How was 2017 for you?
Jeff Derringer: 2017 was a rollercoaster of insanity for me — very challenging both physically and mentally. Let me explain….
I had some great moments in 2017. Musically, there were very productive periods this year. I put out three EPs — Soma, Lanthan Audio and the first release on my new label, Oktave Records. That’s a lot for me. I also had tracks on compilations for Reclaim Your City and Lanthan. As far as music goes, I felt good about my year.
I improved a lot of relationships in my life and I’m definitely a stronger person than I was at the beginning of 2017. I had a very intense year with my family and we’re stronger now because of it. I had some honest conversations with people about where we stood and what we could improve and more importantly, what we should celebrate. I’m proud of all those things.
I got a grant from the university where I teach and I sold some rock ‘n’ roll gear, so I spent the summer overhauling my studio. I got some great new machines and production kit, and I changed up my workflow quite a bit. I’m really excited about the new tracks I’m making, and I’m looking forward to further exploring my relationship with the greatest love of my life: music.
At the end of June I was diagnosed with a recurrence of the throat cancer I first had in 2004. It was Stage 4. After 13 years, it was really disappointing and scary to see it come back. I spent July until the end of October going through and recovering from an adult-sized surgery to my neck and tongue, as well as about two months of radiation and chemo. It was some frightening and difficult shit. I had to take a five-month hiatus from performing, and as of this writing, I haven’t played a gig since July 1. This obviously put a dark mark on my year, but I also discovered large reservoirs of strength and courage that I did not know I had. Like my experience in 2004, cancer has had all kinds of positive side effects and silver linings — this is not the place to go through them all. That said, I suffered physically and mentally in 2017, and I’m recovering.
Song of the year?
You know I’m not going to give you just one, as so much incredible music was released this year on the techno front. Anthony Linell’s “Emerald Fluorescents” is a record I’ve gone back to over and over. It just keeps on giving.
I was late, but I also discovered Skee Mask this year and have been enjoying all of those productions.
Everything Juan Atkins and Moritz Von Oswald are doing together on Tresor is amazing.
Funny, I’m not DJing any of this music. But I sure listened to it a lot.
What’s your New Year’s resolution?
I’m going to continue to fight the cancer battle, as that is still very much going on. Oktave Records will be a priority in 2018, as will being focused on learning more and making great music in the studio. As always, I want to continue to pursue the art of performance and develop what I offer live.
On the personal side, I want to be more forgiving with my time and be with the important people in my life more than I have been in years previous. I work a lot and I’m very protective of the time I spend in the studio, as it already happens much less than I would like. In 2018, I’m going to loosen my grip in that respect, and be with people more. I need that energy in my life right now.