Exclusive Interview: Five Minutes With…André Hommen
André Hommen, the driving force behind New York based label Objektivity, has recently launched a new venture. Based in his native Germany, These Eyes is a label with a clear mission statement: Underground electronic music accompanied by unique design and an uncompromising ethos.
We caught up with the acclaimed producer to find out more about the project, and title track ‘These Eyes’
What was the inspiration behind starting the new label?
Obviously it’s every artist’s dream to own a label and release or decide on music that you like. But there was no specific inspiration since I’ve been involved in Objektivity for over 8 years now. I just felt that the time was right to do something more special, mostly in regards to the sound. That’s why I decided to open up a new imprint as the sound is definitely different to what Objektivity has been doing so far. I would say it’s more deep and maybe more experimental, that’s why it’s good to have a clean separation.
You talk about releasing “underground electronic music” with an “uncompromising ethos”… Care to expand on this point a little?
Yes, it’s actually a little complicated to explain. The music that will come out on These Eyes will all have the same kinda vibe. When you hear the second EP, you will immediately notice that – and I am glad that I already have the next EP’s lined up. Each track has that special vibe, a specific atmosphere. Very hard to explain as I prefer to have the music do the talking but all I can say is that I am trying to be a bit different to other labels within in my context.
You also seem committed to a bold visual aesthetic. How would you describe your understanding of the relationship between music and its accompanying images (such as album art, track art, press images, etc.)?
I didn’t use to care that much about it, but over the years I noticed that the visual aesthetic is almost as important as the music itself. It’s like walking the fine line between music and artwork. Another reason why the label is called These Eyes – I have been always fascinated by eyes. You will see a variation of eyes coming up over the next few months, which I am really happy about. The artwork matches the music 100% and I think that this is highly important these days.
Was it an easy decision to begin your new label’s life with one of your own releases? Does it add to the pressure, or take some of it away?
Well, it was kinda easy yes – because I had my original ‘These Eyes’ track for some time now and needed to put it out at some point. I always received amazing feedback when I played it out but never found the right label to release it. That’s why I actually thought about creating a label as it allows me to do what I want to do, even when the music is a bit more experimental than the stuff I normally do. It’s a challenge at the same time but also big fun on the other side.
As someone who has spent time in NYC, what do you think of Jean-Michel Jarre’s quote, “I would say that rock and roll was born in America and invaded the world. And electronic music was born in Europe and invaded the world”?
Yes and no… this is a hard one for me as my main inspiration came from the big house guys from the US – Masters At Work, Kerri Chandler, Dennis Ferrer etc. And I think that especially the US scene by that time was a major influence to the electronic music scene worldwide. If you talk about Detroit Techno or Chicago House, everyone knows what’s up so America is playing a major role for sure.
Finally… In a perfect world, what are you up to at this time next year?
Nothing crazy, I just hope that I can still do what I like and stay healthy. But that goes for everyone.
Listen to ‘These Eyes’ below: