“It’s all about continuity.”
Cape Town based, Helmut J is known for his versatile flowing journeys into ambient, dub style, deep and driving house and of course, minimal techno. His influences stem from the likes of John Digweed, Nick warren, Dave Seaman, Anthony Pappa, Gab Oliver and Trentemoller. After seven years in the business he’s held residencies at Kink for Stripped Saturdays, Shhhh nights at Black Orchid, mntl Thursdays, Doctor Stone’s Sub Urban Underground and 2Loud? He also ran his own daytime outdoor event, Sideways Sessions, in Joburg- all dedicated to the indulgence of the most acquired taste for underground EDM- the proceeds of which were donated to distressed animal associations like the SPCA. Further success saw him take third place in the prestigious Gemini DJ Battle in 2008 and then, moving to get his piece of Mount City.
What can partygoers expect when he’s playing?
My energy is friendly and approachable while I’m playing, but not too approachable where requests for Shakira are acceptable. I completely lose myself during sets, mostly because I love music so much but also because I believe very much in the proper progression of a set. It’s very important to me to know what style the DJ before & after me is going to play by either downloading a set or two of theirs or arriving at least an hour before so that I know where the night is headed… its all about continuity! Style wise I personally love dark brooding Techno/Minimal/Tech House with sick basslines and I’ve gravitated quite heavily to the Deep House & Dub Techno section of Beatport, but even the deep house that I play has a darker, techier edge to it.
My two favourite gigs has to be my first open air experience at Origin. Just to hear your music blasting out through trees and to people partying in a river is something special. I have always loved playing Killer Robot parties as well … always pleasant to deal with. The first time I played there was one of the first times that I could truly play the music that I loved without worrying about going too dark or too experimental. The crowd went off to all of it!
Tune in below to hear one of his recent productions and look out for the rebirth of his Sideway Sessions gigs in Cape Town which sets its sails sometime in 2011. Check out his regular podcast listings on Listenup SA and Whomp FM.
WORDS: Mary Honeychild