An Interview with Clark Warner @ Black

On October 24th The Particle People brought a true legend in dance music to Black, a weekly event held in First Avenue’s VIP room. As an extra bonus they were able to take a moment to ask Clark a few questions and learn more about a true Midwest original.

*Will this be your first time in Minneapolis? If so what excites you most about visiting our city?

I’ve spent time in the Twin Cities before but this will be my first time playing there, so that’s the most exciting part for me (and being from the Midwest).

*You spent a good deal of time working with M_nus and now Beatport, how have those experiences shaped you as an artist?

Being behind the scenes has had a positive influence on my approach, studying the score on both sides of the record so to speak. At times there can be a fine line when it comes to art and commerce or mass market and underground, so over the years I’ve worked to keep the perspective of my ears and experience balanced at the core. As technology unfolds and simplifies the way music is created and controlled, the power of music will always put a frog in my throat.


*At what point did you stop being just a fan of music and found yourself making the move toward making it a career?

Pretty early on, through helping out friend’s bands, throwing club nights in Detroit and being involved with graphic design and merchandising. It was very natural working around music but nothing was predetermined. My aim was to be involved in any creative collision involving music and art (and technology), which thankfully evolved into a career.

*I read recently that you joined Ghostly/Spectral. Are there any new projects that you are working on that we can keep an ear out for?

We’re all good pal’s and I have mad respect for Sam and everyone part of the collective. New podcast for starters, in November. More to come without a doubt.

*For 7 years you worked on the monthly radio profile segment ‘Focus Electronic’ on WDET-FM. What was it like being able to expose so many legends to the public?

Educational for us! Taking the time to prep for a show just once a month was tough since we never repeated ourselves with that segment, month after month, but I dearly miss radio. Support public radio while we have the choice.

*Who was your favorite and most memorable interview for the Focus Electronic show?

Even though I always felt like I was being interviewed since Liz was such a pro on air, probably Mike Banks from UR. He really wanted to speak on Detroit airwaves and he just brought it. The studio was like a tornado with keeping the decks spinning while the conversation rolled along, more and more words kept coming, we could have went til 5am easy (with coffee). Having all the artists we did in studio was very special and it subconsciously brought out the imagination behind the music, through this invisible experience of radio.


*Your reputation as a DJ is interesting… in many cases you’re looked to play the role of pacesetter for the evening. Is this always the case and if so what is your mindset going into a gig?

I’ll take that as a “good” interesting *wink*. You have to pay your dues out there right? No DJ jumps in the prime slot out the gate, so maybe I’m just taking my sweet time haha. In the early days I was listening to and buying everything, so I would do a House set at the Shelter then spin rock n roll at someone’s house after and then play abstract beats, space rock and ambient at a cafe on a Monday night or in a warehouse chill out room, it all had to come out, even if it took playing in 3 different places in one week. So that variety still continues even though the dancefloor is my focus the past few years. I still love playing moody and experimental when I can, when the atmosphere calls and I have a few hours to expand the story.

*Who are some artists that you’re into right now both dance and Indie?

Um, some are Mount Kimbie, Andre Lodemann, Dop, Nosaj Thing, Lindstrom…

*Considering all that is going on in Detroit these days, how important is the Movement Festival to the city? What do you think Carl Craig’s impact will be in his new role as Creative Director?
Can’t wait for round two of Carl programming the festival. I think it’s gonna blow minds. We had a blast this year at Movement.

*How’s Denver? Beatport has its own club…is that right?

Diggin’ Denver. A few mountains are opening for the season already this week, the earliest in 40 years, so the snowboard will be out sooner than I thought! Beta is pretty amazing, come check it out!

*After hours…. Fan or not a Fan?

Fan, especially when 2am is closing time *wink

*Are you a baseball fan? Bummer about the Tigers… *wink

Yeah, I have adopted the Rockies too but that last Tigers game was a tough 12 innings to watch!

interview by Aaron Bliss and Jesse Jakob

Event Photography by MidwestBass

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