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THE MAN FROM H.O.S.H

The alien sound of Holger Behn

 “I am from space,” Holger Behn, better known to most as H.O.S.H., explains to DJ Mag. “I once visited a medium who could actually tell me what the planet was called where I am from. Also my logical mind puts a border to those thoughts. But it's an obvious inner feeling which has always been present and also gave me a certain power to use when needed.”

Okaaaaay... Before you turn the page, or even reach for the telephone directory to search under 'M' for 'Mental Asylum', the certain extraterrestrial power H.O.S.H. speaks of is not telepathy or levitation, but his knack for space-y house music.

Despite regularly releasing on Diynamic and Stil Vor Talent since 2006, H.O.S.H's profile broke into the stratosphere with the release of 'Cash The Chord' in 2010, a timeless slice of off-beat, piano-led dancefloor jazz still getting hammered today.

Since, he's continued to remain a leading staple of Solomun's Diynamic imprint, playing pretty much weekly at Sankeys Ibiza for Neon Nights, while serving as a noble ambassador for his (Earthly) home city, Hamburg — another place with an extraordinary atmosphere, he believes.

“It's just that we have the best air there, as it is the greenest city in Europe,” he says. “Our brains are working on double-speed because of this. But it is true, besides us from Diynamic there are also a lot of other acts and labels that place Hamburg as an important city on the electronic music map.”

It's true. Aside from H.O.S.H's Diynamic compatriots — Solomun, Stimming, David August, DJ Phono and co — Hamburg has also garnered DJ talent such as Tensnake. DJ Koze and Einzelkind, making it Germany's second city for house, tailing only Berlin. But it's the Diynamic imprint that's carried the flag for the city most resolutely, upping its release rate and scouting new talent in recent years as part of a bid to take the deep, fresh, funky sound of their kindred city on the road.

“It must be because we had good clubs and a great scene for a long time,” he adds.

“Besides that, Hamburg is a city you will love once you live there. For me, it has the perfect size as it is not to big and not to small either. I was born in the north of Germany, and Stimming in the Frankfurt region. Solomun was born in Bosnia but grew up in Hamburg. We all met there.”

H.O.S.H.'s part in Diynamic's increasing global appeal has been crucial. Helping to define the label's sound as it steered away from the minimal frigidity towards the sticky humidity of palm tree tech house, tracks such as 'Woohoo feat. Ost & Kjex' and 'What Do You Want Me To Say feat. Malonda', both in 2012, saw him feed elements of boogie, funk and disco into his sound, while a focus on vocals helped define his own distinct breed of dancefloor pop — as inspired by Prince as it is Prelude Records.

His latest project, 'Forever Young', is a series of EPs (four in total) which will eventually get a release as a full album around autumn time in a similar way to how Etienne De Crecy used to put records out as Super Discount during the '00s.

“I was a bit uninspired by just releasing regular single releases and also did not feel it's the time of a regular artist album,” explains H.O.S.H. “I came to the conclusion that a series of single releases —  which has the size of an album all together — is the right thing to do as I wanted to do something different in the end.”

Fitting together as separate pieces of an overall puzzle, H.O.S.H feels the series — based on the theme “that I am living my dream at the moment,” he says — will make more logical sense as a whole, despite each release standing alone.
The first instalment, featuring 'Lifeguard' and co-production with Stimming 'Cowboy', came in July and the second, made up of funky tech house wiggle 'Fireman' and deep-slung techno-boogie work-out 'Astronaut' (out last month), is arguably his most accomplished work yet.

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