Undoubtedly one of Plymouth’s most established and skilled DJs, Calrek has been a prominent feature of the local underground music scene for over a decade. Combining his love of quality music and technical knowledge, he has brought true underground techno to Plymouth.
Initially working as a roadie for a rhythm and blues band, and later as a sound engineer at outdoor events and club nights, Calrek had regular dealings with other DJs, producers and professionals. He soon gained valuable experience, and acknowledged the importance of well produced music and finely tuned sound equipment in a club setting. Having had first hand experience of the Plymouth club scene in the mid nineties, it became apparent that the scene was crying out for a regular, quality night in Plymouth, and so Calrek’s vision of Oorpi was born. The objective was simple – quality music with intelligent visuals and lighting in a uniquely created environment, allowing the music to make its mark.
Realising the need to stay one step ahead of the game, Calrek felt that producing his own tracks was a natural progression. Oorpi 1 and 2 were soon cut on vinyl and unleashed on the Oorpi regulars, becoming instant classics. At the time, Calrek was known as DJ Tramp, and together with fellow DJs and great friends DJ Badger and Mr Melox, he set out to make the Oorpi Techno vision become reality. At later events, residents Swaran and Kris Kurtz joined the lineup of quality DJs. Several years later, Oorpi Techno, as the event was now known, went back to basics. Discarding the usual drapes preferred by club promoters, Oorpi Techno broke the mould and took place at the purposely blackened-out Tramps venue at Bretonside, Plymouth, showcasing the professional digital lighting and visuals of Damage FX and Missing Linkz to their full effect. The event also made a positive and lasting impression by incorporating the very best in sound reinforcement audio systems.
As well as showcasing the local techno elite, Oorpi Techno brought the crÃ¨me of the techno scene to Plymouth, including the UK’s Glenn Wilson and Mark Hawkins as well as the dutch techno artist Spark Taberner and Germanys O.B.I. Inspired by legendary UK techno master Dave Clarke, DJ Tramp was later consigned to the past and the birth of Calrek was announced to an expectant crowd halfway through Oorpi’s seventh year anniversary. DJ Badger later became known as Pathogen and together with Calrek, became the driving force behind Oorpi Techno. Together they coined the term Technologically Advanced as the theme for the event, which has both inspired and set the standard for other local events.
As Oorpi Techno grew into a huge success, Calrek’s mixing skills became apparent. Lightning-fast and nimble, Calrek can rival world class DJs by mixing between 30-50 quality records per hour, whilst at the same time using a mixer to full effect to bring in tracks with his unique style. Despite his technical skills, Calrek is a strong believer in maintaining the human element, and if the occasional mix drifts a little, so what? In an age of locked grooves and digital perfection, his presence behind the decks leaves the listener in no doubt that his sets are live and unplanned. From recognisable classics to fresh new material, each piece of vinyl in Calreks collection must be high quality techno, or it will simply not make the grade. The resulting records leave Calrek with a varied collection of techno that cannot be pigeonholed – from tribal and funky grooves to driving basslines and relentless hard beats, Calrek spins them all with unrivalled finesse.
Using his programming and development knowledge to full advantage, Calrek has built his own website, calrek.com. Often imitated but never surpassed, the now legendary live video chatroom enables Calrek to broadcast from virtually any location to techno lovers across the globe. Combining high quality sound, visuals, and a chat facility, the site attracts visitors from many countries including Canada, Switzerland, Belgium, Russia, Germany, USA, UK, and the Netherlands. As well as featuring his own live mixes, the site also broadcasts live shows by other European guest artists such as Dark Force Recordings HardtraX, Teknicity releasing on Crowbar and Animasola plus Moscow’s DJ Niv. Calrek has forged strong links with techno DJs and promoters across the scene, and as a result he has headlined at numerous events across the globe.