Eric Galaviz, widely known as Hipp-E, has been making techno and house long before its tremendous booming recent success, thanks to the rising popularity of EDM events and music in mainstream media and culture. His role in the beginnings of the explosively popular genre “tech house” have been instrumental in the development of the distinct aesthetic and sound. Artists like Claude VonStroke, Solardo, and Green Velvet have helped push tech house to the main stage but the roots of the genre lay in deep histories of clubs like Fabric London, where Hipp-E and Halo held an extended residency as the legendary duo, H Foundation. Supported by the likes of Carl Cox and Pete Tong, the two quickly gained widespread recognition for their music, DJing, and the genre.
Excited for Hipp-E’s return to the spotlight, we asked the talented artist about his musical background, influences, and experiences. His recent show with Subset, Pezzner, and Tokita was absolutely spectacular – we can’t wait to see what this driven individual will do in the future.
Describe some of your first experiences with electronic music.
A: I was first introduced to electronic music through breakdancing as a kid. I was a big fan of electro, and people like Kraftwerk and Africa Bambatta as well as groups that were using drum machines. After I started DJ’ing in 1989 I found acid house music and “rave” parties!
As a pioneer in the tech house scene, who were/are some of your inspirations- musical or otherwise? Who are some of your mentors?
A: Thank you, I had always really looked up to people that were making techno and house before there was even the genre of tech-house. Some of those people were guys like x Press 2, hardfloor, Green Velvet (Cajmere), really too many to name! As we started to produce as H Foundation we got support from so many of the people we admired and that validated our efforts.
You’re both a producer and DJ; could you please share some techniques in your creative arsenal with us?
A: Well I am a HUGE fan of the new technology available to incorporate into my DJ sets. I was very lucky to get connected to Native Instruments, and love to use the Maschine with Traktor, it turns my DJ set into an improv live/DJ set. And makes it very fun and creative. Using loops from tracks I play, adding my own sounds and building fresh backing beats on the fly makes for a fun and fresh way to play. I’m not ashamed to use all Kontrols and Maschine and leave the decks off! I’ve played for almost 30 years on decks mixing 2 songs, that is fun too and I still enjoy that- but when the opportunity comes up to use my live/DJ setup, I jump at the chance!
How have you balanced supporting your family and your music?
That was very tricky in the early years of having kids. I have twins and that was a full-time job for both my wife and I, but thankfully my wife has always been a solid support and amazing partner, so that afforded me to be able to keep working. I did find myself a bit lost and off balance with my life and eventually had to take time away from music to focus on my family. Now after having some time off, I’m very excited to return to music but with a conscious decision to prioritize family and home life.
What part of the current state of dance music excites you the most?
The production value is really exciting and the technology is also something that inspires me. I also am very happy to see how big the house, techno and tech house music has become. When I was heavily touring internationally we were up against trance and progressive which always had the main stage. Now deep house, techno, and jacking house is main stage at every massive festival in the world. That’s very cool and is part of why I wanted to come back!
What are you most excited about in your return to the stage?
The connection with a crowd, there truly is nothing like when you have a crowd hanging on every beat and baseline you drop, the energy you get from that can’t truly be explained. And the way you can reach into people and have the deep connection through music!
Who’s your favorite old school techno or house producer/DJ? Let us know in the comments below!