That Time When: Hecq
There are few who manage to carve such an individual path as unflinchingly as Ben Lukas Boysen, otherwise known as Hecq. Across the veteran producer’s decade spanning career, we have seen him reinvigorate the dubstep blueprint, approaching it from a noise & glitch-tinged perspective, also managing to produce some stunning ambient records under his birth name, without losing grip his signature style.
With ‘Conversions’ - a new LP remixing material a startlingly wide-range of sources due for release imminently, we decided to invite Boysen to share five of his most memorable gigging experiences for our ‘That Time When’ series.
A wonderful, friendly crew organised a really impressive and creative event - Lunchmeat. Meeting Florence there for the first time and to have my set accompanied by her amazing, installation-esque visuals was something i will not forget. The audience set off a really unique atmosphere and i got to see one of my all time role models DMX Krew for the first time ever! I always loved how consequent and stylistically spot on DMX Krew was (and is). His music just hits a certain nerve with me that I always loved a lot - even though (maybe especially because) it’s very different from what I’d do.
I hope I do Florence’s work justice when I say that it’s highly sculptural - very geometric and in the best way possible, reduced. In our case she focused on a highly interesting, as I’d like to call it, ”collage of light”. She built triangular screens that expanded the stage into something very tangible and impressive. If you check out her website you’ll see what I mean, and many other of her great projects.
To be honest, I did not know about the degree of customisation Florence put into the visuals, even though we talked about it on Skype before. I adjusted my set mostly to the rest of the line up before leaving for Prague. Once I arrived, seeing the installation, I felt like I wanted to do some justice to her work and added, removed, changed tracks from the setlist.
I played with Wisp that night at Golden Pudel, a club I never saw before and honestly had by concerns about (a feeling I shared with a few artists as I heard afterwards), but the second the first set started these concerns were shattered!
A very packed and extremely grateful crowd filled the room with energy, and gave an amazing response. It was as funny and otherworldy as it was entertaining - and the trip from Berlin to Hamburg that was connected with this evening was one of the most hilarious times I had getting from one town to another. It was a good trip with some very nice people - especially meeting Reid (Wisp) for the first time and getting along very well (even though I have a hard time thinking about who wouldn’t get along with him).
I played Riddim Collision whilst doing a two-gig mini tour through France, we (as in the Ad Noiseam crew) had a blast. Both evenings were very different from the gigs in Berlin i.e. the acts playing were Matta, Bong Ra, Mobthrow, Enduser, Nicolas Chevreux and myself. Matta and me played a DJ set back to back - which I had never done before and actually made me pretty nervous, but the resulting two hour set was extremely entertaining and fun!
Most of the artists on Ad Noiseam (or especially that particular group) have known each other for a long time and this always contributes to a good time. I met James and Andy of Matta for the first time there, who turned out to be lovely company as well, so basically it all felt like a weekend family trip…. only a lot louder.
16 Tons was a really special night for me since it was not only my first gig in Russia but also I was supposed to share the stage with Andy Stott, and was looking forward to that a lot. Unfortunately Andy missed his connection and couldn’t play - I offered to cover his time which gave me a chance to play through a lot more styles as well as a chance to play through my own releases into a DJ set, from Ambient to Breakcore. An event I won’t forget!
I really loved it there. Moscow’s incredibly pretty and, needless to say, offers some of the best beer around. It wasn’t my first (or last) time there and I will surely go back as there’s a lot to explore.
I’m really more of a hermit than a stage person. I prefer being in my four walls - writing and producing in general. This does not mean that I don’t enjoy the gigs I play. I just see a difference between stage and studio personalities… and I’m more of a studio personality. I love the energy that can be created at a gig, the people, the atmosphere….needless to say. Also I’m always thankful that people consider me worth listening to for an hour or more - this won’t stop to amaze me. Traveling does not necessarily influence my work directly but the feel and atmosphere of every place I go to leaves a mark. So in the long run it will find its way into my production.
Maschinenfest is a real institution and always fun to play, but this year was particularly special for me. The old and new friends I met there, the lineup and the bass that turned my freshly opened beer stale during my intro…wonderful!
Normally the event dictates what to play or I try to find the right balance in accordance to the line up and the slot I’m given. At Maschinenfest though, it’s normally all about making the most of the PA they provide - and it’s always intense. I’m normally set up for about one hour and I made a quick decision to start very ambient and slow then move over to pretty rough tracks over the course of two hours.
I think I’ve been to Maschinenfest three or four times so far. You’ll always meet people there that you haven’t met in a while and it’s always really nice. Great talks, drinks, music - what else could you ask for!