For more than 15 years, Per Hammar, from Helsingborg in the south of Sweden, has been mastering the art of dub-driven melodic techno, releasing on Infuse, Malin Genie Music, and his own Dirty Hands label. Outside of this, he runs a label called 10 Years with Maya Lourenço (a.k.a Parallax Deep), Malmö’s Kiloton club, and De Vloer, a home for his co-productions with Amsterdam producer Malin Génie. In October, Hammar returned with Returnation, Dirty Hands’ eighth release and the first taste of new music in over a year. (More, we’re assured, will come.)
Hammar’s entry point into music came towards the end of 2009, when he made a remix for Söllscher und Siech’s “Chants,” after which he released his debut original track, “Bang.” The track’s success provided the platform for Dirty Hands, where he’s been releasing music ever since. In the midst of the pandemic, he released Pathfinder, his first studio album, crafted using a Eurorack Modular system plus weirder bits of gear, like old Soviet drum machines. Alongside Patrick Siech (from Söllscher und Siech), he’s recently launched Euromix, an audio engineering service for fine-tuning club music.
Recorded last month, Hammar’s XLR8R podcast meanders through dark and dubby terrains, with some groovy and bouncy baselines too. Rather than pulling from promos and his record collection, and actually recording a mix, he’s produced it in his studio, rendering out bits of previous and unreleased works and jamming them out into a live recording. Some of the stuff will be released soon, but much of it won’t—so press play for a studio mix of all originals by Per Hammar that you perhaps won’t ever hear again.
01. What have you been up to recently?
I recently left Berlin, after a long time living there, to Malmö in southern Sweden and set up my current studio. The big difference between my new studio and my former Berlin studio is that it’s also suitable for analog mix-downs and masterings, which is what I’ve been focusing a lot of my time on recently. In between that, I’ve been touring almost every weekend while trying to keep up with my own productions.
02. What have you been listening to?
Mostly different kick drums on a solo channel! Seriously, though, I listen to so much music in the studio. My clients’ and my own. At the end of the day it feels like my ears are full. When I am at home I listen to different kinds of music. Some random commercial radio, for example, that some team of 40 producers and engineers made based on science and research on what works on the market.
03. What’s the story with the mix you’ve recorded for XLR8R?
It’s not a live mix, but a studio mix, so I produced it here in my studio. I rendered out bits from my previous works and kind of jammed with it and this mix is what came out. So it’s more like a continuous album than a mix. But yeah, in order to sound less pretentious, we can call it a mix.
04. How did you go about choosing the tracks you’ve included?
After the intense work and release of Pathfinder, I felt so tired of my “old” music and kind of wanted to turn the page and get into something fresh. I turned down the intensity on the release front so I could focus more on building up a new library of music. That was almost two years ago and now I have lots of new material that I feel I want to introduce to some daylight. That’s in the mix. Some of these tracks will be released and some are going to stay exclusive to this mix.
05. Where do you imagine it being listened to?
I listened to it a few rounds on my phone. Just walking around and listen to it, just to be able to come back and make changes. I can recommend that!
06. How does it compare to what we might hear you play out live?
Say what you want about the phrase “I always play what I want as a DJ.” Sure that sounds cool, but I believe your chances of doing a good set increases if you analyze what’s going on around you. Are you aiming to have a monologue with crowd, or do you actually want to create something unique in this very moment together with everyone around? The last mentioned alternative can be magic, but it also requires you to adjust your selection. You need to adapt. And you might end up somewhere deep down in your folders or record bag that you didn’t plan. In the studio you don’t have that variable to pay attention to. For me that can actually be inspiring; to be able to do what I want without having anything affect my creativity. So this mix is something else and something that I can back up with all my heart.
07. What’s up next on your horizon?
I have quite a lot of releases planned. The recent release, Returnation, just came out on my label Dirty Hands. So that’s taking a lot of focus right now. In the pipeline, there’s also a release planned for the club Les Enfants Brilliants in Barcelona, which is starting a label. My other label, De Vloer, which I run with Malin Genie, is finally also dropping a new 12″: VLOER02 will come out early next year. Then me and Olga Korol are planning for a follow up EP as well. There are fun times ahead!
01. Per Hammar “Hydra T Dubb” (Dirty Hands)
02. Per Hammar “Pentium Dubb” (Les Enfants Records)
03. David Delgado & Lucca Tan “DNT” (Per Hammar Remix) (Tanny Records)
04. Per Hammar “Tempo” (Unreleased)
05. Per Hammar & Yaar Kü “Byon” (Unreleased)
06. Per Hammar & Olga Korol “Bechket” (Dirty Hands)
07. Per Hammar & Malin Genie “Airways” (De Vloer)
08. Per Hammar “Lystopad” (Les Enfants Records)
09. Per Hammar “Returnation” (Dirty Hands)
10. Per Hammar & Olga Korol “Darth Vader” (Dirty Hands)
11. Per Hammar “Everybody Hz” (Unreleased)
Words from XLR8