London-based producers DJ Haus and Benz are back with another cracking collaboration, fusing elements of garage, techno and house with a smattering of glitzy RnB sampling. This formula for creating ‘club bangers’ has brought both Haus and Benz individual success, with DJ Haus‘ own label Unknown To The Unknown making real strides in the last year since its birth as a youtube channel, as well as Benz creating his own side-project Broken Youth (releasing the impressive track ‘Dreamer’).
We recently took five with the Hot City guys, chatting about the evolution of their sound, their influences and their view of the state of online music. To them, the future is looking somewhat hellishly bleak…
How do each of your solo projects differ from your collaborative sound? Has the result been intentional or did your joint ideas develop organically?
Benz: The whole thing for me has been very organic . The original Hot City sound came from two friends that had different musical tastes but a common ground somewhere in the middle. My solo projects lean more towards the club banger side of things and I think DJ Haus has a more abstract side.
Who or what music has had the biggest impact on your own material? To what extent is the music you make a reflection of your influences?
Benz: For me it was People like Dillens & Dickens from the Higher State label. Tracks like ‘Chemical Generation’, ‘Soaking Wet’ etc. Early 90’s tough garage. Also early Strictly Rhythm stuff. The kind of stuff you would hear at DTPM and Trade as well as big garage raves. My music reflects this a lot.
Haus: To begin with it was all about making music I would want to listen to on the way to work… 4/4 that was a bit friendlier, rather than just dance music. But now we are all about making club bangers, nothing more nothing less.
You’re not typical Moshi Moshi material. How did you initially get involved with the label?
Yes it’s a strange fit but we are just really happy such a cool label is digging our music!
What else is in store for you guys personally, as a duo, and for the UTTU label this year?
Benz: I’m currently writing and producing for Lethal Bizzle under the alias Bad Form as well as remixing artists like Drumsound & Bassline Smith. I’m also releasing stuff as Broken Youth on Newstate.
Haus: Just focusing on the new Hot City EPs really – with Ben’s new studio we are really gettng our hype on. Last time we didn’t leave the studio for 2 days straight, and made EP 2 which I think is the best Hot City material to date (if I say so myself! haha). It features Jon-E, a hardass rapper from Tokyo. You can check him out here
UTTU was born out of a YouTube channel – does this place an obligation on you to continue to release as wide a variation of music as the YouTube channel was uploading?
Haus: Well the YouTube channel was just really an outlet for random stuff – and I guess UTTU falls into that brief. Again, it has naturally fallen in to place so it will progress as long as artists/DJs want to put out their music, be that via YouTube, on vinyl, DVD, mix CD or MP3 – whatever way I can get it out I get it out!! (ooh eer)
Owing to the substantial access people have to new music via youtube, can you see a trend emerging in this type of format for a record label? Do you see this as a positive thing, or do you feel the infinite amount of music we are exposed to can be little too overwhelming?
Haus:It’s definitely overwhelming. I mean it’s easier to produce professional music now at home and release it, but I think the key is getting noticed which has ALWAYS been the difficult thing. With so much professional sounding music and videos out there being produced at home, music as music has changed its form. It has come back to having a great idea and luck, which I guess is what’s been opened up with technology. More people with interesting ideas have the chance to make music and get it out there. Eventually I can see all music being aggregated across YouTube/ Soundcloud etc and you’ll just be able to stream it as what would be the point in owning an mp3. DJs will be able to stream their sets from clouds etc and we’ll all be living in one virtual streaming viral cosmos, where nobody will own or have the rights to anything except the illuminati who will be filtering our brains with porn, celebrities, and we’ll be reduced to sitting infront of a computer all day staring into an abyss of hell.
Interview: Lauren Bush
‘Something Bout’ is out on June 10th on Moshi Moshi.