Ian Pooley on Present-Day Electronic Music: "The Genres That Have Nothing to Do With the Original Idea Are Ruling the Mainstream Today"

If you're a veteran EDM head, then German DJ-producer Ian Pooley probably needs no introduction.

The rest of you would do well to get acquainted with Mr. Pooley's body of work, because he is one of the true, enduring talents on the international dance music scene.

If Pooley's name is not quite beeping frantically on the hype radar at the moment, it's only because he is a sonic chameleon who shrugs off the shackles of music trends, morphing from house to techno, disco, trance, breakbeat, and even world music, all while relentlessly reinventing himself.

What's more, Pooley is an astoundingly prolific producer, having released a total of ten albums along with dozens of singles, EPs, and acclaimed remixes for the likes of Daft Punk and Green Velvet over the past two decades.

Rumors of yet another long player from Pooley have been confirmed, so we decided to catch up with the man himself ahead of his show at the Electric Pickle on Friday.

Crossfade: You've been producing nonstop since the early '90s. What do you think have been the biggest changes in electronic dance music since you first began?

Ian Pooley: Everything being more accessible.You no longer have to travel to another city to buy a piece of equipment or the record you want to listen to. It's just a click away, which is great. But at the same time, you always treasure more the things that took effort to get.

The whole scene has become bigger than anyone could have expected. I used to have to explain to people what techno was back then. Nowadays electronic music is divided into so many genres some of which have nothing to do with the original idea. Those are the same ones ruling the mainstream today.

So how has your personal sound evolved throughout the years? Do you approach the creative process differently now?

The main difference is I wasn't using computers in 1992-1993, so I had to record stuff in the first take. My newer productions, compared to early stuff, sound a little less raw as a result of that. I like to experiment with my own style, but I still like to keep it mine. I still use all my old machines. But it's pretty amazing what modern technology enables you to do in terms of arrangement, etc.

You are currently working on a new LP. What can you tell us about it?

Yes, it's finished -- all it needs is a title. It's more club-oriented, but deep, very organic and raw. Lots of drum machines and synthesizers. I'm very happy with how it turned out, I must say. I'm probably going to release it on my label Pooled Music.

Did you approach the creative process on the album differently than you have for other records? Is it just a collection of tracks? Or is there a story or theme tying it all together?

Yes, there definitely has to be a red line in it. The tracks have to relate. Some tracks I really liked. But they just didn't fit. I finished about 20 for this album, and choosing what to keep and what not was the most difficult part of the whole process.

So what can Miami expect during your upcoming performance at the Electric Pickle? Will you be previewing some of the material from the new album?

Of course I will. When you play every weekend, you constantly search for new records to keep things interesting for yourself. But I also like to go through my shelf and pull out some old records. It's amazing how fresh and "now" some of the music from the early to mid '90s can sound.

Ian Pooley. Friday, July 13. Electric Pickle, 2826 N. Miami Ave., Miami. Doors open at 10 p.m. Call 305-456-5613 or visit

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Sean Levisman

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