Dec 23, 2021

Thomas Hoffknecht: Inside The Connection 1 EP

To close out 2021, we’re bringing in one of the hottest artists in techno! Thomas Hoffknecht has enjoyed a big year – debuting on Drumcode, playing b2b with Pan-Pot, growing his label #STRGHT and impressing with his hybrid DJ sets. On Monday, he dropped his last release for the year, his 'Connection 1' EP, featuring massive collaborations with Pan-Pot, Juliet Fox, Mark Broom, and Jeroen Search. Read on to get an inside look at the tracks on the EP and all of Thomas’ hard work throughout the year!
Thomas, thanks so much for joining us today, and we’re so excited to close out 2021 with a big mix and feature from you! Reflecting on your year for a minute, what have been a few of the highlights?
There were several, for example my single debut on Drumcode in February or the b2b with the guys from Pan-Pot. But also, my last closing at Sisyphos in Berlin, which lasted over 7 hours.
You’ve got an awesome list of collaborators on your Connection 1 EP and we wanted to start out by taking a closer look at your relationship with Pan-Pot. As you mentioned, earlier this year, you guys played b2b in Berlin. How has your relationship with them grown and what was the magic moment to get a collaboration started?
I got on well with the guys before. I invited them to a feedback stream on Twitch, which was pretty fun and cool. The invitation for the b2b came from them. Usually I don't play b2b sets (as I like to use my own head in the sets), but I wanted to give it a try. It was great fun, the flow was right and the harmony was great. Always happy to do it again! I'm tight with the guys and we keep in touch. They are super cool and grounded. And if a b2b with the two of them has already worked so well, there shouldn't be anything against a collab. And that's how it was.
Can you pick two of your other collaborators from the EP and tell us some more about your relationship, why you chose to work together, and the inspiration behind your collaboration?
Of course, Jeroen Search. This artist/producer is one of my favorites. I love his sets, be it live or DJ. I love his productions even more. The special recognition value is a feature of Jeroen every time and humanly he is just as wonderful a guy.
Mark Broom is a legend! I have played with Mark many times and just like Jeroen, you can hear immediately when Mark has had his hands on a production. Groove monster! 
Connection 1 was released on your own label #STRGHT, which is so much more than your boilerplate record label. Can you tell us some more about your vision and core concepts for #STRGHT?
I concentrate on my label so that the sound stays exactly the way I love it. A lot of stuff that is tooly or raw can be found here. A lot of friends who I really appreciate as people or artists are also represented. My label is my baby.
You’re known as a big fan of remix projects, which you call “mutations.” Can you tell us some more about what that term means to you and give us an example of one of your favorite all time remixes?
Taking the ideas of an artist I appreciate a lot and remixing them on one of my productions is what I call mutation. A type or special feature of the artist that they then create from my production. Favorite mutation? Hard to say, they're all my favorites, but the most famous one is probably by Brian Sanhaji, his remix of “RTCH.”
Turning our attention to your work live, can you describe your sound and style as a DJ?
Hybrid sets, energetic, raw, mixed to the audience. The audience is my paraffin, when they're in a good mood, I'm in a better mood. The ignition comes from me first of course, but when the audience is on fire, I'm in the flow.
You’re well known as a very technical DJ. Why do you choose the setup you DJ on, and what are a few of your favorite “tools” to employ live?
My favourite tool in the hybrid setup is the Pioneer Toraiz SP 16 sampler or the Roland TR-8S drum machine. Both give me the freedom to unfold even more and bring even more Hoffknecht into the sets.
We’re now over a year and half deep into the ongoing battle with Covid. What have been some of the key lessons you’ve learned about yourself in that time?
That music comes from the heart and lets you escape reality, for better or worse. To keep looking for opportunities in the studio to expand or implement ideas, not to give up. 
Looking ahead, how are you staying motivated and creative on a daily basis?
There are always downs, but music helps there too! Motivation comes from the mind and everything else comes by itself.
What has you most excited for the winter months ahead?
My next EP in February and my debut on Chris Liebing's CLR (an EP together with Drumcell) and many more releases to come! A never ending story!
Thomas Hoffknecht's 'Connection 1' EP is available to download on Beatport:
Connect with Thomas Hoffknecht: Spotify | FacebookInstagram
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