Hanin Elias with Electrosexual (via Skype). Photo by Tania Castellví
Hanin Elias / Electrosexual
Berlin staples Hanin Elias, of solo and Atari Teenage Riot-fame, and French electro-house producer Electrosexual, making his name among the coolest musicians in Berlin, team up for a release party this Friday for Electrosexual’s new single “Demolition”.
They’re accidental acquaintances happening upon one another at .hbc, where her admiration of his production talents won him her favourable attention for the duration of the evening. She, the former Atari Teenage Rioteer and veteran anarchist of the Berlin punk scene renowned for an uninhibited staunchly feminist style and revolutionary lyrics. He, an acclaimed French electro-house producer blending sophisticated analogue electronics with razor-sharp pop aesthetics. Setting the scene for future musical offspring, Romain “Electrosexual” Frequency recently enlisted Hanin Elias’ DJ skills for the official release party of his new single “Demolition” complete with screening of the hopefully controversial video at The Club, followed by DJing and performances at Luzia on Friday, January 18.
So, be honest: Was it really just Romain’s music that grabbed your attention that night in .hbc?
Hanin Elias: [Laughs] Yes, really. I was DJing at .hbc with [Pale Music’s] Steve Morrell, and Steve played me the song “I Feel Love” from Romain’s Electrosexual project and I was instantly wowed. It’s so well-produced and the vocals are so sensual that I just thought, “Ah, Romain. We have to do a track together.” I could see us making material in that sort of direction immediately.
Electrosexual: Yeah, I didn’t actually know she was there that night but I knew who she was. When I saw Hanin dancing to the song and saw that she liked it, I did a little “Woo hoo” inside and we ended up dancing to the song together for a bit.
Peaches, Desireless and now Hanin Elias? Are you discriminating against your own gender, Romain?
H: [Laughs] No, he just loves women. Romain really respects women, you know?
E: Strangely, I never actually thought about this until people started pointing it out. I mean, I consider my Electrosexual project as feminist, in a way, because I feel it’s very important that women are more prominent in music. Saying that may perhaps sound sexist, but it’s not. I think women have been poorly represented and haven’t enjoyed the prominence they deserve yet in electronic music but I think they totally belong there. I also identify strongly with women so I guess, yeah, you could say it’s part of my project.
The single is rather introspective. Is that the direction you plan to continue in?
H: Yes, the rough plan is to create something sensual and more emotionally driven. I think people who remember me from my Atari Teenage Riot days still expect me to be the same girl, screaming revolutionary messages like I used to, but our perceptions and feelings and tastes are constantly changing. I was very angry back then, but having a break from Berlin for five years and living in a totally different world, I changed a lot. I found my peace.
E: Yes, creating music should always be about love but, saying that, you shouldn’t bury your head in the sand and pretend like everything’s all good in the world when it isn’t. Currently in France, there are lots of discussions about what family is and what family should be in relation to the rights of same-sex couples to marry, adopt, and have access to artificial insemination. Coverage should be neutral, but it isn’t at all, so people aren’t getting the right information, which is breeding homophobia. So with the video for “Demolition” I thought, “Ok. So you think that having two fathers is something that will be harmful for children? I’m going to show you exactly how many problems there are in conventional family structures other than that.” These are subjects you’re not supposed to talk about or show or mention – especially not in electronic music – but I don’t see why not.
What should we expect from the record release party?
E: A non-pretentious, friendly, fun celebration and there will be gifts for whoever wants them. The party starts at 7pm with a screening of the “Demolition” video in a Neukölln bar called The Club. The Paris video crew and the “Make It From Scratch” guys who directed the video will be there. Celebrations move to Luzia at 10pm where DJs will be playing all night long including Hanin and I’ll also be doing a special performance of “Demolition”.
H: I’m really into harder dance tracks at the moment like Flux Pavilion and Proxy, so I’ll be playing that out, but there will also be some Azealia Banks in there and stuff like that. I just love Azealia Banks’ energy; she’s so sexy, so strong and so big-mouthed.
E: I’m actually hoping to join Hanin during her set and play back to back but I haven’t got round to asking yet…