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[rock the dub Interview]: HoChi

Sometimes, there are producers who stay in one lane, never trying to explore or expand their sound. Hochi is not one of those guys. Last December, with his boy Infiltrata at his side, he introduced HEAT VOLUME 1, which showcased what many would call the future of DnB, mainly from one of the hottest new collectives in the game right now, the TEKDBZ Army. Headed by Photek, Hochi, Infiltrata, Mental Sharp and DJ Craze are putting a new spin on the genre of DnB, infusing a more musical sound to the dancefloor.. Outside of the DnB world, though, Hochi is still getting it done with various Hip-Hop projects, from more underground shit with Killah Priest to working with the G-Unit, as well as having his hand in the first volume of XXL's DVD Magazine.

khal: Your track record is ever growing: one minute you’re dropping beats for TEKDBZ, while the next you are doing things with Killah Priest. How long have you been producing tracks?

Hochi: I have been making beats for about 10 years in various forms.

khal: These days, many different producers create their sounds using all types of gear and programs. What does Hochi’s studio consist of? Is there any piece of equipment or software that you cannot produce without?

Hochi: I use Macs and PCs in my studio along with various outboard gear. It’s a hybrid setup. I need to have a lot of different tools because I work on all sorts of projects from films to music. There's nothing I couldn’t live without but I have my preferences.

khal: In terms of your DnB production, you seem to came into the scene runnin’, with your first release side by side with Stakka. How did you get into the DnB scene, and where did you start to link up with heavy hitters like Stakka, Photek, and others?

Hochi: I was working on Hip-Hop projects and I became a fan of DnB; it just sort of interested me. Ironically, I read an article about Photek in Jazz Times when I was about 17 and that’s what got me checking for DnB. I met these guys just by networking they were just cool people and we had a lot in common.

khal: With your Killahertz crew, you drop Hip-Hop production primarily, right? You’ve been linked to many heads, most recently the G-Unit crew and most recently the XXL DVD Magazine Vol. 1. How did you get into the Hip-Hop game, and where did you start to get notice from some of the larger entities? Also, where else might we have heard your beats?

Hochi: I got into doing beats for people the basic way, just networking and connecting the dots. I knew a cat at G-Unit (shouts to Dan The Man) and I sent him some beats and he got me involved in some of his projects. I also work a lot with the dudes in Killahertz (DJ 730 and Dan One); 730 works at hiphopgame.com and he helps a lot with getting us connected with various artists. You can hear me on a lot of the G-Unit DVDs (Tony Yayo's Thoughts Of A Predicate Felon, 50 Cent's The Massacre DVD, G-Unit City, etc..). I also work a lot doing mixtape joints in the Hip-Hop arena. I’ve done tracks for tons of people. I just recently did a track called "125 grams Pt. 2" and a couple of other tracks for an artist named Joell Ortiz who just signed to Dr Dre’s Aftermath.

khal: Now for those out there who keep their eyes and ears on the “hood DVD” craze, they might have noticed you name was all over the XXL DVD Magazine Vol. 1 that was just recently released. The credits say you not only contributed beats, but also handed some post production to the sound on the disc. How did they come at you to handle this task? Do you handle things like this for other companies and discs?

Hochi: Yeah I have done post-production for a lot of the G-Unit/Interscope DVDs. I worked with the same director on all these projects - once again shouts to Dan the Man! I am also working on the music for a documentary called ‘Glue Boys’ which is about homeless children in Kenya addicted to glue and the companies who are profiting from it. Check Glueboys.com for more info.

khal: Since you dabble with both DnB & Hip-Hop, I always wonder, does one style of music influence the other? Do you approach producing a DnB track differently than a Hip-Hop track? Also, do you find it easier to write a track for one style of music, as opposed to the other?

Hochi: I really don’t approach them any differently I think that why my stuff sounds the way it does. I don’t think one style is any more difficult the core ideas take the same amount of time to create but DnB has a lot of frilly detail and arrangement work. I actually find that stuff kind of boring which is why I like to work with people who are into that part of it.

khal: Now, you’ve been selected by Mr. Photek himself to be a representative of the new breed of producers in the DnB scene. How does it feel to carry a weight like that on your back? What do you think you bring to the TEKDBZ camp that no one else can bring?

Hochi: Its not really a weight at all I don’t really look at music as life or death its supposed to be fun an interesting and I do work on that basis. I think I am the idea man within the TEKDBZ circle and being the label manager I try to make sure I keep everyone communicating and updated with revelant information. I guess if you wanted to define my position I am kind of like the ‘consigliere’ to the boss man.

khal: Speaking of TEKDBZ, you recently had a few large shows in California, right? How does it feel dropping DnB in places like the House of Blues, where that sound is not normally known to be played? Do you feel as though DnB can achieve a louder voice in the United States, to where it can be getting at least more album sales or radio play?

Hochi: I don’t think DnB in its current form will ever leave the ‘underground’ my guess is it will become even more obscure. I think this is because most people involved in the ‘scene’ have there identity tied up in a simple notion of what this music is and they will do anything to keep it from being accessible because they would have less control over it. I can’t speak for anyone else but with TEKDBZ our aim is to take the best MUSICAL aspects of DnB and combine them with the best aspects of all the other music we are influenced by and see what happens. Our position is “if you build it they will come” HOB is great because it allows us to what we do and put it on a stage where it can be appreciated by a wider audienence. Having a venue with as many capabilities as HOB lets us take our stage performances to another level. It's also just great to have a place on Sunset Strip in Hollywood. You never know who could wander in.

khal: Word is you recently on XM if I am not mistaken. Can you tell us more about this? Is it an ongoing gig, and if so, what can we expect from future shows?

Hochi: It's going to be every other Thursday on XM Radio Channel 80 The Move 3AM EST and 12AM PST. The hosts are Photek, Craze, and myself and you can expect the unexpected.

khal: What would you say is your greatest creation sonically, and why?

Hochi: I am really not sentimental about that kind of stuff. I really like "Hit Em’ Hard" because it was a proof of concept that worked out great.

khal: For someone of your caliber, who seems to already be making loads of waves in many areas, you are still a new name and face in the larger scheme of things. Where do you hope to see yourself and your crews/brands/etc. in the next, say, 5 years?

Hochi: I hope we can really start a new genre of music that is as accessible and appreciated by as many people as jungle/DnB once was. That would be a worthwhile accomplishment.

khal: In the more immediate future, what releases are planned for you in the immediate future? There was word of a TEKDBZ album, as well as a Mental Sharp album coming to the light soon. Can you shed any light on the schedules on those things?

Hochi: First comes the TEKDBZ:AMMO album which is a compilation featuring everyone from the crew and some vocalists from other genres. There will be a DVD of the live shows released as well. After that we are focused on Mental Sharp’s Epiphany album which in my opinion is a sure shot classic. Look for Ammo later this year and Epiphany a few months later.

khal: Aside from the large TEKDBZ shows, do you perform live anywhere else? If so, where can people catch you?

Hochi: I’ve been just getting back into djing and I have been doing a lot in cali lately. I would like to hit the road with one of the TEKDBZ MCs soon.

khal: Do you have any advice for the novice producer out there, trying to get their work heard by the major figures of the various industries?

Hochi: Don’t start making music until you have some new ideas. New Ideas are everything.

khal: Where do you see DnB going in 2007? What is the sound going to be, in your opinion?

Hochi: More self-agrandizement and played out ideas. Theres definitely some fresh producers out there but I personally have a hard time relating to most of the stuff I hear now.

khal: Do you have any last words or shouts to the people?

Hochi: Checkout TEKDBZ:AMMO and Form and Function Vol 2.

related links:
TEKDBZ on MySpace
DOA: The Grid Q&A with Hochi
Mental Sharp on MySpace
TEKDBZ Radio Podcast (RSS feed)

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