DMCWORLD gets the world exclusive with the techno giant from Hamburg as he rolls up his sleeves for another twelve months of leaving our dancefloors absolutely spellbound…
Hello Oliver, Happy New Year and welcome back to DMC World. Where are you in the world today?
Happy New Year! Actually, I’m sitting on my couch in Hamburg “enjoying” the typical grey northern German weather. Great to be at home for a couple of days.
How was your 2018 and what were your main highlights?
2018 has been packed with highlights and a bunch of new challenges. Senso Sounds is growing, we had outstanding releases from new young artists like Distale and Maksim Dark plus a lot of new stuff from our regulars like my studio mate André Winter, Hatzler and Carlo Ruetz.
My artist agency Kontrast Artists is doing pretty well too with adding Maksim Dark and two LIVE artists, Christian Burhkardt & GHEIST to the roster. Kontrast Artists also joined forces with Carl Cox’ Analog.A agency and extended its network a lot.
I played many outstanding shows around the world, very hard to pick a favourite here. Our Senso Sounds Showcase at Kafes in Istanbul left an impact on me as we had almost everyone from the crew with us to run this 24hr rave! Even with extreme sound restrictions by the police, the vibe from the crowd was just incredible.
How did you spend New Year’s Eve and have you made any New Year’s resolutions?
More beats, less sweets! I had a pretty tight schedule at New Year’s Eve. I came back at noon from a 20-hour visit in Vietnam, where I played for the very first time. Stoked by the impressions from the Epizode Festival! I had a very nice family dinner with my parents, wife and my youngest son. After dinner I took the last train to Berlin with arrival at 23:55, was sitting in a taxi at midnight and playing at a crowded Watergate later that night till 9am. Then straight back into the train to Hamburg, sleeping in my own bed for a few hours to end NYE with a set at PAL Club. All three gigs were outstanding but it was quite a tour!
You’re currently amidst releasing a stellar remix package of your acclaimed late 2017 LP, Propaganda, via your very own Senso Sounds. It would be great if you can please tell us a bit about the release and how you selected who remixed which track?
It’s always interesting, at least for me as an artist, to see what other musicians can create or re-create out of my tracks. I’m more than happy with the result of the remix album. The selection process was not easy. Of course I’ve had a wishlist of who I’d love to put hands on my tracks. I was switching back and forth who could remix which tracks. As I’m very picky about what happens to my tracks, let’s say it took a few minutes more…
Basically I wanted to achieve to have a few new artists that have never been into the Senso territory like Fur Coat and Marc Houle on board along with the strong Senso Sounds crew with the likes of SHADED, Maksim Dark, Alex Stein and many more. As I said above, I’m super happy about the overall outcome.
Over the years you’ve been the label boss of several established imprints; Confused Recordings, Ideal Audio and now Senso Sounds. Why do you feel it’s important to have your own label?
For me, owning a label is important to support the DJ community. I’ve been in the business for more than 25 years and I’ve had a lot of releases on various labels. I guess I could just “be lazy” and release tracks or albums on one of those great labels which already exist. So why bother with the work and all the A&R stuff to have your own label? For me to give something back to the young ones. Senso Sounds has a very unique sound structure and we’re very much all about the sound. For example Maksim Dark, a young producer from Russia with a lot of enthusiasm and great productions. I received his demos and instantly thought “I want this guy on my label!” – to give him a platform for his music and to just push his career a little bit more. Those are things you can just achieve with your own label.
You’ve had an amazing career to date lasting over 25 years and have toured the world many times over. What would you say is the key to having a long-lasting DJ career and how do you manage to stay fresh, energised and healthy while completing a hectic tour schedule?
I wish there’s a main key to stay fresh and energized! Touring, as nice as it is, is of course also very exhausting. For me the most energy is to be open minded to new cultures. To be on the road is usually kind of hectic but having an hour or two within a city, enjoying a dinner with the locals, really brings in some focus and slows down the crazy travels. Balanced nutrition is also a key factor, as I’m not getting younger. I try to eat more healthy and skip the traditional ‘after-gig drunk fast-food stop’. Having Suratt or Pascal, my tour Managers, around is also a big relief – they make sure that everything works out fine in the background and I can focus on my performance.
A little fun fact as 2018 is just over. My travel app just told me that I spent more time in the air than a flight attendant! Maybe I should apply and serve some drinks, while flying to my next gig.
You have gigs coming up in United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Germany and Australia. What events are you most looking forward to and why?
It’s very hard to say! Lebanon is always one for the books, with an extra plus on the food and some of the best clubs in the world! Dubai is also developing a pretty good scene right now. Germany feels like home, although the crowds are so different in every city. Down Under is an annual highlight. I’m touring Australia for more than 10 years in a row and by now the bar was always set one level higher after each tour. This time will be a bit different as I’m taking a few days off before and after the shows to show my oldest son my favorite spots in Sydney and Melbourne.
What are your 5 tour essentials?
Headphones, DJ SD Cards
2 valid Passports
iPad Mini for the Netflix addiction
2-3 pairs of Sneakers
Please list your current DJ top 5…
Don’t Know – Carlo Ruetz
Maelstrom – Alex Stein
Eake – Olivier Giacomotto
Momentum (André Winter Remix) – Oliver Huntemann
Attack Disco – Maksim Dark
What else is in store for 2019?
I’m back in the studio, working on some new tracks and a collaboration with André Winter. Furthermore I’ve signed new stuff from Hidden Empire and a collab between Joran van Pol & Maksim Dark. Also, Carlo Ruetz will be back with a huge release. We’re also working on some unique showcases again and have a bunch of festival shows already confirmed. It will be a busy year again.