Alan Fitzpatrick

Alan Fitzpatrick

The UK artist has long been a dark horse in techno. Emma Robertson gets to the root of his signature sound.

Alan Fitzpatrick’s techno is new school meets old school. The era-clash that defines his music is not all that surprising: a ’90s club kid with roots in South London’s party scene, he grew up alongside UK rave culture. Today Fitzpatrick has an uncanny ability to infuse his big-room sound with clever vintage references that feel relevant to the current dance music climate. “I can never escape the rave stuff,” he says of his productions, which, in his tenure as an artist, have famously garnered the attention of Adam Beyer, who added Fitzpatrick to the Drumcode roster in 2010. Tracks like his “Skeksis,” “Always Something For Nothing” and “Rubix” are recent classics of the genre, each a peculiar brand of contemporary nostalgia.

Fitzpatrick’s studio is dotted with references to the past. On his desk sit a model of the DeLorean DC-10 sporstcar from Back To The Future and a Rubik’s cube, from which “Rubix” takes its name. He holds up a replica of a Stormtrooper and another of Darth Vader’s helmet, joking that Vader would definitely have listened to techno. Early techno was born from such space-age visions of the future—a concept that has since turned into a kind of retro-futurism, something that’s a consistent inspiration for Fitzpatrick. From his studio in London, he waxed nostalgic about techno’s early days and explained how dreaming of the future shaped the music of the present.