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A Sit Down With DJ Khainz

Khainz is a techno and tech house producer who has been DJ’ing for nearly 20 years now and producing since 1999. Hailing from beautiful Lucerne, Switzerland, hi s cutting edge production skills have seen him produce exciting and innovative releases in the past on such established imprints as Heinz Music, Sprout, Formatik and Great Stuff, amongst many more. 

As well as a pretty impressive production work appetite, he is also a prolific world tour performer with him who has played at venues in such countries as Mexico, Brazil, India, Thailand, Japan, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, as well as all over Europe.

His journey trough electronic music began in the early 90’s. when he was only at the age of 14 years old he spins Vinyls in his brother room, what later became his biggest addiction. After a few years of practice he began to play almost every weekend in club’s, open air events and festival. During the year 1999, he moved a step further to write and produce his own music. He’s always trying to bring something fresh and unique trough his sound Khainz released numerous singles through leading international labels, such as: Sprout Music, Form, Great Stuff, Hotfingers, Formatik , Natura Viva, Autist , Flow, Soulman.

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Can you tell us how it all began and what is behind your stage name “Khainz”?

I started producing in 1998, but then psy-trance. Around the year 2003 I moved more towards techno. When I was asked what they should write on the flyer, I said Karl Heinz … What has resulted in the short form Khainz. And somehow I just could not get rid of the name.

What made you go from spinning other people’s music to make your own?

I got curious to how people actually make the music I play. So I started to practice and learn music production.

Where are you finds his ideas for all his production & Performances?

From Parties, People, Moments & Feelings. Life seems to be an inspiration to this one!

What does the rest of the world probably not know about Dance music in Switzerland?

Switzerland has many Clubs and Festivals even if its a very small country. People are very outgoing and enjoy to party till late. It’s also one of my favourite countries to play as many people are musically educated and open minded. And for sure because its my home where I can party with my homies. There are many great producers not too many are well known, but I guess that’s just a matter of time until you will see more Swiss acts on line ups around the world.

Do you mostly play own productions or is it a mix between many?

I play mostly my own music (Live Sets), in DJ Sets I play also music from other producers.

 

“As a DJ you will never be able to make 100% of the people in the club happy. Each DJ has his style, which should also make him unique and for which he is also booked at the parties.”

 

You have toured all over the globe, which country has surprised you the most and why?

It’s difficult to say. It’s quite different from country to country. Mexico and Brazil for example have more “Raves” with huge crowds. I like to play big parties. But I mostly prefer the smaller parties have some more personality between me and the crowd. There is more eye contact with individual people. I guess my favourite places I have been until now are Australia, Canada and Japan. I guess it’s not depending really on countries. It’s more about what parties you play there.

Do you find Phangan to be a good place for your music?

Yes I guess nowadays in Phangan you can play many different styles. I remember some years ago it was mostly psytrance and progressive trance. Today you have more parties with different styles of music so it’s kind of open for any style now. My favourite places is probably Bay lounge for chill, Santorini to eat and Halfmoon to party.

Can you tell us some funny or annoying anecdotes, stories? 

I could probably fill an entire book with anecdotes and stories, such as the first time in Mexico: After a 12-hour flight I arrived exhausted in Mexico and of course the driver from the airport was already too late to pick me up. But since it was the first time, I thought he was already there and just does not recognize me. That’s why I wanted to wear a T-shirt from the label for which I played that time. When I put my laptop bag next to me and the shirt was changing, someone managed to steal my DJ bag and its contents within 5 seconds. When we went to the Mexican police, they just laughed and said this happens daily at the airport. They would also have surveillance cameras there and I could even look at the pictures. Since I’ve already thought: “pictures? A camera should still make videos. “But no, this camera took only every 20 seconds a picture and so you saw me once in the picture with the laptop bag and the other time without … so it was not exactly helpful. I was told by the police that part of the corrupt security teamed up with the pickpockets and told them exactly when a picture would be taken. After they showed me their “best of stealing bags” pictures of other people and told me that my bag would probably never be found again, my tour consisted of driving from the airport to the embassy and back and all my documents back to obtain. Last but not least, the party was canceled because the organizer paid too little bribe to the police. So we spent our days in the hotel with sauna, whirlpool and lots of tequila. 

How have you grown as a producer?

I guess its a goal of every artist to grow production wise and musically. I guess my  Album (Simple as That) has a bit more variations and its way more musical then Modul8. My debut Album was more Techno/ Progressive house, the new album more Techno/Tech House. I’m sitting daily for hours in the studio if I’m not on tour and that helps me growing in production and musically I guess.

What do you advise aspiring Swiss musicians?

Stay true to yourself! Do not do that, which is just a trend just so you get bookings. Otherwise you are just one of 1000 doing the same thing. I think for clubs, festivals as well as listeners it is more interesting when a DJ or act plays who has his own imprint than someone who plays exactly the same as the last 5 DJs in front of him. Because this is the only way to stand out a bit from the pabulum. Just do what you like! Music is something very personal and extremely dependent on the mood. It does not do any good to force yourself into something in the studio where you just do not feel like it! 

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