Hollden
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Hello Miguel & thanks for joining us here at Techno Mood; what have you been up to recently?
Hi guys. My pleasure. Well, lately I’ve been pretty active making music for a new EP I’ll be releasing early next year, but also trying to get things restarted with my own label, while curating Disturb’s imprint, which I’m also doing. That pretty much takes all of my time, as each release involves hundreds of details that need to be worked out, if it’s going to be an effective release. No easy rides in the music business.

When did you start and what made you want to follow a career as an artist/DJ?
Oh, it’s been a wild ride, if we’re going to get into that… I did begin DJing at the tender age of 18, circling the local party scene in the Algarve. But, spiritually, the seeds were planted before that. Aside from the theatrical and ritualistic aspects of clubbing, I also did put a lot of focus on studying what DJs were doing back then, different techniques, the ride, the timing, even their mannerisms in the booth. And, boy, did we have a great club scene over there! World class DJs were abundant. But eventually the whole scene got overrun by turf wars, police raids, sameness, boredom. The audience got a bit fed up, the risk wasn’t just worth it for club owners, and the umbilical chord was severed, so that new generations had nothing to cling on to. Techno receded there, though it got stronger in places like Lisbon and Porto. I went to college and eventually dropped out. I sort of lost interest in the whole thing. It was only a few years later that I got reacquainted with my love of techno, and revelations came pouring in smooth and quick. “Producing? Hey, I can do that as well as the next guy!” “DJing? Well, that’s my habitat and I do have a good taste in music”. Falling in love with the whole notion again came as fast as thunder, no questions needed.

Kuiper Noise is your music platform, what was the idea behind the creation of your label? What inspired you to start this?
Well, when I founded it, back in 2017, it was mainly to serve as a platform for me to show my skills. Curiously, that’s the mindset I’m at right now, again. Things have come full circle, but a lot of water ran under that bridge in the meantime. I released a ton of music out there, mostly in international labels. I had the privilege of making records for heavy hitters like Pan Pot’s Second State, Paul Ritch’s Quartz or Garduno’s Illegal Alien, while a few of my tracks topped the charts on stores like Beatport or Junodownload. The thing is, I just got tired of doing the whole demo circus show! Why waste precious time, when most labels don’t even bother to listen to your music and only a handful actually put their money where their mouth is? That’s the brutal truth about the business, behind all the sleazy glamour. More and more I’m confident that my music can stand on its own, without the help of all this artificial hype on crutches. Making good music helps, so does running a good promo. Plus, on Kuiper Noise I get to control the entire process! ‘Would I Lie?’ is living proof that the method can work. It’s done really well on Soundcloud and Youtube, and it’s been picking some pretty decent numbers on Spotify lately — the vital axis for techno fanfare. It actually exceeded my expectations.

What kind of music are you looking for to releasing on Kuiper Noise?
Fast paced music focusing on dancefloor damage, with an edge of sexiness, humanity and intrigue. In a nutshell, the kind of speedy bangers you see making the rounds, but better and more lasting. I’ll channel my own musical output on Kuiper Noise, but I’ll also be looking to occasionally release mini-compilations, with some really choice music from some of the classiest rising stars out there.

Your new ‘Would I Lie?’ release is coming out October 6th on your imprint. What was the idea behind this and your production process for the EP?
I wanted to make a clever, sophisticated, dance record, without falling into the classic “conceptual record” trap. Something that would live up to the diversity in my inner universe, while also being honest about why I’m doing this. There’s nothing worse than spewing a load of nonsensical digital farts that no one’s going to remember 5 minutes after the music stops. The world’s full of it. It seems to me that part of the techno scene has grown to feel guilty about its origins, guilty about fun. Some artists have just become too self-indulgent for their own good, to be honest. If you look back, what made techno so great from the beginning is that you had this perfect balance between the intellectual distillation of the modern urban mindset and the basic instinct to channel that urge onto the dancefloor. Now, it’s either the noisy trash of your brains smashing against a wall, or the fecal abstractions of people who, quite frankly, either got fat with boredom, or got fucked with drugs. With ‘Would I Lie?’, I wanted to try to build a bridge in between and make an edgy dance record with a streak of durable humanity running through it. This idea was clear enough from the beginning. The only surprise was how smoothly it all came to fruition. That, to me, was a clear sign that I was going the right way.

What kind of music do you listen to at home apart from electronic?
As you may imagine, I’m pretty lush with my musical tastes. It’s a way to escape all this techno fantasy, which can be quite overbearing at times. Going through my playlist, I can tell you that yesterday I was listening to things as diverse as Nick Cave, Sade, Chris Isaak, Belle & Sebastian… Another day I might be listening to R.E.M., Tool, Devo… Just last week I found out about this great songwriter I’d never heard about, this guy called Hayden… And I love how pianos sound. Piano is the most beautiful instrument in music, just like tennis is the most beautiful sport. So, sometimes, I’ll spend hours listening to my favorite sonatas: Chopin, Debussy, Satie, Beethoven… You name it!

Name up to three artists outside of the underground music scene that you like and you look up to when you are seeking for:
a. Inspiration b. Relaxation
I always thought of Beck as an amazing showman and all-around musician. Nick Cave, of course, is always there with me, through thick and thin. And Bergman’s movies I hold as an example on how to create entirely immersive worlds with impressionist dialogues and visual suggestion. ‘Fanny and Alexander’ might just be my favorite movie of his.

Thank you for your time, a pleasure to chat with you. To round things off, what’s coming up next for Hollden?
Well, I’m thinking of going on a world tour called “The Weasel Appreciation Tour”. I’m just gonna go from country to country, gig to gig, venue to venue, and really work my knees begging all the “never-produced-a-song” DJs to accept my deepest gratitude for making money and hoarding all the gigs while playing other people’s music. “My tribute to you”, I’ll say. “Without you, the scene wouldn’t even exist! You truly are the 8th Wonder of the World, look how well you press those beatsyncs… First class!” Oh, they’d be confused, of course, probably exhausted, what with all the work they have avoiding composing a single synth loop. But, with any luck, they’d be out of the game before dawn… Then I’d go find the party promoter and put my Berghain Sven mask on, I’d wear my black latex bra, with a plastic chain attached directly to my testicles, and I’d do the greatest air DJ impression he’d ever seen, with CDJ juggling included and all. Guaranteed success! Now, you didn’t imagine I was such a barrel of laughs, did you?

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