Rob Hes is a Dutchman with a unique and lasting sound. With his third release just out on Tronic Records, we caught up with the man to talk production styles and his plans for the future...
OTB: Raised By Another is your third release on Tronic, how did you first become involved with the label and why do you think your music fits so well with what they stand for?
Rob: I got involved with the label years ago. Some all time favorites are Christian Smith's 'Indulge Me' and his remix for Carl Craig - At les. Those tracks are still so good. And there are a lot more big hits from this label. And Christian is still rocking. If you told me some years back: you will release your music on Tronic, I probably would have said that you were crazy haha
I don't know why my music fits so well. I guess it's just because Christian Smith is loving it. I always try to do something with a good melody combined with a good techno groove.
OTB: How does this EP compare to your past releases?
Rob: I always try to get a certain energy in my tracks, and to not do the same tricks. I don't like to make tracks what have the same basslines or other elements that come back in every track. I try to make different songs, but people are telling me they can hear the 'Rob Hes' sound in it, and that is exactly what I want.
OTB: Taking a step into your studio, how does your set up look, do you mainly use software or do you like to mix it up?
Rob: I always work different. At the moment I use my MOOG a lot, but maybe next month I do everything with software. It always goes with the flow I guess, but I like to mix it up. Using good things from both sides. I'm reading a book now about synthesizing to learn more about how to make your own sounds without presets.
OTB: What do you start with when working on a track, is it the same process every time?
Rob: Yes most of the time I always start with a kick and a bassline and then go to the drums to make a groove. From there I go on.
OTB: Over the years how has your set up evolved and how has this effected the sound you produce?
Rob: When I was young I had a lot more hardware. I worked on an old atari with no memory. You can save something on a diskete, but that was it haha. So all of my sounds were from my hardware machines. Years later software came up. Now I have a big mixing desk, a Juno 106, MOOG Sub Phatty and some midicontrollers in my studio, and of course too much software ;) The possibilities are endless now. You can get loose very fast. A good producer is also someone who can make easy decisions.
OTB: Is there one piece of equipment, hardware, plugin etc that defines your sound the most?
Rob: Not really. I like to use new synths, but the MOOG ends up a lot in my tracks for basslines or leads. Things like compressors and delays etc I almost use the same. From compressors from Ableton to Waves etc.
OTB: How has your summer season been so far in regards to your live shows, any stand out memories?
Rob: This summer has so far been good. I've played at some great festivals with good weather and bad weather;) Played in Scotland, Germany, Norway. Met a lot of new people. Scotland stands out for me. Everyone was friendly and it was a hell of a good party.
OTB: Do you have a favourite place to play around the world and what makes it so special?
Rob: It was this year in Bucharest, Romania. That party was sooo good. Everybody was dancing for the whole night. I'm going back the end of October. I'm really looking forward to it.
OTB: What is your live set up currently and how has that changed over the time you have been DJing?
Rob: For the last 2 years I've most of the time been playing live, but when I was DJing a lot, I started with vinyl....than cd's...and sometime I used traktor. Than back to the pioneers with usb's. And now with my live set up I use 3 midicontrollers with my laptop. Playing only my own tracks.
OTB: What has been you career highlight so far and what is your next main goal to conquer?
Rob: Last May my release on Dubfire's SCI+TEC was a real highlight. I waited 1,5 year on that release :) but every Tronic release was also a highlight for me. The end of this year I'm going to release on Josh Wink's Ovum label. So 2015 was one big highlight for me :)
Rob's EP 'Received By Another' is out now on Tronic
Buy it here - https://pro.beatport.com/release/rob-hes-raised-by-another-ep/1578489