Things are taking off, for this self-confessing techno lover and hard hitting musician. From under his alias of Han Haak, his releases on labels such as We Are Here Music and Sudbeat have shown a cutting edge musicality and have been met with great appreciation, and by the looks of it, his talent promises of bigger things to come. Case in point Han’s latest work – “Redemption/ Damnation EP” on Hernan Cattaneo’s Sudbeat imprint delivers techno in its truest sense without slavishly devoting its soundscapes to tradition. Dance music enthusiast and stellar DJ herself, Priya Sen met with the mysterious Han Haak at a secret location on the edge of town for an exclusive chat…
Hey Han, thanks for taking time out to talk to us at Decoded. From the days of “Slaves In Transit” to current times, your newest music release – “Redemption EP” on Hernan Cattaneo’s imprint Sudbeat, how does it feel to be discovered by a relatively whole new audience? In other words you have come a long way since…
Things are progressing in an exciting way. With each track released, interest has grown and reactions have been really positive. It’s this type of feedback that drives and pushes me even harder.
What got you hitched to electronic dance music, plus what were you listening to back in the day?
I was totally hooked into the Global Underground series when I was younger, first one I ever heard was Sasha – San Francisco, amazing compilations from Nick Warren and Dave Seaman who did about 4 each (I think) but my favourite was GU 13 Ibiza with Sasha. I also loved listening to Carl Cox, Sasha, John Digweed from mix tapes back in 91.
Any non-electronic influences, do you play any musical instruments?
I’ve always been a big fan of Pet Shop Boys. Chris Lowe is also a close friend of mine, top bloke although he owes me a few beers! Ha
Tell us about any particular clubs and or artists you were frequenting and interested in as a regular club going teenager?
I love John ‘Quivver’ Graham, been following him for years, we have now become good friends and he recently remixed my track Rusted Robot, I would also check out Nick Warren when he was a Cream resident in Liverpool years ago.
Was the art of DJing and producing self-taught or did you go out there and get formal training for both?
I’m first and foremost a producer, but am more than capable of working my way round the decks! Both of which I taught myself. Maybe in 2 years I’ll be playing out, who knows!
If you were to describe your sound….
I think my sound is dark driving progressive with elements of electronic edgy techno sounds.
How did your releases with We Are Here Music and Selador Recordings happen? Did you meet with the label guys and discuss which direction the tracks should go in?
That would be down to Steve Parry who I’ve known for a very long time, he used to run 3beat Records in Liverpool, and now has a thriving promotion service called SMP3, he is a clued up guy in the know who knows all the big guns. He is a big fan of mine!
The repetition factor in your production quality is interesting by far, because it makes for such a highly ordered way to get lost. What do you think that hypnotic effect really is, especially with a track such as – “Back In The Day”. Would you like to produce more of the same kind?
It was one of the first tracks I made, just experimenting. Yes I would love to do more of the same.
Your name has been billed quite prominently in the DJ Mag Top 100s main events last couple of years, how’s that experience been?
It’s been a great platform to perform on. I’ve warmed up twice which enabled me to test out my music on one of London’s biggest sound systems whilst seeing my visuals in full effect, showcasing all my own productions.
Can you give us your thoughts on the heavy leanings towards more main stream music DJs in comparison to the underground pushers of the said polls?
I don’t really read into that, I’m happy producing my own style and will keep sticking to my sound and will not get pushed into chasing the in thing.
Is Techno at a good place right now, happy with the quality of the productions that are releasing and the number of people who are lapping it up in 2015, cause as a style it’s taking off more than ever?
Every genre is doing well, I think the progressive sound is coming back, techno will always be big, you have proper techno and then the softer side of techno which really tech house, all good though.
What music are you currently working on, any new stuff coming out this year or next that you can share with us?
I’m doing a remix for Nick Warren’s Hope Recordings right now also in LA during December to work with John Graham.
Any plans to travel outside of the UK and get your music to parts of Europe that’s uncharted for you let’s say?
Of course! I want the whole world to listen to my music not just Europe, but at present just focusing on my productions.
Well, its been lovely to meet you Han, lastly, what plans for NY, where can your fans catch you at and best of luck for your future endeavours?
Thanks Priya, it was good to meet you too. No firm plans as yet for NYE, but in the mean time I’ll be busy making Music Music Music!