Podcast 693: Grumptronix
Vintage Florida electro and breaks.
Podcast 693: Grumptronix
Vintage Florida electro and breaks.
Grumptronix is the studio project of Wayne C., conceived in Tampa, Florida in 1989. Not too much is known about the man behind the alias, but he’s been a close friend of DJ Three since the early days of American rave culture. The pair attended the same school but met on the dancefloor when Grumptronix went out to see Three spinning his records, and they’ve been inseparable ever since—Three was even best man at Grumptronix’ wedding. Grumptronix recently contributed a track to Three’s Hallucienda XLR8R+ takeover alongside exclusives from Amir Alexander, Indoor Man, Slumber, and more.
As a teenager in the ’80s, Grumptronix found music through New Order, and he became obsessed with anything to do with The Haçienda and Factory Records. He’d spend his entire weekends at the suburban mall searching for Transmat releases and then he’d head home to compile warm-up mixtapes for his school basketball team. To discover new music, he’d head down to the local teen club on weekends, but he became frustrated by what the DJ was playing. So he started taking his own discoveries down and would step into the booth when the DJ needed a break. When the club’s owners opened a second spot across town, they offered Grumptronix his own residency. Away from this, he’d attend “alternative dance music” nights across Tampa, and news of his work began to spread through a series of electro and drum & bass mixtapes like Reflective Skin and Blueprint. A month-long trip to London in 1994, which featured gigs at famed IDM club Megatripolis, inspired him to start his own label. He began to share his own productions through Erotic City Communications, his electro-focused sub-label of the mighty Hallucination Recordings.
Despite an intentionally low profile, Grumptronix releases are known far and wide, played by the likes of the late, great Andrew Weatherall, DJ Hell, and Ellen Allien. In 2020, Scotland’s Craigie Knowes label released a three-part vinyl retrospective showcasing the Grumptronix sound. Much of Grumptronix’ focus today centers around his Body Works label, launched in 2018 in New York. Later this year, he’ll celebrate the 25th anniversary of Grumptronix with the release of a new album on Hallucienda, and there will also be remixes by Second Hand Satellites—the project of DJ Three and Sean Cusick—and San Francisco legend Jonah Sharp as Spacetime Continuum.
Recorded in October in Florida, the Grumptronix XLR8R podcast is the first he’s shared out in years. Having not been able to DJ through the pandemic, Grumptronix chose to open the mix with a handful of cuts he’s been dying to share, like a Marcel Dettmann edit of Paperclip People’s “Country Boy Goes Dub.” After this, he delves into a “breakbeat extravaganza” and then the darker shades of vintage Florida electro, before winding down with some ethereal cuts from his collection. You’ll also hear a couple of exclusive edits and forthcoming tracks from his label, but otherwise the mix pulls from all over, with standouts from Lanark Artefax, Sepher, and 808 State.
01. What have you been up to recently?
Seeing friends whenever possible. Usually there is food involved. There’s nothing better than sharing food and music with friends!
02. You’ve been close friends with DJ Three for many years. What are your earliest memories of your relationship?
We went to the same school but he was a couple years ahead of me. When I started to DJ in 1989, I’d go out anywhere I could just to hear music. I had a horrible fake ID, but I didn’t have any problem getting in places. One night, I went to a place called Rene’s where I remember Three was playing Revolting Cocks and some early Warp records along with tons of other great stuff. I went over to say hello and we’ve been inseparable since.
03. Where and when did you record this mix?
I recorded it at the Hallucienda studio during jam sessions for the Hallucienda X Desert Hearts broadcast on October 31. It needed to be special because it was the first time I’d be interacting with friends and music in a while.
04. What setup did you use?
Pioneer CDJs and a Pioneer mixer. I also used Pioneer XPRS12s and a subwoofer.
05. How did you choose the records that you’ve included?
Having not properly played out in so long, I had tons of songs that I wanted to build around. The Marcel Dettmann edit of “Country Boy Goes Dub” and the Anti-Gravity Switch track were the catalysts for the beginning of the mix and I knew I wanted the breakbeat extravaganza peaking in the middle. Then I start the second half with my Second Hand Satellites edit leading to the darker electro and the ethereal ending. Our group of friends and extended family is really tight and we have collectively lost quite a few people in the past year so it was cathartic to just be able to “dance it out” in celebration, even if it was just in our own spaces. Grieving is hard enough, especially if you don’t have anyone to share it with. So, being able to jam was an emotional release.
06. What can the listener expect?
Lots of bass and some weirder, fun stuff. Old songs that sound new and new songs that sound old. It’s machine funk of the highest order! There are some sexy bits and some naughty bits.
07. What’s on your agenda for 2021?
I’ll be easing into the new normal of post-pandemic life. I’ll get back to traveling within the United States, and I hope to take a vacation of some kind. I also have lots of great music lined up for Body Works. There’s a new release from Orlando Voorn with a Tracey remix, as heard in the podcast, plus a special album release by Kirk Degiorgio as Sinelab Industries. For myself, the Grumptronix Nightmoves (25-Year Retrospective) is coming on Hallucienda.
XLR8R has now joined Mixcloud Select, meaning that to hear the podcast offline you will need to subscribe to our Select channel to listen offline, or subscribe to XLR8R+ to download the file. The move to Mixcloud Select will ensure that all the producers with music featured in our mixes get paid. You can read more about it here.
Full XLR8R+ Members can download the podcast below. If you’re not an XLR8R+ member, you can read more about it and subscribe here.
01. Joy O “Burn” feat. Infinite & Mansur Brown (Toss Portal)
02. Paperclip People “Country Boy Goes Dub” (Marcel Dettmann Edit) (Planet E)
03. Kuno & Koehler “Anti-Gravity Switch” (A Made Up Sound Remix) (Berceuse Heroique)
04. Hamilton Scalpel “Cadzow Skrak” (Concrete Cabin)
05. KGIV “Morgan” (Interdimensional Transmissions)
06. Hezziane “Pivot” (Cold Recordings)
07. Ido Plumes “Which Way Is Up” (Livity Sound)
08. Metrist “OL Face You Got” (Timedance)
09. 808 State “In Yer Face” (Bicep Dub) (Feel My Bicep)
10. Blotter Trax “Programmed Memories” (Blotter Trax)
11. Shedbug “You Think” (Lobster Theremin)
12. Lou Karsh “Biotic Interaction” (Furthur Electronix)
13. Perdu “Road To Yuzu” (Optimo Music)
14. Nathan Micay “Team Player” (ESP Institute)
15. Porter Brook “Exit 14th Street” (Groundwork)
16. Ryan James Ford “Beltline” (Shut)
17. Supreems “Close Your Eyes (And Feel)” (Lobster Theremin)
18. Lanark Artefax “Touch Absence” (Intimidating Stillness) (AD93)
19. Second Hand Satellites “Orbit 1.2” (Hallucienda)
20. Reese “Just Want Another Chance” (KMS)
21. Ian Martin “Waves Become Wings” (Bio Rhythm)
22. Solar “5 Seconds” (Squirrels On Film)
23. 214 “Penny’s Crimped Funk” (20:20 vision)
24. Kris Wadsworth “Infiltrator” (Ultramajic)
25. Mono Junk “System Night” (Original Mood Mix) (Dum)
26. The Mover “Shadow Deception” (Planet Phuture)
27. De Sluwe Vos “Switching Lanes” (Patron)
28. Solvent “Think Like Us” (Think Like Ectomorph Version) (Ghostly International)
29. Ectomorph “Time Fold” (Interdimensional Transmissions)
30. Sepehr “Exit Your Body” (Residual)
31. Rude 66 “Overkill” (Viewlexx)
32. Orlando Voorn “Anticipation” (Tracey Remix) (Body Works)
33. Swag “Drum Hydraulics” (Silicon Scally Remix) (Tyrant)
34. DJ Seinfeld “Sakura” (Deep Sea Frequency)
35. Peder Mannerfelt “A Queen” (Voam)
36. Black Meteoric Star “Manifesto” (Voluminous Arts)
37. Gesloten Cirkel “Stakapella” (Murdercapital)