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Name: Tal Robinson 
Place of Residence: Oakland, CA
Favorite music released this year: HARMONY by bastiengoat, Get Up by NewJeans, CLUB BOY by YUNG PRADO  


It’s almost impossible to be interested in electronic music in the Bay Area and not feel Tal Robinson’s influence and impact. This rings true on multiple levels. Tal curates some of the best shows in the Bay featuring an impressive roster of local and global talent. Through their NO BIAS imprint, they release music from local standouts like bastiengoat, Bored Lord, Tomu DJ and Soeneido. As a producer, Tal’s versatility and range is singular and serves as a reflection of the Bay’s red-hot, boundless and collaborative spirit they’ve had a hand in cultivating. 

And on a physical IRL level, you’re almost guaranteed to have seen one of many NO BIAS flyers out in the wild in front of your favorite venues -- the street team icon-nery can not be denied.

We recently caught up with one of the Bay Area’s best and brightest to talk about early influences, journeys in music production and NO BIAS’ future projects.

Q: What are your earliest memories of music? What kind of music was played at home growing up?A: Earliest memories are probably listening to my older brother DJing records in our garage REALLY loud. He was a raver and DJ... always DJing at the house..... super into house and drum and bass. 

Besides that there was the music my parents listened to. My mom liked contemporary stuff like D'Angelo, Maxwell, Common, Mos Def... my dad strictly listened to KCSM Jazz radio lol. I hated jazz when I was a kid. 

My older sisters were listening to N'SYNC, Spice Girls, TLC, Mya, Brandy.  There was also that Electronic Pop music coming out of the UK like Craig David, Basement Jaxx, and Daniel Bedingfield

I guess I was taking in a lot of music. 

Q: How did you get started as a producer? Especially curious about your transition from a more lo-fi hip hop sound to electronic music?

A: My brother got me a Zoom Sampletrak ST224 when I was like 12 or something. I remember sampling the rocket power theme song out of the TV. I couldn’t really figure out how to make full songs on it. I was just making weird loops.  

Later he got me a pirated copy of reason and showed me how to sample and make rap beats. I think I started to produce music seriously when I was like 18. I also started DJing around that time. I was making disco house and dubstep. lol. 

At some point I got kinda annoyed with EDM, and around that time a friend showed me Dibia$e, Madlib, J Dilla, Samiyam, and SP-Forums. I got really into beats and making weird aliases and posting them online. That's when I came up with RITCHRD. It just seemed like some random generic name. I was totally in that world for years. 

Then around 2018 I started going to raves again and I got interested in DJing and releasing dance music.

Q: How do you balance staying true to a particular genre while working in new techniques, sounds, etc?For me, staying true to a genre means understanding its history and the cultural context that it came from. I think reading and watching videos about dance music helps me do that. 

So I’m doing random ass shit when I’m making music and trying new things, but it's all guided by my (limited) understanding of its roots. I’ll never know everything, but I’m trying my best to contextualize everything. idk.

Q: How would you describe the similarities and differences between the first NO BIAS show and the latest NO BIAS shows? A: The first No Bias show was a collaborative renegade with A Luv Dream. I just wanted to throw a party and book people I thought were doing cool stuff. 

A goal has always been to present the event in a professional way, but still have that underground energy. I think that intention is similar between the first and last party. The flyers are the same too (shout out to shireen <3). 

I think the biggest difference is that I’m not throwing renegades anymore. Its just too much work for one person.

Q: Is there a particular NO BIAS release or show that stands out to you?A: A release that stands out is CM-4’s. That was the first one with Shireen’s template for the art. I feel like that started a new phase for the label.

A show that stands out is the HOUSE MUSIC (lol what silly a name) party we did in February. I was kinda worried people might not pull up. I was thinking people only wanna hear rave bangers. But the turnout was great. 

A lot of people said that the show made them appreciate house music more.

Q: Any upcoming projects or new challenges you're looking forward to taking on? A: I’m looking forward to releasing a label compilation in January. I also hope to do a label party in NYC but I have no idea if or when that will happen. I wanna make more clothes too.