The best part about interviewing DJ Hell late last year wasn’t the interview in a fancy Munich restaurant where everyone worshipped the dapper Gigolo primo. No. The bestest part, the thing that summed up Hell before we’d even met, was being picked up at the airport by his assistant Claudia, who drove us to Munich in her boss’s deluxe new BMW. Cruising fast along the Autobahn on that crisp winter afternoon, our journey became a cliché-in-motion of quality German engineering, right down to the sublime electronic disco of vintage Giorgio Moroder, the original Munich Machine, purring from Hell’s in-car stereo. Twelve months on, and Hell’s International Deejay Gigolo label-cum-lifestyle is still being hyped to death, and with good reason. It’s given us Vitalic, Fischerspooner, Miss Kittin & The Hacker, and Romina Cohn, as well as boosted global champagne sales through the roof. Today, when a lot of electro superstars have fallen off, Hell is bigger than ever. The reason is simple: ?I am always looking for the next level,? he explains, ?for some new excitement and new directions.?
I really like this one. I danced to it. Uh, fast dancing. I like the Germany. Yeah, I do. Electronic. Body. House. Yeah, I like that music. This doesn’t sound like Grease. No. no. I like the beat and the drums. I like the Beat music. I like dancing, like disco.
Now, having navigated a dignified passage in, over, and around electroclash, the gracious 40-year-old has relocated to New York to make an album replete with ?the New York vibe.? Hell left Europe because all this never-ending hype was turning him into a wrinkled-up, electro version of Keith Richards. The guy is no spring chicken. At one rave in Barcelona, brutal Italo-disco and 100 glasses of champagne coerced the DJs into beating the shit out of each other. "Tommie Sunshine got my footprint in his face. Tiga got hurt on the back," Hell recalls, wincing at the memory. "I was hurt in the foot and had to go to hospital because my feet were cut and I have to stitch it. From glass? I dunno. I was too drunk. I need to get out of this mayhem and come somewhere reasonable like New York. Somewhere I can relax." DJ Hell’s Electronicbody-Housemusic mix CD is out now on React. www.react-music.com, www.gigolo-records.de