From deep house to classical orchestra: Berlin’s most versatile producer discusses his constant quest for new challenges.
Genre ain’t nothing but a five letter word to the man from the very south of Germany. Jazz theme? Funk tune? Dancefloor smash? Soul anthem? Classical capriccio? Henrik Schwarz has done it, reinvented it, remixed it, mastered it and incorporated it into his own musical universe. After James Brown set Schwarz’s musical machine in motion, Jeff Mills and Robert Hood were responsible for his techno epiphany. Following a move to Berlin, Schwarz’s first record on Moodmusic kickstarted a career that has redefined deep house with Âme’s and Dixon’s Innervisions crew; he’s retouched songs by Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Mary J. Blige and reinvented his own dance tracks as big-score compositions for a classical orchestra. In this Fireside Chat, recorded at his home studio in Berlin, Schwarz talks in-depth about his core concept of combining extremes, and why, instead of looking for the same answers over and over again, he’d rather raise new questions.