Last year, Austrian electro outfit HVOB went viral thanks to the Beatport charts, where they made it on number 4 with their Dogs EP. This was swiftly followed by coverage on a number of respected music blogs and, of course, a stunning live set at last year’s Electronic Beats Festival in Vienna. Now the time has come for their first proper album release, which is released tomorrow through Oliver Koletzki‘s easy-tech imprint Stil Vor Talent. We spoke with vocalist Anna Müller for a quick catch-up. Click the pre-stream at the bottom of the page to listen to their mix of sleek beats and sultry voice. We also have three copies of the new album on CD to give away; email us at email@example.com with the subject “HVOB” and your name and address in the details. The first three respondents win. Finally don’t forget to check the new Slices DVD for a very special HVOB feature – available March 20.
How did you get signed on Oliver Koletzki’s Stil Vor Talent imprint?
We met Oliver last year at Pratersauna, a club in Vienna. He listened to the snippets on Soundcloud and signed us. It all happened so quickly, because Oliver shares our philosophy as to how a label and a band should collaborate: Oliver supports us wherever he can, but leaves the creative process entirely up to us. He trusts us, and we trust him.
You debut album is out tomorrow, what are your expectations?
Nothing. I have absolutely no expectations, but I wish that people will listen to it. We’re incredibly grateful for our first year, but all we’ve done is made a good start.
How’s the Vienna music scnene, and do you feel a part of it?
The electronic music scene in Vienna is defenitely competitive with the other main cities in Europe, and has a lot of different aspects to show. Just to name a few internationally very successful artists—like Dorian Concept, Elektro Guzzi, Wolfram—or the local club culture, which got two clubs voted in the top 10 by De:Bug’s readers poll 2012. We are very familiar with the Pratersauna crew and are glad to be part of it. We are working together with their VJs lichterloh.tv—videos and visuals are always produced by them. It’s hugely important to us that these things are always produced by the same people, because for HVOB, the music and visuals are inextricably linked.~
Sorry, the streaming ended. Head here to buy the gold: https://itunes.apple.com/de/album/hvob/id596762706
HVOB‘s self-titled debut album is out tomorrow in Germany, UK release in April via Stil vor Talent
Hudson Mohawke‘s career can be traced back to his teenage days in Glasgow when he was known as DJ Itchy—the name he went under when he became the youngest ever UK DMC finalist.
Having attended the Red Bull Music Academy‘s scholarship program, the now 26-year-old Scottish producer went on to build a diverse discography, putting out a number of EPs as well as his well-received debut album Butter on Sheffield’s Warp Records. However, he’s remained closely connected to the underground via Glasgow’s LuckyMe collective. Most recently, HudMo has seen his profile sky rocket, collaborating with producer Lunice as TNGHT, getting Twitter shout outs from Stateside producer Jus Blaze and working with Kanye West. Before his live set at Electronic Beats Festival Vienna 2012, we sat down with HudMo to discuss his latest projects, his connections to the world of high gloss pop and the simple joy of musical discovery, from Discogs to Soulseek.
I read that when you recently recorded with Lunice you finished the TNGHT EP in four days! That’s impressive.
That record was done with the idea of making something simple and direct. What we’ve both done in the past is, to some extent, very rough electronic music. The intention was not to focus too much, we pretty much did it for fun.
When making music under Hudson Mohawke, are you working in the studio alone? Your final output is pretty much club music but I imagine that it feels different when you’re working on the track beforehand. Are friends hanging out at your place when you’re at work?
Sometimes there are some people stopping by. But I kind of like to work alone. It can be a bit distracting with too many people around. I like the collaborative feel, but even more so when I feel I’m in my own zone.
What about when you work with other people? The Kanye West collaboration for instance…
Well that’s a whole different thing again. I don’t talk about that too much because they don’t like their creative process to be discussed, but they’re not so different from other people. On that level there’s nothing that couldn’t also been done with a laptop—but that’s the beauty of it. You can keep things very simple.
How’s your new album on Warp getting on?
I’ve been working on that for the last year or so but I don’t want to rush these things. The TNGHT project was intended to be a quick one-off release, an opportunity to throw out a fun record and maybe do some shows, then just leave it. But this project has taken off a bit since, so we’re focusing on it a little bit more than we originally thought.
Have you been playing live shows together? Since you and Lunice don’t live too close to each other, I guess rehearsals are difficult…
He’s based in Montreal, but he’s in London probably twice a month, so we see each other a lot. The TNGHT shows have been amazing so far. I mean, I really enjoy my own shows because I can show a full spectrum of what I do and the different directions I’ve got. With the stuff we’ve worked on together, it’s much more club-oriented. It’s just so much fun to play real hard music to 5,000 people—it’s very refreshing!
Are you still connected with Red Bull Music Academy? You attended their scholarship program a couple of years back.
I went to their Toronto workshop in 2007. I had to fill out this outrageous 40-page application, but that was a kind of life-changing opportunity. And if making music is your dream, then I’d say go for it!
As someone with strong connections to the underground, did you hestitate before agreeing on a branded commitment?
It’s easy to get a bad impression of a brand, but when you take a look under the surface you realize that although it might be funded by a corporation, the people behind it on the creative level are generally people that know their stuff. You don’t work with a marketing executive. The people involved on the creative side are creatives themselves.
On keeping things fresh: you’ve produced a number of pop and hip hop bootleg edits over in recent years. How do you pick the material you’re touching?
It needs to be an original song I really like. It’s also important that nobody else has really tackled or reworked the tracks. The Pleasure EP was similar to the Ooops! vinyl—we obviously couldn’t clear them, so they had to be kept under the radar. The Pleasure EP was very limited.
It sold out instantly! Are you still buying records? How much does the Pleasure EP sell for on Discogs?
I can’t tell, I think the Ooops! vinyl goes for 60 or 70 euro. Yeah, I use Discogs, most of the stuff I buy there are old breakbeat, rave, hardcore and jungle records. Stuff that I used to have on mixtapes but never owned an actual copy of, stuff that was hard to track down.
It’s like a kind of well-stocked convenience store nowadays, a place where you get what you need even if sometimes ridiculously overpriced.
I didn’t used to buy that many when I was DJing more often. However, I want to get my hands on as many records I can before people start rediscovering vinyl. At the moment you can still buy for decent prices, but that might change. I’m starting my collection all over again.
Do you have a ‘real-life’ record store where you stop by now and then?
Not so much. Rubadub in Glasgow is very good, but I tend to just look for second-hand stuff from a charity shop. I don’t buy a lot new.
What about streaming services such as Spotify or Deezer?
I think Spotify is excellent! I mean, they don’t offer everything, but often enough I’m surprised by how much obscure stuff you can find there.
The only problem with streaming platforms is that they lack black metal music, for instance, or congeneric styles. The only places where you can put your hands on these is old-fashioned record stores, mail order or, going back a bit, within the Soulseek network.
I used Soulseek years ago! Is it still going? I found out about so much music only through Soulseek! Also the community that built up around the service was amazing! It was very encouraging to discover new music based on the people’s libraries, or though their direct recommendations.
The weird and great thing about Soulseek was its anonymity in comparison to today’s social networks—although you knew about the other person’s library, you didn’t know who he was. It’s quite different to today, where you couldn’t care less what your Facebook friend is listening to right now.
You’d know the people through chats or the radio stream though. But you needed the urge to discover new things. You’ve searched for artist x, found it, but discovered a to z, too! Amazing! ~
Catch up with Hudson Mohawke:
26.10. SA Johannesburg – TBA / 27.10. SA Cape Town – TBA / 31.10. FR Paris – Social Club / 02.11. DE Berlin – Gretchen / 03.11. DE Munich – Rote Sonne / 15.11. UK London – Oval Space (as TNGHT)
The author on Twitter: Follow @wwwacht
Almost exactly one week ago you might have read a review about one hell of a night at the Arena in Vienna. However, the Electronic Beats Festival 2012 didn’t only bring HVOB, I Heart Sharks, James Blake, Squarepusher and Hudson Mohawke to Wien, no, our beloved Wolfram was also present to make sure the transition from sentimental Blake to dazzling Tom Jenkins went as smoothly as possible. Now, as the alcohol fumes still fill the air, hear what he has to say about this exciting night. Imagine the following in his gravelly voice—he’s still being “a bissale” hung over.
For more than four years now, I’ve been kind of an Electronic Beats resident. Whenever there is a good party in Austria, they ask me to play a few tracks and it’s all pretty cool. The whole crew is so nice and I guess it would be fair to say that I’m a happy member of the Electronic Beats family.
So of course I was present when the Electronic Beats Festival 2012 touched down in Vienna. The first people entering the Arena heard the tracks I was DJing and I was among the last to leave the big hall after Hudson Mohawke rocked the shit out of the crowd. It was a great night, and I really liked Anna and HVOB’s opening set, and I Heart Sharks got the people in a good mood—it really got ’em going. I have to admit though, I thought about playing “The Limit to your Love” by Feist after James Blake’s set, but I decided against it.
Squarepusher was great. It’s the work of art as a whole that makes it a unique experience. Like Amon Tobin earlier this year, the visuals and the music just fit perfectly. The funny thing is, I saw Squarepusher a few years ago in L.A. I was in the queue waiting to get in when I noticed John Frusciante and Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers standing right in front of me. Later in the club there were only about 50 or 60 people and those two dudes were the only ones dancing, albeit in a pretty weird way.
What followed was my personal highlight: Hudson Mohawke. Right before he started I played “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins and many people believed it was already Hudmo, but it was actually me. This dude is crazy, he tore everything apart, totally brought the place down, even though it sounded more like a DJ set than a live set it was still great! I can’t wait for the next EB family get together, bring it on! ~
Photos: David Bogner
When Electronic Beats Festival touched down at Vienna’s Arena last night, it was to a sense of tremulous anticipation. It had been sold out for a while; James Blake, HudMo and Squarepusher nestling up to each other on the same bill doesn’t happen every weekend, after all. But, I have a confession: remember last week when I told you about Her Voice Over Boys, the new project by Anna Müller, and how I missed parts of the show due to the ungodly hour at which it started? It happened again. Even though I entered the Arena only fashionably late, HVOB had already taken the stage. Still, what I saw of their gossamer, melodic set was enough to promise a heady future for the young band—a year from now they may well be selling out venues like this on their own and playing at primetime. I’ll bet my hazy timekeeping on it.
The same can be said for I Heart Sharks, a band from Berlin, who were up next. Except, who says the have to wait a year? By the time three youngsters got to their last song of an effervescent indie-pop set, the venue was nearly packed to capacity.
Mind, this could have been due to the impending arrival of James Blake. The last time this post-dubstep (sorry) wunderkind had visited Austria, only a few people had the chance to see his marvelous show at the Minoriten Kirche in Krems. Although the Arena hall stands at more than twice the size, it still proved too small for Blake’s cavernously doleful songs. There were even tasters of new tracks, driving the crowd into a veritable frenzy.
Hot on Blake’s heels, Tom Jenkinson aka Squarepusher hit the stage shortly after midnight. In an interview conducted by Max Dax for the Summer Issue of Electronic Beats Magazine, Jenkinson mentioned that he “was always intrigued by tuning the radio, as well as switching it on and off.” He clearly hasn’t lost his penchant for fingering the on/off switch, as it’s still the basic element of both his breaks-heavy music as well as his stunning light show. Though the hours ticked on, the atmosphere became alive with energy.
Even though some brave people had already started busting irregular moves during the Squarepusher set, the arrival of Hudson Mohawke ensured that nobody was immobile. His recent entrance into the big, big league, felicitated by producing some of the better cuts off of Kanye’s Cruel Summer album, furnished his set with some blue-chip swagger. Suffice to say, he damn near brought down Arena hall around us and caused some effusive tweeting over at our feed. In the end, I don’t know if it was the stream of incredible music played at tinnitus-baiting volumes, the overwhelming energy of the constantly hyped mob around me, or the booze and flashing lights that got me but everything just started to get a bit, well, fuzzy. As I attempt to recover my bearings, allow me to thank an awesome group of organizers and crew, a wonderful crowd, and of course a group of unbelievably gifted artists for giving me a night (and a hangover) to remember.
Working at Electronic Beats undoubtedly has some benefits. One of these is that the editorial staff doesn’t need to take care of tickets for our festivals (although we get these in return for work, of course)—which is a good thing, because our upcoming Vienna festival has been sold out for weeks.
Unfortunately we can’t offer free guest list to everyone. However, while scanning the Facebook event page it quickly became obvious to us that there’s still a high demand for tickets for our extravaganza with I Heart Sharks, James Blake, Hudson Mohawke, Squarepusher, HVOB, and Wolfram at Arena Vienna on October 12th.
Without further ado we’d like to offer you the chance to win a pair of tickets for Electronic Beats Festival Vienna 2012. We’ll also throw in some free drinks for you and your friend.
Simply fill in the form below, winners will be picked and notified later today at midnight—cross your fingers!
UPDATE, October 11th, 12:00am: Competition is closed, winners will be notified via email.