Khainz talks Jungala 2015, remixes & South Africa
Khainz will once again close Jungala 2015 this year and who could forget his classic closing set last time the Swiss producer was out in South Africa? Although his forte is now techno and no longer psytrance, Khainz knows and understands the psy-floor and with this he brings his own brand of tech beats that speak to fans of both genres. It was a bold move when Simon Schwendener decided to retire his successful psytrance project, Freakulizer, to pursue the music that was speaking to him on a more personal level almost 10 years ago, by launching Khainz. Who can deny a producer pursuing music that resonates with him and it certainly has borne fruit with a busy tour schedule, a string of steady releases and some pretty hefty remixes and collaborations to date.
We chatted to Simon ahead of his gig at Jungala 2015…
Are you aware you have the same name as a famous Swiss Botanist? Do you know much about him?
Khainz: I Googled myself (who didn’t?) and he showed up many times. Also in the city where I grew up, there was a fountain named after him. But I only knew he was a botanic because of Google. Actually I always told my friends that the fountain is named after me 🙂
I was surprised to read your BIO on Soundcloud and there was no mention of Freakulizer…
Khainz: I’m not playing and producing much as Freakulizer, I had a gig few weeks ago after 3 years of abstinence. And I don’t really want to mix up Khainz and Freakulizer, as at the moment I’m concentrating only on Khainz. Khainz and Freakulizer where always two different things and I never tried to mix them up in anyway.
What was the tipping point that made you decide to discontinue Freakulizer and focus only on Khainz?
Khainz: The music and the feeling I have when I produce it.
Do you remember your first ever gig in South Africa as Freakulizer on that rooftop?
Khainz: Sure! It was a party from Groovy Troopers! (In 2006?). I met lots of good people there that I still have contact with. And it was very special to me to play on a rooftop in the middle of Cape Town.
You’ve played for PsynOpticz Productions in South Africa before. How do you rate their events and the dancefloor?
Khainz: Their events are very special for me, as the crowd is very open to many styles of music. The production is really great as their are for the artists. I really like the crew from Psynopticz, I felt very welcome last time. And it seemed that people really enjoyed my set!
Who are some of your current favourite techno artists?
Khainz: There are many good acts that I like! To name a few: Maceo Plex (Maetrik), Ricky Ebner, Shaded.
You’ve done some killer remixes; Format B and Sebastien Leger both come to mind. What track (electronic or not) have you always wanted to remix?
Khainz: Hmm there are a few actually that come to my mind … 🙂 Petter – Some Polyphony (even if it would be a hell of a job to make the remix better than the original), non electronic James Blake – Retrograde (so minimal but what a tune).
Do you play more gigs in Switzerland or outside your home country?
Khainz: Recently more Gigs in Switzerland, but this also has to do with that I’m a bit exhausted from all the travelling over the past few years. Plus I’m working on an album … so it’s a good thing to play close to home, you can be back to the studio on Monday [laughs].
You’ve played at some pretty big events around the world. What’s your biggest one to date?
Khainz: I guess Boom (Portugal), Xxxperience (Brazil), or Atmosphere (Mexico) (all around 20 – 30k). Also in Switzerland there is the street parade, there are around 1 million people attending but for sure not everyone hears you as you are on a driving truck through the streets of Zurich while playing.
What is your lasting memory of South Africa and our dancefloors?
Khainz: The closing set at Jungala Festival 2 years ago! Such a great afternoon!
Also not dancefloor related: I travelled the Garden Route and Wild Coast for some weeks; those were both amazing experiences, which showed me more of the beauty of South Africa!