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Steve Stoll: Return of the Locked-Groove Monster

Steve Stoll has been banging around the worldwide techno and electronic scene since the early '90s. His first 12" was released on Richie Hawtin's Probe imprint. Since that time, Stoll has followed standard techno artist protocol by changing labels, handles and partners only slightly less often than his synth patches. The short list includes collaborations with Ken Ishii, Pete Namlook, Damon Wild and members of Front 242. His recordings can be found under Steve Stoll, Dark Man, Mr. Proper or Blunted Boy Wonder, and on a range of labels including Mute (London), Music Man (Belgium) and his own label, Proper NYC. Recently, Stoll released two new experimental recordings on Fax Records (Germany). He is also known for his remix work for the likes of Gary Numan, Hardfloor and DJ Rush.

Recently, Stoll told us he is gearing up to release Locked Groove 2, his second sample CD for Big Fish Audio. We checked in to find out what kind of loops Stoll's been cooking up in his new Midwest digs. "The second CD-ROM in my Locked Groove series will be released soon, and Live played an enormous role in this project," says Stoll. "All of the grooves were written with the intention of being mixed in Live by the end user, thus letting them create their own layers and beats from the raw source material. By adding Live to a project like Locked Groove, you can really feel that you are mixing with twenty turntables at once, complete with EQ and effects and MIDI."

Stoll loves the creative freedom he experiences with Live. "Live remains the most groundbreaking development in music technology since the invention of the sampler!" says Stoll. "Live has been the main DAW in my studio for several years now, in addition to being the software that I use in live performances. I create all my mixes, final tracks, and even use it for loop creation by loading up files and creating new layers, applying effects and bouncing to disk."

Stoll's music has often been compared to that of another famous Live user, Plastikman (aka Richie Hawtin), for its warm, dark and minimal nature. But a closer look at Stoll's aesthetic uncovers adventurous synthesizer sounds and funky rhythms. His unorthodox approach to effects also distinguishes his sound. "I love the continuing growth and evolution of my loop library through the reprocessing of audio over and over in Live. It is truly my one-stop, do-it-all, stuck-on-a-desert-isle application... and something I would never give up."