Quark's Henriku steps up with new mix...
Oslo meets Berlin as Norwegian DJ and producer Henriku joins us for the latest edition of Future Stars. His animated sound fell on our radar after the fantastic "New York Popcorn" EP on QUIRK alongside label founder which received love across the board. Alongside his colourful mix we managed to catch up with the producer on the rise and see what else he has been up to, including his next solo encounter "Rush Fantasy" on Det Gode Selskab.. And be sure to check out his mix for us here
From where are you chatting with us today? And where are you currently based?
Hey there! Right now, I am writing from my home in Berlin. I moved here in 2016 and see myself living here in the foreseeable future.
You are originally from Norway, what was it like growing up there? And the Norwegian scene.
That's right, I grew up a mere 20-minute bus ride from the city center of Oslo. I was lucky to have a calm and protected upbringing. Eventually, I searched for a more gritty environment, which landed me in Berlin.
I only ever went to a couple of house-techno parties in Oslo before I moved to Berlin. Most of my friends were not really into the club scene. Also, I was not old enough to visit most venues. I made it to a few parties by the record label Det Gode Selskab (DGS). The first that comes to mind is a boat party where Mike Shannon played – I had a great time. From that very boat party I set a goal to play and release music with DGS. Det Gode Selskab has been a driving force to push the minimal, housey and techno sound in Oslo for the last 10 years. Today it seems that the minimal and techy sound is gaining more interest. For instance, with the newly found concept night at Jaeger, Helt Texas, created and curated by Edvard Normann and Ole H.K, where I happened to play at the opening night!
You recently put out an EP with Alexander Skancke on his Quirk label, called - "New York Popcorn'. Tell us a bit about the themes the EP addresses. Are you often making music with Alexander?
We wanted to create something with a storyline and a statement. The story takes the perspective of a gay-boy who explores what New York City has to offer. While the theme is presented with a sprinkle of humor, it aims to bring exposure to Queer themes in the minimal scene. After being a part of the minimal community for a while, I have realized that there is far from enough Queer representation. As a good friend, Alexander has been curious about my experience and the lack of other queer people in the scene (especially now that Get Perlonized is no longer in Panorama Bar). Despite being surrounded by a bunch of really cool people, sometimes it feels lonely.
New York Popcorn's theme is designed to engage queer people with the minimal sound. Additionally, giving the queer people who are already in the scene something fun and possibly relatable. I am super thankful that Alexander let me use Quirk as a platform to express myself freely.
To create freely is an integral part of our creative process. We work together on several things, thereby a lot of music. More records, together and individually, are coming!
If you could collaborate with any particular artists, who would they be?
Lady Gaga was my idol as a teenager. She seems like such a fun person to work with. I would have loved to produce a super gay Berghain-inspired minimal techno track with Lady Gaga. I've already made a couple of Gaga-Techno-Berghain-Edits, which could serve as a starting point.
Otherwise, S.A.M is someone I would also love to work with. S.A.M has such a solid discography. S.A.M strikes me as a kind and positive person, which is another reason why I would love to work with them.
Do you have any record shops, in particular, you like to visit?
Absolutely! In Berlin, Bikini Waxx has been my go-to for years. Alexander and I stumbled into each other at Bikini Waxx, where he is working, sometime in 2018. Recently, I worked a few shifts in Bikini Waxx myself. It's a super cozy place with strong and clubby records. I totally recommend swinging by if you're in town! Filter Musikk in Oslo is also great. I always find interesting stuff at a reasonable price. Plastik in Tallinn is amazing too. I like Plastik equally for their record selection and open-air venue. I had such a good time playing there with Alexander summer last year (2022).
What is your studio baby? The one piece of gear you couldn't live without, and why?
Pffft, that's a tough one.. I want to say my newly acquired Circlon sequencer. However it doesn't make much sense without any other synths to play with. Given that I would still have Ableton and an audio interface, I would go with my little modular system. The primary sound source + filter is from Pittsburgh Modular. The system also has some utility modules, a sequencer and a Make Noise Mimeophon. My modular is the studio baby because of the versatility it offers. With it, I can make and shape sounds of all sorts; drums, ambiences, synth voices etc. Combined with Ableton, the
sound design possibilities are endless.
What else do you have coming up?
My first solo record, "Rush Fantasy", is coming out in May. The record is a 4 track EP and will be released on Det Gode Selskab.
And finally, how would you describe your sound to our readers in 3 words?
Groovy, kinda classic.