When you need to list down some Techno DJ in Indonesia, no doubt Indra7 will be on the list. His passion in the genre has not fading at all. Indra7, a heavy metal enthusiast and one of the pioneer of techno scene movement in Jakarta, started his career back in 1997.
Why chose to be a DJ?
“My guitar skill is not too good,” said Indra7 and we all laughed together. “It was on high school. A good friend of mine just came back from Melbourne and asked me to form an electronic band together,” Indra7 added. That request made Indra7 explored Chemical Brothers and The Prodigy for some reference and he immediately interested.
“There’s a long process why I chose to play Techno,” said Indra7. He started to be a DJ back in 1998. He played many genres, including Breakbeat. He started to come out as a more commercialized DJ back in 2004. “Previously, I only play in my bedroom or small parties. In 2004, I decided to be more serious in DJ-ing,” said Indra7. This decision also encouraged by his girlfriend at that time (now has already become his wife).
One reason why he chose Techno was Sasha. “I was inspired by Fundacion NYC by Sasha,” Indra7 recalled. As a big fan of Sasha, he thought that this album is unique and show the different side of Sasha from the usual one that he knows.
However, one song that made Indra7 firm with his decision in Techno scene was Tiefschwarz’s track with Tracey Thorne called Damage. “I listened that song were played by Alvin K at Vertigo club. After the show, I talked with him about the track he just played,” said Indra7. That talk has developed into something new. Indra7 and Alvin K formed Microchip, a party organizer dedicated to Techno scene.
Looking back to his first event as a DJ, Indra7 recalled his very first event in 1998. “It was at Balemang Café. It was the era of classic disco, while the vinyl I brought was mostly Breaks. So they asked me to stop playing,” said Indra7. He admitted that he was sad, but it is the phase that needs to be experienced.
When we asked his memorable event he ever played, Indra7 mentioned Godskitchen 2009. That time, he shared the stage with Richie Hawtin. “Richie Hawtin just about to finish his set. Then I was appointed to play after him. I was honoured!” said Indra7.
Another memorable event was when he played in Manila, the capital city of Philippines, back in 2011. It was his first international event. “The vibe was good and the appreciation from the crowd was also great,” said Indra7.
Indra7 now serves as a resident in Jenja Jakarta. He admitted playing at Jenja Jakarta fulfil his passion. “Jenja supports me to play Techno, since the crowd itself are Technoheads. It’s my job as resident to entertain the crowd,” said Indra7.
What is his preparation before performs? “Pray to God!” said Indra7 laughed. He continued, “I used to selected vinyls to take with me. Now, I have the tracks in my USB so I just need to anticipate the crowd’s mood.”
His dedication to Techno scene can’t be underestimated. He initiated Jakarta Techno Militia (JATEM) with DNSW. A collective inspired by Detroit Techno Militia. “We want to accommodate all Techno label and make great party together,” said Indra7. JATEM’s first event was at Kampus in 2011. Alvin K, 1MAN, and Remy Irwan are few names that performed in JATEM’s events. “Our concept at JATEM is we’re using 8 decks and played live,” said Indra7.
Their last event was in 2016 at X2 Club Jakarta. That time, they were using 5 decks. That’s the minimum decks available if JATEM had an event. “We love to have another event for JATEM, but due to our schedules and separated locations of domicile, it’s a bit hard to find a time for gather,” said Indra7.
Indra7 said he missed the spirit of the old days. “Back in the days, we were so excited to come to a party or hosting an event. Distribute the flyer to record store, or decorate the venue 5 hours earlier,” said Indra7. He also concerns how club nowadays not brave enough to explore genres to be different. “It’s good that now we have Jenja. Technoheads now have a home,” said Indra7.
One thing we noticed about Indra7 is every time he plays in any gig, he always wears shirts from metal rock band. Yes, Indra7 is a hardcore fan of metal rock band. Faith No More, Motley Crue, Nine Inch Nails, and Poison are his favourite bands. Interesting combination.
Metal versus Techno, something we haven’t found in another DJ but Indra7. “I think Metal side influenced the Techno side of me. I played darker in my set,” he exclaimed. Indra7 also added that he listened to metal band more than electronic music. “On my way home after the gig, I listened to my metal playlist. Let’s say, it’s a refreshment for me after playing Techno,” said Indra7.
With the growing numbers of event using Techno as the theme, we’ve seen new DJ are born and playing Techno. Indra7 has an advice to inspire Techno DJ out there. “Be true to yourself. If you believe that Techno is your style, just go on with it. Listen to various Techno mixtape. Don’t be lazy, practice every day and mix the songs. Most importantly, create your unique signature so that people will know that it is you who are playing at that moment.”
To wrap up our chat, how to describe Indra7. He only smiled and said, “Metal and Disco is my spirit.”
Support Us at Patreon!