Habstrakt Gets Us Ready For The Neckbreaker Tour @ Output [Interview]

As the Neckbreaker Tour descends upon Brooklyn tonight, we got in touch with one of the tour’s boisterous headliners. Bass music phenom Habstrakt, has been on a tear lately. The French DJ and producer has enjoyed a meteoric rise since breaking into the world of electronic music. With a cutting edge mastery of dubstep and house, Habstrakt has amassed a devastating array of releases and a massive global following as well.

Along with fellow bass behemoths FuntCase and Dirtyphonics, Habstrakt is currently running rampant all over North America. As the Neckbreaker Tour leaves a path of destruction in its wake, eager bass fiends are getting ready for tonight’s 4/20 celebration. Before hitting Brooklyn’s famed Output nightclub tonight, Habstrakt took a few of our questions about life on tour, his favorite albums and what’s next in store for him.

Sensible Reason: What’s it like being on tour with Dirtyphonics and FuntCase?

Habstrakt: It’s great ! We’ve all known each other for a while, Funtcase from so many shows and internet things, and Dirtyphonics from a while ago back in France. They saw the project Habstrakt born and reach where it is now and it’s amazing to be on the road with people you’ve known for so long. We all trust each other and the vibe and energy is nothing but positive!

SR:   What is your favorite aspect about life on the road?

HAB: I love discovering new cities, new places, and the food! I never really got the chance to travel before being a DJ so I embrace every chance I get to go out there and explore and meet new people. I love writing music on the road, even though it can be really challenging when you’re on the clock or simply exhausted from traveling.

SR: How would you compare shows in Europe with shows in The States?

HAB: It’s very hard to define, but I think people in the States are a bit more receptive to playing many different genres and tempos in your set, experimenting, which suits me very well. The scene in the US right now is booming, with more diversity than ever before if you know where to look — I find it very stimulating and inspiring.

SR: When you are on tour with high-energy artists like Dirtyphonics and FuntCase, do you find yourself trying to go push the envelope even more in your sets? 

HAB: Every set or tour that I play, I push myself as hard as I can, but it doesn’t matter what level of confidence you can have on stage, you should never stop learning and trying to improve. These guys have a lot more experience than I have and I’m learning new things every day, reconsidering some techniques that I was using and thought were right, but this all goes both ways, we all exchange so much tips and tricks on the road! But yes, I definitely try to push even harder next to those monsters!

SR: What’s your favorite hip-hop album? Also who are some current hip-hop artist that pique your interest? 

HAB: Right now I can’t stop listening PNL and their album « Le Monde Chico »

It’s a French duo coming from Paris, but I don’t think you need to understand the lyrics to enjoy the vibe (I grew up listening to Wu Tang and had no idea what they were talking about). Dirtyphonics and I play this album every time we see an aux cord on this tour !

Also reaaally digging Kendrick Lamar’s new album « untitled unmastered »


SR: When it come to electronic music, what are some albums that you deem as required listening? 

HAB: My top 5 on the road right now :

Jon Hopkins – Immunity

James Holden – The Inheritors

Tim Hecker – Rave Death, 1972

Boards Of Canada – Tomorrow’s Harvest

Kill The Noise – Occult Classic

SR: How would you describe your progression from your earlier dubstep sound to your more recent house/garage influenced style? What inspired this evolution?

HAB: I feel like I’ve always had a very large spectrum of genres I was experimenting around with, but I was always keeping the house/garage part a bit more under the radar. A few years back I’ve just started playing a lot more of that in my sets after releasing that VIP of Eptic’s « Danger », I guess I just gained enough confidence back then to start producing more of that vibe and I just kept on with it because I’m loving it. What was just a few producers messing around blending house and dubstep now became a genre on its own, and I’m proud to be part of it!

SR: What’s more fun for you, throwing down in a intimate club like Output or playing in front of thousands at a festival?

HAB: Why not both! I come from clubs, playing at the same level at the crowd in a very intimate/packed room and I love the proximity with the crowd, it’s the place where you can play some weird songs, break the rules a bit more and really let yourself go on a freestyle. But playing in places like EDC Vegas or Rampage changes your life, the energy and adrenaline rush is pretty intense, and it’s a different approach — you wanna play all the best you’ve got and make sure the crowd never stops raging! I definitely play a different type of set in each occasion but I couldn’t just stick to either clubs OR festivals.

SR: Do you have any hobbies or interests that occupy your time when you’re not in the studio making tracks or touring?

HAB: When I’m not taking care of my cat who barely remembers me, I love cooking and anything related to food and gastronomy, whether it’s cooking myself or just going out in a good restaurant. I used to do that as a small job before music took over years ago, but I never lost the love for it!

I’m also a big analog and modular synthesis nerd, and love to spend numerous hours patching cables in order to create futuristic robot fart sounds.

SR: You’re very active on social media and you really do your best to communicate with your fans. How important is it for you to have a direct link to the people who love your music? 

HAB: I find it absolutely essential; my fans are the first and main reason I’m where I am now and have the chance of touring, thanks to everyone supporting the music and going to the shows, I have nothing but love for them back ! It’s also a huge lot of work now as my fanbase is constantly growing and expanding but I like to do it myself, I would find it unfair to send a bot like my fan’s tweets aha!

SR: What else in store for you? What can fans be on the lookout for?

HAB: Right now I’m trying to finish a bunch of new collabs with Eptic, Dustycloud, Drezo, Barely Alive and a few more. I’m also putting final touches to new originals and you can expect a new EP on Never Say Die in the next few months as well as many other surprises I can’t mention for now..

As for the shows, my entire 2016 year is almost fully booked so I guess I’ll see all you guys on the road soon!

Jabari Kefele

Back by popular demand.

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