This week on our podcast series we are featuring Hans Bouffmyhre, an established name in the worldwide techno scene. The Scottish producer also works under Secluded alias, and is the founder of Sleaze label. Ahead of the podcast, Monument had the chance to catch up with the artist.
Hello Hans! Great to see you appear at MNMT yet again, this time with an interview. How are you right now?
I’m doing great thanks! I Just got back from a relaxing family holiday in Majorca. Happy to be doing the interview.
You are one of the younger generation of techno artists. What was your journey as a DJ and a producer like?
I started going to techno parties with friends when I turned 18. I was hooked straight away, and ended up buying my own decks and playing around in my brother’s dining room. After about a year we started our own monthly party called Sleaze, which was an instant success. Not long after I started producing music and at the age of 21 I started Sleaze Records. It was around then that I started getting my first international bookings. Playing in Germany for the first time in 2009. The first few years were quite messy and a lot of fun! I’m still enjoying playing gigs now every bit as much as I used to, but just try not to drink as much, haha.
Tell us more about Sleaze Records.
After I already had a few releases on labels like Perc Trax and Harthouse, I wanted to start my own label. It was only natural to call it Sleaze, because that was the name of our party in Glasgow. I did a lot of research before starting the label and came up with a plan. I was lucky I had some help at the start from artists I had already connected with through booking them to play with us in Glasgow.
You have released on established labels, such as Soma, Perc Trax, Electric Deluxe, Synewave, Harthouse and more. What is it like to work with the giants of techno industry? Do you still remember your first big record deal?
One of the labels I released some of my earliest tracks on was Perc Trax. Perc (Ali) is a lovely guy and he was a great influence for me. He would also give very good feedback on my tracks to help me improve, so I appreciated it a lot. The Soma guys from Glasgow are a great team and they do a lot for the Scottish techno scene on a whole. They also help a lot of local artists and they are great to work with.
What does techno scene mean to you? How has the scene and the fan base changed by the time?
It means a lot to me! I’ve been doing this my entire adult life and it’s my passion. I love producing music, playing gigs and running a record label. In recent years I’ve noticed the people in clubs getting younger, but maybe that’s just me getting older! In general the clubs still have a good atmosphere and you can feel that intensity from the crowd when it’s a busy night.
Please, walk us through through your music production routine. Is it always the same or do you have different approaches?
I’ve been using Reason for a long time. I’m just very comfortable with it and I can bang out ideas and tracks pretty quickly. I also use Ableton and sometimes choose to record tracks playing live with some controllers and a drum machine. This makes the arrangement feel more real, and sometimes you can create a better vibe from doing it that way.
Could you share one unforgettable experience during your lifetime of international gigs? Do you have a favorite country or a club to play at?
My Berghain debut was pretty special. I played there for the first time in 2012. Ben Klock, Marcel Dettmann, Norman Nodge, Octave One and me were in the lineup. I couldn’t really believe it at the time, it was quite surreal. I played for 6 hours and honestly poured all of my energy into my set. I remember being very tired the next day, but what an experience. It’s an incredible place to play and I’ve been fortunate to play there on several occasions. Berlin is my favourite place for techno. [Germans] have Berghain and Tresor which is also one of my favourites, then there are many other options as well. I love the fact the clubs stay open all night and it’s also a very educated crowd. You can tell people know their music in Berlin.
Home, sweet home – Scottish Techno Scene – what is it like? Which artists or venues would you recommend to check out?
Scottish scene has always been quite strong and especially Glasgow. At the moment the biggest club is SWG3, where a lot of the biggest events are happening. Then you have the famous Sub Club, which is very intimate and a great club. I would definitely recommend people to come to Glasgow for a night out or party weekend, the people are very friendly and you will have a great time. In terms of artists there are a lot of talented Scottish techno artists. I’m very good friends with Gary Beck & Harvey McKay, who both started making music at the same time as me. Both great guys and brilliant artists!
Little is known about your other alias Secluded. What was your motivation and idea to start it?
The reason for starting the alias was that I was starting to produce tracks that had a more raw, jacking vibe, which were influenced by techno from Berlin & Detroit. I started off with a package of about 12 demo tracks and the first vinyl release was on EarToGround from London, which included remixes by Jonas Kopp & Markus Suckut. It was a strong start and the vinyl sold out very quickly and was repressed. The second EP was for Dustin Zahn’s Enemy Records, which included remixes by Sigha and Ray Kajioka. After that I had a string of releases on Soma, before deciding to start my own Secluded label, which is 100% dedicated to Secluded productions. I only release 3 or 4 EP’s per year, but it’s a style that I enjoy making. Secluded tends to be more bouncy, dubby or jacking. With big chord sequences and atmospheric synths. Different to my Hans Bouffmyhre style, which is usually quite dark, aggressive and banging.
Any new projects we have to keep our ears straight about?
Yes there will be 1 more Secluded EP this year and I also have a Hans Bouffmyhre track called ‘Behind The Gates’ on our 10 years of Sleaze Records compilation. Then finally a collab EP with my brother Lex Gorrie towards the end of the year.
Thank you for your time! Best of luck to your future endeavors.
My pleasure, thanks for the invite!