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Khainz – always on fire

Simon Khainz has been putting his unique stamp on dance music for nearly 20 years.  In our interview, you can find out how the tireless producer and DJ makes it onto the renowned labels of our time like Yoshitoshi, Heinz Music Katermukke or Eleatics and constantly tours around the globe. We dive into his studio routines and take a deep look into the past and future of the artist from Switzerland.

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Hello Khainz! We already know you’re from Switzerland. Can you tell us a little bit about the city you were born/raised in and how it influenced your musical career?

I was raised in a small town in Switzerland called Buchs! Electronic Music wasn’t big there but my brother and some friends were into it and had turntables and a mixer that I was allowed to use for practising. I was 15 back then and didn’t have much money to buy vinyl but they mostly let me use theirs.

After a year or so I did my first vinyl shopping and got addicted to it. We had a small record store there but mostly we went to Zürich as the choice there was way bigger! In 2002 I moved to lucern where I still reside! There is a good scene and also a few good clubs!

Speaking of history. How did you get started with electronic music and what were your main inspirations to start this journey?

In 1996 I started to DJ (back then psytrance and progressive). Then in 1998 I played around with Rebirth (a software that emulated 808s and 303s) for the first time, I wouldn’t call it producing
but it was a step towards it. About 1999 I bought Cubasis VST 1.0. and from there it practically started with my own productions (if you can call it that)!

I played quite some gigs at a young age so I got interested in how records are actually made! I had not a single person when I started to make my own music. That could have helped me in the beginning. So it was quite a struggle to learn. The Internet also didn’t really exist back then so you couldn’t just download samples or watch tutorials.

It was mostly about reading manuals. After 3 years on my own, SestoSento (Vinivici) stayed at our place for a week and taught me a lot of new techniques and tricks! That helped me a lot and I was able to sign my first tracks to labels.

You spent some time in Brazil during your ZooMinimal Festival gig. How did you experience those days? What do you enjoy the most?

It was actually more of an in-and-out gig! I arrived on Friday in Sao Paulo, Saturday I went to Curitiba for Zoominimal and back home on Sunday. Actually, a good friend of mine stayed in the same Hotel (coincidentally) so we went out to a friend’s studio for a few hours!

But travelling can be a bit exhausting, so I didn’t do much else. What I enjoyed the most about the tour was definitely playing at Zoominimal and testing new music!

You’ve just confirmed your appearance at the Halfmoon Festival on Koh Phangan in 2023. You have played there in the past – what can you tell us about it?

I have a very good connection with Halfmoon Festival! I played there for the first time in 2004. I was supposed to play in Krabi for New Year but the tsunami hit the place quite heavily. The party got obviously cancelled because of that.

So we decided to help a bit to clean the place up! After a week the owner of the Halfmoonfestival called me and asked if I want to play for his party as Koh Phangan was safe from the wave. That’s when it all began! I return almost every year to the island since that year!

How would you describe your current sound identity?

My current sound I would describe as progressive melodic techno! Definitely something recognisable with a personal touch!

Is there something like a routine for you in the daily production process like for your latest EP Running High?

After 23 years of producing music you have a routine in the production process but this doesn’t mean that creativity always strikes you!

Sometimes things just flow nicely and sometimes it feels like you drive an old rusty bicycle and don‘t get anywhere! Running High actually was a quite simple process to write the main idea of the track, but in the end, I still ended up with 5 or 6different versions!

Any news about future work you can tell us yet?

Next up is a remix I did for Carbon on Hamburg (Germany) based “Alula Tunes”. Then a collaboration EP with Sezer Uysal on his label “Theory X” including a remix by Baime is coming up soon. In addition, a remix I did for Ever Tapia & Oneshot on Module Music (my own imprint) will be
released and I’m excited to have a full EP on the ICONYC imprint.

And I don’t want to spoil too much yet, but there is also a collaboration with Like Mike in the pipeline. There are still a few projects I can’t talk about yet, but as you can see, there are a lot of things on the agenda.

Thank you

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