Friday, February 3, Public Works and the Sunset crew bring DJ Hell, aka Helmut Geier, who is one of the most influential artists straddling the divide between pop and dance music. The music scenes surrounding Hell during the beginning of his DJ career in Germany were pivotal for the creation of his own sound and the sounds of many contemporary popular artists worldwide.
Hell got his foundations in the late 70s when he began DJing, drawing inspiration from acid and techno just as it started picking up momentum in the United States. Just prior to this, Schlager (German for “hit”) had been Germany’s response to Western pop music for the past couple decades, but it quickly became stagnant in the mainstream. Then in the early 80s, German musicians took a hint from their British neighbors and made their own style of synthpop, combining New Wave and punk, known as Neue Deutsche Welle. Neue Deutsche Welle flourished in the underground for a few years before it came to its early demise in the mid-80s—just long enough for Hell to take notes. At this time, Hell became one of the first DJs to spin house in Germany, and after acquiring tastes across a broad spectrum of styles, it was clear he wasn’t going to stop there.
His first acclaimed release appeared on the then Belgian-based R&S Records, called “My Definition of House Music” in 1992, several years prior to the inception of his own record label, International Deejay Gigolo Empire. Based in Berlin, Hell created this label in 1996 with an open mind for the artists and kinds of releases that would appear on it. Through this label, he and a selection of his artists revamped the sounds of New Wave and Neue Deutsch Welle with the birth of electroclash. Artists like Tiga, Fischerspooner, and Miss Kittin appeared on Gigolo, alongside a variety of techno producers like Tiefschwarz, Dopplereffekt, and many more.
After 25 years of experience as a DJ and the success of his latest full length Teufelswerk, DJ Hell is sure to present an interesting set that shouldn’t be missed.
For a taste, check out his mix for Aquasella Festival from 2011 here.
DJ Hell plays with Galen, J-Bird and Solar Friday, February 3 at Public Works. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased here.