Out Today - 17 March: Khainz - Nightshift on Einmusika
Berlin label Einmusika welcome the Swiss Melodic Techno wizard Khainz to the label with a powerful and dark two track EP. "Nightshift" starts subtle and mystical with a rising bell sound before hitting into a dry drop with a steady metallic lead sound.
During the break the track opens up into an epic and wide soundscape. Track two, "Therapy" is more melodic driven with a beautiful detuned synth line and a strong groove. A superb release that will no doubt have dancefloors punching the air.
Khainz is well-known for his cutting edge, innovative production skills. Khainz has been putting his unique stamp on dance music for nearly 20 years. But the easy-going DJ and producer is the first to admit this wasn't part of a master plan.
Electronic music was a foreign sound in the small Swiss town where he grew up. When his older brother first brought home decks and vinyl Simon wasn't sure what to make of it. "I was sceptical," he says with a smile.
Nevertheless, he was fascinated with the craft of DJing and wanted to prove he could mix two records seamlessly. Khainz discovered a knack for the mechanics of mixing: he picked up beat matching within a couple of weeks. Soon, he fell for the pulsing rhythm of electronic music.
At the time, it was not an easy thing to be a DJ. The internet was in its infancy. There was no SoundCloud or YouTube, much less Beatport or iTunes. The nearest record shop was 90-minutes away by train. There were no local clubs or parties to speak of. Khainz also had his parents urging him to find a steady job. He dutifully trained as a painter/decorator, but hated the work.
When he started to earn a little money from DJ gigs he dropped painting and threw himself into music. It was a precarious existence, at first. "I'd eat spaghetti with ketchup for half the week because I didn't have money for food," he says. "It was a big risk. I bet everything on a single card." His bet paid off, thanks to talent, determination and a relentless work ethic.
Every weekend, Khainz takes his distinctive tech-house groove to dancefloors across the globe. During the week he can be found in the studio, adding to his ever-growing list of releases. A prolific producer, he has released two albums, Module8 and Simple As That, and more than 150 tracks via labels like Yoshitoshi, Katermukke or Great Stuff Recordings.
Everything he does reflects his passion for electronic music and respect for the craft. "Technology changes constantly, who knows what it will be in five years," he says. "What matters is the music. That doesn't change." Khainz likes to teach people to make music. He frequently invites fellow artists to his studio to make their own tracks.
When it comes to his records, Khainz is continually perfecting his art. His computer holds hundreds of tunes that will never see the light of day because they don't meet his sky-high standards. What does emerge from his mixing desk is unmistakably Khainz. "It's important to have a fingerprint, a style," he says. "It is totally intuitive. In the studio, I do what I like. I never do something because it's a trend."
His records are so sought-after Khainz is having trouble finishing his third album. "Every time I play a new track, to test it, someone from a label gets in touch and asks about doing an EP," he grins. "It's not a bad problem to have."
While fans may have to wait a while for the next LP, his busy tour schedule ensures they never go too long without a fix of his irresistible beats.