A label showcase compilations filled with tunes by pioneering producers and a new album of the ‘devil’s work’ that pushes techno to its limits – Hell has never sounded so good…
DJ Hell must be struggling to find time to sleep at the moment. His label, International Deejay Gigolo, has been relentless since the start of the year, dropping track after track after track in a flashback to the days when it was one of the major forces on the dance scene. Of course, the label has never gone away, but over the past few years it’s made less of an impact as some of its major artists moved on to pastures new. The big names are back though, with the likes of DJ Pierre and Peter Kruder spearheading Gigolo’s return to the forefront with some very tasty tunes. And as if to show off this new lease of life, Hell has prepared the label’s latest compilation, Eleven, and filled the two discs with some extraordinarily good techno. There are also more than a few exclusives on here.
And as is all this wasn’t enough, Hell also has his new artist album on the way. Titled Teufelswerk – which means the Devil’s Work – it’s another two-disc affair, which includes collaborations with Peter Kruder, Christian Prommer, Roberto Di Gioi, Bryan Ferry and P Diddy. It’s inventive, infectious and possibly Hell’s best work yet. The devil, it seems, has impeccable taste in techno.
As Hell himself says: “Teufelswerk represents the music in the best way: it’s the work of the devil and it’s the work of me, the work of Hell. The album is also very personal. All my knowledge is there. I went back really far to the early 70s. I don’t think I can make a better record.” Understandably, all this got EQ in an inquisitive mood, so we set off to track down the enigmatic producer, DJ and label boss for what turned out to be an interesting and intriguing chat…
Gigolo seems to be on a bit of a roll at the moment. What’s brought about the huge flurry of activity?
Everybody loves a comback so we thought we should try even harder.
Eleven seems to be one of the strongest compilations from the label in a while. Why are things going so well for Gigolo just now?
Thanks for bringing it up. We hope we’ll be getting more members of the Mega Church of Gigolo right now. My picture says Gigolo never released anything low or out of time, but lots of great albums didn’t get the attention these new artists should have received – like the Woody album, the Sebastien Sans album and the Psychonauts album. We also released the first Presets album and lots of great vinyl 12” singles. But you are right, we didn’t get much into the spotlight and now it’s like so many – or maybe all – of the original members are doing albums outside Gigolo on big major labels or even their own labels. Check out the albums coming up from Tiga, Kittin & Hacker, Vitalic, Terrence Fixmer, David Carretta, DJ Naughty, Mount Sims, Canzian…
When did you set up Gigolo?
In 1997 because I wanted to do it the way I thought it should be done. I always said back in the days we wanted to do what the Beastie Boys did with Grand Royal in the hip hop world.
How would you describe Gigolo’s output?
Give me something special…
What’s been the biggest seller?
Zombie Nation’s Kernkraft 400.
What’s the hardest thing about running a label?
The death of all the distribution companies and the death of all the record stores.
What’s been the worst moment in Gigolo’s history?
There have been a lot of high and lows.
How do you go about tracking down new artists to sign?
Everybody’s an artist now, so I’m looking for somebody who’s into some new ideas and new ways of doing it.
You’ve got your artist album due out soon too. Tell us a bit about that.
It’s a double whopper and it takes a minute to get close to it, but it’s the best work I’ve ever done in my whole life.
It seems like you’ve given voice to a lot of your influences on Teufelswerk. Was that a deliberate move or did it come about naturally?
I didn’t have to push it hard this time. When you’re on fire and the magic moments are there every day in the studio, you should move forward and crap on the holy ghost with the music.
The collaborations with P Diddy and Bryan Ferry are quite a surprise. How did they come about?
They like what I’m doing and they love Gigolo.
Any other bits and pieces going on you want to tell us about?
I’m not sure. It’s late at night and I have things to do, so more news soon…
Eleven is out on March 16 on Gigolo Records. Hell’s new artist album Teufelswerk follows on April 23. Visit www.djhell.com and www.myspace.com/djhell. And watch out for our mix from Peter Kruder online soon…
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