A bottle of Held Vodka with C.J. Hartmann

von Jamila Hussein

Your artist name C. J. Hartmann stands for?

For my initials. All my friends call me C.J. since I only remember. Even my mom does it! My last artist name was just C.J. but if you wanted to look it up on the Internet everything comes up but not me. That’s why I had to make my name a bit more specific. So I had to think of another word, but I didn’t just want to call me anything. I wanted a word that describes me. Couldn’t find anything for a long while. But then, as I was on my way just about to visit a friend, the name found me. As I pressed the buzzer button and word ‘Hartmann’ hit me like a thunder… So I thought: That’s it! C.J. Hartmann. What describes the sound that I play is deeper. In that way I could connect what I’m doing with what I am.

Mister Hartmann, can I expect to hear only “Hart” music when you spin the records?

No. (smiles) You can expect to hear everything what’s good! You see, I come from Techno – 126BPM, powerful ,melodic and deep kinda Techno! I love techno more than anything else in this world. Since few months though, I try to find myself also in tech-house. The key thing for me is a melody and groove. It can be dark, but it has to have those 2 things! I’m not a big fan of repetitive loops…. For me track needs to have a texture, something what gives you shivers when you listen to it. I want also my productions to be like that… I’m still in progress of looking for my particular sound, but I think I’m on a good way. In future, I want to switch to LIVE mode, start to perform with some twisted, rare MIDI controllers. That will be one of the next steps.

Where does your passion music come from? How did it all begin?

Ha! First person who got me interested in electronic music was… My beloved mom! Can you believe it? When I was fourteen, she showed me some music from “Kraftwerk” and I absolutely fell in love with it!

We should raise the glasses for that. Cheers! To your mom!

Yeah, cheers!

It’s been ten years since then. Does Kraftwerk still have that big influence on your music like back then?

No. Not so much. I went through lots of different sorts of electronica, like trance, funky house or breaks and that was slowly creating my music preferences. My first experiences with techno minimal was in 2006 and parties I attended motivated me to learn how to use a DJ equipment to play my favourite releases. Then thanks to Jacob Husley I had the opportunity to stand behind the decks, I played my first set alongside Miss Kittin. The reaction was good what gave me first bookings. There are many producers that appreciate but not too many that are able to get me super crazy about their stuff! That’s what makes my music special… I am very selective in terms of music! No junk, bitte!

So who else is influencing your music productions?

Definitely artists like Stephan Bodzin and Oliver Huntemann get all my respect for the magic they created. They rock my world. Big up for artists like Super Flu, Andre Winter or Extrawelt! Back in a time massive influence was for me Westbam. That’s what more-ore-less gave me the directions to find my own sound.

You grew up in Canada. How is the Club scene over there?

Hmm, that’s hard to say. I was really young as I left. I can tell you more about London. As I went to High School, I attended first parties and discovered the underground techno scene. That time London club scene was great, fantastic people, great parties and awesome music! Enough to get addicted! Now things changed a bit. London had its hard time. Party-wise. Most of the clubs were somehow closed down, few of regular afterparties were, all of the sudden stopped and it wasn’t so amazing anymore.

Where in London would I run into C. J. Hartmann?

Hmm. I used to hang out in East London , like Shoreditch – wicked shops, nice restaurants, and lots of art and! My favorite Bagel Shop is there too. And Fabric, a great place for clubbing on Sunday nights is there too. Amazing line-ups, great sound system, nice restaurants and art.

Cheers, to Shoreditch then!

Haha! Okay, cheers to Shoreditch!

But Berlin is not too bad either, is it?

Off course not! Otherwise I wouldn’t be here. That’s where all the magic happens, huh? (laughs) I find Berlin the most amazing city ever! It has a lot of different things to offer. It’s full of passion, love and art. It’s always good to play here – and party here! Fantastic crowd and loooots of Gute Laune! The scene here is great! What else do I need? Hehe! And not to forget about places like Berghain/Panorama or Bar 25!

Where was your last marvelous experience in a Club, except Berlin and London?

At “The Edge” in Sao Paolo was orgasmic! Haha! Really, big time!

Ok, so cheers to Sao Paolo!


What are your latest productions?

Well… This years’ first release is my track ‘Tail On Fire’ on a Ministry Of Sound compilation called Sound Of Berlin vol. 9 amongst some very exciting talents like Paul Kalkbrenner, Soul Clap or Mark Henning! I have also, recently finished a remix I did for Live Wire and London based label called Phunk Solutions. At the moment I’m working on a very exciting project called Akkuschrauber. Making a remix for Zweisam Records. That’s gonna be released in Febrary 2011 I’m also looking forward to my few upcoming projects with my beloved friends, like Jerome Sydenham or Miss Jools ! Ha! Joolsie comes from House music. I think interesting might be connecting both of our styles – hehe, what else would come up, if not Tech-House ? (laugh). Stay tuned!

What does music mean to you?

Music for me is a way to connect with people, like a language I speak, That’s why every single time I play I want to tell you a story! Now it’s up to you if you wanna check all the other chapters. Every single track brings different emotions. I’m trying to put all of them in order that will take you ‘on a journey’. You wanna ride? (laughs) Sure, I love to travel! But first we have to finish that bottle of (Held) Vodka! Cheers!

Where will we be able to hear you next?

In Berlin, you can catch me at Asphalt at the 21st of January. It’s a Fashioweek Special Edition! Should be fun! Everything seems to be very promising.

Where else apart of Berlin will you be performing?

My upcoming gigs involve London, Barcelona and Mykonos in Greece, still waiting for a confirmation from Taipei. At the moment I am my own booking agent and myself, I don’t do super well… Also trying to focus right now on a production a lot. I always say that summer is for party and winter is to focus on your stuff. Weather is not really tempting these days. I don’t even feel like going out which makes it easier for work. I also feel pretty inspired! Now I wanna express all of it in my music.


Jamila Hussein

C.J. Hartmann – Dec’10 DJ set by C.J. Hartmann


Jamila Hussein

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