Exclusive Interview: Horizon Wireless
Harrison Waxenberg (the man behind the boards of DJ/Drummer duo Horizon Wireless) has that determination in his eyes – a certain sparkle when he’s talking about music that pulls you in and shows you that he’s serious. He’s hungry to carve out his spot in this fast-paced world of electronic dance music and he’s on an equally speedy path to doing it. Horizon Wireless has directly supported acts like Hallucinogen, Conspirator and Brother’s Past, and is making appearances at a number of festivals this summer including Camp Bisco, Mint Green Festival, 51BassCamp and Catskill Chill.
Sensible Reason was lucky enough to catch Horizon Wireless play a hard-hitting, straight up dance party set on the Yaguarete Stage at Uphoria and catch up with Waxenberg the next day to learn about what goes into a set, influences and why he thinks we’re in a “platinum age.”
Download Horizon Wireless’ set from Uphoria:
So after catching your set last night I was wondering, what does the preparation for a live set go like?
Usually I play with a drummer, so the preparation for a set like this is totally different. I tried out some new tracks that I felt the Uphoria family would get down to, and experimented with a newer style of mixing last night. But if there’s any “formula” to a HW set, it usually starts with something minimal and works it’s way up through a variety of different feels over the whole set until climax. In the end I want the set to be a cohesive experience – to tell a story.
Cool! How would you describe your “sound”?
Psychadelic freakout funk from the future.
Great! It definitely caught on quickly. How does your growing popularity feel?
I’ve been playing music my entire life… getting any sort of recognition, let alone from artists I’ve looked up to for so long, is really humbling. I got to tour a bit with Conspirator which was amazing. Also, sharing bills with so many people that have influenced me (i.e. The Disco Biscuits, Shpongle, etc) and connecting with these artists has been something I’ve always wished I could do, it’s pretty surreal. Mike Rempel (guitarist of Lotus) checked out my set after their NYC Irving Plaza gig the other night which was a very full circle moment for me being as how I’ve been going to see him for so long. It all has been, and continues to be, a very fun ride.
So I know you work for Mr. Bugsly Presents, how do you manage being an artist and working as a promoter?
My job affords me a lot of networking opportunities that might have been harder to come across otherwise. I’m in a really unique position in that I can empathize with every role – I understand what it means to be a promoter, an artist, concert producer… even stage manager, which allows me to approach any situation with a broad understanding of what needs to happen from all angles.
Here’s a quick peek of Horizon Wireless’ set at Uphoria – video courtesy of Katie New.
So where did the idea of “the network” and the name Horizon Wireless come from?
In college my friends would always use the word “Zon” instead of “Son” (i.e. “Whatup zon”). Eventually I changed my name to Harrizon on Facebook and wrote that down on a name tag at one of my jobs. One of the kids I worked with pronounced it as “Horizon.” My girlfriend at the time added the “Wireless” and the rest is history. That’s how the name came about at least… but becoming Horizon Wireless was also the result of a pretty intense ascension-like experience that I had around the same time. It’s kind of a long story but Brownie (Marc Brownstein, bassist for the Disco Biscuits) once reduced it down to one really simple phrase, that I left as Harrison and came back as Horizon… I always thought that summed it up the best.
As far as “the network”, it’s just my take on the infinite connections that exist in our universe. When you are aware of how interlocked we all really are, the world becomes a lot more accessible… and all of a sudden you start meeting people who want to help facilitate the reality you’ve always envisioned.
Our logo is the NYC skyline with wireless symbols coming off the Empire State Building (representing the hotbed of musical activity and vibes that emanate from the city) coupled with a moon that has subwoofers as it’s craters (showing that any vibe that is cultivated on Earth is projected via satellite to all corners of the galaxy). Every thought you make and action you take is broadcast throughout the universe, and as we’ve been approaching the singularity, our karmic loop is becoming more and more instantaneous. If you are a good person in today’s day and age, if you flow with love, you’re going to see a lot of what you put out returned to you almost immediately. We’re living in such an incredible time period for music and ideas to be communicated… in what I like to call a “Platinum Age,” where a 14-year-old literally can make a track on his iPad in bed, upload it to the internet, and it can be played in a club halfway around the globe… all within a matter of minutes. The world has never been this connected (although I can’t speak for Lemuria or Atlantis). This is by far and wide the most exciting and important time to express yourself and truly be what you want to be. There are a myriad of cosmic forces at work today and I do owe a lot to the stars… maybe someday I can repay them ;).
For sure, so what are you listening to right now?
I’ve been listening to a lot of Bad Tango, Hedflux, pretty much all Nu skool psy-breaks, oh and some electro-swing.
Nice! I’ve been getting into electro-swing too. I’m going to steal this question from Nina from Sensible Reason, if you were going into space and you could only bring a couple albums which would you bring with you?
Ha! So, Tipper’s entire discography for sure.. although I’m pretty sure that’s a best seller already in Andromeda, Flowjob – this female progressive psy-house duo, Taking Back Sunday’s Tell All Your Friends and Brand New’s Your Favorite Weapon.
Check out footage from Horizon Wireless’ set at Binghamontronica:
Keep up with Horizon Wireless’ appearances, new releases and more on Facebook