Reset Robot is the alias of Dave Robertson, a successful producer, engineer, and DJ from Portsmouth, UK. He has performed at various prominent clubs and festivals worldwide and released music on several renowned labels. His latest EP, released on Steve Bug’s Berlin-based Poker Flat, showcases this distinctive style and is proof again of unwavering love and dedication to the dancefoor. We caught up with the Robot himself ahead of the release to get the lowdown on his story to date…
Talk to us a bit about growing up in the UK and when you first encountered electronic music? What was it about the sound that so fascinated you?
Growing up in the UK was great. There was a vibrant club scene in the late 1990’s which I was lucky enough to be part of as a clubber. My first encounter with electronic music is hard to pinpoint. I remember listening to an album by Deep Forest which was break beat and 4/4 rhythms with amazonian chants and flutes over the top. I loved that and it was a different sound.
Where does the name Reset Robot come from; were you a bit of a sci-fi head growing up?
I love sci-fi but no Reset Robot comes from my surname Robertson. It’s not quite an anagram but you can make it from all the letters in my surname.
A lot of electronic music fans, DJs etc seem to love electronic music. Why do you think this is?
I’m not sure how to answer this one. I think it works the same as any music. It connects people, it conjures emotions and can make the most mundane scene or moment have such depth and meaning. I’m sure it’s been said before but “music is life”!!
Tell us a bit about your label, Whistleblower Recordings. What motivated you to set it up? And what’s in a name?
Yes, Whistleblower Recordings is my label. I’ve been running it for quite a while now. I take quite a relaxed approach. When I have something I feel is ready I can use it to get my music out there. I actually set it up with my good friends Rhymos and Alan Fitzpatrick. We ran it together for sometime but the guys wanted to do their own thing in the end which is totally cool. We still remain great pals!!
How do you navigate between choosing music for your own label and pushing it elsewhere? Can this be a tricky one to navigate?
It’s normally quite clear to me what I want for WB and what I want to send out. I tend to sit on my music for a lot longer these days and build releases over a longer time. I think this makes sure that I’m fully into the music and that I have time to make as many changes as I think are necessary.
Having played at some of the world’s foremost clubs, what still excites you about working in electronic music? Do you have any unfulfilled goals, for example?
I’m not touring currently but I’m still very excited about producing music. I have so much that I still want to achieve. There are a handful of labels and artists I’d love to work with. I want to explore different styles of music and possibly build towards touring again but maybe as part of a live act.
I believe you’re generally very busy with studio engineering and co-production these days. Does this form the bulk of your day-to-day life?
This is basically all I do. I eat, sleep and dream of kick drums!!
Can you talk us through the release for Poker Flat and the vibe you were going for with that one?
As I mentioned above I can be working on releases over quite some time. I sent Steve ‘Service’ first. He liked it but wanted something a bit more peak time for the EP. I came up with ‘Duplicate’ after I found something I’d started with the bass and siren sound. I wanted to create a solid rolling house/tech house track. Something that could work in a few different sets. I made ‘Hyra’ some time ago so we added that to the release!!
You’re a versatile producer, and your music’s also been released on labels such as We Are the Brave, Truesoul, Mobilee and more. Where do you think your eclecticism comes from? And would you say you’re now just as confident releasing house as you are techno etc?
Thank you!! I’m not sure where it comes from but I know I like to write different styles. I think I’d get bored doing the same sound all of the time. My ideal situation would be that I’m free to write and release all styles of electronic music.
How critical have relationships with people such as Adam Beyer, Steve Bug, Alan Fitzpatrick etc been to your success do you think?
Huge!! Alan and I have been friends for a long time as I said already. We still work together but also send each other our solo stuff to check as I think we both value the others opinion. Meeting Adam was fantastic and he really got behind my music and gave me a lot of opportunities with gigs as well. Steve is someone that I’ve always respected and I’ve been a huge fan of the label for many years. I was very happy when we connected and he asked if I had any new music for consideration.
Do you also see it as your responsibility to mentor up-and-coming DJs and producers? Is there anyone you think we should keep an eye out who you’ve been working with?
Yes, I do. I’m part of a platform called One For The Nerds. It’s an online 1:1 mentoring service for more advanced producers or DJ’s. I’ve been working with a couple of really good producers. Buridan from the United States and Acutek. Look out for both of those guys.
When it comes to your music, do you generally know what you’re going to make in the studio each day? How does your mood affect the music you make?
Mood is a huge factor. I literally have no idea what I’m going to produce from day to day. It normally depends how I start the creative process or how well a session is going. I’m not worried about that kind of thing. I just know that with patience I will eventually make something I’m proud of.
What’s next for you that you’re really excited about?
I have a collaboration project coming up with Jon Gurd. I’m really excited for this. I also have a bunch of new solo stuff as well as more collaboration with Alan and then a super nostalgic project that I’m working on!!
Keep up with Reset Robot on Instagram, Bandcamp and Soundcloud
Reset Robot’s Duplicate is out 24/02 via Poker Flat. Buy/listen to the release here