Heidi is somewhat of a techno prodigy, having grown up in Windsor, Ontario, in the shadow of the genre's birthplace, Detroit, and eventually moving to London to learn the record-bin ropes working in famed music store Phonica. Today she resides in dance music's new capital, Berlin, spins monthly on BBC Radio 1, and performs at the most prestigious venues and festivals across the globe, including Fabric London, Space Ibiza, Movement, Ultra Festival and Electronic Zoo. She's at Avalon Hollywood Saturday for a dream pairing with British tribal king Steve Lawler. We asked her a few questions:
LA Weekly: A lot of top DJs got their start working in record stores, getting to know artists, genres and labels. Today that opportunity just isn't available. What's the contemporary equivalent of growing up in a record store today? How would an aspiring spinner get that kind of knowledge now?
Heidi: To be honest I'm not quite sure. I live in Europe and there are still quite a few record stores around especially in London and Berlin. I guess you just have to troll around on forums and websites and see what tracks people are talking about and look at DJ charts. Listen to podcasts or certain radio shows that play the music you like. Having older family members who are into their music helps a lot as well. I guess if you really want something, you'll do anything to get it.
You play a lot of festivals. Is it more ideal artistically to play in a dark club after-hours, or do you prefer the energy of short set for a large crowd?
I'm open to all situations. I love both options. But the after-hours i usually play at are light and the sun is up and the crowd embraces the morning as opposed to sitting in a dark corner somewhere chewing their own face off. So you can just play whatever you want and people will get into it. Big festivals are great as well because I get a chance to maybe play certain tracks I like that may not work so well in smaller clubs. Its great to have options and not limit yourself to playing one style of music all the time. It has nothing to do with being artistic. It has everything to do with the vibe of your surroundings.
How does L.A. rank on your map of clubbing cities (and why)?
It seems to have gotten better over the past few years. The first time I played there I didn't think they were ready for the more European sound. But it seems now they can't get enough of it, which is great for me because I'm a fan of L.A., and the fact that it's sunny all the time is right up my street.
Can you tell us about three tracks that are at the top of your play list these days?
My top 3 tracks of the moment are:
1) Kabale und Liebe, "Since You Looked Into My Eyes," (Remote Area).
2) The Gathering, "In My System (Jef K Mix), (Silver Network).
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3) Waifs and Stays, "Yeah Yeah," (Leftroom Records).
All of them make me want to get naked on the dance floor!!!
Check out a podcast of one of Heidi's BBC mix shows here.
Heidi spins with Steve Lawler Saturday at Avalon Hollywood, 1735 N. Vine St., Hollywood. 21+. Info.