These days you’re likely to find Ted Krisko and Eric Ricker aka Ataxia playing either in Detroit, holding down a residency at the world famous TV Lounge, or in New York, frequenting one the many clubs in the US’s nightlife capital. Wherever the duo play though their skill behind the decks never fails to shine, and releases on some of the best labels in the business like Leftroom and Seth Troxler’s Play it say It Records have cemented the duo at the top of the electronic music scene.
We experienced quite a lot of loss in the music world, most recently the tragedy in Oakland which took many lives & affected our underground music community to the core...Now making their full debut on Leftroom Records (3 years since appearing on sub label ‘Left’d’), Ataxia offer up ‘The Rickaverse’ EP, which contains 303 melodies, typical fiery drum programming, and a top remix from label boss Matt Tolfrey.
Hey Ataxia, thanks for joining us today. How 2016 has been for you both?
Let’s be honest, 2016 was a challenging year. We experienced quite a lot of loss in the music world, most recently the tragedy in Oakland which took many lives and affected our underground music community to the core.
With all of the madness out there, 2016 has been a year of reformatting our priorities towards home-grown work, rather than tours and travels. Detroit is home and it brings a lot of peace to our lives.
Eric started the My Baby vinyl record label with Mister Joshooa from our TV Bar family, and they just celebrated their first release with a split EP “Acid Truck / Lions Eggs”! As we say at TV Lounge, the party wasn’t gonna throw itself, so they had to put on the big boy pants and make a nice label happen. Josh & Eric both have originals and remixed each other to complete a 4 song 12”... It’s vinyl only so gotta find it in shops or online!
We have finished loads of new tunes in Ataxia world. It’s been excellent recording music back in Detroit again, after a couple years in non-stop NYC...I (Ted) took on a role as Talent Buyer for Marble Bar, a new venue in Detroit and it’s been quite busy filling the calendar and floor with good dance music! We've had acts like Steve Bug, Kenny Glasgow and Minilogue through, alongside some of Detroit's main players like Stacey Pullen, Norm Talley, Mike "Agent X" Clark, Dez Andres, & Chuck Flask. It’s a nice small room with a cool vibe and great dance floor! It’s been quite fun setting it off at a new spot with great music.
Additionally, the team behind Movement Electronic Music festival invited me to host Paxahau Radio, their brand new video webcast, streamed on Facebook live from a secret Detroit location, and archived on their Facebook page. The show airs weekly and features a new guest from Detroit on each episode. I moonlight as an interviewer and dig in with the artists about their history and present standings in the world of dance music.
Past the new projects, we have finished loads of new tunes in Ataxia world. It’s been excellent recording music back in Detroit again, after a couple years in non-stop NYC. The studio here has been great to us recently, as we are just about to be rolling a year’s worth of new music into a long anticipated fresh live set to debut in 2017.
When and why did the two of you come together to make music?
I put a message in a bottle in the Detroit River back in 1998 that said “LETS MAKE PARTY MUSIC” with my pager number on it. Eric found it in 2009 washed up on the shore of Belle Isle. Luckily I still kept the pager in my desk drawer, you know, for posterity's sake. We met at a reasonably priced motel on the East side of Detroit and hashed out our politics to the soundtrack of old punk rock cassettes. That's where we came up with the concept of Ataxia.
The Rickaverse EP takes us to a place where acid techno & party house collide...Can you talk a little bit about the EP? What kind of sound were you going for?
The Rickaverse EP takes us to a place where acid techno and party house collide. Overall we wanted this EP to take on a fun loving, carefree spirit, with songs crafted for late night into daytime marathon sessions.
What influenced you during the writing process?
The vocal definitely worked hand in hand alongside the music to keep the pace up, and never let the party energy slack. Party people were kept in mind throughout the process of recording and mixing these tunes down as well. The music here is made to drive the dance floor and keep people on the up.
How did the relationship with Matt Tolfrey and Leftroom come about?
We’ve been friends with Matt for most of the last decade. We started gigging together back in 2010. Our conversations were always unedited, full of passion for music culture and endless laughs. We make fun of each other, a LOT. It’s usually stemming from outlandish comparisons of American and British English. He usually wins arguments because he’s older, wiser and from the land that invented English.
We’ve been friends with Matt for most of the last decade. We started gigging together back in 2010...In 2013 he invited us to join the Leftroom label family with a release on Left’d. Since then we’ve played quite a few b2b sessions together in our travels, most recently at Marble Bar in Detroit for an all night long Leftroom Sessions. That was a proper 6 hour set together!
Ataxia always shared our new demos with Matt and he played quite a bit of our music over the years, but we got a super quick response when he heard the new EP demos.
Past this initial release, there is another upcoming vinyl only release Matt is putting out with us and one of our favorite Detroit legends.
What have been your favourite clubs to play over the last few years and why?
TV Lounge / Detroit - this is our long time residency home and the place we’ve been raised alongside. There is no place like home. Audio Rescue Team installed the sound for that Detroit boom. It’s the home of our OK Cool! Movement party we co-host with Dax Lee & Mr. Joshooa annually as well. TV BAR is home...Period.
TV Lounge / Detroit - this is our long time residency home & the place we’ve been raised alongside. There is no place like home...Output / Brooklyn - a second home for us. The Funktion One is immaculate. The club gets packed early with punters and our extended sets there have been some of the best stretch out sessions we’ve had the pleasure of playing. The lineup is always mint. The club takes great care of artists and patrons alike.
The Electric Pickle / Miami - another place to feel right at home. The people that dance there are real lovers of the music. The soundsystem smokes as well, and the ceiling is the best in the country to stare up at.
Marble Bar / Detroit - After helping to set the tone and vibe on the dancefloor through the booking side, and playing solo on a number of occasions, it was great this new Detroit gem as Ataxia for the first time recently. As an added bonus and making it especially memorable, we went back to back with Tolfrey all night.
Which three records are making regular appearances in your sets at the moment?
Finally, any releases or gigs scheduled that have you particularly excited for the future that you’d like to share?
Our next EP will come in January 2017 from legendary NYC imprint, Nervous Records. It features original work from us, as well as some collaborative and remix efforts between Terrence Parker, Merachka and Ataxia together. Super psyched to release on such a long standing label that has impacted dance music so heavily! Just as psyched to be collaborating with TP & Merachka…
We will be playing the 8th annual Blue Ball for our Paxahau family at TV Lounge in Detroit on Dec 23, with the homies Mike Servito, Erno & Mister Joshooa. It’s our 7th appearance at this annual charade so we are ready to let loose! 2017 tour dates are in the works and we will let the cat out of the bag closer to releasing our new Leftroom EP, which drops on Dec 19.