Dave Clarke is one of the world's most respected techno DJs and producers. Starting his career in the mid-eighties mixing hip hop and hardcore rave, Clarke gradually shifted to the ferocious minimal Detroit techno for which he is known today.

His debut album, 1996's Archive 1, established Clarke as an indomitable purist; his uncompromising musical stance reflected by his reputation as a bit of a bulldog both behind the decks and conducting interviews. Despite this, frustrating wrangling over royalties and nigglesome red tape hindrances currently prevent Clarke from releasing new material. DJ and festival slots - plus re-mixing for Leftfield, Moby and Underworld – have kept him occupied in the meantime.

He's known for embracing technology in all its forms – he broadcasts radio online and loves his computers, gadgets and fast cars. Clarke is releasing his new single as an internet-only download and CompuServe decided to find out why.

Do you subscribe to the idea that the web is the way forward for releasing music?
Yes, without a doubt.

What's your experience of the Net been so far?
Very, very slow a long time ago; it reminds me of downloading software on to my BBC off cassette. It's getting faster now and obviously when ADSL gets completely off the ground and BT [British Telecom] stop trying to grab everyone's money, it's going to be the technology for the people. I think that the Internet as a whole is very people-based, which is ironic cause it was designed to start a nuclear war.

What are you trying to achieve by putting your single out in this format?
I'm not trying to achieve anything. Basically, I-Crunch got in contact with my manager; we talked it over; it made a lot of sense; it was very interesting; it was exciting; the company seemed to be very, very fresh and it just seemed to add another dimension to me as an artist, as well as a DJ.

Does the whole Napster thing piss you off though?
Yeah, Napster hasn't done anything for me. I think he's been lauded as a hero for piracy really, because a lot of artists like myself have had to deal with record companies that have ripped them off - and at least you got some money. Then there's this guy starting something off where the artist doesn't get anything. That's criminally wrong and thoroughly disrespectful. And to be lauded as a hero, being funded by big companies paying him ten-million dollars for being a pirate, I think is absolutely disgusting.

You don't think it's just an extension of taping?
I think taping is a strange thing, because, yes, of course, we've all copied tapes and recorded off the radio, but most people that tape are people without money to buy what they want in the short term, i.e. teenagers who share their resources. But the difference with Napster is that taping is one-to-one; what Napster was doing was putting every artist up there, so anyone who's got access to the Internet doesn't have to pay for anything - therefore it doesn't forward the artist. I think home taping forwards the artist, eventually, because when I did home-taping, eventually, I would actually follow that artist and buy their CDs or records. So, I think it's a different thing altogether, in the same way that VHS video recorders never killed the film market.

What other gadgets are you into?
I've got a £500 dimmer switch which is quite incredible [laughs]. I don't trip over the dogs anymore as I walk to the stairs, cause it has a seven-second dim, which you can stretch up to whatever, so you switch off at the door and then you walk up the stairs - it's even got a remote control. You can theoretically link it all up to your PC as well. I've got GPS in my car, I like the way the screen pops up when you're driving, and a digital camera.

You're renowned for being a techno purist - do you listen purely to electronic music?
Not at all. I get in my car, I pump up Public Image Ltd, The Stranglers, Mad Professor, Rachmanimov... I like all types of music. I bought Richard Ashcroft's new min-disc four months ago, but I still haven't had the chance to listen to it.

Would you ever consider letting one of your tunes be used on an advert or in a film?
It depends. My last publishers did absolutely f*** all for me. So therefore, you know, I think one of my tunes almost made it onto a Ford advert. Obviously if William Hague or even Tony Blair at the moment, was walking around with one of my tracks behind him I wouldn't be very happy at all. But I'm not against the idea of having my music played on certain adverts.

How do you come up with the names for your tracks?
Well, Whilst I Was So Rudely Interrupted came from my wife describing how my career had been handled by my last record company and that's why it takes so long to make some records. Logic Bomb is called that because everyone's going to be downloading stuff off the Internet, and hackers use logic bombs to bring down systems across the Internet; it happens during war; even government agencies use logic bombs to bring down other countries' computers. I thought it would be quite funny to entitle it Logic Bomb, so whenever anyone requests it, it goes through GCHQ and everyone's email gets intercepted for the wrong reason.

You're up for an Ericsson Muzik Award. Do you care?
I'm not a very industry-based person. For me, the people matter more than the industry, However, the Ericsson award is actually voted by the people, so therefore it means a little bit more than something that an editor has control over. That's very subjective and very personal; it depends whether you're friends with him or not, whereas this is less likely to be that way inclined. So, yes, it does interest me more.

What have you got planned for the rest of the year then?
What's going on now? I've got a one-week-old baby; he's gonna be taking up my time for at least the next eighteen years. I really, really want to make an album. I mean, I’ve been gagging to do this for so long and I feel that the situation is almost there now, where I can do something and actually be creative and relaxed about it. I know I've been saying that every year for the past five years - but it does look like reality now.

What are your favourite cities?
Barcelona is a very beautiful city, if a little smog-infested, but there are some lovely buildings there, the food's great, and the Catalan people are really nice. I like Tel Aviv as well, it's not the most beautiful city in the world, but there's a nice vibe down there. I think the restaurants in Melbourne are really good. On a personal level I think Bermuda is absolutely beautiful.

Ever consider relocating?
Yeah, to Bermuda! [laughs]

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