DJ and producer Doubleffe founded techno clubnight Coma in the UK in 2010, and has gone on to host parties around the world. Since then he’s added an agency and record label to the Coma family, the latter focusing on releasing his own material plus original productions from his closest friends and collaborators. We spoke to Doubleffe about how he got hooked on techno and all things Coma.
I first felt confident enough to DJ in a club when I reached the point of wanting to tell a story - musically speaking - to an audience.
First up, tell us bit about yourself - what first got you into music? Was there a particular person or song that inspired you?
My artistic development begun at a very young age. I remember listening to my parents and brother’s CD collection while reading the lyrics found within the covers’ booklets. I was already selecting my favourite music genres, tracks and albums. School had also a big impact on me as I used to play the flute and percussions, so I guess music has always been present in my life from day one.
As I grew older, I began digging deep into the electronic music world and that is when I first hear and discovered artists such as Frankie Knuckles, Francois K, Little Louie Vega, David Morales and many others. That was my real first experience with Dance music. I only found out about techno a few years after, when I heard a live recording of Francois K’s debut set at Sonar Festival. It was not like anything I have ever heard before, even from Francois K. It featured tracks by Basic Channel, Jeff Mills, Surgeon, Rino Cerrone, Danilo Vigorito, Phase and many others. That is definitely what hooked me to techno.
What was the first record you bought? Do you still own it?
Good question. I still own all the records that I have ever bought. The first one I have bought was Sydenham and Ferrer – ‘Sandcastles’ on Defected Records. An incredible EP from 2005, which I still play nowadays.
What was the last record you bought?
‘M14’ by Maurizio – A classic form 1990 that all the upcoming DJs should get to know!
Who taught you to DJ?
I taught myself how to DJ by watching documentaries, talking to people and practising a lot in my studio. I used to record and listen back to my sets, always trying to perfect my mixing technique. Something that I still do nowadays, as I am perfectionist.
When did you first feel confident enough to DJ in a club?
I first felt confident enough to DJ in a club when I reached the point of wanting to tell a story - musically speaking - to an audience. This is something that came naturally, it grew and developed inside me with time.
Why the name Doubleffe?
Doubleffe because both, my first and last name, begin with the letter F.
What’s been your favourite club to DJ in?
I have played pretty much all over the world, from Europe to the USA. I have great memories of The Nest in London, SugarFactory in Amsterdam, Le Batofar in Paris and many other venues around the world. However, my favourite club is probably the first one I have ever played in, a small basement in Liverpool’s City Centre, which does not exist anymore, where I moved my first steps as a DJ. That is where my music journey begun.
You started your Coma club-nights in 2010. What is the ethos of Coma and how were those first parties?
The ethos of Coma has always been to break boundaries, to be innovative, anti-conformist, revolutionary (artistically speaking), independent and I think this first six years have clearly shown that, with the brand expanding to become a Booking Agency, Record Label and Radio Show, as well as a Series of Events. However, this is just the beginning for Coma, I still have lots of other plans for the future of Coma!
How has the clubnight developed over the years?
The clubnight has had massive developments since I moved to London with a great deal of events and fantastic guests, most of whom played in either London or the U.K., for the very first time, and of which people still talk positively about. However, the club scene in London is slowly but surely dying, venues try to suck as much money as possibly from promoters and that is why they book the same acts repeatedly, because they want to make sure they have a good turnout, without experimenting as much.
There is small room for exciting artists to shine or show what they are made of. Probably the best way to do so is by ‘serving’ someone until they get a chance, something that I have always despised because an artist should be judge by its work, not by how good you know him or how cheap he might be or how many tickets he can sell for you.
What were the highlights in 2016?
The highlights of 2016 were the Coma N.Y.C. series and the launch of my own label.
How is 2017 shaping up?
2017 is looking to be a very exciting year for me with a number of gigs in Europe and international tours. Moreover, I have been back in the studio, which is something I have really missed, where I have written and produced tons of new material, some of which will see the light at the end of this month on Coma Records.
You launched a label, Coma Records, in October 2016. How did that come about?
I have always wanted to be independent and innovative, even when it came to releasing my own material. Coma Records allows me the freedom to release what I want and what I like, without boundaries. Moreover, it gives all the artists who are part of Coma, the opportunity to show their various musical talents and tastes to the world.
Does the label follow the vibe of the club nights in terms of commitment to techno?
The label certainly follows my taste in terms of techno, so I guess it does follow the vibe of the club-nights and booking agency. I probably will not do anything that I do not like doing.
How have the first few months gone?
The first few months have been great. I found a lot of inspiration in the studio, which has been awesome. I have also been working and planning on new releases by other artists so everything is looking great and I am very excited for what is yet to come!
What are your plans for the label in 2017?
I want to release more of my material for sure, as well as some from other exciting artists.
What are your aims for the label?
To be innovative and ground-breaking like Coma has always been.
Finally, if you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, when would it be and what would you say?
I don’t have anything to blame myself and I will probably do everything again because it made me who I am, and that is the most important thing in the entire world!
Listen to ‘Signs’ on YouTube below. Pre-oder at comarecords.bandcamp.com/.