Aural Stimulation

Keith Robertson of the head-banging electro duo Autoerotique fills us in on his stimulating ventures

Before the audibly arousing DJ partnership of Autoerotique was born, Keith Robertson and Dave Henderson were two Toronto-based producers working with Canadian indie rock bands. In 2008 the two teamed up, signed to DJ/producer Steve Aoki’s label, Dim Mak, and made the switch over to the crazier, beat-driven side of music as a DJ duo. Blowing up in the electronic dance-music scene, the producers responsible for the smash “Turn Up the Volume,” will turn on the party at the Artisan on Nov. 25.

You just got off a huge international tour. How do other countries’ parties compare to America’s?

There’s a lot of techno in Europe, so that’s really fun. Australia’s just like Canada—really central on music, but with better weather. Singapore was just wild; we did it with Steve Aoki and it was madness.

It seems like one of the better labels to be on these days.

Yeah. It’s just a good group of guys and girls, and it’s always a party when you run into each other on the road. It’s like a little mini family, a home away from home.

What’s the story behind the name Autoerotique?

Well, it means doing anything to pleasure yourself to the point of death almost. To risk death for pleasure. That’s what it is.

Has anyone ever taken your name so seriously as to actually expect you to behave, er, sexually onstage?

When we were in Australia last time someone thought it would be a good idea to cater to our name by having Japanese bondage onstage. They got this couple that were a little over their prime—but they were still pretty hot—and had this girl come out to get whipped and stripped in a swing. She was all tied up in weird positions and swung out into the crowd. I’m pretty sure it was an all-ages show, so we had all these kids get their eyes deflowered by a middle-aged woman dressed in Japanese bondage.

Wow! I’m guessing we shouldn’t expect a repeat performance of that when you play here at the Artisan. What can we expect?

We just finished a new remix for Aoki’s album, which is really, really big. It might be our favorite remix yet. We do a little bit of dubstep for the first time. Other than that, we’ll have a bunch of new tracks off our EP and this other single that’s not off Dim Mak. Then just, you know, sweat, booze, hangovers, stuff like that.

When does your new EP come out?

We just wrapped up our first two songs out of three, so it should be finished in two weeks, and Dim Mak will do a big party on the release date.

Very exciting. How long did it take you to record it?

We’re notoriously slow with production; it takes us a long time because we’re perfectionists. It’s an ongoing process. We have so many demos and so many tracks that it’s really just a process of us going through and selecting songs to finish. It’s a creative process, there’s no timeline on it. It’s a blur of music-making.

As Autoerotique, you are primarily the touring DJ, and Dave is in the studio. Will you tour together with the release of the new EP?

Probably. We’re hopefully going to do Canada and some American dates next year together.

Do you work on music on the road as well?

Yeah. We’re always hashing ideas back and forth and trying to figure out what to do next.

Is that difficult to do that while he’s in Toronto and you’re touring?

We try to do as much as we can while we’re in Toronto together and time hasn’t been that permitting to us because of our tour schedules. But we always find a way.