Per Hammar, with Berlin and Malmö in the south of Sweden as territory, is the captain behind his labels Dirty Hands, 10YEARS, De Vloer and the club instance Kiloton. Dirty Hands works as a home base and headquarter for his dustier works. Dub and dusty sounds are some of the signalements from the vinyls and tapes of the label. ”It’s ment like a safe house for the ugly, the non perfect, and works that don’t want to be polished.” states Per Hammar. His and Kajsa Lindström’s club Kiloton has been a reliable source of quality dance music since 2010, offering the crowd of Sweden club experiences on regular basis. In 2016 he started his second label, 10YEARS, together with Maya Lourenço a.k.a Parallax Deep, celebrating their 10 years as friends and music partners. The label is planned to be the outpost for their own stripped and more electronic sounding works. 2019 he teamed up with the Amsterdam producer Malin Génie, and founded the label De Vloer, to set up a home for their dubby rolling co-productions.
Next, while listening to the fantastic live set at 121 Festival (Wairarapa, New Zealand), read the interview we did with Per Hammar.
Hello PH and welcome to Roomania. For starters, give us an insight into how your “love affair” with electronic music started?
In the city of Helsingborg in Sweden, where I grew up, in the early 2000’s I discovered instrumental electronic music through a friend that got supplied with homemade cassettes from his older brother. We were only around 12 years old and had no other source of music. He was older and lived in Stockholm. We discovered music like Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada and Four Tet. The real magic happened when I discovered computer game music. Gameboy, Atari, Commodore and Nintendo 8-bit. Basically music coming out of any simple tracker. There was actually quite a big scene with this kind of music for a couple of years in Helsingborg. It was a great community. We did our own music. We arranged parties and played our music live for each other and the crowd. It was awesome.
What is your recipe for a DJ mix? What is the difference between the sets you prepare for a radio show and the live sets in front of an audience?
Everyone likes different styles so I can’t comment on the music itself. But I do think it’s important to find something that no one else has. Make your own music and play it. If you’re more of a DJ and not a producer, find your own shit. Dig. Explore. Try things. Don’t be afraid even if the stakes are high.
Explore. Try things. Don’t be afraid even if the stakes are high.
What are your thoughts about music styles and do you think they affect an artist’s way to express themselves?
I love genres. I love to categorize music and learn about new sub genres and cultures in any music. I like to analyze trends in music, just for my own internal database in my head. I’ve seen so many trends coming and going. Every wave of a trend leaves a bunch of artists that got the most spotlight during the hype. Then, after they “made it”, they move on to something else and leave that hype. However, the artists who’re gonna develop well over time are the ones that have the power to say no to trends and stick to what she/he likes to do.
Producer and DJ are two very different professions. How do you feel about these two crafts? Which one suits you best? Do you have to produce your own music in order to succeed as a DJ?
No, you don’t have to produce your own music to succeed as a DJ. A DJ is a person who’s entertaining a group of people by selecting music. To entertain a live crowd has little to do with music production. However, if you produce music, because you like to produce music, you’re becoming more than a DJ. You are now the source of music, which can affect a crowd. Maybe the crowd even comes to see you, because they want to hear the music that you’ve made. In a way it’s two different jobs. But I do believe they strongly enhance each other and a producer can really benefit from playing out. I often get demos from producers where I can hear that she/he didn’t play much out. The breaks are too long. The kick is drowning in the bassline. Stuff like that. We’re making music to hit the floors as impactful as possible. That’s the main goal in the studio and I don’t think you can study that shit without being on the stage yourself.
Owning several music labels, a club, constantly touring and producing new music must be occupying a lot of time. How do you manage it so succesfully?
I’m lucky that I’m equipped with a brain that likes to schedule, come up with plans and stick to them. On weekdays I wake up in the morning and go to the studio and work between 09:00 – 17:00. I also work as a mixing and mastering engineer, so I’m often busy. But after 17:00 I’m done. At least no work that requires a laptop. If I have a gig free weekend, I don’t listen to music that I work with. I can turn on the radio and listen to hit list pop music, or something else like dub or Gameboy music. With this setup I disconnect and recharge and then come back and bring everything when I’m in the studio.
You have quite a few collaborations with Olga Korol. Are there any upcoming releases on that front?
Yes! We just released our second collaboration record called “Beshket EP” on my label Dirty Hands. Three tracks with full dance floor focus. 12” vinyl is out now.
What else can we expect from Per Hammar for the rest of the year? Any new projects in development?
Right now I’m finishing my debut release for Sushitech. It’s a mini album released as a 2 x 12” in two parts. A few collaborations, but most own productions spanning from chilled out atmospheric dub to hard hitting floor rhythms.
Finally, this is your first time visiting Macedonia. What can our audience expect from you?
I’m very excited to visit Macedonia for the first time! It’s been on my list for a long time. Expect unreleased productions, edits and a solid groove. I go full energy.
The event will be at the Beach Orevche (Ohrid) on July 30th, 2023. Tickets can be purchased at the entranceof the beach, at a price of MKD300.