We're toasting to our Stars Of The Year. Next up: Objekt
“If you’d told me five years ago I’d write what is apparently Ibiza’s number one summer house track of 2017...” says TJ Hertz, before tailing off, unable to finish the hypothetical. And it does sound absurd that a producer revered for his immensely detailed sound design and tangled, twisting textures would strike a chord with the ’Beefa massive, but ‘Theme From Q’ is no ordinary club banger. Its masterful combination of swollen bass, warped breaks, and a synth hook more catchy than that Friday feeling has raised Objekt’s profile across all corners of the dance world.
“I was pretty surprised by how far it went in terms of crossing over into different scenes,” he says. While previous releases have been favourites of bass and techno DJs such as the Hessle Audio trio, Loefah and Surgeon, everyone from Ricardo Villalobos and Seth Troxler to Laidback Luke has drawn for the B-side cut from ‘Objekt #4’ at recent gigs.
The success of this release was his crowning achievement, but 2017 has been a big year for a number of reasons. Hertz permanently quit his day job as a developer for Native Instruments to focus on music full-time. “I loved that job, but it got to the point where I was spreading myself too thin,” he says. One effect has been more time to dig, allowing broader-ranging sets in his increasingly busy and far-reaching gig calendar, giving him “a sense of versatility and readiness to approach different kinds of events with excitement rather than trepidation.”
High-profile European dates, two US tours, and bookings across countries such as Taiwan, Lebanon and the Philippines have ranged from “serious, proper club shows” to “super DIY parties for like 20 people on a folding table.” Across the board, crowds have lost themselves in his expansive sets that are prone to rapid tempo shifts care of technical wizardry, combining records with artfully curated USB folders called things like ‘Floaty Rollers’.
Although Objekt takes his DJing seriously there’s no pretension to his sets, moving dancefloors being the ultimate goal. In August, dipping into the playlist he’d made for close friend Call Super’s wedding led him to treat a Berghain crowd to Armand van Helden’s ‘You Don’t Know Me’. Playing together regularly, the duo are liable to push each other into all-out party territory as well as exploring deeper, more headsy material. They’ve shared some massive moments this year, such as dropping Sonique’s trance anthem ‘It Feels So Good’ while co-headlining Dekmantel’s Selectors stage. “That definitely turned a few heads,” says Hertz. The way his trajectory is going, expect more heads to follow suit.
This feature is taken from the January issue of Mixmag
Patrick Hinton is Mixmag's Digital Staff Writer, follow him on Twitter