Staying sharp

Interview with ROD

Staying sharp

29-10-2013 | 20.04

In the year 1997 a young Benny Rodrigues bought his first records, inspired by Planet E, the former underground house/techno radio show by Rotterdam DJ Michel de Hey. The same DJ who gave Benny his first gig. “That was in Nighttown, at the end of 1998, or the start of 1999, I believe.” Benny Rodrigues  — a modern anchor — building techno his way, under the moniker ROD/Rod Malmok.
Malmok is a place on the Caribbean island Aruba. What’s the connection?
There is no connection, I only found out about the place Malmok after I created my alter ego Rod Malmok. But it’s quite the coincidence though; Aruba is one of my favourite spots to go to for a holiday. My Malmok is a myth, based on existing life. I’d rather not talk about it, You will come to see, eventually.
Okay, now I’m curious. What made you decide creating your new alter ego?
First of all I noticed how people became a bit confused by me playing both house as well as techno.  Then later, after I finished my first Rod production, I realised I should emphasise there’s a clear difference between me, Benny Rodrigues, and Rod Malmok, strictly techno — this I knew right after that first production. He’s going by for 2,5 years now, and I might say he really works out fine.
So ROD is strictly techno, and Benny Rodrigues…
I’m the whole 9 yards, the flexible kinda guy. I play everything between deephouse, techno and what ever else sounds good to me. Rod is strictly techno, but my versatile approach on techno, from Detroit to Chicago, from acid to dub, to industrial, offbeat, etc.
Name 3 ROD-only tracks.
ROD - Malmok One (Klockworks)
Regis - Speak To Me (Downwards)
Blacknecks #1

You often upload your DJ sets. We can listen anytime, anywhere. What makes it special to you?
Actually only for one reason: it keeps me sharp. It keeps me from using the same tricks again, not playing alike. Not like this bunch of DJ’s who deliver the same set night after night, on different locations across the globe. This is how I challenge myself, to come up with new stuff every time.  Plus, you know, it’s a nice little extra for the fans.
Maybe I meant: I know DJ’s who prefer not to publish their live sets, in order to maintain the exclusive character — seeing is believing.
A hard to beat argument, and I couldn’t disagree. However, especially with techno, music is a tool for me creating this one time unique experience. This experience is partly made of the tools: the tracks I play, based on the energy I feel coming from the crowd. The creation of that moment, that's the exclusivity right there. And every other gig has a different level of energy, making different experiences. Listening back my live-set recording is just a bonus. Each of my gigs, the are all unique in their own way.
Final one. For how long will you be doing this?
That’s easy. As long as I find ‘new’ inspiring, cool stuff on a daily basis, my holy fire keeps burning. Everything else is of no concern.
Text: Nelis Oomen