aka DJ T-1000, X-313, DetroitRocketScience, Signal To Noise Ratio…
A lifelong cartoonist and graphic designer, a young Oldham published his own indie comic book “Johnny Gambit” in 1987 to local notoriety. Hired that same year by his childhood friend Derrick May to illustrate several memorable pieces for his new Transmat label, this led to Oldham’s very first involvement in the fledgling techno scene. More art requests quickly followed, most famously from the Djax-Up-Beats label (NL), where his art took center stage for many years (the lone EP that Oldham produced for Djax, under the name Signal To Noise Ratio, brought home a 1991 Detroit Metro Times Music Award for best single in “Detroit Is Burning”).
At the same time, college-student Oldham was hired at local radio station WDET-FM, hosting Detroit’s first-ever all-electronic radio program, “Fast Forward” (more on that here), introducing artists like UR, Richie Hawtin, Kenny Larkin, and Carl Craig to local airwaves. Mixing Detroit Techno, Chicago House, European Body Music, New Wave, the late ’80s militant hip-hop of Public Enemy and Paris, and the chillout vibes of early 4AD records all under Oldham’s exuberant air personality, “Fast Forward” was a groundbreaking radio show that has yet to be duplicated over 20 years later.
In the early ’90s, Oldham found himself under the tutelage of UR’s Mad Mike Banks. Initially hired as UR’s “Minister of Information,” working side-by-side with Rob Hood and others in the office, Oldham eventually got the call of duty to replace his departing friend Jeff “The Wizard” Mills as DJ on UR’s “Revolution for Change” tour (quitting WDET in the process; the station wouldn’t even let him broadcast a farewell show), and UR codename DJ T-1000 (and his label Generator, distributed by Submerge) was born. Big shoes to fill, but he was up to the task. Jumpstart to infamy.
For a year afterwards, Oldham toured with Banks and others in the UR techno boot camp, learning his first lessons in international DJ diplomacy.
Since those long-ago days, a solo Oldham continues to rock crowds in Berlin (with an unofficial residency at Tresor), Milan, Barcelona (unofficial residency at Moog), Madrid, London, Tel Aviv, Tokyo and all points in between with his own no-nonsense brand of bangin’, funky-ass, three-deck techno. When DJ T-1000 is on the flyer, fans know he’s bringing the ruckus.
In 2004, Oldham finally left a flagging Motor City (under heavy hater fire; it ain’t hard) for the Midwest boomtown of Chicago, where he makes his US home. And then in 2005, after making short DJ trips for years, he finally established his permanent European touring base in the world’s electronic music capital, Berlin.
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When he’s not behind the decks or in the studio producing electronic dance music for labels like Tresor Berlin, Inzec (CH), Minimalsoul (CH), or his own Pure Sonik, Generator, and xfive. imprints, his drawings and paintings have been on display in art galleries in Chicago, Berlin, Paris and Los Angeles, with a new Berlin solo exhibit on the way for October 2011.
A true autodidact and all-around quadruple-threat Renaissance Man, Oldham’s latest electronic music project/minimal/tech-house/semi-live persona, Detroitrocketscience, launches at Tresor Berlin on September 10th of this year. The first Detroitrocketscience 12-inch release, “Curved Space,” is coming soon on Minimalsoul Recordings.
Alan Oldham DJ Sets..