Idealism is the driving force behind all of Milton Bradley’s thoughts and moves – a fact especially prevalent in his musical output. With years of experience in Berlin’s electronic music scene, Bradley has built up a reputation as a decisive and forward-thinking artist with a versatile yet thriving sound.
With his debut at Koh Bali on Friday, 14 October 2016, we chat up with Milton all things music.
Hi Milton! When and how did you begin making music and DJing?
I discovered this music in the late eighties. I read something about acid house, which was very big at that time. After the Berlin wall came down, I discovered all this Belgium techno like R&S, Music Man etc. I went to the first clubs, met some people who were also interested in this kind of music and it slowly grew from there.
I started DJ-ing cause I had some records at home that I had never heard in a club, so I brought these records to a club and said to the DJ, “Could you play this?”. At the time, I wasn’t aware that this was a no-go because the whole DJ and mixing thing was completely new to me! Of course, he didn’t play it – so I thought to myself, “Why don’t I just play it myself?”. I did some parties with friends and played mostly Berlin, and some other cities in Germany.
In the beginning of 2008, the time was ripe to work on my own music. The modern software made it possible to combine remaining gear and modern sounds. I didn’t take long to produce the first tracks and in January 2009 I released the first Do Not Resist The Beat! This was the starting shoot for my career as a professional fulltime Dj and producer.
What was it like growing up in Berlin?
I was born and raised in the east part of Germany, with all the restrictions people there had. The environment I grew up in, was shaped by run-down social houses with backyards. When I was a kid I was poking around in abandoned buildings, dark basements, and forgotten attics. There was a lot to find. Somehow I liked this dark, dystopian atmosphere and Berlin was called “City of Permanent Downfall” by that time.
The most exciting time of all was right after the wall came down in 1989. From one day to the next, Berlin was double of the size and there was so much to discover. This was also the time when techno music came up. A entirely new part of the city and a completely new music which happened in all these abandoned places of the former east part of Berlin – an unforgettable part of my life. This had and still has a decisive influence on me and reflects itself in my music.
Besides music, what other interests do you have?
I am interested in a lot of different things like science, mathmatics, classic computers and games – tech stuff in general -, discovering new places in the world, and much more.
What was the first ever vinyl record you ever bought?
I can’t be sure, but when I was a kid, one of the very first I bought was “Von 01 bis 99”, a record with sounds from steam engine trains. When it comes to techno, it was “The Break Boys – My House Is Your House”.
Can you describe your studio set up?
The setup is actually quite basic. I use different kinds of software like Ableton, Record, Reason, Pro Tools and so on, a few Software PlugIns as well as some Hardware like: different 303 Clones, a Tr- 8 for drums, Roland Jp-8000 and more.
What is your starting point when making a track?
In general I’m producing music when I’m in a certain mood, which I try to blueprint on the music or at least to let them have an impact on the sound aesthetics. I start that by searching for that special sound which is mirroring this mood most perfectly. After finding that, all the other parts are developing in my head. This process inspires me a lot and it’s possible that, while working on just one track, ten other tracks are produced.
How do you know when a track is complete?
Actually they’re never really finished. There’s always something i could change ’cause everytime I listen to it, I am in a different mood. But as long as it sounds good and it is what I wanted to express, I’m happy with it.
How do you entertain yourself when touring?
Reading books, watching movies or mostly thinking about the world and the music, and how the next release could look and sound like. What could i also do on my trip or in the city i am going to and so on…
Are you excited about your Bali debut?
Yes, I am always excited about places I’ve never been or played before. Especially Asia. Pretty curious how the scene and the people are there.
What’s next in store for Milton Bradley?
After the recent “The End Of All Existence”, I’m reworking some unreleased Alien Rain material and probably will release it as a series of 12′ by next year.