Interview with DJ Hell about his new album, single I Want U, Tom of Finland and more

Exquisite avant-garde entertainer, owner of the iconic International Deejay Gigolo Records, which defines electronic music for over 20 years by nurturing talented artists such as Tiga, Fischerspooner, Miss Kittin and Vitalic. Awarded music and fashion guru, who collaborates with giants such as Karl Lagerfeld, Donatella Versace and Hugo Boss. We asked him a few questions before the gig at Klub K4.


My Definition of House Music was your first self-produced single. What is your definition of house music today?

Still the same! It's a spiritual thing, a mental thing, a body thing. It can take you to a special place, it's a higher form of communication, a universal language.

Klub K4 was the cradle of many progressive movements and you are always on the forefront of creative scene: how do you cope with the current global conservative backlash? What’s the role of artists to speak in this kind of world?

It's very important and the techno world should get more political again and sent out messages and headlines to their listeners. Not a lot of DJs support minorities, fight for something or give money out to help poor people. With my new single I Want U, I'm supporting the gay community worldwide and I'm also bringing the world of Tom of Finland to a wider audience.

Your new album Zukunftsmusik is scheduled for April, what can we expect from it, and what does Tom of Finland have to do with it?

Don't expect anything I've done before, that's not my concept. The music will be totally different from what I did before and Tom of Finland is the main concept of the first single and video. I Want U - is a homage to the gay club scene, it all started in Chicago and NYC. Ron Hardy and Larry Levan were the names of the first house DJs in that nightclubs. It was strictly a black gay crowd, dancing and having a good time.

You are also a boss of International Deejay Gigolos and were also involved with other labels before. How do you see the role of music labels then and now? And how did your label work on practical level change through time?

My lifetime action is Gigolo records. After releasing 300 records in 10 years and work with so many great artists of all around the world, I learned lots of lessons and how to make it right. When we started in 96/97 the music world was completely analogue and it all changed radically into a digital world. Now I try to combine this two worlds. I don' t want to forget the past, but I'm also looking forward to what’s coming up next in the near future.

Gigolo has introduced a heap of great artists, such as Tiga, Fischerspooner, Miss Kittin, Vitalic … But was there an artist you’ve been offered but you’ve rejected to release it and later realised this was a mistake?

I had the music from LCD Soundsystem and Rapture on my table, but I've never released it.

Lots of artists couldn't understand why I didn't take their music. It was always because of some reasons. Mostly, I was right about why I didn't touch it. It's all about instinct and good taste. It comes down to knowledge about music and life.

Sometimes it seems that music has come to an end, we're just recycling and redefining old patterns. Though one may just get that fin-de-siecle feel because of the saturation and hyper-production. What’s your view on this?

Just listen to my new album and you will change your mind.

By Tricky, edited on 15 June 2018