Across two decades, Tadd Mullinix has amassed himself a veritable arsenal of aliases, exploring nearly as many styles and sounds. Take a snapshot of the Ann Arbor producer's career at any moment and see just how versatile and consistent an artist he is. Whether it's the willfully weird EBM he makes as Charles Manier, the acid-inclined house and techno of JTC, or the freeform electronics released under his given name, Mullinix carves a distinctive niche with his music. But inspiration comes in waves. Having spent most of the 2010s experimenting with various projects for his Bopside label, Mullinix recently began shifting his interests.
Mullinix's urge to do something different brought him to an impasse creatively, but it didn't take long for him to find his way. Planning for a trip with his family to Yerevan, Armenia, where he would teach creative technologies to kids in an after-school program, Mullinix started to wriggle out of his rut. "I had to learn Ableton Live because I thought it was the best program to teach the kids, so I went back to basics," he explains. "I started thinking about how I'm going to teach them to make beats. All of that got me back on track, and the momentum came back." The creative surge resurrected Mullinix's acclaimed hip-hop project, Dabrye, and, as might be expected from such a multifaceted producer, it also gave life to the latest alias in his arsenal: X-Altera.