Function’s bare-bones live show reveals the power of the TR-909

Earlier this year, FACT’s John Twells and Bryan McKay headed to Montreal with local FACT contributor Son Raw for MUTEK, and talked to a handful of artists about the nature of live performance.

Function, aka David Sumner, is truly a techno legend. The Berlin-based DJ and producer was born in Brooklyn and started DJing back in the 1980s, finding his footing in the UK’s Birmingham techno scene 10 years later. He bears the distinction of being the only non-Birmingham artist to score a release on the legendary Downwards imprint, and in recent years helped establish the Sandwell District label before moving to Ostgut Ton and collaborating with Vatican Shadow.

FACT caught up with Sumner at this year’s MUTEK in Montreal to talk about his first live set in years. He’s been immersed in DJing for the last couple of years, so he was eager to experiment with his bare-bones laptop and TR-909 setup. Fans of no-holds-barred proper techno should not sleep on this one.

Directed by Bryan McKay. Interview by Son Raw. Shot by Bryan McKay and John Twells. Produced by John Twells.