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Big Dub Interview: Habstrakt

Badass: So how did it all begin? What gave you that initial push into the scene?

HABSTRAKT: It started in south of France as a kid when my dad put a guitar in his 5 years old son. 20 years down the line I no longer play gipsy jazz or bob dylans songs and switched almost entirely to electronic music. I think the initial push to electronic music was made when I was 13 and discovered stuff like The Prodigy, Chemical Brothers, but also darker stuff like Amon Tobin. Being a guitar player in a small village, I couldn’t find a band and suddenly realized I could make all the music I wanted alone on my dads computer !

BA: What is your main source for inspiration behind your music?

H: I always get inspired by my tours, the set i play, I like to try a lot of weird stuff, classics, I dont care much about genres as long as it bangs in a club or a festival. The moment I always feel the most inspired is when I get back home from amazing shows, and think about what vibe went off the most, and work from that, but I feel that if i think too much about what I’m doing when I’m in the studio I get blocked, so defining a precise influence is always pretty hard because I have so many sources of that.

BA: Personally, how would you describe your sound? How has it progressed over the years?

The Habstrakt sound is a blend of genres ranging from the darkest movie scores to the music your uncle plays on a Sunday afternoon when he’s had too much red wine. I tend to blend everything that comes into my mind and make it match with influences like Dustep, House, Garage, Drum’n’bass, Hip hop..

I think my sound has first progressed technically, my sound design got better, my mixdowns too.. this is all due to experience, hours of work and learning from online tutorials.. But most important it got defined much more clearly, thanks to the sounds I use, very screechy bass sounds, metallic and organic textures, tight and bright drums and funny samples, with time I managed to establish the Habstrakt formula, its very defined yet extremely flexible, I can play with genres and still sound very personal, and its something I’m very proud of..

BA: Which other countries have you performed?

H: Well thats a very long list ! I had to list them all when I did my USA visa actually, and I think it was something like 26, so pretty much everywhere in Europe and a lot of Eastern Europe countries too, Australia, New Zealand, North America, some exotic places like Beirut in Lebanon too. For someone like me who never had the chance to travel before, all these shows were a blessing, getting to travel thanks to your passion and what you’ve worked hard for is one of the best feelings ever !

BA: What was the first event you ever played at/put on? Since your first event, what are some of the major shows/artists you have worked with?

H: I played my first show at the age of 17 so 8 years ago now (damnn, time flies!!) in my hometown Montpellier.. Well I didn’t actually play because my cracked version of Ableton didn’t let me play my set that day, and it was the worst feeling ever, my parents were theres, friends were filming, it was horrible, everybody wanted to be proud of me and I couldn’t make it happen. Lesson learned, kids, remember to buy your softwares ! The road since has been very very long, so many collaborations, and beautiful places to play.. I’ve had the chance to collab with amazing artists such as Skism, Megalodon, Eptic to name a few, and do many remixes, the latests released being for Skrillex & Diplo, MUST Die! and Barely Alive !

BA: You recently played at EDC Vegas, (Congrats btw!!), How was that experience for you?

H: It was a life-changing experience, getting to fly to Las Vegas and play for dozens of thousands of people all this thanks to these weird tracks I wrote alone in my bedroom in south of France..lets just say it was UNREAL ! It was even more meaningful because I played back-to-back with my very close friend Eptic, him and I started at the same time and been friends from the very beginning, seeing ourselves on that huge stage years down the line got us really emotional !!

BA: What are you looking forward to at Big Dub as far as your set?

H: Been watching videos and teasers online about this festival and needless to say I’m very excited to be part of it ! I’m simply looking forward to have an amazing time on stage as always, and see my good friends Eptic, Koven, Dirtyphonics and many more !

BA: Anything in particular that you are working on that we should keep an eye out for?

H: I’ve started to work on my next EP for Never Say Die Records, I’m going into a genre-blending adventure again, this time I’m taking collaborators with me ! First and only one I can announce so far is Eptic, we’ve just finished this new collaboration called “On the Block” which is a very weird house-ish 128bpm track, very aggressive, dubstep fans wont be disappointed !

BA: Any statements in particular you’d like to add?

H: “My name is Habstrakt and I wish dolphins could talk”