“Support your local artist. Everyone is a winner if you support the DJs and producers among you.” Dubby house producer Per Hammar takes on our quick-fire Q&A.

Why music?

I actually question myself about that quite often. I think that I function through music. I constantly have a rhythm in me. Friends and my girlfriend can be super annoyed that I always have to drum on something, or do quiet beatbox stuff all the time. I think I just ride on it. But on the other hand, I can really enjoy putting on the radio and just let go too, just being fed melodies and harmonies. That’s refreshing after a long day in the studio, or on a Sunday after a show.

If you weren’t making music what would you be doing?

I worked as a courier driver before I went all in on this. I can actually really miss that – cruising the lanes and listening to documentaries. Ten years ago I was also an inch from getting into the train driver school, but for some reason the school forgot to let me know that I got in, so I got disqualified. That was probably for the best, I think.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Support your local artist. I’m not sure if it’s an actual advice, or if I got it from someone, but it’s a thing that me and my friends keep on talking about. Everyone is a winner if you support the DJs and producers among you. Just imagine how much quality stuff artists in all the cities in the world carry around. Stay together and let the rest of the world hear it!

What inspires you?

Dust, distortion, tapes, coffee, tags, stickers and palm trees.

What’s the next big thing?

I’m releasing my third 12” on my label Dirty Hands in early August. It’s called ‘Dixie’s Dubb’, after my grandma. It’s two tracks that I put so much effort into in the studio, so I’m super happy and also very nervous to show these works. I also asked my friend Argy to do a take on the A-side, and he delivered a smashing version of the track. I’m looking forward to playing at Into The Valley festival in northern Sweden, of course the 24-hour set with some friends at Emmaboda festival, and some intimate DJ shows in Berlin during my monthly stay there this summer.

Best club experience?

Trouw. RIP!

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

I worked a short time at a paint factory. The place was so dirty and worn, Chernobyl-style. My job was to stand in a small booth, five-by-five metres, checking the conveyor belts. Every fifth second an empty bucket came, and then the machine squeezed out five litres of garden furniture oil into it. If the machine missed, my job was to stop the machine and recalibrate it.

How do you know when a track’s finished?

When I play the track out, and don’t want to stop the track, abandon the party and go straight to the studio to fix what I hear isn’t right.

What was your last day job and when did you realise you could give it up?

That was actually the courier driver job. I drove 300km straight to another city, picked up some stuff, and then stopped four or five times on my way back to Malmö. Another company bought the route, and I lost the job. That was when I thought hey, let’s try make a living out of this – the worst thing that can happen is I have to find a new job. Sweden is amazing, because you can get six months of support from the government while you’re starting up a business (if you have a good plan). So that helped me a lot too.

Which song do you wish you wrote?

The Maurizio stuff, of course.

What’s the easiest way to make it in the music industry?

Fake it until you make it. Do things that you know that people want to hear. Is EDM cool? Make EDM. Is it important to have 500k followers on Facebook? Then buy your followers. Obviously it works. Is it the best or the most fun way? No. Are people working this way enjoying it? I actually don’t think so. Every artist in this bubble we like to call our scene should just stick to what feels fun and important. Just give it some time, and it’ll shine through. Don’t look on each other and hate. Just do your thing, stay focussed and enjoy it. Make sure to have fun, and you’ll ‘make it’ for your self.

What’s the worst track you’ve ever released?

There’s a lot of stuff back in the catalogue that’s not super slick, of course! It’s a kind of progress that everybody goes through. But I clearly remember seeing all the cool producers back in 2007-2008, having so many tracks released on Beatport, and that I wanted that too. So I just made tracks for the sake of making tracks and pushed hard to random labels without a thought of what it might cause – a lot of tracks that I wasn’t happy with even a week after they were produced. Some tracks that weren’t made for official listening might have slipped through.

Recommend us a film.

Airplane! It’s a little bit of an underdog to the Naked Gun and Hot Shots! stuff. It’s brilliant!

Recommend us a book.

Right now I’m reading a book about the Kurdish fighters in the north west of Syria pushing back the Islamic State and building a direct democratic system at the same time. Extremely interesting stuff you won’t hear very much about in mainstream media. It’s in Swedish and is called Kobane by Joakim Melin.

What or who is underrated?

The iPhone earbuds.

What or who is overrated?

Limiters.

What are you addicted to?

Coffee. Great addiction though.

What is your greatest regret?

That I, as a rookie, pumped out tracks without any further thought. It feels so stupid now, but I only really thought about quantity back then.

What’s the worst gig you’ve ever played?

I once played on a cruise from Stockholm to Helsinki and back. The gig itself was OK, but weird. The whole ferry contained 2,000 hardstyle and trance fans. The area where the artist cabins were was a 105dB terrorcore party. Our neighbours in the cabin next to us (who were artists too) brought their own PA system and played 200bpm hardstyle so loud that we couldn’t even talk to each other in our cabin with the doors closed. Looking back, it was quite fun!

What’s the secret to a great mix?

Distortion and headroom!

If you could only listen to one more track, what would it be?

Rhythm & Sound – ‘No Partial’

How do you relax?

I go out for a run and listen to podcasts. Or cook a kick-ass vegan wok and listen to dub.

What one piece of software/kit could you not do without? Why?

Most of the Kush stuff and Little Radiator.

Art or money?

Tags.

Strangest place you ever wrote a track?

I find it quite hard to make music somewhere else then in a studio, so I’d say on train from Gothenburg to Malmö.

Must-read blogs/forums?

It’s a little bit outdated, but still: Iskur’s Guide To Electronic Music.

What’s your single biggest frustration in the music industry?

That artists seem to like hating on each other, rather then just doing it better themselves.

What’s your favourite label? Why?

KarlovakMr. Tophat and Art Alfie‘s pumpy 00s house label. They took something that nobody wanted to touch for 15 years and made a fresh but still timeless kind of music out of it.

What’s the worst thing about making music?

The stress. The stress about needing to get stuff out. The stress about not being able to get stuff out. The stress when you see the world keep spinning but you haven’t got anything out for a while, but still have a bunch of tracks ready to be released.

What’s your motto?

You get what you give.

Tweet us a tip. What’s the best production advice you can give in 140 characters or less?

Can you imagine yourself playing the track you’re working with? If yes, what’s the place? How does music sound there?

 

Per Hammar’s ‘Dixie’s Dubb’ is out on August 1st via his own Dirty Hands label. Find him on Facebook, Twitter and SoundCloud.

Author Greg Scarth. Photo: Izabella Englund
15th July, 2016

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