Techno In 10 Minutes With Lady Starlight

The latest episode of Fact’s Against The Clock series features Berlin techno artist Lady Starlight (Colleen Martin), who’s got 10 minutes to get a techno track going.

Martin also talks about her preference for hardware over computers for music production, her growing Eurorack rig, her dysfunctional relationship with her Tempest drum machine, the importance of MFB SEQ-03 nails and more.

Video Summary:

Lady Starlight’s journey has been anything but ordinary. Formerly a tour DJ for Lady Gaga, Starlight found herself meeting UK techno veteran Surgeon after a show in his hometown of Birmingham and the pair have been collaborating ever since, regularly appearing at clubs and festivals across Europe.

Last month, she released her debut solo EP on respected techno label Stroboscopic Artefacts. Spanning four tracks of relentless 4/4, it got us eager to see what kind of music the producer could make with just 10 minutes in the studio and her formidable collection of gear.

via Fact

54 thoughts on “Techno In 10 Minutes With Lady Starlight

    1. the loop isn’t that great, but her enthusiasm and down-to-earth attitude is, especially considering her background.

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      1. i see more enthusiasm for the nails than anything else. anyone playing with hardware has a natural enthusiasm for the gear they have, nothing new there

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        1. you see enthusiasm, rather than sarcasm, in her statements about her nails, because, as shown also in your other posts, because your are a sexist.

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      1. Come on.. let’s be realistic here. She seems lovely and like a very nice person with plenty of enthusiasm. But a 4/4 bassdrum and hihat pattern with a bit of a fiddly bassline isn’t exactly breaking down the barriers of creativity. I have a Machinedrum and this takes about a minute to do and considering what a Machinedrum is capable of doing in 10 minutes… well…

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    1. So, you are comparing your 8-years-in-the-making album to a 10 minute video? Well played sir, well played.

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      1. Thanks sir, we tried our best 🙂 Especially considering the fact, that we don’t own even 1/10 of the gear from the video.

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        1. If you think owning more gear will make your music (or anyone’s music) better, you should quit now, or just be happy with what you have.

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          1. I really think, i can figure out what to do or what to think all by myself, but thank you for your priceless advice.

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    1. Lol, you posted this same comment on Facebook as well. You’re spending a lot of mental energy on a video you didn’t enjoy.

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  1. The Machinedrum is an endless inspiration, using mine since over ten years and can´t get rid of it, even after all the years almost daily use every know and then something happens and i get totally new sounds out of it or find new ways of working with it. The resampling/sampling is so much fun, such an inspirational piece of gear.

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  2. Quickest way to make techno. Throw pots and pans down the stairs while stamping your feet at 125 BPM in 4×4 fashion… record it… put it in your daw and quantize it.

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  3. Saying you are 41 so you know nothing about computers is only valid if your statement is before the 80’s. I mean come on..How are we getting all this info about this artist in the web??

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  4. I’m sure this Lady Starlight is a nice person. But pleaaaaaaase… Where is the inspiration ? Where is the music ? Where is the innovation ??? So many expensive machines for such a poor result ! And time is not the issue here…

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    1. Inspiration?? WTH does that even mean? Is it like, “where is the colour?”
      “And time is not the issue here…” Did you even read the title of this series? “Against the Clock” Do any of those words there give you a hint??

      These petty comments are embarrassing. From a purely psychoanalytical view, it’s quite clear there is some serious envy here. Ask yourself, why does her happiness or enjoyment anger you.

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        1. Ouch. A bit too close to home? I fully aware of where I am and the power of envy and desire for fetish objects, even if you want to deny it. The sad part is the lack of self-awareness in posters, the subtle attacks poorly disguised as some useful criticism, and now the feigning upset of someone calling you out. Ahh. The glorious comedy of manchild critics and their dream of…..”if my tool was bigger I would show them all”.

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          1. yeh i have nothing to do with the original criticism

            im just pointing out how utterly childish and ridiculous your comments are

            keep on measuring those tools, i guess.. it seems REALLY important to you… for some reason……….

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  5. Weirdly enough there’s already a word for when you create a piece of music in 10 minutes, it’s “Improvisation.”

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    1. clearly not, she had the modular all patched up, the samples ready to go and kick and hats take 2 secs to program

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  6. She only had 10 minutes to make a track on the fly and you people are acting like she has no talent based on a single video. The synth world really is just full of snobs.

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  7. I was not impressed. I’m not envious of her talent or gear. It just wasn’t a great 10 minutes. I looked up her music and was just underwhelmed. I guess it’s just not my kind of music.

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    1. I wasn’t really into the music, but I liked her, I like her set up and I like the way she explains what she’s doing in the videos. I love getting to see how an artist sets up their gear, their rationale and their workflow. That’s why I love this series.

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  8. I really wanted to defend this.. it was only 10 minutes and techno is a lot about sound design… but really nothing SOUNDED good, even without any expectations from the composition… and then I also checked out her released tracks.

    I understand that a lot of people can be overly critical of these types of things, but this video really has no business being on Synthtopia or even Fact’s youtube page… nothing to learn at all.

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  9. I can turn on a sequencer in less than 10 minutes. I should’ve know the jig was up when she started talking about her fingernails. And who the hell has a giant mirror in their studio? Why would you do that?

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    1. reading comments like this, it’s no mystery why there are more female artists in electronic music.

      please, be honest with yourself. do you actually think the nails and mirror are relevant? if you were into the music, how much would they matter? even if you don’t like the music, how much do the nails and mirror really have to do with it? why are you attacking her femininity?

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      1. I wasn’t attacking her femininity, I was put off by her talking about her nails. I would have felt the same if some dude was talking about his man bun. I clicked on this to hopefully hear some good music. I didn’t hear any, but instead the nails…

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    2. It takes you <10mins to turn on a sequencer & you're proud enough to post about it publicly? Don't give us such a good opportunity to take the piss out of you.

      The mirror is there so she can talk to the audience while facing her gear (same as Cuckoo etc). Fact often get their Against The Clock participants to slightly alter their rooms to benefit the audience's view. Chances are she's not a raging narcissist.

      Why did she talk about her nails? For a laugh, dude. The absurdity of asking her manicurist to take into consideration her Eurorack gear is great. Rewatch the video & you'll see she clearly doesn't take herself too seriously when it comes to first world problems.

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  10. synthtopia commenters are seriously the worst.

    some of us like techno. some of us like berlin school. some of like both. none of us care about which you don’t like.

    against the clock isn’t about exceptional improvisation. it’s primarily about getting artists that many people are used to hearing on record or in prepared sets to improvise — getting a peek into the creative process of artists some of us like.

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      1. If you were familiar with her past, you would know many people aren’t fans because of her attitude and past statements- not her gender. There’s a reason this person lives in Berlin and not NY or LA – and it isn’t techno fandom…

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        1. Wow, male street artists can brag about raping women repeatedly on radio and still get the best gig in New York, but if a woman steps out of line with her opinions she has to leave the country? And no one here is hating on her for her opinions, they’re bitching about her gear and music and clearly have no idea who she is, but I love that you’re piling it on with some more personal crap.

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          1. Hey genius… When you tell the pioneer of hi fi live sound in NYC that his club sounds like shit, you gain a reputation. You milk an under fire subculture for profit- they tend to not support you anymore. the music is bad, the person is bad, defend someone worth your effort

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    1. so why would you compare this to Flava D who’s not even a techno producer? is it perhaps they are both female? you do realize that they’re not operating their gear with their sexual organs in either case, which makes gender irrelevant.

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    1. This person started their career off with dissing many, many people. So there’s an irony to that statement. many djs took offense to her interview statements vs her skill level, and she overdefended herself in private and public when most of us would have a second of self reflection. Regardless of gender, one can take a look at this video and know this artist’s focus is on appearances and gaining fame , and not tunes. That’s fine- consider who made this woman famous! just lets not confuse things- her gender is not the problem in any way- it’s her shallow attitude and history of selfish behavior.

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      1. changing the strategy away from attacking the actual video, to attacking the past of the person. because obviously bad girls have not right to evolve. bad girl! not sure a comment can be more pathetic than yours.

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      2. Are you kidding me!? She dissed a few ppl after being attacked herself. How dare she be upset, or diss other people right back. She must leave the country immediately?! Seriously your comments are disproportionate. I know guys who have ruined people’s lives and they still get to live out their fame as they please. And then you go on to attack her appearance. You may have a personal beef with this person, but your attacks are sexist. Check yourself.

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  11. Seen this vid, and people commenting on how “easy” it is to make a techno track.

    However, if you wanna make a polished, commercially viable track that is unique and stands out amongs the “10 minute wonders” and doesn’t just sound good in your studio, that’s another story.

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  12. I tried doing a track in ten minutes, it took me four just to choose and arrange the drum pattern. Dropped an broken offbeat bass line and added pads. By the time I started any automation, time was up. Try it. Its really not that easy. BTW you must start with a blank canvas and no presets. Enough respect to the honey Lady Starlight I think she did a wonderful job.

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    1. Yeah and people are bricking that she had prepatched her modular, which is permanently patched as a drum machine… they clearly don’t know the rules of against the clock. I’m not into her style of music at ALL. And I’ve seen other artists handle the ten minutes better, but the way she talked through her process was SOO much more illuminating than watching some person click click click at a screen silently…

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