We’re delighted to have André Hommen over from Dennis Ferrer’s Objektivity stable this week. Having spent some time running the label, André has had a storming last couple years going all out as an artist and had a huge year in 2015 with the success of his Battery Park EP.
With many remixes and releases you may have come across, we decided it was time to get the good man on board for a WWD podcast. He duly obliged and stopped by for a chat while he was at it.
Check out what André had to say while enjoying an hour of him in the mix below. Tuck in!
WWD : Where are you in the world right now and what are you up to?
André : I am currently on a plane to Zurich as I am playing in Arosa, which is a very small city in the mountains of Switzerland. They are having a festival called ‘Arosa Electronica’ this week where I will play with Karotte, Animal Trainer and many more.
What’s the last album you listened to in its entirety?
Actually I am just listening to an older James Blake album called ‘Overgrown’. I totally forgot about that album but a few weeks ago, I was touring in Greece and my good friend CJ Jeff was driving me from Athens to Patras and he had that album in his car, so I basically picked it up again. Amazing album!
If you were dying of a hangover, whats your go to cure?
To be honest, I am really lucky when it comes to hangover. I never do any shots (yes – never) so I am usually drinking Gin & Tonic (Hendricks) or beer. As a German, you never get any hangover from beer and in regards to Gin & Tonic – I had so many of those already (when touring with Dennis Ferrer), that it is actually not harming me anymore haha.
I’m sure you’re looking forward to all your gigs, but whats the one city you’re looking forward to travelling to most and why?
I have been traveling all over the world, from North to South America, Africa, Asia and all over Europe BUT… Australia is the missing piece oft he puzzle so far. Therefore I am really looking forward to go to Australia one day. That’s the one thing missing (and of course I want to go to New Zealand as well) but I think it does look good for later in the year, so fingers crossed.
Favourite place you’ve ever played and why?
There are many places but in regards to 2015 I think it was my gig in Bogota, Colombia end of September. That was really amazing… the city, the country, the people and especially the gig. I ended up playing four hours instead of two and it was definitely a night to remember. I had a similar one in Singapore just two months later, that was also one for the books.
What are 2 tracks that are killing it for you right now?
Impossible to say to be honest but I really like the sound of Denis Horvat (especially his upcoming stuff which is unbelievable) and also Eagles & Butterflies. Both are definitely to watch in 2016 and I am sure that all their stuff will be massively supported this year.
“Battery Park” was killing it for everybody last year. Were you a bit surprised by the reaction? It was huge!
When you are sitting in the studio, you obviously wish and hope that someone will like the track you are working on but I never expected such a big support on ‚Battery Park’. I always test the tracks in the club (secretly) and the first reactions for Battery Park were ok, nothing special. I did one more change on the track and I remember I played it in Milan and the whole club exploded, so I was like: Ok this might be something. Then one week later we had an Objektivity night in Paris and Dennis played the track and again, the whole club exploded. It is almost the best feeling you can get as a producer.
How did you get the backing from Dennis Ferrer and what impact does the support from a legend like that have?
I started to work for Objektivity around eight years ago as Dennis and I were in contact via email by then.I started to work in the background, some social media stuff and taking care of the servers / website etc. From time to time I got more involved in the day-to-day business, checking demos, set up releases etc.
After some time, he decided to add me to some Objektivity parties as opener (for example ADE) and it did quite well (I think). A few years later he asked me if I would like to go on tour with him, as some kind of tour manager / warm up DJ, so everywhere he went, I went (and also played). While in 2013, I became the label manager. This has been a huge influence in my career and I am incredibly thankful for his support throughout the years.
Have you any releases like Battery Park lined up for Objektivity again this year?
There won’t be Battery Park Part 2 but I have some exciting tracks ready, which will come out during the year. My next release is a remix for Dennis’ legendary track ‘Son Of Raw’. It has it’s 10th anniversary this year and we’ve decided to do a very special remix package to celebrate. Apart from that, my next EP is ready as well and will drop in May.
You have been involved with running the Objektivity label together with Dennis (Ferrer) for a few years now. I can imagine your taste and his sometimes clash, as far as which track “fits” Objektivity and which doesn’t. How do you go about it?
It’s hard to say actually. We are receiving hundreds of demos per week and you know immediately if this is something for the label or not. We don’t have the specific Objektivity sound. We are just releasing what we like. For example the Hyenah release with Andre Lodemann Remix is totally different to the EP from Nasser Baker which just came out. And all that is also totally different to Battery Park (for example). So there is absolutely no formula. We are just trying to stick to our motto and release ‘forward thinking music for forward thinking people’.
As Objektivity’s A&R you must receive tons of demos, I can imagine, not all of them are “the bomb” – how important the “first impression” is, when listening to a demo? and what is your advise to the aspiring artists, when sending demos to a label?
90% of the demos are definitely not bombs, most of them are sounding like an unfinished track (which is not meant in a negative way). I know it is really hard for any ‘unknown’ producer to sign a track to a bigger label. It’s almost not fair as I am sure that there are many incredible producers out there. So basically, first impressions are more than important. They are CRUCIAL – not just the track itself, but how you compose that email to the label. For instance – PLEASE do not send mass e-mails (and especially don’t send mass mails with 150 other labels in CC and call it exclusive demo). Then also make sure you research the right label manager contact upfront and if you send a demo, make sure you spell the label right.
You’re a fan of doing remixes and I’ve noted the fact many of them seem to be tracks with vocals (To Let Myself Go, Mind Your Step, Stars, This Feeling etc etc). Do you prefer to work with vocals or is this just the way things have fallen?
Indeed, I like to remix vocal tracks because I just like to work with vocals. If I am hearing a great vocal, I pretty much have a great idea for the remix immediately. So I said to myself, let’s do original productions without vocal and make sure to do remixes with vocals. That was actually the original plan, but my upcoming original releases will also have vocals now, so there goes that plan (haha).
If you were to remix one artist in 2016 who would it be?
I know that Depeche Mode are actually working on a new album from April on so there will be single releases upfront and singles need to be remixed – haha. That would be my number one remix wish (and always has been). Maybe it will work out one day. I am definitely available, any time ; ).
February/March time is when summer plans really start to take place. Have you anything nice in the pipeline?
Yes, the summer is looking great already. I am having a small residency with the guys from FACT at Pacha in Barcelona, there’s also my residency with one of the coolest parties in Amsterdam, called Thuishaven and there are also a few nice festivals locked in which I am really looking forward to.
Your guilty pleasure?
My absolute guilty pleasure is to come home on a Sunday from a looooong weekend and then order my favourite pizza and watch my favourite TV series. It can be so easy sometimes : )
Finally, one fun fact about André Hommen even your biggest fanboy might not know?
Ok here is one: I am wearing black shirts to go out and white shirts to sleep. Haha.