Marc Houle How I Play Interview + Livid Prototype Controller

Marc Houle is not a DJ—in fact, he’d be the first to tell you that he’s never really learned how to mix beyond fading one track out and another in—but that doesn’t mean he can’t rock a club. His live show, which he brought to MUTEK’s stage a few weeks back in Montreal, consists of little more than Ableton Live and a TC Helicon vocoder, but his piece de resistance is a special prototype controller made by Livid for a Minus Records tour a few years back. He gave us a look at how it works, and told us about his new album, in today’s video interview.

Houle is a pretty humorous guy. But tracks like his well-known “Techno Vocals”—which lampoons the de rigueur act of dropping a low-pitched robotic voice over a standard techno beat—only hint at that side of his personality. Fortunately on his most recent record, “Cola Party”, self-released on his, Magda’s, and Troy Pierce’s Items and Things label, there are plenty more examples of his hilarious vocal stylings to enjoy—and he treats us to a few live a cappellas in this video.

Watch more DJTT artist interviews now: 

Also, check out some Marc’s latest work in the Soundcloud widget below:


interviewitems and thingslivid instrumentsmagdaMarc Houlemutek festivalRichie Hawtin
Comments (19)
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  • Nicholas Entz

    Nice demo on how he uses his midi controller! And its fresh to know that not everyone just does the “deck A, deck B, deck A, deck B…” DJ style of mixing already mastered tunes.

  • Brock

    LOL!! Paint your face! He is hilarious 😀 Good vid! thanks DJ Techtools!

  • Nikola Galamgia Krstojevic

    make more videos like this!

  • Carl Frie

    Very interesting & inspiring interview — it’s always cool to see people not afraid to do things in a way that makes sense to them. +1 for lack of pretension.

  • chai ingwer

    i like his midi fighter ninja tool

  • Sathya

    Ditto all these comments. The ‘how I play’ videos are fascinating and really a great window into the creativity of artists. Please keep ’em coming.

  • dj jsn

    awesome interview

  • CUSP

    I love the TC Helicon VoicePrism 2. When I first heard it on the album Dream Web, I fell in love with the sound.

    This guy is pretty good too 🙂

  • Product London

    Been using the Livid CNTRL:R for a couple of years now alongside the Novation Launchpad to trigger stuff. The prototype Marc is using would have been my preferred layout for the CNTRL:R, meaning one controller instead of two in my setup. It’s a shame Livid didn’t go with that prototype layout or offer it as an alternative.

    • Oddie O'Phyle

      Livid is one of my favorite forward thinking companies, I love the fact that they have a DIY modular system using an Arduino brain at it’s heart, that will mount into a euro-rack case. If you aren’t aware of it, the line is called “Builder”. If I ever got back into Live, Livid would be my first pick for a control surface.

  • André et Michèle

    Wow, nice mapping/scripts on that controller! Been using Livid’s Cntrlr at the heart of our live rig for over a year w/ their scripts and sequencer and have only needed a bit of remapping so far . . .

  • lupzdut

    Great vid, Awesome to see some guys are still trying to keep it simple. It might not be just a pair of turntables and a mixer but at least some people try to give it a soul.

  • Rohan Yellore

    i think your interviews have really been going in the right direction lately… personally i feel that the music we play reflects who we are…and alongside the music and the gear, i appreciate this kind of insight into the person behind it. 🙂
    p.s. thanks to all the guys involved in pushing things “beyond edm”

    • Oddie O'Phyle

      to be fair, the usage of the term “EDM” is fairly new. that being said, i fell i love with this guys trax when i bought the album “restore” in 2009. if you enjoy marc’s minimal, check out jon gaiser and jpls too.

        • Oddie O'Phyle

          i got hooked on plastikman (and speedy-j too) in the mid-90’s with the old red and white +8 vinyls… and then i met him at a party. by far, Ritchie has to be one of my favorite people in the scene. down to earth, laid back and has a true love of the music. it’s too bad that his production has taken a back seat to running a label.