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Ambivalent Is Certain About His Life After Minimal Techno

Kevin McHugh spreads his wings with new labels and artistic ideas.

by Joshua Glazer
Mar 1 2016, 7:40pm

Kevin McHugh didn't set out to be a techno musician. But when his work in the world of NYC's modern art scene crossed over into the realm of minimal techno in the early 00s, he caught a wave that took him all the way to Berlin as part of Richie Hawtin's Minus label. He was soon traveling the world under the name Ambivalent, spreading the gospel of Berlin's trendy ambience with compatriots like Magda, Marc Houle and Heartthrob. "It became a big thing on [Minus] when that label was a big thing," he says modestly of his 2007 breakout single, "R U OK," a prime example of the drugged-yet-cheeky, plink-plonky sound that took over techno a decade ago.

Since departing Minus in 2012, Kevin has debuted two new aliases — the house-inspired Amber and gritty LA-4A — and launched his own Delft and Valence labels and to release a broader palette of dance music than the haus of Hawtin had allowed for in the past. He's also continued his Ambivalent guise, partnering up with techno stars Sven Vath, Josh Wink and Sasha to release music on their Cocoon, Ovum and Last Night On Earth Imprints respectively.

Always self-examining and sometimes painfully honest, Kevin explains the twists and turns it's taken him to reach this point in his career, with a critical eye towards both his past and his future.

Listen to Rave Curious Podcast 010 - Ambivalent

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Tagged:
Berlin
Thump
Richie Hawtin
Minus
magda
Minimal
heartthrob
marc houle
ambivalent