A Hive Mind

Interview with Hessle Audio

A Hive Mind

11-10-2014 | 10.24

We’ve endeavoured numerous attempts in the past to interview the Hessle Audio crew here at Trouw. Questions have been formulated, dates have been set, emails have been sent, but all previous efforts have failed conclusively to entice the Hessle Audio heads into a conversation. It was only ahead of their upcoming ADE performance that an email labelled Trouw blog piece with Hessle Audio & more, finally presented us with the opportunity to conduct a short email interview with Ben UFO, Pangaea and Pearson Sound. Individually they’re all respected DJs and producers in their own right, but it’s when they all come together that true magic happens on the dance floor. They form a hive mind behind the decks, one that can communicate to an audience various levels as influenced by each personality, while maintaining the narrative of the DJ set. It came as no surprise when we got our reply in the same manner, a single entity known as Hessle Audio. 

When I think of Hessle Audio, I think of a bass-focussed sound that keeps a steady eye on the dance floor and avoids classification. Have you adapted this at all for 2014 and how do you see it changing in the future?
"Our DJ sets continue to evolve gradually as we continue to search for new music, and as we look for the connections between the three of us as individual DJs, but our approach towards the label has remained constant - we want to release interesting, forward-looking dance music that doesn’t have any other obvious outlet."
In a past interview, David (Pearson Sound) mentioned that it is getting harder for you guys to agree on releases, as your tastes get more divergent. Is this still the case and what intrinsic element of a song brings you all together these days? What was is it about the Bruce release that you all bonded over?
"That’s still the case, and it’s probably part of the reason our release schedule has slowed down over the past couple of years. We want to release music that works on the dancefloors that we play to, so we’re looking for music that functions within a house and techno context - but we’ve never thought of our label as an outlet for straightforward house and techno, so we’re also looking for music that exists slightly outside of that kind of easy categorisation; music which perhaps other labels focusing on house and techno might not be interested in. It’s a difficult balance, but it’s rewarding when we do find something. The Bruce record is a good example of something which achieves that balance of experimentalism and functionality."
Bruce, much like many of the other artists on your roster, prefers to shy away from the limelight. How do you guys feel about a personality being tied up with music?
"He’s released two records so far, and recently recorded a mix for Electronic Explorations. He has a Facebook page and a Twitter account - he’s not particularly hidden away. The artists we release on the label make their own decisions as to how they choose to present themselves."
You’ll be doing a back to back at Trouw and having experienced it in the past I found it very captivating. What thread in your personalities connects you all to make it appear so effortless?
"We’ve played together a lot over the past few years in a variety of different contexts, and we know each other well. We never plan our sets beyond conversations that we’ll have based on the length of time we have to play. Back to back sets force you to focus and respond spontaneously to the DJs you’re playing with, and you’re occasionally forced out of your comfort zone…  It keeps things interesting."

Text: Mischa Mathys