Oliver Huntemann - How I DJ

Oliver Huntemann is a Hamburg, Germany resident and acclaimed DJ / Producer who’s concrete roots can be traced back to early techno which laid a strong foundation for the successful years that where ahead in his career. Since 2008 Huntemann has been running the Ideal Audio label which was a fresh move after more than fifteen years running Confused Recordings plus a host of sub and sister labels as well as numerous releases and almost as many remixes (for Underworld, Chemical Brothers and Depeche Mode, to name just a few). Oliver’s expertly constructed productions quickly gained him countless admirers within the techno-elite, and it wasn’t long before he struck up a devastating partnership with Dubfire. In 2008 the pair released the awesome Dios. Fast forward to the present day. Huntemann is putting all his efforts into Senso Sounds, his brand-new imprint.

With Oliver Huntemann’s latest mix compilation PLAY! 05 (Live) Vienna is out on Traxsource via his label Senso Sounds, so it was the perfect to time to get some insight into how he rolls in the clubs with his personal preferences. This is how Oliver Huntemann DJs.

Are you more of a DJ or Producer – or one in the same?

I guess, I’m more a DJ, that honed his sense for dramaturgy in the production during many long nights in the booth.

Describe what makes a good DJ in three or four words.

Selection, sense, skills, sensuality.

Who or what inspired you to become a DJ?

I got much inspired to become a DJ through the movie Wild Style. That’s one of the first movies about the Graffiti artists in NYC which also includes some parts with the very young Ice-T spinning and scratching on parties. That film infected me with the DJ thing.

What age did you know you wanted to DJ?

When I was 13.

Do you use a lap-top? If so, what platform/program?

Mac Book Pro 2.6Ghz i7, OSX 10.9.4, Logic Audio, Ableton Live, Traktor Scratch Pro.

Describe your main and preferred DJ set-up.

Two Technics SL 1200 turntables, Allen & Heath Xone92, Traktor Scratch Pro, NI X1 controller, NI Audio 6 or 10.

Why do you choose this way of playing?

Because it gives me a good feeling creating a dramaturgy like an old school vinyl DJ with the benefits of modern technology.

Any special, unique, crazy things on your rider?

Snickers, in case the night is longer than expected. Starving behind the decks is horrible!

Beverage of choice while playing?

Water and Wodka!

Favourite countries or cities to play?

Argentina, Grelle, Forelle, Vienna, Berlin.

Do you Sync, Whats your view on this? Has it leveled the playing field for the better or worse?

I only sync if there’s too much trouble with vibration from the turntables. In general, I think its more about the music and not about the sync button or the mixing skills. Every DJ should be able to mix without the sync button, that’s one of the basics of the job but Ive also heard many bad and boring DJ’s playing with vinyl. Beat matching is not the only thing a DJ has to know about. Creating a special dramaturgy for a couple of hours is maybe more important than thinking about a sync button.

Any other DJ Controllers?

Native Instruments X1 and F1, I like to keep it simple.

Favourite or go-to EFXs while playing?

Just a few skills with EQs, low- and high-pass filter, delay and chorus. Less is more!

Read the crowd or just pound it out?

Read the crowd and pound it out!

Big festivals or intimate clubs? Why?

It’s the experience and variety that makes your skills grow. An intimate club offers you more ways of playing. You have more time and freedom to build your set up and test new stuff. On a festival, the expectations are different. Both, from the crowd and yourself. The playtime is shorter, you jump more or less in the cold water and have to function with the first beat. There is no time to drift with your thoughts, you have to focus and deliver what is needed. As I love long sets, I’ll go maybe a bit more for the clubs.

Ever miss the CDs or Vinyl days?

Nope, not really.

How do you maintain your music library?

I have a main box in Traktor which I exactly use like my old record box. It’s limited and every week some tracks have to leave the box and new music gets added. In addition I have few playlists for own stuff, classics etc.

Wavs OR MP3. WHY? Is their a difference?

I’m a pro and so I use the best material I can get. I prefer Aiff master files because all tags can be included in the file, similar to MP3, it has the same quality like WAV.

Any Tips for aspiring Young DJs?

Pick up a very simple set-up and work it upside down. Follow your gut instinct, when it comes down to music, don’t play what everyone else is playing or is listed in any Top 10. Play a lot and long sets. Focus on what you want to reach and try to reach it step by step!

Do you do any of the Obligatory DJ Poses?

I don’t think so, if I do so, then it’s not on purpose.

How do combat the “Everyone is a DJ” mentality?

Not at all, people come and go. There are so many young guys, DJing for some time and then doing something else. Try to earn your money with it for a few years and keep on growing, then you can probably call yourself a DJ.

Oliver Huntemann latest mix compilation “PLAY! 05 (Live) Vienna” is out on Traxsource.

Oliver Huntemann artist page & releases on Traxsource.

Oliver Huntemann