An Interview with Killer Techno Producer He/aT

He/at aka. Chris Finke makes his debut on Mord Records with ‘I’ve Been Thrown Out of Better Places Than This’, a collection of four solid techno tracks. We caught up with Chris to discuss the release and his plans with this alias.

How do your track names come about? Their playful nature really contrasts the tunes they refer to.

Everyone seems to love my track titles, or at least comment on them, which is good. I think titles are so important to the tracks, and it’s a shame that a lot of producers don’t get more creative with them. I keep a list of sayings I use, or some that I read about or hear and then change up a bit. Normally they are things that relate to me, funny things that happen to me or situations. Very often I am working on a track and something works really well, or I leave it untitled until I have something that fits.

Describe your creative process? How do you reach the aggressive power that your tracks hold?

I am probably the least technical producer in techno and have no problem saying it. My process kind of changes with each track and I don’t have a set way of doing things. I usually do a lot of playing around with sounds and find something I like and and get a vibe going. I’m not someone who can work on a track for days or weeks, it tends to be more of a raw feeling and when it’s done it’s done. I naturally draw on my years of DJing without even thinking, and that’s how I always approach my tracks – from the perspective of someone on the dancefloor.

The EP is presented with a poem. What was your role in the writing or selection for that, and what do you hope it adds to the EP?

Well, every MORD release comes with a poem and Bas Mooy (the label owner) came up with it and it was better than the one I that I had found! I sourced the artwork for the sleeve and if you study it, it really fits the scene going on and the title of the EP. It really makes me laugh, sometimes things all come together and work so well.

What are your influences?

I have such a wide range of influences: music, comedy, words and people in a broad sense. But regarding specific electronic music, my earliest influences are the UK rave scene, Belgian techno, Chicago, DJ-Ax Up Beats, R&S, early Relief stuff, jungle / darkside, Dance Mania, all that stuff. Raw party music sums it up well I think.! I don’t tend to listen to techno unless I am making it or DJing or at a club. There is a world of music out there and I think it’s a shame when people just focus on techno.

You produce under numerous aliases (Chris Finke; Bodyjack), what do you hope to achieve or present with this one that separates it from the others?

I actually took Chris Finke down to the river and drowned him when I started producing under the He/aT and Bodyjack names. It was time to say good bye and freshen things up. And now, after an interesting couple of years, I am now focusing primarily on my He/aT alias. It is what I feel the most comfortable doing and where I really get to be creative and have the most fun, which is what it should be all about!

Regarding where I am going with He/aT, I haven’t got a set plan – all I want to do is make sure I don’t release EP’s of 4 versions of the same tracks which I think techno is starting to suffer from again after a golden period. I’ve got a lot of projects I’m working on and just excited to see how it all works out. My new project called “Kintsugi Soundsystem” with Tom Dicicco (Delsin, The Corner) is about to drop and that’s something else I’m really hyped about. It should be a good year ahead!

“I’ve Been Thrown Out of Better Places Than This” is due out on Mord on September 22nd. In the meantime, listen to its opening track above.