Claude Von Stroke
- Colin McKean
- 14 May 2009
Like many teenagers in Detroit during the 1980s, Barclay Crenshaw (aka Claude Von Stroke) grew up listening to The Electrifying Mojo’s seminal Midnight Funk Association radio broadcasts, which exposed a generation of young producers to the music of Prince, Parliament, Funkadelic and Kraftwerk. Aged 16 Crenshaw unsuccessfully approached Juan Atkins to work as a studio engineer at the fledgling Metroplex Records, before turning his attention to university and a period spent working as a film production assistant in Hollywood. In 2004 he produced Intellect, a documentary profiling some of the most influential figures in electronic music, which inspired him to found his own record label and start recording under the alias Claude Von Stroke. ‘Deep Throat’, his first 12in on Dirtybird, sold over 11,000 copies and in 2006 he recorded ‘Who’s Afraid of Detroit’, which Richie Hawtin called the best record of the year.
Now Crenshaw thinks that being a late starter may have helped him: ‘It’s the same philosophy as being a good novelist or screenwriter. What have you really experienced when you are still a teenager? What can you really write about when you are 16 living at home with your parents? I feel like the life experiences i had from starting so late made me better at communicating and gave me more to pull from in the studio.'
This year Crenshaw’s ascendancy to techno’s upper echelons will be confirmed by the release of his Fabric 46 mix, an intoxicating, hypnotic compilation containing a number of his own compositions and future Dirtybird classics.
Cotton Cake at The Sub Club, Glasgow, Fri 15 May