Taimur Agha Talks


If NYC's underground Techno community could be likened to a three ringed circus, Taimur Agha, 31, would be Master of Ceremonies. Between juggling his notorious Blk|market Membership events, producing The Bandwagon, halcyon's popular podcast series, and working tirelessly as the head Techno honcho at the city's top vinyl emporium, Taimur somehow holds down an increasingly in-demand DJ schedule. 

It began for the Pakistani native upon arrival from his childhood home of Abu Dhabi in 1999. A run in with the infamously debaucherous club Twilo supplied all the inspiration he would need. Agha ran out to purchase turntables, and with some formative mentoring from none other that UK veteran Craig Richards, he was on his way. 
Ahead of his fabric appearance this weekend, here's what Taimur had to say to us…

I just realised that I was shopping in Halcyon last year when I was in NYC and was probably served up wonderful slices of wax by your good self! The world moves in mysterious ways…
Growing up in Abu Dhabi you had no experience of record stores back there. How did you absorb and consume music back then and what are some of your first musical memories.
I'd say the proper first musical experiences were VHS recordings of Top of Pops show in the UK. Was a show which would have perfomances by all sorts of artists like Billy Idol, Michael Jackson, The Cure, Boy George, Madonna, Elton John, R.E.M, INXS, Duran Duran and more. Was a long-running music chart show featuring videos and performances. My parents used to rent these shows from our video rental shop and bring them back home every week. They were literary on repeat when I was a kid. So that for me was my first proper introduction. We didn't have record shops. But we did have music shops that sold cassette tapes and CD's. So then I started to collect albums on what ever I could find in the stores. When I was 11 they whole grunge sound coming form Seattle was big and heavy metal as well. I went from listening to Pop to Soundgarden, Nirvana, and Alice Chains. Then to listening to the heavy sounds of Sepultura, Judas Priest, Slayer and more. From then it was pretty much mainly those genres which I collected music for. Thing is everything in Abu Dhabi was pretty much commercial music. You had to kind of go out your way to find the good stuff. Same thing like today. Hunting for records that you want to play is what makes you stand out as a DJ.
Complete the sentence: I'm proper techno because….
I live and breath it everyday.
Sure you're probably pretty bored of talking about it but for the un-itiated, tell us about how the Blk|market Membership events came about. Future plans? 
New York is a tough city, and for someone who is just starting to play out, it can get difficult. Out of the shows that I did play, many would be below average sound set up, bad equipment, shady promoters. I was in a crew before and really with alot of the work that I put in, didn't really feel I was getting a 100% back. Long story short, I always told myself everyday that I one day I will meet the right people and do my own thing properly…and I did. I meet Fahad in 2006 and we just seemed to have the same tastes in music and liked the same DJs and artists. So this was honestly the first time in New York that I felt someone was the right partner to start something up with. We came up with the name Blkmarket memebrship and began our new night, where we were the residents and we would invite artists and DJ's that inspired us in the music that we play. In 2009, we added Mehmet Erkaya to the team. He was the general manager of Bar13 where we did many amazing parties from 2007 – 2009. Timing wise, it was perfect to bring him on. Fast forward to today, our party has become one of the best in North America and is known globally all over the world. It’s great to hear from all your artist friends that where ever they go in the world people speak highly about Blkmarket Membership.  Fahad and I both have played alongside every artist you can imagine at our very own residency. Future plans? We are planning to keep it going 🙂 I consider New York a major clubbing destination of the world and there is so much happening that its great to be part of the amazing movement. 
Are you a kick drum, hi hat or a snare? And why?
I would say a full drum kit. Need all the 'Elements.' (I am listening to Danny Tenaglia's 'Elements' as I  write this…)

You mentioned in an interview with LWE that although Halcyon has a digital site that you weren't keen on it and still bought most of your music on vinyl. Do you travel with vinyl too or have you made the digital switch?
Always take vinyl with me and always will buy vinyl. Im pretty much ordering records everyday, either for halcyon or my personal orders. Discogs as well. I love it when packages arrive for me 😉 I do take cds with me as well so as to balance what I am carrying, vinyl wise, with me. Every place I visit, I ask if there are record stores. Its a must that I check the stores out. In Tokyo when I was there 2 months ago, I came back with 150 records. Im in London now and already on my 2nd day went record shopping to 6 stores yesterday and came back with quite the artillery. 
What's your answer to everything?
Believe in yourself and accomplish your dreams. A favorite quote of mine is "The world is yours."
How's the Blk|market label going:
Right now production has been in the works. Been working with a few people on some music. Have a few tracks with Shadi Megallaa. Have another track that we both have been working on with Craig Richards. Another one with Fahad. And 3 other tracks that I have been working on with Jordan Poling aka JD who is part of Fred P's Soul People Music label. Thats my main focus right now. Label is to follow soon after.
Whats the best thing you've done so far this year?
I would have to say visiting Costa Rica and Tokyo this year for me. Both were amazing experiences on their own. Also marking our 6 year anniversary for Blkmarket this summer was another.
Strangest Display of Affection from a Fan.
Its when keeping it real goes wrong. Ones that just keep annoying the shit out of you and don't stop at doing it. Won't go into detail, but they think they are your best friend and just keep pestering.
What's the most techno thing you've ever done?
Blkmarket Membership
Whats your ringtone ?
Silent and no ring tone.
Best party city in the world?
New York.
Where is the strangest place you've woken up naked?
I don't get that high.
If you were a cat, what type would you be?
Black persian cat.
What’s been your worst job?
Working at my college in the library for minimum wage. 
What are you obsessed with at the moment?
Collecting different record bags. 
How many DJs does it take to change a light bulb?
Funny you ask this question, we were at a friends (Sigu) afters a few years back and the DJ setup was not working. it took 9 DJ's in the room to fix the setup because the wiring job was so bad. And for other reasons as well. It must have taken at least an hour.  So the question came up, how many DJ's does it take to change a light bulb right after. Was hilarious.
Do you know Deadmaus, has a mouses's head, for a head?
He is one of the biggest wankers alive. I can go on and on about him. He is a joke, he looks like an idiot, and has the worst teeth ever. When someone thinks they are God, you have a serious problem.
Rave related iPhone app they ought to invent….
I'm still stuck on a Blackberry phone, so couldn't tell you about that .
Should DJs educate or entertain? You're not allowed to say 'both'.
Educate. You want to educate the crowd with music that is forward thinking. 

Taimur plays Room 1 at fabric this weekend alongside Craig Richards, Reboot & Robert Dietz: 'No Hit Wonder' LIVE and plenty more elsewhere too.
Full details here.