Surgeon defends basic gear: “Technology is just a means to an end”

“Looking back, I had to be inventive about how I used and processed sounds with basic equipment.”


Image credit: Ali Wade

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Techno artist Surgeon has discussed reverting back to a limited tabletop setup and the benefits of experimenting with “very basic equipment” at the start of his career.

The artist, real name Anthony Child, made the comments on music technology in a recent interview with MusicRadar. When asked if he’s inspired by new technology, the UK-based techno innovator – heralded as one of the first to use a CDJ in live performances – said: “For me, technology is very much a means to an end. People might be surprised, but I don’t have a keyboard fetish. They’re just tools to create with,” he says.

“When I first started making techno I used whatever I could get my hands on or borrow. Looking back, I had to be inventive about how I used and processed sounds with basic equipment. Over the years, I’ve had the budget to buy more gear but it took me many years to realise that restrictions were actually a good thing.

According to Surgeon, in a recent interview, having infinite plugins on your computer can often be more of a curse, and as a result, he doesn’t have a studio where everything is set up and connected to a patch bay.

“I just pick some gear, create a live setup on a little folded table and work on projects using that ideology,” he adds.

Also in the interview, he goes on to say that many artists wonder why they can’t replicate the same music they made years ago. He believes that music is linked to a specific time and person’s mindset, so it’s impossible to recreate the same work. Instead, he prefers to progress and experiment with different recording techniques and gear.

He says that as a DJ, he started with vinyl and moved on to using newer technologies like Serato and Ableton, always seeking new ways to push ahead. On using nostalgic gear, he says that going back could be useful only if done in a fresh and innovative way.

Read the full interview with Surgeon at


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