Henrik Schwarz (live)
Thursday, September 27th • Doors open 9PM
Tickets on Sale 8/14 @ 12PM.
Henrik Schwarz ( Innervisions, !K7 | Berlin )
Solomon Sanchez ( Flash | DC )
Henrik Schwarz has long been seen as a different kind of electronic artist, not quite fitting the mould of what you would expect from someone who has dedicated the majority of their career to house and techno. With his recent Schwarzmann project however, he has pushed the boundaries more than ever before, arguably redefining what it means for an electronic artist to perform ‘live’. Here, Defected’s Greg Sawyer examines the finer details of Schwarz’s extraordinary career:
Schwarz has dedicated almost his entire life to electronic music production, usually operating within the often interchangeable parameters of house and techno; something that is perhaps unusual for someone as obviously talented and creative as him. To its critics, the 4/4 structure of these genres are a restrictive and stifling, eschewing inventiveness for the sake of keeping the dancefloor moving. But for Schwarz, quite the opposite is true. “I have felt total freedom in electronic music because the 4/4, for me, is the bridge into the unknown” he admits. “You can do anything in between two bass drums, and they hold it together. You can make the craziest sound and put a bass drum there and everyone loves it! That’s how I’ve always felt about it, it can be totally open.”
It’s an approach that you’d have a hard time refuting when you consider its results. His discography is – in a word – stunning; a rich vein of quality running thickly though it. And yet as consistent as it is you’d struggle to find the sound, technique or approach that identifies it as a Henrik Schwarz production. While some rely on templates, modifying previously well-received harmonies or drum patterns to create their next ‘hit’, Schwarz starts with a blank canvas, with the result that each record is unique; a completely independent addition to one of the most impressive bodies of work in electronic music.
An invaluable instrument in Schwarz’s career, computers have allowed electronic artist to perform ‘live’ – to greater or lesser degrees, but few have developed the idea of live electronic performance as he has, especially in regards to his Schwarzmann project. Alongside Âme’s Wiedemann, Schwarz has torn up the rulebook in terms of what can be expected from a live act, creating something that is arguably more creative than any traditional band and vastly more versatile than the most eclectic DJ set.
The longer Schwarz’s career goes on, the more it seems he is veering towards experimentation; pushing back boundaries that for some are seen as a comforting box to sit neatly within. Does he feel that is the case? “As I’ve been doing this for a long time I felt I could try a few things out, still play my stuff of course, just maybe stretch a little further out and see what’s there.” It is this inquisitive attitude that has made him such a peerless – and popular – artist; a desire not to settle for the tried and tested, but to stretch further and deeper into what is possible.
“In a way I’m just interested in what I can add to my computer. How does it work? How can I connect it to other worlds, and in a way it feels very natural for me because I’ve had a feeling I’ve done that all the time. I’ve always tried to bring things into the computer from outside, bringing sounds that normally don’t belong to electronic music into electronic music, so now maybe it’s time to turn that around”.