If you like your techno to be rugged and hypnotic, chances are you’ll love the latest from Horatio & Sebastien Eric. Alkhemia, out soon on Horatio’s much-lauded Quanticman Records, is a fine example of using the tools at your disposal to maximum effect, whilst both of the boys styles emphatically play out during the course of the release. Good friends as well as musical sparring partners, we decided to catch up with them recently to find out more..
– Hey Horatio & Sebastian Eric, how’s life at the moment? You been keeping busy?
Horatio: Crazy busy. I’ve upcoming gigs in Paris, Novisad and more. Hectic at the label with the production schedule but all good.
Sebastian Eric: My life’s great – I try to give everything for music, and i’m looking forward to my next gig with Neverdogs on 6 December for Output in Birmigham ,UK. And I’m also getting ready for the new year as I’ve 3 new Eps (1 on vinyl and 2 on digital) which are due out over the first months in 2015.
– Where did you grow up? And what was your first introduction to house/techno music?
Horatio: I grow up in Bacau. My first introduction to the music came about through the infamous Zebra Club in Bacau.
Sebastian Eric: I gre up in Bacau, too. Because I’ve been in England since 2002, I haven’t been able to catch too many house and techno parties at home, but my first introduction to this beautiful music was at Fabric in London.
– How would you describe your current style? How has it changed over the years?
Horatio: Eclectic. I’ve evolved a lot from my jazzy breakthrough with VIVa in 2009 to a darker and more mature sound. I call it dark tech. It’s still groovy, just with less vocals and more rhythms.
Sebastian Eric: In the past it was more techno based, with high BPMs and dark tones. But now I combine a minimal style with more underground feelings.
– Horatio, you’re a big part of the Romanian scene, which seems to be pretty cool right now. How do you rate it at the moment? And why do you think house and techno have become so popular in the country recently?
Horatio: The Romanian scene is cool, and there’s some amazing producers, DJs and parties. I think that’s heavily due to an explosion of producers and DJs in the country. The competition is really hard due as that’s not so many underground clubs, but it pays off when you put the work in.
– So can you tell us a bit about your labels? How did they come about?
Horatio: My first label, Quanticman Records, was founded 6 years ago. After my first release on Monique Musique, Mihalis Safras advised me to start my own label and keep it rocking. After that I moved to Berlin and started Waldliebe Familien, and later on the crème de la crème, Natural Rhythm.
Sebastian Eric: My label is East Frantic, which I started 2012 in partnership with Mr. Raltz. I used it to develope a series of parties called Reset Privat, and in the near future we want to expand with a new series of DJs and talented producers.
– Horatio, you released on Desolat too. Was that your biggest break to date?
Horatio: Yes I had a release on Desolat which made quite a bang. I dare to say that each year I make a big breakthrough and try to reinvent my music In a fresh new way. I tried to focus on quality more then quantity and it paid off. Even so, I also had releases on VIVa Music, Circus Recordings, Desolat, Stereo Production, Rawthentic and more, and each time I try to do something unique.
– How do you think the scene in Romania compares to elsewhere? Is it pretty liberal with opening hours etc?
Horatio: Well each place has its own charm. Romania will be Romania no matter what they say. We don’t have limits to the parties, and this is why I think so many foreigners come to our country to have fun.
– Does it still inspire you as much as it ever has?
Horatio: Yes even more. Is a constant challenge to come back each year and try to satisfy your public.
– Do you get to DJ much at home? Have you ever held any residencies? Why do you think they’re important to a DJ’s development?
Horatio: Usually I played at my own parties we have done under the Natural Rhythm umbrella, and I also held a residency at Zebra Club from 2005-2006. If you’re never a resident, I honestly think you can’t understand your public. It’s easy to bail out and come back once a year to play in your hometown but it’s much harder to keep them satisfied on a monthly basis.
Sebastian Eric: Yes, I’m a resident at OUTPUT and Backspace in Birmigham. The most important thing for a DJ is to practice and work hard and the results begin to appear!
– What’s your favourite club in Romania?
Horatio: My favourite club is Kristal Glam in Bucharest. Playing with Lee Burridge there was an awesome experience.
Sebastian Eric: Zebra, because it’s in my town and hosts great underground parties.
– So if we had a weekend to spend in Bucharest, for example, what would you recommend?
Horatio: Kristal Glam, Martin Club, anonymous Parties..
Sebastian Eric: same as!
– Who’s really mentored you then and helped you develop your sound?
Horatio: In the beginning my brother, after that Mihalis Safras, Steve Lawler, Dice, Yousef and more…
Sebastian Eric: Music was my only mentor, plain and simple.
– Can you tell us a bit about the latest Quanticman release? What was the idea there?
Horatio: We organized a nice showcase where we played together, and we wanted to capture the awesome feeling of that party with some new tunes, and I think we did it. The atmosphere, the people, the true Romanian vibe is all there, you just need to listen it.
Sebastian Eric: Thx to Horatio, after we played together at a nice showcase, he come to me with this lovely idea for this release. And here it is!
– Did you guys get in the studio together or was it all done over Skype etc?
Horatio: We didn’t have that much time to spend together in studio. Hopefully in the near future we’ll stay together and do a nice follow up to this bomb material.
– What DJs/producers continue to inspire you? Do you get to go out much these days in Romania?
Horatio: Steve Aoki! No just joking. Carl Cox for me is always the best. Second place Yousef. Third place – the rest.
Sebastian Eric: Richie Hawtin for the crazy work he does. I’ve massive respect for that.
– What are your favourite electronic music release of all time?
Horatio: Floorplant – Never Grow Old, Audion Mouth to Mouth, Mr Oizo – Flat Beat
Sebastian Eric: Prodigy – Music For The Jilted Generation
– What’s the future for you then? Both personally and musically?
Horatio: Personally, I think I’m gonna go more often to the gym as I’m trying to lose some weight. Hahahahaha! Musically, a lot of collaborations, new eps and hopefully by the end of the year my anniversary album .
Sebastian Eric: We’ll see!
Interview by James Hopkins
Horatio & Sebastien Eric’s Alkhemia is out soon on Quanticman Records