DJ, Producer and Curator of Hidden Recordings, Deepak Sharma has been entrenched in techno for over a decade. Tough, raw and gritty describe the man, his music and label.
Perseverance is another word synonymous with Deepak Sharma; an unrelenting passion for music and sharing his sound through a belief so intense, his soul pours out and bears itself within each release and DJ set.
Known for a cerebral approach to music, he demonstrates his ethos that DJing is about creating a moment, often through taking crowds on a hypnotic journey and building energy, with a room as one towards a higher peak.
While DJing is his calling, his label can also be described as going strong with demand growing through each carefully curated offering, slowly and steadily building a catalog greater than most: the rare feat of longevity, forty-one releases and counting.
Now, Deepak Sharma is fully engaged as a soloist, bursting at the seams with an active imagination, overflowing with ideas and constantly learning, leading to an ambitious release schedule in the future.
It comes as no surprise, then, that Deepak Sharma has shared the bill with acts the likes of Ben Klock, Len Faki, Ben Sims, DVS1, Steffi, Bas Mooy, Steve Bicknell, Anthony Parasole, The Advent, Developer, Audio Injection, Drumcell, Psyk, Xhin, Abdulla Rashim, Black Asteroid, Phil Moffa, I/Y, Delta Funktionen, Paul Birken and, Dustin Zahn.
Deepak Sharma readies to make his way to Los Angeles this Friday, September 27th, to play our WORK night in collaboration with Synthetik Minds, also featuring SNTS and Adrian Adonis. In honor of his LA debut, he put together an exclusive Guest Mix and sat down with us for a chat.
Hi mate, congrats on debuting at Tresor recently. How was it?
It was super intense! Everything I dreamt of and beyond. When I saw and heard all those people going crazy, it was such an intoxicating rush! My set was 5a – 7:30a, so I view that as a great responsibility and honor to have the club’s trust.
You played all vinyl there, why so?
What Tresor stands for is deeply personal to me. I wanted my first set there to stand out with the crowd, staff and for my memory. I chose an all vinyl set out of respect for the club’s history, where techno stands the test of time.
Thank you for the mix! can you tell us a little bit about it — where you put it together, what was in your mind and what you hope it communicates to our listeners?
I made the mix in my home studio. My theory behind the mix was simple, to play fast and convey a sonic overload of relentless big room sounds.
We asked you to do this mix ahead of your LA show here with SNTS on Friday. Is this the vibe and sound we can expect from your set?
Precisely. Knowing what SNTS can do, the warehouse environment we’re going to be and handling the closing duties it has to be aggressive from the get go to keep the energy full seamlessly from his set to mine.
Thank you for the track list by the way, we don’t always get those these days. What’s your take on sharing track lists and the like?
DJs receive hero worship but producers enable it. Producers need their voice heard and deserve recognition for their hard work. Many producers aren’t gigging to the frequency of full time DJs, so there has to be some kind of reciprocity. Mixes for podcasts are excellent exposure opportunities for all and I think DJs have a responsibility to help producers they enjoy to grow.
Tell us a little about yourself. Where did you grow up and what was life like?
ùI was born in India, a son to immigrant parents who were aiming to provide a better life than how they grew up. I consider myself very lucky to have their support in chasing my dreams.
How did you discover and fall in love with techno?
I remember working at a record store and buying records before I know how to mix them. I’d compile them and over time I noticed certain sounds and labels I’d look for when entering the peak part of my ‘set’. As it was, those records were in the techno section of the store.
Who were your first favorite artists?
Techno wise, my early DJing years were shaped by Cari Lekebusch, Damon Wild, Alexander Kowalski, Function, Surgeon, James Ruskin, and guys similar. Couldn’t go a set without playing something from H-productions, Synewave or Kanzleramt.
What would you say the first sound you procured and played was like?
I recall the atmospheric minimal sound that was heavily coming out of Germany, post progressive house and trance. Since I enjoy building my DJ sets, and often played openings, I gravitated towards these types of records and naturally grew from there into techno for my peak when those gigs started happening.
How and why has your sound changed since then, if at all?
My ethos on my sound hasn’t wavered. I pride myself on being able play music for all situations and doing it proper. Some nights, it’s opening with ambient soundscapes into a hypnotic and deep flow. Others it’s stretch out peak from the get go, and remaining there throughout. Ultimately, if it’s appropriate I love building sets and taking the crowd through an arc.
What is your favorite track of 2019?
I bought a record at Halcyon in Brooklyn earlier this year and dropped it at Tresor. Stripped down and super heavy. I believe it’s Adam X and the limited vinyl is called The Secret Initiative. There’s no track title, both sides are excellent but the B side is what I played.
Who are some of your favorite up-and-coming artists of today?
If you check out LA’s own Developer and his September chart, I think he nails it. Check it here: https://www.residentadvisor.net/dj/developer/top10?chart=220277
Uun, Amotik, Ritzi Lee, Stanislav Tolkachev, Reeko, Stef Medesidis
Additionally, I really like what Wrong Assessment, Alfredo Mazilli, Kmyle, Roll Dann, Deas, Luke Hess, Seleccion Natural, and Rhys Fulber are doing.
What is your next career milestone?
I’m excited for my next vinyl on Hidden Recordings, [043HR] Bedlam with a NX1 Remix, assembling now for late 2019/early 2020 release.
Best of luck, See you in LA this weekend!
Thank you! Catch you for the late-shift after SNTS!