Pascal Hetzel was born in 1988 in Pforzheim, Germany, where his love for DJ’ing started at an early age. He learned the techniques of mixing and soon he recorded his first mix tape. After about one year of experimenting with Hip Hop-sounds and becoming comfortable on the turntables, he discovered his love for electronic music. His new EP release 'Sativa' on Joint Nation Records, a South African label with remixes by Dakin Auret, eCCo & Rob Sloan. Pulse catches up with the artist to find out more about his residency at The Wood in Brussels.
For those of us that aren't familiar with your music, what style of music are you best known for? I'm not sure if I'm so well known for any kind of style, but for the ones who know me, I stand for a mixture of dub-chords, fat baselines and functional beats. I would consider myself standing at the crossroad between Dub-Techno, Detroit and Chicago. (Maybe around Kalamazoo)
What do you prefer playing on? CDJ's/Vinyl? Laptop It really depends on the situation. My first choice is always vinyl, if the technical conditions allow it. My second choice would always be a USB-stick or CD's because it's very convenient and very stable.
What is your current set up in terms of software and hardware? Basically I use analog synthesizers which i record and arrange in Ableton Live. I love the workflow and the lucky 'accidents' that happen when using machines. But there are also a few software applications which i really like. For example the Native Instruments or Arturia plug-ins. I also use Propellerhead's Reason as a rack, because the user interface reminds me pretty much of hardware.
You are a resident DJ at The Wood in Brussels, what is this place all about, who are the other residents? The style of music? I would say in the last year, The Wood has become one of Belgium's no.1 clubs. It's a very nice place just outside of the city. Actually where else would is be but deep in the woods. The style of the music is not so easy to describe, because it really depends on the DJ. The other residents are for example Sierra Sam, Felix Cage or Franco Y Gael, only to name a few.
If you could produce with anyone in the industry who would it be and why? That's really hard to say. There are a lot of very interesting artists out there I would appreciate working with. But if I could choose only one, it would be Carl Craig. I like his deepness combined with massive baselines. He never sounds the same. He always manages to surprise you with something unexpected if it's a weird rhythm or just a baseline that starts after 4 or 5 minutes and changes the whole 'athmo' of a track in a radical way.
Where do you get inspiration to produce new music? There are lot of influences. Basically it's the whole environment. It can be a cool party somewhere, a sunny day at the pool or just a song in the radio. But what inspired me the most was the moving to Berlin. It's such an exciting city. You never get bored and it's full of very interesting people.
With your new release, Sativa, on Joint Nation Records, do you think social media platforms are important when releasing music? Do you think these platforms help a lot in terms of how widely reached your music goes? What social media platforms are you currently using? I think social media platforms are the most important promotion tools nowadays. The strongest one in my opinion is Facebook. Everyone has a profile and also almost everyone is checking it every day. A lot of people even spend all their free time only on Facebook.
So I think there's no better way to reach a huge amount of people. Also I think it's very supportive for the personal career as a DJ to be as active as possible on Facebook. It's like a "reminder". If u post a lot, the people will always see that you are around.
Also platforms like Soundcloud and Mixcloud are very effective in my opinion. Artists and labels have the possibility to show all the new tracks and podcasts and integrate (post) it in every other social media platform.
Words and interview by Hayley Illing
Listen to Pascal Hetzel on Pulse Radio: