M_nus: Hobo & Heartthrob
The two techno DJs discuss working on Richie Hawtin's label and their upcoming Glasgow shows
You’re an emerging electronic producer and your label boss is Richie Hawtin aka Plastikman – so do you get star-struck when you talk to him? ‘Why not?’ laughs Joel Boychuk aka Hobo. ‘I don’t usually think so, but I guess the fanboy part of me will never die.’ Boychuk is from just the other side of the Canadian border to Detroit, but Jesse Siminski, aka Heartthrob, was brought up even closer to Hawtin’s ground zero. ‘Growing up in Michigan, I was very familiar with his music,’ he says. ‘I was thrilled when my own started getting his support and attention.’
Both artists are playing an unofficial M_nus (that’s Hawtin’s label) double bill in Glasgow this month, at separate dates one week apart from each other. Boychuk has been releasing on the label since 2008 and Siminski since 2005, although the latter has known Hawtin since he lived in Williamsburg, Brooklyn with Kevin McHugh, aka M_nus’ Ambivalent, in 1999. ‘Rich is one of the hardest working, most focused and forward-thinking individuals around,’ says Siminski. ‘He can be very helpful with advice, but he tends to be more inspired when artists have their own ideas to bring to the table.’
The pair make comparable music: a deep, dark ambient techno with a particular funk to it, although their descriptions differ. ‘Stripped-down and reduced but meant for dancefloors,’ says Boychuk, whose album Iron Triangle has just been released. ‘That’s where my ideals lie. It’s different, but it’s functional and useful.’ Whereas Siminski, who will set up his own Isnisnt label this year before returning to M_nus, is more imaginative: ‘A snapshot of what’s within my brain at any given time – a messy convergence of emotions, influences and experiments.’
Supernova at the Arches, Glasgow, Fri 2 Mar; Pyramatrix at Chambre69, Glasgow, Fri 9 Mar.