headed by a single called “I’ve Have Enough” that has received the support of the likes of Claude Young, Myles Sergé Clark, Anthony “Shake” Shakir, and many others.

I frankly think the track and the rest of the EP is great. Its perfect for the election cycle we are all immersed in. This made me want to contact Chance and get some more info on him and his work. Enjoy hearing from Chance in his own words!

LA: How did you get your start producing?

CM: Back in the day I used to listen to mix tapes from Detroit and Chicago. I was fascinated by the sounds, rhythms, and beats. They took me to another place. Before long I bought my first drum machine, keyboard and sequencer. I was thinking I will play around with this equipment. I had no idea I would be producing techno that people would listen too around the world. I was just playing around and having fun. Then the sounds, rhythms, beat started coming together… BAM! Kalamazoo style techno producing had emerged.

LA: What is it about dance music that has kept you interested over the years?

CM: There are a few reasons why I have stayed interested in dance music. I find the best way to express myself is through music. I like the way my music has affected those that listen to it. It’s always a rewarding feeling when someone emails me to just say how much they like the trax or for support. I really enjoy the energy that comes from producing. There is great satisfaction when I’ve completed a trax or remix. Someone gives you positive feedback about your work and it keeps you going. Also, my music has inspired other producers in forming their craft as well; it’s all about giving back.

LA: Do you consider what you do an artform? Why or why not?

CM: Yes, definitely an art form. Compare it to someone who paints a portrait. They start out with a blank canvas, and by combining different paints it transforms the canvas into colors that create a beautiful masterpiece. Techno producing is the same. You start out with drum machines, keyboards, or computers- the “canvas.” Mix the “colors” or sounds from the machines and you create electronic works of art. It is an enlightening experience. “We are the music makers, the dreamers, the story tellers.”

LA: Vocal samples play a role in two of the tracks on your Absoloop Righteous Indignation Release. What role do vocal samples play in your track creation? What were you trying to achieve with the vocal samples in the Righteous Indignation EP?

CM: The roles of vocal samples on this EP tell a story. I chose this title, Righteous Indignation, for a reason. I’m angry about what’s going on in our country and the world. There’s too much mistreatment, oppression and darkness. If we want to continue forward we need to soul search to figure out how far we are willing to let this go. How much will we take before we say I’ve had enough? We have to transform ourselves so we will not be conformed to this world.

LA: In our correspondence, you said that you were trying out a new production approach with the Righteous Indignation EP. Can you describe for us what that new approach was and how that differed from your old formula?

CM: My new approach is the concept of what I’m doing. It’s my ministry through the music. I’m trying to have the titles now reflect my faith- what I believe and stand for. I’m a new creature in Christ. It’s my responsibility to tell others that I’m a born again Christian and spread the good news. If I can plant a seed in someone’s heart, Jesus will water it. He will change your life. He wants the best for his children. We reap what we sow; later than we sow, more than we sow. It can be good or bad. I want to sow well so I can reap well.

LA: Since your from Kalamazoo, I am sure many people ask you how the legacy of Chicago & Detroit has impacted you as a musician. I want to go in another direction with this stock question. Was it difficult finding your own voice and your own sound as a musician with two huge music communities like that near you?

CM: I would have to say no. Coming from Kalamazoo we are right in the middle between those two legendary cities. I have definitely been inspired from those towns. My sound is a hybrid of Detroit and Chicago- taking elements from them both creating a style of sometimes funky, minimal, deep, experimental techno. I’ve said this before- I make music the only way I know how…from the heart. I put my emotion, passion, sweat, tears into it. I don’t make techno for the money it’s my labor of love.

Check out the Righteous Indignation EP on Amazon and pick it up on October 31.

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