Interview: Hail Blk

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Chris Buhagiar alias Hail Blk is a producer and one of the upcoming prominent figures from Malta. He has already released on labels like Wunderblock, Dark Sphere and LCR and on his own record label of the same name. His newest EP ‘Time Is a Flat Circle‘ was released via London-based Solid Tracks Recordings and is full of industrial techno. We chatted with Hail Blk about the release, techno scene in Malta and plans for the upcoming year.

LSD: Your newest EP is called ‘Time Is a Flat Circle’. Where did you get inspiration for the name and how is it reflected in the release?

HB: The title refers to the perception of time in this universe in a linear way. Taking in consideration that we are bound to repeat ourselves in our time line of existence, thus reflecting the repetitiveness in the music and the interchanging fills and little details within the monotony of it all. Also known as a hypnotic feel. It’s the way I look at my own works and my inspiration to do so.

LSD: You produce with hardware. But the track ‘Erectile Priest’ from your new EP sounds like it would contain modulated samples or vocal recordings. How do you produce music and do you sample?

HB: Yes, I use hardware mainly to make most of my productions, the one in particular you are referring to is a sample, cropped up on the Elektron Octatrack which is an eight track sampler and midi sequencer, quite a complex one too which does most of my sampling.
For the main body structure of the track most of it is purely hardware, with some added outboard effects and I do combine some virtual software based sounds when needed.

 LSD: You come from Malta. How is the techno scene there, is it supportive and tied together or is there a competition among the DJs and collectives?

HB: The techno scene here is really good. We have quite some good professional promoters that organize great events with great lineups all year round. I personally received lots of support thru the years as a producer, the scene overall is a bit competitive, but most of us producers and DJs are well tied together. Since the island is very small, all of us tend to know each other really well, for the better and the worse. :)

LSD: 2016 is nearly over; what were your favorite DJ gigs of this year?

This year I played live as Hail Blk at Tresor alongside Llimbs for New Faces and at Arena Club for the Wunderblock Records Showcase in Berlin, those were really great shows and kind of a unique experience. Also, I had a couple of local gigs in Malta that had quite an intense vibe which was great considering I was doing a DJ set and it’s not very common for me.

LSD: And what are plans for Hail Blk record label in 2017?
For 2017 there will be two releases coming out: Avid Sequence in January with a self titled vinyl release including a remix form myself, this is a young kid form the island that delivers some deep immersed techno. And also there will be a release from myself as Hail Blk with a remix form VSK. I will also try and fit in a label night at some point here in Malta.