Henrik Schwarz was born and raised in South Germany where he also took his first musical steps as a DJ in local Clubs playing Rap, Hip Hop, Rare Groove and Jazz and Detroit Techno. Soon after he started to spin regularly he was also interested in computer music production and started to do his own productions in 1992 with a few drumachines and synths. When he got his first Laptop in 1998 he started to integrate it into his DJ-Sets and soon the Laptop played an important role in all his music activities. The software got better and better and Henrik was enjoying the new possibilities.
1999, after he had finished his studies in Graphic Design, Henrik decided to move to Berlin and worked as a Graphic Designer for several years. By-and-by things developed nicely also on the music side and he had the chance to found his own label SUNDAY-MUSIC together with Sasse Lindblad who had just released Henrik’s first ever Vinyl 12″ called “SUPRAVISION EP” on his label Moodmusic Records in 2002. “Marvin”, one of the tracks on the record, got attention from many DJs around the world, especially BBC’s Gilles Peterson took it in his show and played it with immediate effect. From that moment things made a great leap forward for Henrik: He received first remix requests and started to travel to the UK and other European countries. His next releases “Jon” on SUNDAY-MUSIC and especially “Chicago” on MOODMUSIC became very successful and made him shift his activities more and more from Design towards music production and travelling.
Over the last years with international bookings all around the globe, with regular appearances in Japan, America etc. Henrik improved his HENRIK SCHWARZ LIVE show and is now one of the most requested live acts in the dance scene. At the same time Henrik produced a string of very well received remixes and own tracks: WALK A MILE IN MY SHOES for Coldcut on Ninjatune became one of the biggest club hits of 2006, LEAVE MY HEAD ALONE BRAIN bridged the gap between Jazz and Techno and Soul and was super well received by Deejays from Hip-Hop to House to Techno and became the biggest hit for SUNDAY-MUSIC so far. Until today he has done remixes for many very well known names like Mari Boine (Universal), Kuniyuki (Mule Musiq), DJ Hell, Tosca (G-Stone), Ethnic Heritage Ensemble (Deeper Soul), James Brown, Dark Globe feat. Boy George, Omar feat. Stevie Wonder, Jazzanova, Jesse Rose, Detroit Experiment, Michael Jackson (Motown) and many others. Today many fans are awaiting his debut album which is in the works effectively since a few months.
2006, as a result of him getting more and more known by a wider audience, Henrik was asked by !K7 to do one of their famous DJ-Kicks series and the result has been regarded as “one of the highlights of the series” and led to another cooperation of the label and Henrik: HENRIK SCHWARZ LIVE with recordings from his intoxicating live shows from all over the world.
With Dixon and Âme from Innervisions Henrik released “Where We At” with Derrick Carter on Vocals which became an instant classic and marked the beginning of a fruitful and close collaboration between Henrik and Innervisions until today with successful releases and remixes like AMAMPONDO AND HENRIK SCHWARZ – I EXIST BECAUSE OF YOU (Amampondo is a very famous south african percussion group), ANE BRUN – HEADPHONE SILENCE (Henrik Schwarz Remix, Dixon Edit), Crocodile IV-RMX for UNDERWORLD, HOLD MY HAND IV-RMX for UNKLE and many others culminating in the first unforgetable Laptop Supergroup Live show of the dreamteam together “A CRITICAL MASS” in Amsterdam and more gigs around 2009 at Melt!, Dissonanze in Rome, Detroit Electronic Music Festival, NY, Japan and many others to come.
2009 also saw the release of a very well received compilation called THE GRANDFATHER PARADOX were Henrik Schwarz, Âme and Dixon were looking back at the last 50 years of minimalistic music from Stevie Reich to Robert Hood and correlated the past and today to throw a glance at the future with the help of todays technology.
Early 2010 Henrik released the SCHWARZONATOR. It is a music software plug in on the basis of the music programming environment MAX/MSP. SCHWARZONATOR helps creating complex harmonic structures for the computer musician. It can also help interacting with instrumentalists and led to another major discussion about the use of the computer as a musical instrument. More software like this will be written by Henrik in the future to expand the performance and improvisation possibilities given by computers today.
Henrik already worked with the Chicago based Jazz trio ETHNIC HERITAGE ENSEMBLE on live performances earlier in his career with gigs in Bordeaux and Chicago etc. His most recent Live duo project together with world-famous Jazz virtuoso BUGGE WESSELTOFT from Norway happened at several venues all over Europe in 2009 with gigs in Berlin, Oslo, the Jazz Festival Montreux and others. It is about the free improvisation between a laptop and a grandpiano played by two musicians who both have a great knowledge from the ohter one’s musical background. 2010 took the duo to a sold out London’s Royal Festival Hall with more gigs in 2010 for example at the Philharmonic Hall Cologne or the Norway Numusic festival and many other venues around the globe.
A CRITICAL MASS (H. Schwarz, Âme, Dixon) wrote a new scoring of the black and white horror movie classic “Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari” which was performed live by the group at the Jetztmusik Festival in Mannheim early 2010.
The future looks bright as we will see more of his one-of-a-kind remixes and remarkable releases in the near future, more colaborations with Dixon and Âme, Bugge Wesseltoft, Guem, Jesse Rose more Live shows and finally an album!
Charlotte De Witte continues her residency on Radio 1. Bringing new Techno, she is travelling the world and playing some of the best tunes. She has been one of the fastest rising underground stars, hugely in demand and, together with Amelie Lens, showing that Belgian Techno DJ’s are tops.
Not scared to bang it in her sets, she also plays a lot of her own productions, having recently had a massive number one hit on Beatport with her remix of Eats Everything’s Space Raiders.
Ok it’s time for a post… Dave & co have shared some lovely pics over the last few days, but I want to share some thoughts…
Well… What can I say?
I’m absolutely overwhelmed by all the love and support from you guys and everyone at the show
Words fail me… It was an emotional rollercoaster, I’ve worked on this show every single day since November last year, whilst suffering from depression and being forced out of my house by a massive noisy bloody car and truck park being built right next door to my house… Like living next to a construction site… 120 car transporter lorries a day trundling up the lane outside my house, that used to be super quiet – it’s only me that lives up the lane… my haven & solace…. And sadly it has ruined my quiet hermit-like existence in the forest, so I’ve had to try and sell my house and find a new place to move to whilst planning this GARGANTUAN show! It’s been stressful to say the least….
I always find rehearsals incredibly gruelling… With over 20 musicians this time, all with their own questions and demands, it’s incredibly over-stimulating compared to my regular life of living alone with my dog, and walking in the woods. But being a perfectionist, I HAD to get it right… Or at least be happy enough with myself that I know I’ve done my best.
So I assembled the best crew I could find, from the mind-blowing talented musicians, with whom you are familiar…. to Nova Han’s production and performers, Andrew Cass, Johnathan Singer & Android Jones that I have met on my travels through time and space … There are too many to mention & tag now -I’d be here forever! But I love you all dearly… you know who you are.
I posted earlier about this being like a graduation from ShpongleLand university…. From days working at the Virgin Studios like Olympic & Townhouse, to my psy-trance career with Hallucinogen at Butterfly Studios….to the endless soul-crushing tours of the USA… all the while spotting musicians and thinking “I must bear them in mind for the future!” The band that you heard at Red Rocks were the culmination of this cherry-picking.
I piled more and more requests on my poor sound crew and musicians… Pushing them to the limits of technology and skills and they all took it with such grace, and accomplishment…I am so humbled, grateful and in awe of every single one of them. 😍😍😍
We only had a few days actual rehearsal together with the full band, and then suddenly Friday was upon us, with 70 (yep, SEVENTY!!) musicians and performers on stage, with countless behind the scenes crew. So it’s no wonder Friday was difficult…. We experienced feedback on stage, which meant that FOH couldn’t get the vocals loud enough, and the acoustic bass was feeding back so much it was almost unplayable. Then Ben started Electroplasm halfway through Aquatic Garden by mistake, so suddenly we had a 7/8 click track in our ears at the wrong tempo… Luckily Chris spotted it and shouted at everyone “Everybody stop playing at once!! Simon make the call!! What do we do?” So we cut it off, and went straight into Electroplasm…. I was disappointed because I really like the second half of Aquatic and we now wouldn’t be able to play it without it being weird…. The mixes in our ears were now a mess, because everyone was panicking and we were nervous enough as it was, without the technical difficulties. Harry’s Cello suddenly stopped working and it took a moment to figure out why – it had ran out of batteries! The Kyma was just making a mad feedback/crashed sound and had to be restarted before we could affect Raj’s voice.
The hang drum mics were fucked and I didn’t hear a note he played the whole night.
For fuck’s sake I just wanted to play my instruments and have fun!!!
The rigging got stuck and some of the performers couldn’t do their thing. The spaceman floated up, got caught in a tree and burst 😢
So THAT is why I say “Friday was rough” However due to the skills of Ian Hunter and others, I’m pretty sure it still sounded great out front….and after some hard words with the crew, everyone pulled it together, and Saturday…. 😱😱😱 Well I’m STILL blown away. Right from the first note I knew we were going to nail it… You can usually tell within the first minute how the show will go…. It sounded so good in my ears, the musicians were on fire, and the performers could finally do their thing. The hang drum mics were flown in from LA and at last I could hear Dan.
The gnomes had learned a new way to say “Hooray!” – everything we had dreamed and planned so carefully and worked on so hard was happening!!!! I could physically feel the sheer love and support from the crowd… And it made me cry a couple of times… I had to leave the stage at the end before I burst into tears 🤪😂 (there must have been a lot of dust in the air, because I definitely wasn’t the only one!)
I know loads of you felt it too…. It was incredibly emotional…. Blissful, powerful and sad all at once… But keeping the psychedelia High 🤩
Everyone who was there KNEW we were part of something really special in the making…
I’m garbling my words and rambling because I am now an empty shell… Totally exhausted and spent. But MY GOD-DESS was it worth it!! THESE are the moments we live for, where we strive for nothing less than perfection, and the sum becomes greater than all the parts. I even remembered to enjoy myself on-stage!
What an incredible, fabulous ground-breaking show on so many levels. I’m humbled, honoured, and beyond grateful to have been a part of it…. Thank you Thank you THANK YOU to all the crew and musicians… Every one of you is outstanding in your field ♥️♥️♥️ My mind is still in pieces, and my emotions are all over the shop. To sell 10,000 tickets in 8 minutes, and 20,000 in 2 hours…not for a festival, but for people to come and see little old me and my band of merry pranksters… we hadn’t even announced the incredible support acts that we had planned 😧😱 Well I still don’t really believe it. I expect to wake up at any moment with a call from Simon H saying, “Si, please can you make a post on Facebook – we’ve hardly sold any tickets??!!”
But most of all thank YOU for supporting us all these years… From playing Idaho on a Wednesday night to 25 people, through the various Shpongletron incarnations, it has grown and grown to the Behemoth that was absolute Pinnacle of Red Rocks on the Saturday night…. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting loads of you, and many I now consider my friends.
What a crazy ride…. You are me and I am you. 👩❤️👩
So…. what next? Well probably a three day post-show depression obviously 😂😂
Actually I have some very exciting ideas brewing… I don’t think you’ll be disappointed 😉 we still have many tricks up our sleeve 😉
And one of these projects I can’t WAIT to get stuck into. Watch this space….
I’ll be posting another photo album tomorrow with more behind the scenes stuff…but then I think I’ll switch off my phone and my social media for a while.
Oh and PLEASE never ask me again, “Hey Simon, when are you bringing the live band back to the US?” 😢😂!!!
Technical Vibe 085
Noemi Black brings the next in her hard hitting Techno podcasts. Both dark and very underground, her sets manage to capture some of the best Techno tunes available. Danceable and captivating, these shows always put a smile on my face.
Acid Pauli aka Martin Gretschmann
Over the last 20 years Martin Gretschmann has been exploring new fields of music off the mainstream paths: psychedelic, adventurous and full of musicality.
In the mid 1990s Martin Gretschmann entered the light of attention with his pseudonym Console, an act he is known for until today. Shortly thereafter, Martin Gretschmann became a part of The Notwist and and added a certain electronic twist to the band. With his solo project Acid Pauli he created several records, remixes and podcast in the last couple of years. Since 2011 Acid Pauli lives in Berlin, where he became a part of the collective The Feathered Sun.
After his debut album “Mst“ released on Clown & Sunset in 2012 his second album BLD was released on his in-house record label Ouïe in early 2017. Martin founded this record label together with Nico Stojan and handled the first release themselves.
In 2016 he released his most popular track ‘Nana’ on the first label compilation of Pampa Records. At the same time he met Ilker Çatak who ask him to write the music for a feature film – Es war einmal Indianerland (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), a Coming of Age story based on the novel by Nils Mohl.
The movie premiered autumn 2017 and Acid Pauli released the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of it.