Microdot has been holding it down for the raw-as-hell techno sound that Chicago and the Midwest has always repped. The IHeartTechno parties are among the city’s most consistently solid residencies and — coming in 2020 — will expand the brand with a 2 day campout in Central Illinois.
5 Mag talked to the Chicago DJ, producer and promoter about the state of the scene in 2020, as well as premiere a new 5 Mag Mix.
Listen: Microdot – A 5 Mag Mix #92
Tell me about the original conception of IHeartTechno. What does it mean, when did you start it and why?
IHeartTechno is a spin-off of a birthday party I use to have called “Aquarius” that I’ve been doing since 2012. I asked one of the Exit promoters to let me host my birthday at Exit January of 2017, and the night did so well they asked me if I wanted to start a residency & here we are, about to celebrate our three year anniversary.
Who’s involved in IHeartTechno today?
DJLT (Tony Curcio), Angelo Rizzo & myself are the residents.
You’re doing the 3rd anniversary party this weekend. Can you share any dope or memorable moments?
Oh man, my personal fav was when we brought Kyle Geiger, we literally had the floor shaking from all the madness, Our one year anniversary there was a snow blizzard and our crowd couldn’t care less. We brought out Shadow People from MKE & the people came in full force.
What do you envision it growing into? You mention a festival in your bio?
I’m honored to say that we’re hosting our first ever two day campout in Central Illinois, two and a half hours from Chicago with 500 acres of land to play with. “Children of the Corn” is September 5th & 6th so be on the lookout.
So let’s go back. When did you start to DJ? Where were you growing up at the time?
I started DJing at the age of 15. Started with vinyl & I grew up in the Back of the Yards, Chicago. 49th & Honore, baby.
Who were the DJs that you loved when you were coming up? Are there different ones now or mostly the same?
Mike Dearborn, Green Velvet, Bad Boy Bill, Hyperactive, Anthony Rother, DJ Deeon, DJ Funk, Waxmaster Maurice, Paul Johnson, Richie Hawtin — just to name a few. I still love all these guys.
Do you think DJing has gotten better or worse in the last 10 years? Do you think technology has impaired or improved it?
Lets just put it like this: if there were only turntables involved there wouldn’t be so many DJs in the industry. Technology is amazing but I don’t see the fun in syncing tracks on controllers. That’s just my personal opinion.
In your opinion, who are the best of the old school producers? And who do you think is at the top of their game now?
Green Velvet is still a monster in the game. The big bro Paul Johnson is one of my idols & a living legend. I recently saw Anthony Rother twice in two weeks for the first time ever and he blew my mind away. But my fave producer now is Maceo Plex. He makes ecstasy music for the masses.
When did production start to happen for you?
In 2013 I started producing with Rob Threezy, Maddjazz & D_51. We all started at Hot Jams but I really got into it when I started playing with machine drums & synths with my brother Lorenzo Vektor. Together we go by “PuftDank,” a live electronic duo. We’ve got a few EPs out and are working on releasing collabs with Paul Johnson, Chip E., DJ Deeon, Spank of Phuture (RIP), Lil Tal, Klienfeld and Jerome Baker in 2020.
Other than your own, who throws the best techno parties in Chicago?
Obscure, hands down. Bless up to the homies!
If you could change anything about the Chicago scene, what would it be?
More house & techno in OUR CITY, both clubs & festivals.
What do you have coming up?
Every Second Saturdays we’re at Exit for our IHeartTechno nights. We’re gonna start doing shows at Spybar starting in the Spring and everyone’s waiting for the grand re-opening of the legendary DoubleDoor where we’ll be starting a new monthly there also. Europe 2020 is in the works with ADE week.
What can you tell us about this mix?
It’s an hour of banging techno with some originals & remixes & some of my fav artists’ music such as Maceo Plex, Giacomo Renzi, Sam Paganini, Klaps, Reinier Zonneveld, Wex 10 and Flug just to name a few.