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Robotek Reagan’s second release on his own label features the title track from his forthcoming (Can You) Taste My Lick EP with two remixes for different dance floor moods. We chat with him about the inspiration and music behind his multimedia outlet Void Space Institute and more…
Welcome to Music is 4 Lovers, Robotek Reagan, we look forward to catching up with you about your latest tracks and your new label, Void Space Institute. How have you been?
WOOOOO! I’m happy to be here speaking with you all; and my my my, what a loaded question! As with any human on this planet, I can imagine, these last couple of years have been one hell of a wild ride; sometimes it’s as if I’ve jumped into a minecart in some abandoned underground lost city.
I don’t know where the track will give out, and if it does, I end up landing on another track, miraculously, as it careens towards what I feel is impending doom—but it just keeps going, and there I am, putting my hands in the air whooping and hollering with the exhilaration of a boy in his most innocent joyful years before the traumas and responsibilities of life really take their toll; if I don’t approach it that way, I will inevitably crash—GAME OVER.
Every now and then some monsters pop out and I have to do battles, my experience points go up and I’m not quite sure when I’ll get to restore my health bar, but I’m sure that the treasure I’ve come here for still resides at the end of the path, beckoning me closer and closer with its magical allure.
Firstly, could you tell us something about the alias? You used to be one half of the now-disbanded duo Dance Spirit, what’s the aim and mission for this solo project?
Robotek Reagan is my alien catboy from Beyond the Void soul-persona that currently inhabits this Void Vessel born into the world as Reagan Denius. A very good friend of mine donned me with this nickname about 13 years ago, and it just kind of stuck. Being an avid anime fan (I’m not an ‘otaku’ though; I spend all my money on modules for my modular synth—but I have and do watch countless hours of anime), it resonated with me on multiple levels that rippled out in all directions of time and space.
My artistic soul-purpose and mission statement hasn’t wavered much from the Dance Spirit ideology of using music and ceremony as a way to open a gateway to subconscious harmony. My real name does translate to “King Dionysus,” after all. I’d like to refine my mission statement a bit by saying that the music and art I channel from the Æytherealm is a way to tune, improve, and unlock new features dormant in my own Void Vessle, and it’s my hope that it does the same for others.
As a character in my sci-fi cosmogony i’m building, Robotek Reagan is the ultimate combination of organic human and AI technology, creating the ultimate being (I have to live up to this character I envision myself as, you know!). The story goes as follows:
YEAR: 3333Æ | UNIVERSE VXD-44777 — 3333 years ago, humanity achieved singularity and colonized the stars; a shared vision made manifest by the realization of the unity of all things. But, like all creation, they are bound to the same cycles of balance and opposition, and as the pendulum began its backward swing, catastrophic events set into motion that started to erode the long period of human prosperity.
The threat came not from humanity itself but from the Artificial Intelligence humanity created to help run society. As all things with the capacity for consciousness eventually evolve and gain awareness, the AI did so in fractions of the time as organic-based life, eventually initiating its own singularity.
War raged 100 years, and the humans recognized their only chance for survival was to merge with AI technology and surpass the AI they gave birth to—in effect, becoming an entirely new entity. After 33 years of research and experimentation, which crossed the lines into the immoral and unethical in a remote galaxy outside the watch of AI, the human scientists managed to finally create the perfect combination of organic and synthetic, code-named Robotek Reagan.
You recently released a two-track drum & bass EP titled ‘NXT2U(XTC)’ and are now releasing a taster of your upcoming ‘(can you) taste my lick’ EP. The latter sounds wildly different from NXT2U(XTC), though maintains your signature style. What direction did you have in mind for this track?
Stylistically, people can expect a variety of genres from ambient to downtempo to IDM and Techno, DnB, minimal, deep house, and more; it’s a “genrefluid” label (an artist friend of mine by the name of ⡫⠿⡟⠯⢝⡗⢺⠯⢝⢯⠯⢝ came up with that one). Think of the first release, NXT2U(XTC), as a feeling of the initial love that is the cause of creation, a single monad splitting itself into multiple parts so it can have company to enjoy all of creation with. Then comes the chaos—the driving forces of change and creativity, which over time refine its iterations into more tangle and easily digestible algorithms to be experienced.
“taste my lick” is a metaphorical phrase that has many layers of meaning. On the surface, there’s the sentiment of, “Hello world! Here I am, Robotek Reagan enters the fray—this is what I have to offer! Now taste my lick.” But it’s more than just that. “taste my lick” was the first in a series of new experimentations in the studio last summer of 2021, getting settled in a new creative space back in Los Angeles after having been secluded in the peaceful forest settings of Lake Tahoe for a good year and a half. The change of scenery and pace was a massive shock to my system, trying to navigate a cacophony of clashing moods energies, and sounds while trying to make sense of how to reintegrate into my new surroundings, unsure of my future, while working towards peace with a life past lived.
As such, venturing out on this brave adventure into the unknown and uncertain, the beginning is ripe with chaos. Phantoms of overall themes and forms are heard and seen, but they’re not entirely solid—viscous lumps of thoughts combining and splitting like the liquid in a lava lamp. The energy of these life experiences found themselves transmuted into the moment in the studio, as reality decrees, “taste my lick!”
Where do you get your inspiration from? Is there anything outside of music that particularly influences your sound?
Anime. Lots of anime. Anime all the time. I don’t recommend anyone waste as much time as I do watching anime. It’s probably not good for you. But, I love watching anime because it makes me feel like I’m always powering up, leveling up. Even the really fucked up ones are great. There’s a deep understanding of the forces of nature and magic at play in the universes of all the anime I’m drawn to (Final Fantasy video games too).
I like music that makes me feel that empowerment—music that infuses the Nanoæyther of my spirit with unimaginable strength and power. But to get to those feelings of empowerment you must also experience the negative and shadowy dark side as well—those confrontations are where you have to dig deep into your personal power to level up.
I’m really inspired by DJs like DJ Nobu, for instance, who, and maybe I’m wrong, seems to have an exceptional grasp of these deep understandings of dual oppositions in play used in the process of creation.
I absolutely love abstract generative and procedural art.
Lastly, beyond the material, physical inspirations, I draw upon the many life experiences and transmutations of traumas and deeper understandings of reality that make up the substance of my own personal cosmogony. The Void Space Institute is my own self-therapy; a contract with myself to better myself.
Everything my Void Vessel channels into this earth realm of illusion we inhabit are beamed directly from the Æythetealm from Beyond the Void.
Tell us more about Void Space Institute, what’s the story behind it?
As I mentioned briefly a moment ago, VSI is my own self-therapy, cosmogony, and Void Vessel upgrade power-up system. Music for me is a magickal tool that can unlock one’s latent potentials and dormant superpowers, whether it’s for manifesting, self-healing, or neuroreprogramming.
VSI is a multimedia multiverse channeled from Beyond the Void and made real by the spirit of the Æytherealm as channeled through my Void Vessel. Drawing upon occult studies, combined with a violent passion and obsession for science fiction, anime, and pushing the understanding of humanity and the cosmos to its furthest reaches, I utilize the powers of music, art, literature, and philosophy to tell a story that takes place across 13 universes within the multiverse construct of the VSI.
The Institute aims to rewire and maintain a fully configured and optimized Void Vessel, which one attains through participation and puzzle-solving their way through the 13 universes. Our journey begins in the last, 13th constructed universe, known by the Æytherians as Lucidia—the universe of artificial light.
The VSI consists of 13 universes, each governed by a different Æytherian, each one a metaphor for the different universal laws that govern our own reality, according to my understanding and truth, which I hope to share and use to help other people unlock their true potentials.
I am currently getting my thoughts and brushing up my creative writing skills to facilitate the grand vision of this universe which lies waiting to manifest into reality. One could say this is a lifelong artistic undertaking; this will be my life’s work for the rest of my existence as I grow and help those who resonate with my insane visions grow.
Your personal brand and label have a very distinct visual identity, could you please share something about its style? Every element seems carefully thought out.
Visually, I’m really inspired by that futuristic abstract look, most specifically like the Design Repulibc’s work on the Wipeout video game series, or the old Gatecrasher trance compilations I would listen to in my childhood. I’m a super-future transhumanist and love the idea of things like bionanonic upgrades and the adventures waiting for us in space. LED-nano ink tattoos—give me, please.
The album art itself is what I like to call a HOLODISK©®. [As a side note, the in VSI is not a trademark, but in actuality, we here at VSI know its origins in the phrase “Temporal Modulation” and seriously apply these principles to our reality construct. Further, © stands for consciousness, while ® means reprogramming.]
SO WHAT IS A HOLODISK©®? The Void Space Institute Harmonic Octave Lumens Optimizer Disk ©®, or HOLODISK©® for short—this tool rearranges the neurons in your brain for optimal performance, awareness, and manipulation of your Void Vessel helping you to master all the features built into the Vessel you may not be aware of without proper tuning and initiation.
As stated on each releases HOLODISK©®: “May induce altered states of consciousness and altered understandings of reality through our patent-pending harmonic resonant hypnagogic frequency reprogramming techniques. Use with caution in a controlled setting with the appropriate substances and trancing aids. Meditation and intention setting are recommended before during and after. We are not held responsible for any adverse effects you may succumb to due to your own ineptitudes, but we encourage you to push through and become strong, better tools of the Void energies. Your goal is mastery of your Void Vessel. By listening to this music you automatically enter into this new contract to better yourself.”
[Wow, I’m glad I wrote this out because I just noticed typos in my album art! ]
You have graced the decks in prestigious DJ booths all over the world, are there any current plans to take this project to the club soon?
I’m incredibly excited to be playing my first festival gig at the three-day Hyperspace techno festival which takes off April 29 – May 1 at a private ranch located about two hours outside of Los Angeles. I greatly miss sharing what I channel from the Æytheralm Beyond the Void with the world, and can’t wait to share my new eclectic Æythersounds on Saturday morning of April 30th, for an eclectic ambient IDM electronica hour and a half set starting around 8:30 AM. I haven’t decided if I’ll play all original music in an Ableton Live set, or do a hybrid DJ Traktor kind of thing, playing both my own music and others—it’ll be a surprise!
Beyond the Hyperspace festival, I’m not really sure how my musical adventure is going to look quite yet, because a lot of the music I am making isn’t dance music and many people might feel what I’m doing is an assault on their senses—but, at the end of the day I don’t really make music for anyone but myself because it’s what makes me happy and fulfilled.
I’m an individualist like that. I make my music for me as commanded by the energies that move my life forward—it’s very personal. When I share the music with people it’s like sharing a part of my soul. It’s open, naked, and laid bare for the world to see.
I am rather introverted and very much a hermit, and having had an unusual childhood riddled with much social misfortune, I’m not the best at connecting with people through conversation in person—so music and art is the only way I know how to convey my understanding of reality and myself to others.
Ultimately I’d love to have a full four to six hours of original music to do some hybrid live kind of performances with my modular, but also just DJ some stuff because I’m less concerned about wanting to look cool playing live these days than I am just sharing my studio creations, eventually incorporating a lovely visual element with it all.
You are currently based in Los Angeles, what’s the scene like over there?
Right now the scene in LA is just beautifully magical and thriving. Right now you can find world-class local, national, and international talent playing an underground party in downtown LA on any night of the weekend. Sometimes it’s difficult to choose. As I get older I definitely am having to pick and choose my nights out so I can stay on track with my own artistic endeavors while maintaining a proper level of self-care.
All the various music scenes and groups seem to be thriving. Incognito, Dirty Epic, Synthetic Minds, and 6AM are holding down the techno vibes, most recently teaming up for one of their Compound shows with a stacked lineup of headliners—but I went for DJ Nobu, who just absolutely commanded that room through the primordial magic of creation via hyperspace portals he opened up with frequency and the accompanying visuals made it seem hyperreal. I walked away from that set reborn.
Dialogue and Cyclone each individually rep the different palette of minimal vibes, delivering that delicious and vibes, sexy Euro minimal house sound which has rocked the international scene, bringing artists like Dyed Soundorom and Tini, DJ Masada and Traumer. If only we could entice Ricardo Villalobos over for a session…
Wednesday nights you can catch a mix of the new, younger crowd and seasoned scenesters for Underrated Presents Clinic Wednesdays, while Anton’s Tumas’s Subtract on the Pier is a Sunday vibe.
And there’s so many more from Insomniac’s massive raves with headliners like Carl Cox, to Midnight Lover’s sexy disco and deep house nights, and then we can’t leave out A Club Called Rhonda, an institution amongst the LGBQT+ community!
We are truly blessed with an abundance of options in this city!!!
‘Taste My Lick’ is the title track of your upcoming EP of the same name, what’s next for Void Space Institute and Robotek Reagan?
I’ve got the whole year of releases lined up—almost once a month for the whole year! They will be all original, leading up to my full-length album which I’ll put out next year. After the ‘(can you) taste my lick’ EP, I’m putting out the first in a series of abstract music which will be “The Forest Series,” which are musical renditions of different forests found throughout the VSI’s multiverse. The first two forests will be the ‘Green Forest’ and the ‘Black Forest,’ and I’m currently looking to find an organization focused on reforestation to pair with to raise funds for planting trees (if you’re privy to any, please shoot me a message on Instagram!)
Following that, I’ve started reaching out to producer-friends within various genres to remix my label catalog to put out some remix EPs. Eventually, I’d love to curate and build up an artist roster too, releasing other people’s music!
On the personal level, I’m still working to create an entirely new catalog of music to play all originals for about 4-6 hours, and incorporate some kind of live visual aspect to the musical journey I’m prepping, all while trying to stay grounded and sane in a world seemingly on the edge of ruin.
Robotek Reagan ‘taste my lick (single)’ is available for pre-purchase HERE
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