Deadbeat FM Interview

We had a quick sit down with the JHB based Minimal-Tech duo Deadbeat FM, who have been featured on Dont Party quite a bit over the past year. These guys have been making waves both locally and abroad, and have had releases on UK based lot 49. Read about what makes these guys tick.

You guys both Dj’d previously under different names. What made you guys decide to start performing together?

We both played under different names for a while, (Shane still does). I guess we both just started listening to techno/minimal at the same time and decided to put an act together. The first few months were a bit hard cos nobody knew who we were and Joburg wasn’t quite used to the shit we were playing, but after a while we started tapping into the JHB tech scene and DBFM just grew from there.

Shane – You’re also a Psy-trance DJ and Producer how does this influence your sound when performing/producing as Deadbeat FM?

The two genres are similar in a few ways, so from a production point of view I’m still able to use some of the same techniques. You can definitely pick up a slight trance influence in some of our sounds.

Shane – It’s a common move for a lot of trance producers to make the transition from trance to minimal/tech, what made you decide to make the change?

I haven’t made a complete change from one to the other, I am still big into the trance act Deliriant and enjoy focusing on both. It’s nice to be able to explore different genres, and the tempo is a lot slower which allows for more of a groove and some different elements which you can’t really do in trance. Its something I think most music producers look for– variety.. you can’t keep making the same style of track over and over.

Piers – How was it making the transition from DJ’ing to producing – What hurdles did you encounter?

It was obviously quite hectic getting to know all the production software, Shane is pretty jacked when it comes to production so I’ve learned a lot from him over the years.

What gear/software do you use to produce your tracks

We use Cubase and a Virus TI, as well as some VSTs like Albino, Predatoretc.

Where did the name Deadbeat FM originate?

It was the name of a donkey that once tried to mount our friend Kenny – seeing that was probably the best day of our lives. Unfortunately the donkey got hit by a Nissan Hardbody about a week later. Not sure where the FM came from though.

You’re playing at Earthdance Nairobi in a week, what are you guys expecting?

It should be fun to play in another country but we have no clue what to expect. We’ll be able to play all our old classics which the Kenyan crowd has never heard before, which is always cool.
What are your main influences when it comes to music, both locally and abroad?
In a nutshell, D-Nox and Beckers, Khainz, Weekend Heroes, Riktam and Bansi, and all the Iboga records stuff. We don’t play any local stuff besides our own, we haven’t found any that fits into the style of tracks we play.

You guys recently saw some international attention when you were announced as finalists in the Lot 49 competition. What did that do for you guys, has anything else transpired from that?

We got a lot of attention from that, both from a production and djing point of view. Since then we have released a couple more tracks on LOT49 and had offers from two more international labels based in the UK and Germany. But for now we are trying our best to get released on Iboga records, that’s our biggest goal.

How did it feel to have your tracks praised by artists like Meat Katie, Vandal, D-Nox etc?

It was awesome, we’ve been huge fans for years, its nice to know that they are following our stuff.

When can we expect to see an EP or album from you guys?

We have just released an EP on LOT49, it was a remix of a Kid Bluetrack called Bass Reflection. We also have a track coming out on aLOT49 anniversary compilation next month, keep an eye out for that.

What releases/remixes do you have coming up in the near future?

Besides for the LOT49 stuff, we’re almost done with a D-Nox & Beckersremix, so hopefully you’ll be hearing that soon!

We’ve featured a lot of JHB acts lately especially on our weekly MID.WEEK.MIX, there is a perception that the two cities are extremely different in the sound they produce and love. I know Cape Town seems to like a harder sound then our Northern counterparts. What’s your perception of the two cities?

Cape Town is much bigger into their trance and probably more open to different shit. It seems like the Haezer style electro is also doing really well there, but I’m not sure how people are taking to the whole techno vibe. It’s hard to say when we don’t live there, but the couple of gigs we’ve had there have gone down well. Joburg definitely has a market for our sound , but there’s a lot of people here into all sorts of different stuff so its hard to classify. There’s a lot of commercial shit here (which we aren’t the biggest fans of), but the techno scene seems to be doing pretty well too.

@Shane – You’ve experienced performing in both major South African cities and the different scenes in each. So is  it, Cape Town or JHB? also what makes these two cities so different?

My best trance gigs have been in Cape Town, the scene there is insane and growing by the week. My best techno gigs have been here in Jozi, although I think we could get something going for us in Cape Town if we lived there. So if I had to choose, definitely Cape Town.

So there you have it, still want more. Check out the links below for some of our past coverage.



Co-Founder of Dont Party, Co-Owner and Director of Fiction Nightclub in Cape Town, 8Bit and Killcool. I dabble in design, online ventures and whatever comes my way.

Drop me a mail at or Follow @tkennedysa