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Interview: Getting to Know Switzerland-based techno DJ/Producer, Patrik Widmer


Patrik Widmer
Patrik Widmer

Patrik Widmer is a Swiss artist based in Zürich who’s love of techno stretches back to the ‘90s, where he was inspired by the trippy acid of the TB-303 synthesiser and robust percussion of the 909 drum machine. He is a DJ and producer whose high-octane style of techno pays homage to classic acid techno and hard trance. This is on full display with his new single on the Plastic Toys record label called “Touch My Soul.” Combining thundering drums with a euphoric breakdown, we invited Patrik Widmer for this interview to discover more about his new release…

 

Hi Patrik, it’s great to be talking with you. Can you start by telling us about your music style, and some of your main influences?

 

“I see myself as a peak time techno artist. I describe my sound as high energy techno around 140-145bpm and often with acid elements. A big part of my influence comes for sure from the early rave sound circa 1990-1999, which often included the acid sound of its legendary Roland TB-303. I also still like the old sounds from the legendary synthesisers used during that time.”

 

Where are you currently living, and what’s your opinion on the local music scene?

 

“I am living in Zürich, Switzerland. Here in Zürich, there is a big trend towards the hard techno movement. I am noticing that other electronic music genres are struggling to have full clubs. After Covid a lot of venues had to close and the overall trend also looks to be that the young generation is not clubbing as much as we did back in the days. I saw especially in the last years that the overall quality in techno music increased a lot too.

 

It is also nice to see that there is again a serious, hard techno movement. It’s not only about the music, but also about the look and style. It reminds me a bit of the years around 2000. At this time ravers in Zürich were dressed with flares (pants), tight shirts, buffalos and a really specific haircut. For us it was more than just music, it was a community and a movement! It’s nice to see these days that the young hard techno generation have a similar movement as we had.”

 

Talk us through your studio set-up, and if you prefer software or hardware equipment for making music?

 

“I definitely started with hardware because I needed to feel and touch some buttons. In the beginning, I struggled to find inspiration just in Ableton alone and preferred much more to just start doing “something” on a hardware synth. This has changed a lot by now, and today I am mainly doing it just in Ableton. Here and there I record some acid lines with my Behringer TD-3-MO. My hardware synths nowadays are more just for fun and playing a bit. If I “accidently” did something amazing in this process I copy it over to Ableton to begin tweaking.

 

I don’t have a dedicated studio yet, but I would love to have one soon. This means I am mainly doing music at home and using headphones most of the time.”

 

You have a new EP out called “Touch My Soul” and it would be great to discover more about the tracks and their concept?

 

“I usually start with a vocal, and because I went through a rough time recently, the vocal “touch my soul” somehow resonated strongly with me. After the vocal, I searched for some elements to use around it until it took shape. I don’t have a clear concept how to write music and a lot is pretty much trial and error. In this phase, I found different elements which I thought fitted the vocal really well, but not each other. That is why I decided to do 2 versions of the track. The rave edition is faster and has an amazing rave lead synth. I am really happy with both of the final versions and I play them quite often in my own sets.”

 

 

“Touch My Soul” is being released by the “Plastic Toys” record label, and I wanted to find out how you first made contact with the guys who run the label?

 

“I have known Marcel Warren the label owner of Plastic Toys for many, many years. The first contact was indeed like 15 years ago. Marcel was playing in the legendary OXA Club in Zürich. After his fantastic set, I wrote him an email and asked for a tracklist. After 2 weeks he answered with “sorry for the long delay, I was on vacation. I don’t know what I played anymore, but my case is still packed with the vinyl I had with me that night” and he gave me a full list of all records from his case. Since then, we have been chatting on an almost daily basis. We share our work with each other and ask for feedback. We often play at the same events now too, and because Marcel has been in the business for many years, I can profit a lot from his knowledge. We have shared so much that it became a friendship beyond just the music.”

 

What was your favourite track of 2023, and what are you most looking forward to in 2024?

 

“Hmmm, I guess I can’t name a single track to be my favourite in all fairness. There are amazing tracks from Mha iri, Maria Vaunt, Thomas Schumacher, Alignment, and Charlotte de Witte, but if I have to name a few it would be these…

 

Marie Vaunt - Dark Room

Belocca, IZREAL - Greater Purpose

Pomella, T78 - Optik

Armin van Buuren - Computers Take Over the World (Maddix Extended Remix)”

 

What else is coming up in your schedule, any new releases or gigs you want to tell us about?

 

“There are a few more releases planned for this year, and I am already working on several new projects too. I’m really looking forward to later this year and getting to play at the biggest indoor festival in Switzerland, which is called Insomnia and will take place after Streetparade.”

 

Thanks for running through this interview, is there anything you would like to add before we finish?

 

“I would like to send thanks for all the amazing support I have received in the last month in particular. It would not have been possible without all the people who helped me and joined me for all my gigs and amazing parties.”


Get a copy of Patrik Widmer's new single "Touch My Soul" from, HERE.





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