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The 'wonder kid' of German bass wants to pleasantly weird you out

Marten HØrger performs at the Garibaldi Lift Company on Sunday, Sept. 21



Marten Hørger goes against the grain of German dance music. He is a bass man in an electro world.

The Stuttgart-based DJ and producer is taking a jetlag day off at the start of his Canadian tour.

"I call it half-brain," he laughs. "I'm here for 10 shows in 16 days."

He agrees that performing in the twilight hours can be a bit like jetlag, too, but he loves it.

"It's my job, you know? There's not much in my life that I can complain about. I'm very happy and well able to deal with those little things," Hørger says. "I'm living my personal dream. I always wanted to do this."

Now 33, Hørger started his career at 15 years old. Before he was legally allowed to go into German dance clubs as a patron he was performing in them, gaining traction when techno DJ Westbam called him "the new wonder kid of bass music."

Hørger says his love of bass hit him because he was limited in what he had access to.

"Where I come from everything is about house and techno. I grew up in the countryside, and we had one really nice nightclub and one really cool record shop and they got me involved with cool, interesting music," he says.

"It was quite early when I started to realize that it was not the typical German sound. I really got into the English sound, bass and breakbeats. I really liked the Prodigy.

"My tastes were not the usual German tastes, but I was still surrounded by that music. My own music, what I do now, is somewhere in between... English, North America and German sounds."

So musically, Hørger is a bit of a pioneer in his homeland.

"I get booked because it is so different to them. Everyone else plays the same thing over and over again and I come and everyone is pleasantly weirded out," he says.

Hørger hopes to pleasantly weird out fans in Whistler when he performs with local duo SkiiTour at the Garibaldi Lift Company on Sunday, Sept. 21. This is his 10th tour of Canada and second visit to the resort.

"I became very good friends with SkiiTour (Dave Rollie and Tim Livingstone) and I really, really like them. When I come out to Whistler I stay with them and it's great," Hørger says.

"They're actually going to come to Europe and play in Germany next month. Their first European tour! I will try to make everything run smooth for them."

His biggest single so far has to be "LGFU", his first solo effort, which won two international Breakspoli Awards for Best Single and Producer.

"I'm not really confident with my music, I don't put that much out... so that was great," he says.

As well as his solo work, Hørger is one half of the duo Smash Hifi, with form Prodigy member Leeroy Thornhill.

"I wouldn't like to be in a band with more than two people because you always have to rely on others, you know. But with two people it is perfect, a lot more fun. You always have a travel companion," he says.

"I grew up listening to Leeroy's music, he's a couple of years older than I am. Prodigy was literally the band that got me into music... and years down the line I bump into him and we shared a lot of the same ideas and interests. He became my best friend."

Hørger has a Smash Hifi album, as yet unnamed, that is due to be completed in October. As well, two new singles and a new EP are due out in the next few months.

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