Give it up for Uncle Habby… By far one of the most prolific, versatile and distinctive artists in the bass realm right now. While many of his peers in bass are currently thrusting towards 150 and beyond, he’s prone to a polar flex and slowed things down to house’s green pastures.
Alongside the likes of Jauz and Joyryde, Frenchman Habstrakt has been at the very forefront of the bass house sound since day one. A gutter-funk fusion of house pace and dubstep menace that’s been cooking for several years, you can hear Habstrakt working on it as far back as four years ago on tracks such as Get Funky and Tension.
It was key remixes of Eptic’s Danger in 2013 and MUST DIE!’s Hellcat in 2014 those posed as key waymarks on his mission, though – really shaking the scene and showing how you can apply the same bass grunt but with much more of a restrained funk.
Since those key departures, he’s consistently rolled with an exciting sense of unpredictability; both his sets and productions range from 124-150 and he kills it at ever tempo in between. Examples this year have been his French Press EP, his Eptic co-lab EP and steam engine remixes of Torro Torro’s Make A Move, Slander & YOOKiE’s After All.
There’s a strong chance he’ll double that output next year… Rather than smashing festivals this summer, Habstrakt had to take four months off for surgery. Convalescing in the studio, working on new hardware, ideas and sounds, his exploited the distraction free chapter of the year to go back to his creative roots. The fruits of this situation are already killing it in his sets. Currently in major tour supporting Slander and NGHTMRE in the US then flying straight over to Australia for a headline tour of his own, Habstrakt is making up for lost time. Here’s where he’s at…
2016 According To Habstrakt
“There are times when I would have told you 2016 has been a shit year. But looking back now, it’s actually been the best year: the perfect balance of touring and learning so much new knowledge.
The year started off so well. There was a real feeling that our sound was being accepted. With only a handful of us such as myself, Jauz and Joyryde, it was hard to really push this sound on our own anyway. A lot of people would have given up because of bad reviews and bad comments but we stuck to it. I’m so proud of this. We worked hard and it’s paid off. People are educated about it and respond to it really well.
Of course I still get the same old ‘you play deep house bro’ bullshit. But the guys who say this are the guys who moan about hearing a trap song at a dubstep show – you can’t please everyone and you can’t stay in the niche on bass house. The whole idea of the sound is to be outside of the box. The whole thing is to pull from other influences and give it a bass house feel. That’s what pushes us – to look at other genres, hear other records and really think how we can be creative in a bass house way.
People come to a show they hear elements of hip-hop, house, trap, dubstep, EDM remixes – there are no limits. I think that’s so awesome! I really believe in this scene and the people involved in it and I think a real highlight of this was EDC Las Vegas. My slot on the Basspod was incredible. I was on before NGHTMRE and was blessed with that spot. An hour on my own to play any music I wanted. I never had such good feedback after a set. Then I walked around EDC and heard bass house everywhere! Jauz was playing the mainstage representing our sound at the very top!
Then I had to take four months off because of health issues. Just some minor surgery that took time to recover from. So I stayed in the studio for the whole summer. It was hard to digest and hard to deal with but eventually it worked out incredibly well… I had the chance to really get back to my original roots in the studio. I had the time and the patience during those four months. It was like I was writing in my bedroom 10 years ago when it all started. No pressure thinking ‘okay you got five days at home, you have to make two new tunes and a remix NOW’ I didn’t have that pressure. I took the time to build some synths and invest in some old 70s synths. It was a luxury.
It was a blessing in disguise and actually made my year… My comeback were two sold out shows in California. Insanely crazy. I had 12 new tracks to play and 20 new tracks from friends to play – all of it completely fresh. From that weekend I haven’t stopped. My role on tour with Slander and NGHTMRE have given me a chance to work on my deeper sound – maintaining a club vibe before the guys come on and take it to a festival level. I have to say this has been a great challenge for me. I work my ass off on my sets. I devote myself to DJing and the art of it. I want to do it old school and not pick up the mic as much. The SKisM school, you know?
So yes, it’s been an important year. But not just for me… For everyone involved in this sound. I feel we’ve really accomplished something. We can play after dubstep acts and traps acts and still have everyone going nuts for it. This has taken time! Three years and more. But this year has been the confirmation. It represents a movement and people are following it. It’s a community. Just look at Joyryde’s show with the car on stage – that was a statement!
Now bring on 2017 so we can develop this even more… And I can release some of these new sounds I’ve been making.”