It’s not unusual to hear an artist described as ‘genre bending’ or ‘genre transcending’ these days. More often than not, musical tastes are diverse and hardly ever fixed. This is no different for Objekt, but very few artists have matched his ability to put his own branded sound or style on every genre he dabbles with.
Because of this, Objekt has earned himself a spot as one of the most in demand DJs of his generation and you can usually find him year after year playing at the world’s largest and most respected clubs and festivals, including Tresor, Dekmantel, Dimensions and more.
We caught up with him for a chat ahead of his four hour set at Tengu this Saturday…
What kind of impact did growing up in Belgium and the UK have on the music you were listening to?
Belgium, basically none – we moved there when I was 5 and left by the time I was 11. But I lived in the UK from the ages of 11 to 22, obviously a pretty formative period, during which I spent most of my teenage years playing in guitar bands [as a drummer and occasional bass player] before getting into dance music when I went to university. I learned a lot about music from the friends I made at the time and whether I would have made the same personal connections at an international school in Brussels, I’m not sure.
How did that change when you made the move to Berlin?
Berlin is incredibly techno-focused, even more so in 2009 when I moved there. My appetite for techno as a wide-eyed 22-year-old was nearly insatiable. It was actually from spending a couple of years experiencing basically nothing else that led me to burn out a bit on straightforward techno, which I was never particularly good at producing, and experiment with dubstep instead, which is what led to me releasing my first record
When/How did you first come into contact with the Hessle Audio crew?
Ben [UFO] was one of the first known DJs to play that first record, before it was even released. I met the others at one of their gigs in Berlin not long after and became friends.
‘Theme From Q’ was voted Track of The Year 2017 by MixMag. What sort of impact has that record had on your career over the last two years?
To be honest, I didn’t even realise how far it had gone. Maybe I get a few more big festival offers now, but my favourite gigs to play are the small, intimate ones and those are the same as ever.
Have you felt pressure as a producer, to follow up from the success of ‘Theme From Q’?
God no. If anything I wanted to make sure I followed it with such a weird record that the Ibiza crowd would assume I’d gone off the deep end for good.
Your new album ‘Cocoon Crush’ is due out November 9th on PAN, your first LP since ‘Flatland’ back in 2014. How has your production process changed in that time?
My process itself hasn’t changed all that much, but these days I’m experimenting with a more open and spacious sound – less like being inside a machine, more like a summer night in a rainforest on another planet.
What kind of musical influences can we expect to hear on this new album?
To be honest, less and less. I guess the Bee Mask album from 2012 is actually a pretty significant reference point, along with Scorn, Second Woman and a few other things I picked up over the last four years, but increasingly I’m just letting my music write itself. That’s obviously not to say that I no longer have musical influences, but these days I’m more about trying to capture moods and sound scenes than trying to draw from specific musical forebears.
Could you tell us a bit about the concept behind it or what inspired you to write the tracks?
There’s no concept, but it’s quite a personal record for me, I wrote it over a four year period in which quite a lot of stuff happened and this is reflected in the moods of the album.
You have a reputation as one of the most versatile DJs on the circuit, with your sets often spanning across techno, electro, dub, acid, bass music and much more. Have you always played that way, or is that a style you’ve picked up over the years?
I’ve always had a fairly irreverent attitude towards genre within my DJ sets, but for sure my collection has diversified over time just by virtue of having had more years in the game. I’ve got a relatively fast and technical style of mixing which I guess developed naturally as a means of being able to play a wider range of music without losing musical momentum.