Kyle Geiger and Hans Bouffmyhre are out soon with their newest collaborative effort ‘Heavy Handed’ via Unrilis records. We had a chance to sit down with the two producers to see what’s new and chat a bit more about the EP itself. Enjoy!
Hi Hans and Kyle. First off, thanks so much for taking the time to sit down with us ahead of your next collaborative release on Unrilis.
How did you guys first meet, and how did your 2013 EP ‘Your Turn’ come about?
Kyle: Hans and I first met in Chicago at a Perc Trax night. I’ve known Ali (Perc) for years and so when I came up to Chicago to hang with him, I met Hans. I sent him some tracks right after we met that ended up on Sleaze, and then we kicked around ideas of doing a collaboration. Sometimes collaborations sound better in theory than in practice, but Hans and I have really clicked with our system of working.
Hans: Yes as Kyle already mentioned, we met in Chicago while I was on a small US tour with Gary Beck & Ali Wells (Perc). I remember that being a very funny, alcohol fueled night! The collaboration process between us was easy and I think our styles have compilmented each other well.
What have you guys been up to this summer?
Kyle: World Cup madness! I wish I could say something like “I finished 12 new EP’s all coming out in the next year and traveled the world on my private jet tour,” but in reality…between gigs, I didn’t do anything other than watch every match of the World Cup. I’m not even sure if I returned emails or phone calls during this time.
Hans: Aside from watching football, i’ve spent a lot of time enjoying the sunshine with friends. I went over to Ibiza for a few days in August for one of my friends stag weekends, which was mental! I’ve also played a few cool gigs at home in Scotland, which has been nice.
We’d love to have a little bit more insight into ‘Heavy Handed.’ How long has it been in the works? How was the recording process different from last time? And how did the EP end up signed to Unrilis?
Kyle: Hans and I have a pretty efficient system. One of us starts the track, and the other one finishes it. The only change in process between tracks is who started it versus who finished it. That process takes a lot of trust, which is why it would only work with certain people that you likely have a friendship with as well. Collabs fall apart a lot of times when both people are in the studio, with one person in control, and the other person micro managing everything that the other person does. So all in all, I like Hans and I’s way of working together much more.
Hans: After the success of ‘Your Turn’ we decided to have another go at a second collab project. This one has maybe taken us a bit longer to get ready, but I’m definitely happy with the final outcome. I sent the EP to Luigi, who had been waiting for some tracks from both of us, so it seemed like a good idea!
Speaking of Unrilis, what is Mario like? We’ve all heard great things here at Side of Groove!
Kyle: This is probably a really disappointing answer, but we’ve only talked via email. He’s very patient and kind with our sometimes slower than normal responses though!
Hans: Yes Mario seems very professional and organised. Seems to be running things well and i’m happy to be working with Unrilis.
Hans, your remix of Locomatica has been on fire this summer, and we’ve been hearing it everywhere. What was it like working on this one? Did you know it was going to be so successful?
Hans: Yes I noticed this remix has been getting a lot of attention and support. It was a very quick remix for me and I think I used the parts well. I managed to finish the track in just a couple of hours and every time I play it, there’s a great reaction!
Kyle, we always love to meet US born producers who are making music in the techno world (we are from Boston and Chicago). What is it like living and working in Germany? Do you ever feel out of place?
Kyle: I think it’s a really good experience to live abroad. Depending on your age and background, it will be beneficial for different reasons perhaps. For example, I was 31 when we moved here, and that’s approaching the age where you start to get mildly stubborn and set in your ways. The older you get, the less you bend. I don’t want to become that person, so moving to Germany really shook things up in a good way for me. It forced me to not have things MY way, which is a great exercise. At first you have the tendency to deal with things by complaining, as though that will change hundreds of years of culture to accommodate to my pity party. Then you start realizing that the only thing you can change about your experience is the way you view things, as well as your flexibility. If you’re a little kid living in say, Germany…before long, you don’t even know if you’re more German or American. For me, I will always be completely American, but I certainly have gained a great appreciation for other cultures, as well as becoming more adaptable. Before I moved here, I was thinking, like “I’ve traveled all over the world, I LOVE other cultures.” And let me tell you, that’s one of the easiest badges of honor to wear when you’re VISITING other cultures…but much like relationships, the little quirks about a culture that made your initial encounter so fun, unique, and interesting, begin to wear on you when you’re living with them every day. Of course I feel out of place at times, but I think I felt that living in Indiana as well. I love both places, and I have to be honest, I think that after two years of living in Germany, the quality of life for the average person is significantly better here in Germany than in the US. I love America, and will always be American. But when you step back and look at things like vacation times, maternity leave, health care, ability to eat healthy and not be broke, affordable higher education (270 euro a semester at Humbolt or any other state funded university, which includes a city wide transportation pass for the duration of your enrollment. Compare that to a state school, like my alma mater (Purdue), which costs 5000 USD a semester), public transportation, private transportation, and overall a broader appreciation for culture and art, I think I would have no problem living in Germany forever if my roots and family weren’t so deeply planted in the US. Given, I grew up in a small-midsize city in the middle of the US, and I’m living in the capital city of Germany…one of the biggest cities in all of Europe in fact. So it’s not really a fair comparison in all those categories, but I think it’s fair to compare all things that are federally controlled and ask my country why they’re fighting so hard against these things? After all that stuff, Germany is less in debt, has steady and continuous, albeit slow economic growth, and still finds a way to create a healthier work/life balance than the US.
Kyle, we also heard you had a great set at Berghain earlier this month. We’ve never been but it is very high on our list. What was so powerful about the set? Which one track stands out in your head from that night?
Kyle: I’m glad to hear that people said nice things about it! Berghain is a special place that will never be duplicated despite the countless efforts to do so. I think a big factor in my set being well received, is that I’ve started having a lot of fun DJing again. I tend to get bored easily, so I’m constantly changing my DJ setup and trying new things. I recently have started using CDJ’s + Guitar pedals/foot controllers for effects, plus my Cycloops that I resurrected for looping and layering on the fly. My laptop stays at home! I think there is no software better than Traktor for DJing, but I was really missing the physicality of it all. I could care less about beat matching or the age old sync button debate…as that wasn’t what the switch or what DJing is about for me. I wanted to have a more hands on, physical experience, which is allowed through the CDJ’s more so than controllers. I’m sure I’ll get bored again at some point and need to see change, but for now I’m having a great time! I tested out a lot of my own productions throughout the night and was quite pleased with the response they got, so you’ll be seeing those slowly come out over the next year on my labels Cubera and Cuda.
What does the rest of 2014 have in store for you?
Kyle: I had too much fun this summer, so now it’s time to lower my head and get busy again in the studio! I’m also ramping up the tempo for my labels’ release schedules, so that is enough to keep me busy!
Hans: It’s looking like a busy end to the year for me in terms of gigs, releases & podcast mixes. I have two new Secluded projects coming out on Soma Records & Sleaze Records, including remixes by Truncate, Woo York & Subjected. Two new Hans Bouffmyhre records after this. One on Bek Audio and one on Sleaze Records with a remix by Developer. So there’s plenty happening!
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! Hope to see you on the road soon.
The ‘Heavy Handed‘ EP is out October 20 on Unrilis.