Rico Henschel, aka Sweetn.Candy, has been making some of the most enjoyable tech house over the past decade. With tracks on an array of quality labels and a sound ranging from minimal funk to techno floor shakers he's definitely one to witness take the controls. He will be playing live this Saturday as part of Craig Richards and Lee Burridge's Tyrant night in Room One.
Hi Rico, how are you today?
You grew up in Berlin, a city which has obviously changed a lot during your life time. What has changed most for you and what do you like most about the city today?
You’re right, Berlin has changed a lot during the last years, but I can’t find exact words for this metamorphosis. Berlin comes alive through all the people who come and live there from all over the world and these new people are forming the outward appearance of the city everyday. Despite all the reconstruction work to the architecture of the city, you can still find some areas where you can feel the history of previous centuries. My hometown has been able to lose the sad grey and became a small jewel in the heart of Europe. Maybe it is not the most beautiful city, but the charisma and energy is unbeatable and in my opinion this is hard to find anywhere else. It would make me really sad, if this charisma would get lost. Last but not least, Berlin is one of the places where Techno was born and so the opportunities of going out at night are still hot..
When did you start producing?
In 2000 I took my first steps towards producing music and one year later my first record was released on Musik Krause. This year is my 10th anniversary with the project "Sweetn.Candy".
Who were your musical inspirations growing up?
I am really influenced by the late 80’s. All the synthy sounds and great basslines, awesome, my parents played all that stuff nearly 24 hours a day, seven days a week when I was little. You can say once I was infected with these sounds I got hooked!
Your debut record came out on Musik Krause - you were young at the time - how easy was it to get your first record released?
Oh, I can't say if it was easy or not. Everybody released on vinyl and the labels were more adventurous when it came to supporting new artists and their music. So I sent around 15 demos to different labels and Musik Krause said YES. I know, the story is really simple, but that’s the truth - I think it is very hard to attract attention today.
Since then you’ve released on Raum…Musik, Dumb Unit and many others. Do you have a label you consider your musical home?
My musical home is the music itself. Raummusik & Dumb Unit were faithful companions. Last year I released on Micro.Fon and Rompecabeza and from there I will be in good hands too. The labels are my musical family and my family is pretty big.
How has your sound developed over the years?
My music and I grew up over the years. If I am listening to my old tracks, I can hear that my producing skills developed over time, the structure has changed from minimal buildings to more complex sounds. The tracks are warmer and more "three-dimensional"- now, it is a good mixture of deep and groovy tunes.
Do you plan to produce another album to follow up from 2007’s Once Upon A Time?
Hmmmmm... Should I?
And what are your predictions for the techno / tech house scene?
There is music for all the dancefloors over the world and there HAS to be music. Where else can you go to dance? I do not know if it will be called techno or tech house in the future as well, but it will be danceable for sure.
You’re playing live on the 22nd January, what are the pros and cons of playing live as opposed to DJing? And do you prefer one over the other?
That’s easy to say, if I have a live set ready, I prefer to play live. In the past another reason was that I did not have to carry vinyl, but that changed with MP3. When you are playing live you have the chance to present only your own stuff, which is really cool, but if I can see the crowd screaming during both, that’s great, I don’t really have a preference for one over the other.