Something’s afoot in Hamburg. While the past years,decades even, were dominated primarily by the Frankfurtand Berlin schools of Techno, constantly setting the toneand pace for progression of a rather hard-edged style ofdance music, the Hanseatic City is increasingly coming intoits own. The newest and literally one of the youngestrepresentatives of this blossoming yet adamant Hamburgbredclub music goes by the name of ET NIK. Born in 1992,this prodigious 22-year-old is already being coined thewunderkind of new German Techno. What’s more, it took himjust one gig in Hamburg’s Baalsaal to get himself a recorddeal. “It was quite overwhelming,” ETNIK recounts. “My initialplan was to not venture into DJ’ing before havingestablished myself with a few tracks of my own to show.Though at the time I was familiar with the Baalsaal’smanager and he invited me to DJ one night. It was actuallymy first official DJ set. That night an A&R Manager fromWarner happened to be among the guests. He saw me,heard me and thought to himself: ‘Whatever else it is thisguy does, we need him!’ A mere two weeks later I wasseated at a table with the folks from Warner and wediscovered that we have the same vision and idea of who Iam and where I want to go with my music.” And so he signedon with bitclap!, Warner Music’s Dance label. A rapid rise to fame? Overnight stardom? Far from it.Despite his young age ETNIK’s signature sound has been along time in the making. “When I was seven, I rememberhearing Sven Väth’s ‘Dein Schweiss’ for the first time andbeing stricken. From that moment on I knew that I wanted todo something just like that.” For years he worked ondeveloping his extremely characteristic sound. “I want eachof my tracks to boast a strong identity, while also stronglydiffering from one another. T he danger in looking to form asignature sound is that, at the end of the day, many of theproductions will sound pretty much the same. I strive toavoid this at all costs.” So it came that ETNIK spent most ofhis days as a young teenager sitting in his room, refiningsounds, beats and dynamics. “My friends and classmateswere all listening to Hip-Hop and R’n’B. This made me andmy inclination towards everything electronic a perpetualoutsider,” he remembers. “At the same time I am a big fan ofpercussion. And so from time to time I catch myself includingHip-Hop-based drum patterns in my Techno.” All that at anage, when others are busy flipping through the latest HarryPotter novel. But the thing most refreshing about ETNIK is not his youth. It’s his uncompromising and surprisingly confident sound,backed by a sense of style that is spot-on. ETNIK, which ishis real name by the way, grew up in Hamburg as the son ofAlbanian immigrants, who supported his musical venturesfrom day one. His aim, from the outset, was to pair Technowith rare elegance. Instead of overloading his music withsounds, ETNIK prefers to omit all that is superfluous and tofocus only on the essentials. His music cuts to the chaseand shows poise, where most others succumb to irritatingeffects: Shaken, not stirred! “I’m an absolute perfectionist,constantly seeking the optimum,” he explains. “It doesn’ttake me long to have 80% of a track complete. The other20% however can take me months. I may even choose toplace an already finished track back in the archive because Isuddenly dislike the way the Hi-Hat sounds.” As a result ittook ETNIK an entire two years of working on his first tracksbefore he liked them well enough to upload them toSoundcloud. His efforts have paid off, with his Soundcloudchannel currently counting almost one million plays of hisuploaded tracks and remixes. It doesn’t come as a surprise then, that ETNIK shows anequally steady hand when it comes to his appearance: It justfits. “I really value the big picture. Everything needs to be inthe right place to form a unity, bearing within itself a clearlydefined character.” His music is inspired by contemporaryartists such as Boys Noize, Tiga, D.I.M and Kraftwerk as wellas by old-time greats the likes of Johann Sebastian Bach.So encountering a few bars of a violin solo somewhere inhis sounds wouldn’t be that big a coincidence. Or possiblymore vocals in the near future: “I really enjoy vocals. T heyare excellent to play around with. I’ve already set my sightson a couple of possible collaborations for my future tracks,and it’s looking good.” It doesn’t come as a surprise then, that ETNIK shows anequally steady hand when it comes to his appearance: It justfits. “I really value the big picture. Everything needs to be inthe right place to form a unity, bearing within itself a clearlydefined character.” His music is inspired by contemporaryartists such as Boys Noize, Tiga, D.I.M and Kraftwerk as wellas by old-time greats the likes of Johann Sebastian Bach.So encountering a few bars of a violin solo somewhere inhis sounds wouldn’t be that big a coincidence. Or possiblymore vocals in the near future: “I really enjoy vocals. T heyare excellent to play around with. I’ve already set my sightson a couple of possible collaborations for my future tracks,and it’s looking good.” ETNIK’s increasing popularity as a producer is mirrored in his undeniable talent as a DJ, where he equally valuesextensive build-ups and clearly nuanced scripts. Justplaying one track after the other is not his thing. Instead “itmay come down to me playing a 90-minute-set with 50 oreven 60 different tracks mixed and delivered to the people.And, what’s most important, with no loss in tension.” With allthat said, ET NIK simply considers himself an entertainerwith a coherent master plan. In case you were wondering:The inverse N in his logo is actually part of a visualizedSawtooth wave, as used in his tracks. ETNIK, the artist with a signature, has already clearlypositioned himself in the Techno scene. A young man, highlyrecognizable in sound and appearance, he produces a styleof Techno quoting the genre’s history and bringing it up todate so skillfully that many of the quotes used only becomeapparent after repeated listening. The five tracks featuringon ETNIK’s upcoming EP “Neon Daze”, to be released onNovember 19th in Germany via bitclap! / Warner Music, layfurther emphasis on his range and caliber as a producer.“Neon Daze”, the title track, is a massive stomper withelaborate beats, an agonizingly intense bassline andskillfully sprinkled vocal samples. “Nixon”, as yet, is possiblyone of the meanest marching versions of Future-Tech-Funkaround. “Vault” is a brilliantly unfriendly tune to be played inthe spanking early morning hours, right as the temperaturein the club is about to hit the ceiling. “La Nuit” masterfullyplays with distorted melodies and disturbing backgroundnoises, while “Boaws” concludes the EP, taking it back to theintricate Electro sounds of the 90’s with spheric keys andzero gravity. Five tracks, five drafts and one clear purpose:Right on the mark, full speed ahead, but always in style. This has also been recognized by many a colleague in hisgenre. In 2012 he was invited on a big tour of Australia,while also supporting deadmau5 on his tour of Germany,playing in front of a thousand plus people each night. Yet,the following experience proved to be even moremomentous: “One day, friends told me that Skrillex hadposted a remix of mine on his Facebook fanpage. He thenfollowed me on Twitter and let me know that he liked myproductions, which led to us communicating regularly up untiltoday.” And now his upcoming EP “Unclassified” will bereleased in the USA via the Skrillex-owned label OWSLA. Asa young Techno producer with a clear vision and big goals,these days it is hard to imagine a bigger honor or accoladeone might even say. But ETNIK is far from done. And withanother international tour in the making for 2014, well, let’sjust say this young man is only getting started.