Dave Clarke (techno DJ)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Dave Clarke
Dave Clarke (techno DJ).jpg
Background information
Also known as The Baron of Techno, Hardcore, Directional Force, Mister Technology
Born (1968-09-19) 19 September 1968 (age 45)
Origin London, England
Genres Techno, electronica, big beat, alternative dance
Occupations DJ, producer, Radio Presenter
Years active 1990–present
Labels Deconstruction Records, Skint Records
Website http://www.daveclarke.com/

Dave Clarke (born 19 September 1968, Brighton, England)[1] is an English techno DJ, producer and radio presenter, often given the title The Baron of Techno.

Life and career[edit]

Educated at Brighton College, Clarke ran away from home at the age of 16 after his parents split up. After briefly sleeping rough, a friend offered him temporary accommodation. All that kept him going was his love for music, initially hip hop and post-punk (The Damned are a favourite of his to this day)[2] and the money from his job in a shoe shop.[3][4] His success as a DJ began with a residency at the Brighton nightclub Toppers.

In the late 1980s, Clarke used to write reviews for UK magazines such as Mixmag Update, Generator and ID, and was the first to review Aphex Twin.

In the 1990s, he began producing and releasing music using the moniker Hardcore. This project was subsequently licensed to the Belgian label R&S, enabling Clarke to be one of the first UK artists to record in the R&S studio in Ghent, and sign to the label.[5] After this he recorded under various guises, including Graphite and Fly by Wire, but in 1993 he dropped these names and recorded only under Dave Clarke. Recognition of his talent came in 1994 when a series of EPs with the collective name of Red and his debut album Archive One received rave reviews, as they were seen as being innovative and crossing genres, something not common in the techno scene at the time.[6] After the success of the Red series, John Peel gave Clarke his moniker, 'The Baron of Techno', which has stuck with him ever since.[7]

Clarke's sense of rhythm and DJ skills have earned him the respect of his peers - he is mentioned as an influence on the 1997 Daft Punk song "Teachers". He has a longstanding relationship with visceral, intense techno, and is considered one of the innovators of the genre, even being used as a musical reference point in the German school syllabus.[8] Clarke's DJ style consists of virtuoso cutting and scratching during his predominantly techno sets (although he sometimes plays electro and even other genres). His style is showcased on two mix albums World Service and World Service 2; the former was voted #9 in the Resident Advisor poll of best mix albums of the 2000s.[9] His album Devil's Advocate, released in 2003, is a mixture of techno and hip hop featuring Chicks on Speed and DJ Rush. He also made an experimental John Peel Sessions EP under the name 'Directional Force' on the Strange Fruit label.

Clarke relocated to Amsterdam in 2008 and has become a key player of the annual Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE). He is a regular DJ presence at top global clubs such as Fabric in London, Berghain in Berlin, and Fuse in Brussels. He has also played a wide range of festivals including Glastonbury, Pukkelpop, and I Love Techno, as well as curating his own successful stage at Tomorrowland in Belgium since 2012.

Notable quotations[edit]

"Music has always brought me through, even in times when I've had nothing. Music has given me everything and I feel I have to give everything back. I don't know what I'd do without it, it's in my blood and bones, the only constant throughout the whole of my life".[10]

"I may be established but I'll never be establishment". (Dave Clarke, March 2005)[10]


Clarke's calling card EPs, Red 1 and Red 2 were originally produced and recorded in 1992 on TDK MAXG,[11] cassette and transferred to DAT in 1993. Red 3 was originally known as 'Axiom', and was earmarked for release on his own Magnetic North label.In 2009 "Protective Custody" from Red 1 was included on the Kats Karavan posthumous tribute album to John Peel. "Wisdom To The Wise" from Red 2 was re-released in 2013 on Boys Noize Records

Clarke has remixed many of electronic music's biggest names, including the Chemical Brothers, Leftfield, Moby, Underworld, New Order and Depeche Mode, with the latter using Clarke's remix of "Dream On" to open their shows during a world tour.

In 1993 Felix da Housecat's "In the Light" - which he released under the moniker Aphrohead - was remixed by Clarke into the club hit "In The Dark We Live".

In 2000 "Before I Was So Rudely Interrupted" was one of the first internet only releases by any techno artist,[12] but, since internet music distribution was still in its infancy, it was also released on a limited run of approximately twelve thousand 12" singles.

Clarke's 2007 Remixes & Rarities collection was made Album of the Month' by Mixmag.

In 2011, Dave Clarke started a new project called _Unsubscribe_ with Jonas Uittenbosch (aka Mr. Jones). They have remixed artists such as Gesaffelstein, Detroit Grand Pubahs, Octave One, Erol Alkan, Boys Noize, and John Foxx's seminal electro-pop classic "Underpass". In 2013 their debut single, "Spek Hondje", appeared on the Houndstooth label.[13]


Clarke's first experience in radio broadcasting was gained in Brighton on Festival Radio in the early to mid-1990s. He had numerous mixes aired on BBC Radio One from clubs in the UK and Europe, and won best Essential Mix in 2000, as voted by Muzik magazine.

Since the beginning of September 2006 Clarke has hosted his own radio show. Called White Noise it was originally on VPRO 3fm but now broadcasts from Ireland's RTÉ 2fm as well as at least 50 other stations. This continued on from his Technology radio show (broadcast in the mid to late 1990s) which was one of the first techno genre internet-accessible shows, and also broadcast on various FM stations for approximately three years. He also had a short tenure on BBC Radio One (covering for an ill Annie Nightingale).[14]

Clarke performed many times on John Peel's Radio Show, including at Camden Live, in the BBC Maida Vale Studio and in his own recording studio. He has said he owes his career to John Peel, and without the late DJ's support would not have had the money to start his own recording studio.[15]

DJ Equipment[edit]

Clarke stopped playing vinyl in clubs at the end of the 2004,[16] and first played digital files on CD (his players of choice were the Technics DZ1210).[17] He then, mid-2006, used these in conjunction with Serato Scratch Live with an SL3 converter, but may also play sometimes on Pioneer CDJ'S or Denon CD DJ players (DJ SC2900), which he helped develop.[18]

Selected discography[edit]


  • Red 1 (1994)
  • Red 2 (1994)
  • Red 3 (1995)
  • Shake Your Booty (1997)
  • Before I Was So Rudely Interrupted (2000)
  • Compass (2000)
  • The Wolf (2002)
  • Way Of Life (2003)
  • The Wiggle (2004)
  • Just Ride (2004)
  • What Was Her Name (2004)
  • Blue On Blue (2004)
  • Dirtbox (2005)


  • Archive One (1996) - UK #36[19]
  • Devil's Advocate (2003)
  • Remixes & Rarities (2006)

DJ mixes[edit]

  • Dave Clarke Presents X-Mix - Electro Boogie (1996)
  • Muzik Masters (1996)
  • Dave Clarke Presents Electro Boogie Vol. 2 - The Throwdown (1998)
  • Fuse Presents Dave Clarke (1999)
  • World Service (2001)
  • World Service 2 (2005)
  • I ♥ Techno (2007)
  • Back In The Box (2008)
  • Fabric 60 (2011)

Selected Remixes[edit]

UK Chart singles[edit]

Year Single Peak chart positions
1995 "Red Three" 45
1996 "Southside" 34
"No One's Driving" 37
2001 "The Compass" 46
2002 "The Wolf" 66
2003 "Way Of Life" 59
2004 "What Was Her Name? Ft. Chicks On Speed" 50


  1. ^ "Dave Clarke". Discogs.com. Retrieved 6 June 2009. 
  2. ^ MySpace.com
  3. ^ Thedjlist.com
  4. ^ DMC World Magazine
  5. ^ Discogs.com
  6. ^ K7-de.com
  7. ^ Clarke noted this fact while referring to his own Wikipedia entry during his radio show White Noise, where he paid tribute to the legendary British radio DJ. The show: John Peel Special: "Dear John", aired on 28 October 2006 on VPRO radio.
  8. ^ P. 31 Rock und Pop ISBN 978-3-12-178972-6
  9. ^ Residentadvisor.net
  10. ^ a b Clarke's official biography, http://www.daveclarke.com/index.cfm/go:biog
  11. ^ Vintagecassettes.com
  12. ^ NME.com
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^ Littledetroit.net
  15. ^ Johnpeel.umusic.co.uk
  16. ^ Trackitdown.net
  17. ^ Panasonic.com
  18. ^ Denon Youtube-channel
  19. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 109. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  20. ^ "These Days Are Mine - Dave Clarke Remix". News. iamkloot.com. 9 January 2013. Retrieved 14 January 2013. 
  21. ^ "These Days Are Mine (Dave Clarke Remix) [[PIAS] Recordings]". Beatport, LLC. Retrieved 14 January 2013. 
  22. ^ "The Official Charts Company - Dave Clarke (techno DJ)". The Official Charts Company. 5 May 2013. 

External links[edit]