The first time we spoke to DVS1, aka Zak Khutoretsky, he was on an upward curve. Following a life time of DJing, promoting and general techno living in the USA’s mid-west, a fortuitous meeting with Ben Klock bore a new relationship with Europe and its thriving club and label community. Sometimes it’s hard to believe from the vie of our hub of impassioned club promoters, press community and all that goes with it, where every second reference is to Detroit, Chicago and New York, that there isn’t the same love from their home shores. Queue Khutoretsky’s regular cross Atlantic flights, extended sets at the infamous Berghain and on lineups across the continent.
Such extended activity behind the decks however comes at a bit of a cost to DVS’ time in the studio chair. The releases on his Hush Sounds imprint have suffered as he was always a DJ first and producer second, even though production was what put him on the map in the first place via Klockworks. Zak has given us word that he’s committed to releasing 4-5 records over the coming months aided by a break from touring in the summer to go some way to rectify his hectic schedule.
We grabbed a few minutes with DVS as we get ready to put him alongside his aforementioned soothsayer Klock in Room Two next Saturday. We’ve also been given the exclusive first listen to a set recording from one of his ‘favourite places in the world’…
You’ve probably lost count of the hours you’ve DJ’d for since we last spoke – can you tell us what have been your stand out records over the last year?
Wow...that’s always hard for me. I’m one of those guys who tries not to get stuck in what’s new, what's hot, what’s this and that. I don’t do charts and I try not to get to wrapped up in keeping up with trends. It’s hard, cause there is so much information and great new music out there lately, but I’ve been on a mission to re-discover lots of music in my own collection this last year. I've started pulling out and playing things that just fit again into the vibe I’m going for right now. I’ve also been lucky to be finding tracks from unknown producers that send me their music. I’ll listen to their tracks and if I hear something close to the vibe I like, I dig a little deeper and can usually find 1 track from them that matches perfectly.
These tracks might not do much on their own, but in the mix just come alive. I’m a big fan of playing music that my crowd might not know or aren’t the obvious ones they’ll hear every other techno DJ play at the moment. I remember back when I spent more time on the dance floor than in the booth, that’s what always blew me away, the DJ who played tracks I didn’t know or b sides. We live in an age of information where everybody knows everything. Sure it’s nice to hear something on the dance floor you have a memory attached to, but it’s also nice to hear things you have no pre-conceived notion about.
More than ever you’re in Europe for gigs, have you found it to be a drain on your energy traveling between Europe and the US so frequently?
I made a decision about a year ago to stay living in the US. I started to realize the importance of being reminded why I’m doing this. Sure the flying is a bit difficult, but every time I’m on the flight over to the EU I’m reminded that someone is flying me half way around the world to play music! I’m beyond lucky to be able to do this and if the long flights are the worst thing I have to do, then I’ll take it.
How’re you finding the demands of being active with your shows versus studio time?
That’s probably been the hardest thing to figure out. Finding a balance with these 2 things has been an ongoing struggle for me. I always say that I’m a DJ first, producer second, which puts me at a bit of a disadvantage to knock out tracks quick. After not touching your gear in 2-4 weeks, it's hard to just come home and jump into being productive. Other times you might be inspired, but are halfway around the world and nowhere near your studio. I’m starting to figure out what works for me and I’m close to getting it worked out. It's helped that I’ve slowed down with doing remixes for others, so that when I’m home I can focus on my own productions again.
It’s been a while since your last release, but I hear that’s set to change this summer?
Yeah... the last 2 full EP’s I did were back in Dec. I released Klockworks 08 and the first HUSH record. If all goes as planned and I keep getting closer to the balance I’m looking for, I should have more original EP’s out towards the end of the summer. I’m slated to do a full 12’ on Ostgut, which I’m really excited about. I’ve also got the last few remixes I did finally dropping. REKIDS -Nina Kraviz – Best friend (dvs1 Forever mix Feat Naughty Wood on vocals), plus a remix on PrIme Numbers for Trus me’s - in the red – DVS1 (gotta get out of the red mix)
How have things been progressing with your label Hush?
Slow! But that’s my fault. The first release did really great... we sold out of the 1st run of 600 in the first 2 weeks and did another press right away that has almost sold out. My DJ’ing got really busy after the new year and I didn’t get things organized the way I would have liked, but once I get back in the swing of things Hush will start moving faster. I’m planning to release 4-5 records a year of my own material.
What else are you planning for the rest of the year?
I’m taking a chunk of the summer off to be at home and work on music. Come September I’m back on the road and crazy! So I need to get to work and get some music done!