He might have been touring the world and turning out essential productions for more than a decade now, but HOSH is now more vitalised than ever. Part of the reason for this is that the German born artist recently moved to Ibiza. Not in pursuit of the party life, but instead for the natural peace and beauty the White Isle offers. It has meant he has found himself happily locked away, making beats for months and taking a break from touring. Not worried about whatever anyone else is doing, he has instead focused on what makes him unique, and that is to be equal part DJ and producer.
The result is Stories From Sa Talaia, a free to download double album presented as a DJ mix that is made from all his own new and exclusive beats. This working process has given HOSH the freedom to really explore a wide variety of sound and makes for a two hour opus that finds Holger Behn dipping into many different moods and grooves, all in a coherent fashion and tied together with his own particular style: that style is one that tells one grand story rather than offer brief highlights. It is a style that has taken him to headline gigs all over Europe, Asia, Australia and both Americas in about every major club, including his own party in Ibiza and too many festivals to mention. There, he aims to play sets that, “hypnotise and mesmerise the people and get them lost in sound.”
The Stories From Sa Talaia mix is on his own new label, fryhide (or in German ‘Freiheit’), which will also put out five separate EPs featuring the tunes from the mix. The label will also develop into a platform for other producers, albums and vinyl releases. As HOSH says,
“I love to be in contact with other artists and help them to develop their talents. The label’s name is a fictive word but stands for ‘freedom”. I also like that it contains the word ‘hide,’ which suggests there is something hidden and more to it, and that’s what I like in music as well: a hidden, below the surface world of emotions and feelings and messages that listeners find on their own.”
The mystic, enchanting, personal photography of Sandra Bildstein that makes up the label’s artwork will further reinforce this point in pleasing visual ways. By now, you might notice the dots are gone from HOSH’s artist alias. It is just another subtle sign that 2017 is the start of a new chapter in this exciting artist’s ever evolving career.
Hi Holger it’s been a few years since we last caught up with you at TAPE in Mayfair. Great to have you back. How was your Christmas?
Christmas was great. I went with my wife and daughter first to the German family for a few days and afterwards to the Spanish family.
You spent New Year’s Eve at Flying Circus in Tulum Mexico and will be heading down to South America the end of this month. What will be the schedule this time?
Exactly, new years I was in Tulum for the Flying Circus. Was a really good party and I cannot imagine a better spot then Tulum to enter the new year. Afterwards I headed to Cartagena and then for my final two shows before a longer break so I joined Solomun in Punta Del Este and Mar Del Plata. What a finish this was. Still absolutely blown away and great to see my buddy Mladen and hang out a bit.
The focus of our discussion today is more ‘label’ based to discover more about fryhide. You have recently found a musical direction you are happier with – Is this essentially where the fryhide (meaning freedom) concept came from?
Actually I have not found a musical direction I am happier with. On Diynamic I always had complete freedom. The new label is just a base for me to expand a bit and were I can sign artists to give them a base similar to what I have with Diynamic. It’s basically the sound you know from my sets and a vision I have for electronic music. The name is based on what I relate to that. Complete freedom of body and mind and in the best case performing outside. I also like the word Freiheit as well as it kinda sounds like Autobahn, Kraftwerk. The two most known German words maybe?
In your own words this new sound is “more real to you” and certainly has become more progressive/melodic sounding. When was the point at Diynamic when you started to feel the change?
I am really not a fan of genrefication. It kinda kills the freedom for me. Music expresses beyond words and we should just leave it like that. Melodic we have always been also in Diynamic. It’s just something that connects us. So it wasn’t really a matter of a change that make me to create a new label. It’s just an expansion.
Your album ‘Stories from Sa Talaia’ has been the showcase of the new direction. There are a few things I wanted to ask –
Firstly, what spurred the decision to release the album for free?
This was the initial idea to create the new label actually. In Diynamic it wouldn’t have made sense to release it for free as I had to ask myself what does the label have of that. But beyond the free mix I still wanted to split up the album in 4 releases as I feel for single tracks dance album there is not a good way to release it nowadays. Two or max three tracks will get attention and the rest kinda goes down the river. Obviously it’s impossible and unfair to block 4 release dates in Diynamic with all the artists we have nowadays, so that was another reason to create a new base for this.
Secondly, which artist was the most fun to work with and which one had the more surprising outcome?
For the album I asked a few artists that I admire for some basic ideas. I wanted the album mix to be more of a mixed compilation then a classic album so I needed more flavours. After I received those ideas I would basically just remix them. This way I could make sure there is a certain HOSH signature throughout the mix. So due to this concept there were no big surprises.
Thirdly, there has been a lengthy tour since June to promote it. What have been some of the standout moments or highlights so far?
There have been a lot of standouts and also very different experiences. To be honest it’s hard to name just a few. Overall I am super happy with what my agency ‘People And Machines‘ and especially my Booker Marika put together here.
INSTANT fryhide is a concept to release one single track with no advanced promo. Could you talk us through in more detail and explain how this method is working for you?
This idea I had after receiving a few great tracks that were already making the rounds social media wise. I had the feeling a new concept is needed for those tracks to get them out fast and without waiting on a B side and PR campaign etc. The basic idea is that a great track nowadays promotes itself and nothing else is needed. The Artbat – Tabu was a perfect track to start this with. I just found the second one actually and it’s coming very very soon. More I cannot say as that would kill the concept.
The fryhide radio show has recently been launched. What will be the structure for these shows?
This is basically a monthly update on our artists and sound of the label. So every month anothher fryhide artist will do the show.
Speaking of label artists – Tim Engelhardt has had a very successful release with his ‘Reality EP’ on the label and is cementing himself amongst a plethora of fastly rising names. Has this been one off the strongest releases so far?
So far all releases have been doing super well. Tim’s EP is no exception. Overall we managed if you look at the stats to reach a top 3 position within the last months in Deep House in Beatport. It’s not that I really give a lot to this but it undermines the great start we did with the label.
And leading to the current release from Canadian based Tone Depth (Tony Papadopoulos) who has supplied the guest mix for this feature. It’s great that you asked Tony to get involved and push the artists you are releasing. If you could summarise Tony as an artist what qualities stand out to you?
Tony will be one of the biggest artists in the next two years. There just is no other way. I was with him in studio and after that I am even more sure. He has his own signature and great skills. Skills like Stimming for example. So it’s time he gets the credits he deserves and my mission regarding him is to make sure this happens. Besides that, he is a super cool down to earth guy and it’s fun to work with him.
And lastly what has been your biggest accomplishment of 2017 and what are your biggest plans for 2018?
It’s a bit hard to say that yourself but when looking back and analysing I say my Karma EP on Diynamic was a big success and obviously also the album and the start of fryhide. In 2018 I will focus on forming this all even more and to make the next step for HOSH.
Thank you for your time and providing an excellent label feature to kick start our 2018 series.
Decoded Radio hosted by Ian Dillon presents fryhide with Tone Depth.
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