Bio

  • Oldham has been called "Detroit Techno's Renaissance Man" (Musik, UK).

    A lifelong cartoonist and graphic designer, a young Oldham published his own comic book "Johnny Gambit" in 1987 to local notoriety. Hired that same year by his childhood friend Derrick May to illustrate several memorable pieces for the new Transmat label, this led to Oldham's first involvement in the fledgling techno scene.

    Besides his art and writing, 1987 also saw Oldham's radio debut on Detroit's WDET-FM with the long-running 'Fast Forward' program. Originally meant to be a free-form rock, jazz and fusion show, Oldham's passion for both local and international electronic music gradually took centerstage until it finally became the only radio program in Detroit to feature techno and house music exclusively. The early cassette, reel-to reel and four-track material of such (now) well-known international artists as Underground Resistance, Carl Craig, Kenny Larkin, Octave One, Anthony Shakir, and Richie Hawtin made its on-air debut here, as well as being the first and only show to break international acts like Moby, Joey Beltram, 808 State, LFO, Front 242, Nitzer Ebb, and others in Detroit. In 1988, Oldham graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in Radio-TV-Film.

    In 1990, having finally produced his own EP at a friend's studio, Oldham sold the project to a small Dutch label whose fax number he found in the record bins of Recordtime. His pseudonym for the four-track project was Signal to Noise Ratio released by the small Dutch label, DJAX Records. After the release of the EP, label boss Saskia "Miss DJAX" Slegers hired Oldham to create the graphic identity of DJAX-UP-BEATS. Ten years on, DJAX dominates the Dutch techno scene and Oldham's trademark visual style still defines the label.

    In 1992, Jeff Mills left Underground Resistance to become a solo act. "Mad" Mike Banks, needing an immediate replacement DJ for a month-long Austrailian live tour, tapped Oldham for the job. Without rehearsals, Oldham took the leap of faith that changed his life. Jump start into infamy. Leaving his increasingly-thankless WDET airshift behind forever and adopting the onstage personal of DJ T-1000 (taken from the shape-shifting liquid metal cyborg in "T2"), Oldham began rocking decks for UR and never looked back, setting the stage for subsequent UR "assault DJs"Rolando and James Pennington.

    Upon returning from UR's triumphant Austrailian tour, Banks again tapped Oldham's many talents, this time asking him to create a label to be distributed by a new company that Banks was organizing, a distributorship that would within a few years come to dominate the Detroit landscape: Submerge. Oldham agreed and his second and most successful attempt at a label, (the first was the disasterous Technika records 1989) would be called Generator.

    It was also during this time that Oldham once again became prolific, artwise. A fully-painted "Danger Girl" comic strip in Muzik UK and the album cover for Astralwerks "Beyond The Third Wave" (ASW6170) compilation marked 1995, as well as his debut retrospective at Detroit's Cement Space Gallery and a new "Miss DJAX" comic. With his solo career in full swing, however, it was time for his music to follow suit. Oldham established the Pure Sonik label in 1996 with the double-barreled, double-vinyl statement of intent "Pure Sonik Manifesto" (PURE1). This move garnered his first cover story in Magic Feet (UK), and a music video that aired on MTV UK's "Party Zone".

    Three years later, the label continues to feature Oldham's production talents as DJ T-1000, the best moments of which can be found on the CD/2x12", "A Pure Sonik Evening" (PURE10) . In 1998, Oldham began an alliance with legendary German techno label, Tresor when their label manager vacationing in Detroit, was blown away be his demo tracks. Signing him on the spot, the first product of that transatlantic union was "Jetset Lovelife EP" (Tresor87) and his debut performance at the Tresor club in Berlin.

    In between a solid year's worth of DJ dates both in the US and abroad, the release of his first-ever mix CD "Live Sabotage" (BML/X-Sight 6386), and many personal changes at home, Oldham delivered his debut album "Progress" (Tresor128). It was released in Europe in October 1999 and a world tour quickly launched, capped by an epic, four-and-a-half hour set at the Tresor Club, broadcast live over the internet. "Progress" was bracketed by the dual release of "Codes And Structures Vol 1" (PURE11) and "Vol 2" (PURE12) on his own Pure Sonik label. As the new millenium began, Oldham produced a second mix CD "The Last DJ On Earth" (PURE14) , launched 2 websites (both for label and his art), participated in DEMF 2003, released of another album "Neutra" (PURE17CD), and a return to artwork.

    After over a decade in the music business, DJ T-1000's job of World Sonik Domination is never done. Oldham in 2006 started his first-ever, low-tempo/experimental, CD-only label, "xfive." and presented its first release, "The Art of Transformation" (X5001CD) inspired by his art gallery openings in France, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Germany. Another "Art of Transformation" CD released in January 2008. In 2009, Oldham released an all new Johnny Gambit comic with accompanying original soundtrack with 2nd installment and soundtrack finished in March 2013, awaiting release.

    2012 saw the rise of the moniker, Detroitrocketscience (first appeared on xfive), and debut of label of same name with the release of a series of 10" records in 2012/2013.

Media / Press Photos