Talking Toolroom with Argentina's Techno Innovator Adrian Hour

The most recent addition to the Toolroom roster talks about what it was like beginning his musical career in Argentina and sheds light on the revamped vision for the label
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The most recent addition to the Toolroom roster talks about what it was like beginning his musical career in Argentina and sheds light on the revamped vision for the label
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Last year we talked with Mark Knight about his Toolroom label's new direction that has since taken form in 2016. The new Toolroom regime is coming together faster than expected and one of the label's recent additions happens to be South America's burgeoning Techno producer, Adrian Hour. 

Hailing from Buenos Aries, Adrian is leading the pack for South American dance music. He's been steadily releasing captivating tracks since 2012 and has collaborated with some of our personal favorites, including Dutch mainstay Eelke Kleijn. Now working together with Mark Knight and Weiss, he is looking to help rebrand and reset Toolroom for years to come. 

Tell me about Toolroom's #RESET, how has it been so far? Is Toolroom Live the first installation tour?

Yes, it’s a big change for Toolroom after 10 years. To be honest, I’m one of the newest members of the crew, but this past year in 2015 has been an amazing change for the label, and for me as well. Now I think the idea is to show something different with the music, to keep going forward with house and techno, and not just focus on one type of one genre.

Any interesting or funny experiences from being on tour?

Yes, most of them I actually can’t tell you. Although, last time when I went to Toronto, it was my first time there, and I didn’t how it would be (music, people). It was crazy, there were 15 people in front of me and 4 of them with Argentinian t-shirts. Most of them were people who left the country 10 years ago and are supporting Argentinian DJ’s. It's great to have support like that.

What do you feel is your contribution to the trio, joining Mark Knight and Weiss?

I’m a producer, I love music in general. I'm not the kind of artist who says I’m techno or house, I am music. My contribution is art, music, feeling. Just doing what I love.

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Do you identify yourself as a producer or a DJ? Do they go hand in hand, or are they mutually exclusive?

Both. I have two faces with music, which is helpful. I can be a normal DJ with a diverse selection and at the same time I can be a producer who is not very focused on just one style. I think nowadays, it’s not common to see one producer making different kinds of music. But it’s difficult. With Toolroom, I’m doing mostly House, and Tech-House work.

Tell me about your musical background, you’re from Argentina and you bring that jungle, tribal, Latin style int0 your music. How did you start producing or DJing?

It’s a long story, when I was 13 I knew about electronic music. In Argentina, I’m from a small town outside the city. Back then it was fairly difficult to get music. The Internet was almost impossible to have, just by phone. My only influence was one radio station in Argentina. After that, I started to really search for music - it was something new for me. My father showed me a lot of vinyls from the 80s. A lot of Eurasia and Pet Shop Boys - I was too young, very very young. At 13, I started to play as a hobby of course, I went to school at the same time. And I did the same the next 13 years until 22, 23. Then I started to produce, to make my own music and that is generally how it all began.

You come from a small town, do you live in Buenos Aires now?

I moved closer to the city in the center. Now, I’m 28 and I’m starting to feel again that desire to go back to a small town.

How do you feel about being one of the top South American DJs and representing Argentina in the dance music industry?

It’s crazy. I know a lot of really good professional DJs from Argentina, but my story is different. For me, it was so difficult to do it like this. I’m so happy. At the same time, you never realize 100% what you’ll do. I’m trying to enjoy everything, especially with my family.

Who is a DJ that influenced or inspired you in your youth?

There's definitely not just one. I’m a big fan of acts like The Chemical Brothers, Daft Punk, all of them for me marked something strong. That for me was amazing and psychedelic. It has something special. Psytrance was another big influence, the energy and feelings really resonated with me.

Did you go to a lot of shows when you were younger? How has the scene changed?

Everything is changing because the world keeps changing. With their phones, etc. Sometimes I feel that the culture is the same. I love to go to festivals with friends, it’s amazing. I still enjoy dancing with the crowd as much as I did when I got started.

What was your first true track that you produced?

It’s difficult to say that because electronic music is about using samples, sometimes. The track I did, the first EP I did on Toolroom, there was one track called “She”, which was one of my very first tracks. It has a lot of melodies, and I produced every sound for that track.

In November you and Mark released a new EP, how has it been received so far?

Yes, it was strong. And we worked together a lot in 2015. It had a really good reaction.

What inspired that?

I think it was our travels around the world. We have been performing in many different countries, always playing that style of Techno - that was the inspiration to make three banger tracks.

What has been your most memorable moment during your travels?

Ibiza. The energy of that place, it’s not just parties, it’s energy. I feel something special there. It’s really amazing.

Would you consider staying there as your home base?

Yes, of course, it’s famous. That home base would be amazing. It’s a really good place to chill, relax, eat, swim. It’s one of the foundations for me.

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A lot of young DJs, come into dance music focusing on the party and adventure, when did you transition to having a more stable career?

I think it was a point in my life when I had to grow and had to work. This has been my passion since I was young and I did it for free for a long time. Not just for parties, it’s something I really wanted to do. I’m a big fan of music. When I was 25, I started to do it professionally. That moment I said, “I have to organize everything.”

What are you working on now, only Toolroom and Reset?

No, I’m doing a remix for Umek that will be released on 1605 in two weeks or less. This track will be something different. It was a good experience producing that track. I have a solo release on Toolroom as well. My goal is to just keep working.

Has Mark been a mentor to you throughout the entire process?

Yes, he was helpful. I appreciate that. He has my heart. Now we’re friends and partners working together. This is just the beginning. I feel it will big in the next few years.

You’re trying to spread out your sound as much as possible?

Yes, Toolroom is my main label and my family, but I don’t want to just close off everything else. It’s music, and some labels release one type of techno and one type of house. For me, if the crowd I'm playing for likes it, it doesn’t matter what kind.

Do you like festivals or this warehouse trend?

Both are great, but I prefer festivals. There seems to be more energy.

Favorite festival you ever played?

Greenfields/Creamfields.

Can you describe what it's like for you when you perform? What is that feeling like?

Nowadays, I’m still nervous. I think the 10-20min before I’m full of anxious feelings. Then when I start to play everything is gone.

Do you play vinyl sets anymore?

When I was younger I played with vinyl and CDs. Nowadays with USB, it’s simply easier. If you’re traveling, it’s the way to go. I play with Traktor sometimes, but I prefer USB.

How important is it for you to have a background with vinyl - to know how to work turntables?

I think if you are a DJ, you have to try everything because you have to have your own opinion about how to play. For me, I think that it doesn’t matter what your tool is to make music. I think it depends on your concept. When you’re playing, it’s the whole set (not scratch, or one track, or vinyl). Nowadays it’s cooler to play with vinyl because it looks nice, and they love the quality and playing music with your hands. But at the same time, I think with other tools like USB and Traktor you can do more things, different things. I think both are great.

What do you think about music as an art form as opposed to music as a business?

I think music is art, what I’m doing is art, and it’s also work. Sometimes the business and art aren’t compatible. But we have to find something in the middle. To do this, from Argentina, the economy is so bad, so you don’t have too many options. I would love to do it for free, and at the same time live for free - but we can’t do that.

How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard you before?

For me it’s just music, I really like music that has energy and is powerful. At, the same time I love a beautiful melody. I don't set out to make techno or house. After I finish a track, I say to myself, “What is this? It’s more like House.” But, when I started making music that's not what it was. Then after a lot of releases, I realized I am more of a techno producer.

Putting labels on genres is getting more difficult these days. You play Techno or House, but you’re not doing that on purpose?

It has to be like that. It’s music, not too mathematical. You want to dance. If you feel the DJ, you dance, that’s great. It’s about that. I play at private parties for friends, and some friends are 45 years old and have kids, and know nothing about music. They say, “I don’t know what you’re doing, but I like it.” And that’s great, somebody who doesn’t know about the genres still feels it.

Have you ever played in Boston before, is this your first time? What do you feel?

I’m really looking forward to tonight. I’m not sure what kind of scene Boston has, but I’m looking forward. I know people follow Mark.

What future does Toolroom have in 2016?

I think this year will be stronger because we have a lot of ideas and the calendar is so busy. But, the focus is to keep doing more than before. Maybe this year, I’m thinking I'll produce my first full album. I think that would be the main thing for me this year. Talking about productions and moving into Europe. 

It's clear that Adrian Hour is fueled by his passion for dance music and showcasing his unique sound to the world. 2016 is looking like a big year and if he can finish off that album, we're sure it will be something special.

Be sure to check out Adrian Hour on Facebook and Soundcloud.