No Gimmicks, Just Beats: An Interview with Hatiras

On February 19th, Reliable Entertainment is hosting Sydney-based Wax Motif and Canadian producer Hatiras at Sugar NightClub in Victoria, BC, with support from Victoria-based DJ/producer d-Set. In this interview with Hatiras – “intergalactic house” cosmonaut and Hatrax Records owner-innovator who has been in the vanguard of the North American rave scene since the 90’s – he talks about his addiction to musical experimentation, underground raves in the 90’s, and some of the styles we’ll hear at his set in Victoria. This prolific international artist is sure to bring the wiggle-inducing beats to Sugar NightClub. Make sure to check out more about the show at the end of the interview.

You’ve been performing and producing as Hatiras since 1999. That’s amazing! What, in your eyes, makes a live set successful?
I’d say a successful live performance is one that balances the creative expression of the artist with the needs of the crowd. What I mean by this is that, as an artist, you need to push and surprise the audience with new, interesting music while occasionally throwing in some familiar elements to keep the audience engaged and interested. Some of today’s artists feel the need resort to gimmicks, exaggerated hand movements or shock tactics (eg. throwing cakes or standing on the decks). None of that is a part of my personal performance. I sincerely feel that my music speaks for itself and takes the audience on a voyage without gimmicks.

Your career has revolved around breaking the molds in sonic innovation. How do you keep things fresh and continue to push yourself creatively? 

I’m always learning and am constantly trying out new tools, methods and approaches to making music. I’m addicted to experimenting with sound and am definitely not driven by the pursuit of fame or money.

Without too many spoilers, what can we expect from you at your show in Victoria? 

I can go in many directions when I perform and generally try to connect with the crowd. Expect an unexpected mix of funky house, tech house, techno, g-house and fat beats. I can assure you that I’ll drop a lot of my original productions (both new and old). We’ll know exactly how it turns out after the show. I never come to a show with a strictly planned set.

You’ve toured internationally – what event or country stands out in your mind as being particularly epic? 

I absolutely love Japan. I’ve played there so many times and can’t get enough of the culture and food there. It seems like such a detail-oriented and respectful society. I love that.

I really enjoyed your comments on EDM culture during your “In It For The Kicks” interview. One thing you said was, “I think that the whole idea behind electronic music and the electronic music culture was a place for the renegades to go and for renegade music to be showcased.”

Music and rave culture has evolved and changed so much, and I think it’s a really wonderful opportunity when kids like me get to hear about the experiences and perspectives of veterans like yourself. For better or worse, what do you see as the biggest difference between rave culture now and in the 90’s?

The 90s were a special time… things could still be a “secret”. Electronic music was hard to find. Electronic music events were underground. You had to know someone who knew where the party was. You had to be deeply embedded in the scene to understand it, to be a part of it. Today’s technology is great (and very convenient) but it’s taken the mystery out of so many aspects of life. Imagine a world without a smart phone. A time when you could go to a secret meeting spot, hop on a shuttle bus with blacked out windows and end up in a crazy warehouse rave with hundreds of like minded people escaping reality all night long…

Last but not least: you’re a space enthusiast – if you could know the answer to one space mystery, what would it be!? 

If there are life forms that are beyond our intelligence out there… what are they like? How are we related and what can we learn from each other?


INTERVIEW: Lauren DeGaine



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