Get ready for some spacey, sci-fi house that keeps you going all night and doesn’t alienate the purists among us. With a succession of international hits, back-to-back residencies at Europe’s finest clubs and working on five turntables ‘octopus style’, how does Deetron manage to remain so unassuming? Perhaps it’s because he understands his tools as well as he understand you. At least, that’s how he makes you feel.
The Swiss-born DJ with a 20-year career on the international house scene turned to DJing at a young age. With an affinity for the Chicago house and Detroit techno styles, he went from residency to residency and quickly graduated from dabbling in production to releasing solid hits, all while gradually growing his international following. Despite this, his sound is still inescapably Euro. Maybe it’s how he chooses and moves his elastic melodies, or maybe it’s his high-tech, five-deck set-up with two decks for CDs and three for vinyl – just in case you were curious.
Then there’s his latest release in the acclaimed Balance Series of compilation mixes. Balance 020 features Deetron’s signature super-smooth, technically-deft skills mixing a diverse canon of classics, rare cuts, obscure gems and works from big-names like Thom Yorke and System 7. Citing !K7’s X-Mix series as inspiration, Deetron rolls this two-CD release into a highly-musical, melodic and unified composition which may be just what to expect in his upcoming set at Insenses.
As well as collecting passport stamps as often as most clubbers collect wrist stamps, he consistently serves up solid, floor-filling remixes despite the jetlaggery of international touring. Dubai, Leeds, Miami, Geneva − and that’s just the last few weeks. If you feel like dancing all night, be sure to let Deetron carve a space for you to groove in.
Deetron spins a set at Insenses on Monday April 30. Click here for more information.
... and here's our exclusive Q&A with Deetron
Do you see yourself as a technician, an entertainer, an artist or something else entirely?
I’d say a musician really as I consider DJing to be an art form or musical skill – but, of course, there is the entertainment element as well, which is very important obviously.
Where do you see house music pushing in years to come?
I believe the key is that the various genres in electronic music will merge continuously and people will no longer restrain themselves to a certain style only. You can see it happening now more than ever. There’s a lot of exciting house and techno out there right now.
Why are you so much into the technical side of DJing, such as using up to five turntables?
The set-up allows me to be much more creative, musical and faster when I’m playing live. Obviously there are never five tracks playing at the same time – but almost constantly two or three tracks.
What kind of hard choices do you make between a crowd-pleasing move that you know is going to work and trying something more experimental?
I believe it’s important to keep the balance and I think you can please a crowd with a track, which would normally not really be seen as functional. It’s just the way you mix it or play it and that’s what makes a good DJ, I think.
You recently played again in your hometown of Bern. How was that? How often do you get back?
It was really great to see so many people dance to our music in my relatively small hometown of Bern and the setting was quite cosmopolitan with Seth Troxler, Magda and Tiefschwarz behind the decks, and Robert Owens, who happened to be in town as well, dancing on stage.
So, what brings you to Hong Kong, aside from a paycheque and a plane ticket?
I’m very interested in discovering new places and finding out how people react to the music, plus I’m obsessed with Asian food. We do food trips to Southeast Asia at least once a year but we’ve never made it to Hong Kong so far. But I’ve heard only great things!
If you could design your own club from the ground up what would it be like?
A very sparse building, square and made of concrete with oak floors and a huge rooftop terrace.
If you had to make one thing illegal what would it be?
Making requests when a DJ is at work. Ha!
Interview: Cris Stringfellow