Q&A and Global Vibe Radio 165 Feat. Thomas Hessler

Author : Marco Sgalbazzini
June 04, 2019

Q&A and Global Vibe Radio 165 Feat. Thomas Hessler

Thomas Hessler is part of a promising new generation of techno producers and DJs. Born in East Germany, Hessler’s inspirations are deeply rooted in his home city of Berlin. Growing up during the time of the wall’s fall and resulting changes for Germany itself, his approach to production intends to reflect feelings of change.

Within a short time Hessler played his way from small undergound clubs of Berlin all the way to various venues in Europe, South and North America. Earning his respect in clubs like Bassiani, Fabric, Berghain and Tresor is just proving that his approach towards Djing with energy, emotions, intensive journeys of techno and its recent history is the right way to go.

Thomas has worked tirelessly to develop his craft and prove what he stands for as an artist. With his energetic, driven techno and deep melancholic electronica, informed by classic Detroit and Berlin sound yet also exploring more experimental boundaries. His releases have found a regular home on Marcel Fengler’s influential IMF imprint, as well as on labels like Bassiani, Crossing, Form and Function and Intimate Silence.

As Hessler delivers this week’s Global Vibe Radio mix, the 165th in our series, we took the time to have a chat to find out what he has been up to.

Hi Thomas, thank you so much for the mix! Where did you record this one?

Hello guys, thank you for having me. It was a real treat to put this one together. I recorded this mix at my home right after breakfast and coffee!

What do you feel this mix represents and communicates for you?

When I play gigs it is very important for me to keep the energy level as high as possible.

I wanted to showcase that high energy body music does not necessarily mean to play only tracks on the harder edge of Techno. It can be funky, it can be a bit deeper as long it is energetic and makes you move.

Any standout tracks in it that you feel are really doing it for you at the moment?

Zenker Brothers „Sample Predator“ from their newly released EP is as the title suggests a beast of a track and a dangerous weapon. Ryan Elliot’s “Grafton Road“ just as Matrixxman’s remix for Pfirter’s “Isolation“ are two of my favourites in the last weeks. Both are quite minimalistic but full of energy.

You’re a born-and-raised Berliner, almost a rarity these days when I get to speak to artists that now live in the Germany capital. It may seem like an obvious question, but what was your route to discovering and falling in love with techno as a Berliner? How were you introduced to the genre and what were your first experiences with it?

I am actually born in Leipzig, with the age of 6 my family and I moved to Berlin. Music was always the most important part of my upbringing where I had the chance to study instruments but the moment I fell in love with Techno and House music was in the early 2000s. At that time I was totally into East Coast early 90s till mid 90s Rap and already knew how to spin records. I had a friend who showed me that there is another world, where people can feel free and sweat to heavy beats for days. After I got more and more familiar with the history and the key records I wanted to hear and experience those records inside a club. I am lucky enough to say that my first ever rave was at the old Tresor just a few years before they had to close down their old location. The icing on the top was that on that night “The Wizard“ Jeff Mills was playing, something I will never forget and that night changed my life forever. Since that day I am hooked and devoted my life to this culture.

How do you feel about the influx of artists in your home city and do you feel it has made it harder for homegrown artists?

Actually, I never think about that. I think it is very beautiful how life in Berlin changed and that it became an even stronger hotspot over the years. I try to focus on the positive aspects and I don’t think anything got harder for anybody. Creating art should in my perspective never be about making it, it should be about creating and sharing.

Where do you party in Berlin?

It always depends on the lineup.

I keep hearing mixed reviews about the food scene there, and since my trips are almost always quick in-and-out visits to the clubs, can you tell us what you think about the food in Berlin and some of your favorite spots?

There are too many to mention but at the moment I really like “Cafe Nö“ close to Friedrichstraße. That place is over 100 years old, their card is small but on point with a great mix of German and Mediterranean cuisine. Other than that with a visit to “Seoulkitchen“ for Korean BBQ you can never go wrong.

Your records have always found a welcome home on Marcel Fengler’s IMF imprint. How did you two meet?

I did not only release my original music on IMF but yes so far people say my most memorable output was released on Marcel’s label. We actually had the same group of friends within the scene and one of them connected us back then. It was a big chance for me and I am thankful Marcel believed in what I do.

Was it first a musical relationship or a friend relationship?

First came the music and then the friendship.

What about IMF feels like the right label to release your music on?

I think like for every artist the most important thing is that the label gives you the freedom to fully express your vision of music and believe that from record to record you have something meaningful to say. That was always special for me when I worked with IMF.

What releases do you have planned for the rest of 2019?

I have a couple of remixes, a compilation on “Ressort Imprint“ with one of my tracks and a new EP on IMF coming up. In the last weeks, I also finished a couple more tracks but I would like to keep it as a surprise where that EP will be released on.

Are you working on any other music projects you can tell us about?

At the moment I am working together with a bunch of established and fresh artists on a very special art project. I can’t really say much more about it right now but our aim is to tour and showcase the project from late 2019 till late 2020.

How about on a more personal level, is there anything you’d like to accomplish outside of electronic music/techno in the next coming years?

I wanna refresh my piano skills and would love to open some restaurant or food business at some point.

Thank you for the mix and the chat!

Connect with Thomas Hessler: Facebook | Instagram | SoundCloud | Twitter