Helter Skelter: Shlomi Aber on New EP, Sankeys Tribal Sessions, & More

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Since his debut in the early 2000s, Israeli DJ/producer Shlomi Aber has been on a steady ascent to the techno elite with a distinct approach marrying technically sophisticated live sets with intricate productions. Over the years, he’s amassed a repertoire of releases on some of the world’s hottest dance labels, including Cocoon, Desolat, Ovum, R&S, Objectivity, and—more recently—his own Be As One imprint. From his 2007 club smash “Freakside” to his new single “O.D. / Helter Skelter,” Aber’s name always been on the lips of the ClubWorld’s most elite tastemakers.

Right before embarking on a quick three-city jaunt across the US, Aber connected with DJ Times to chat about his analog-heavy production style, upcoming album, and his spontaneous creative inspirations.


DJ Times: You’re hitting the US for a trio of dates over the next week. What is playing to American crowds like compared to ones in Europe?
Shlomi Aber: Playing in the US is always a treat. I’m playing around here often and it is always a great experience. It keeps growing here, and I can feel how the local crowd become more receiving and open minded to new music in every visit. Cities like Miami and New York are back to being major players in the electronic music scene.

DJ Times: You just released “O.D.” and “Helter Skelter.” What went into the creation of this EP?
Aber: I never sit in the studio with an agenda or musical direction in mind; I’m just looking for this small thing that will make the difference and excite me. I must be able to surprise myself in the studio in order to get it rolling.

DJ Times: 2014’s almost done. What were some of your favorite tracks and artists of the year?
Aber: 2014 was a great year for music. I think the music was a bit better than in past years, and most of the credit goes to the vinyl-only labels and the vinyl industry in general for bringing back the quality control and proper music into its roots. I enjoyed producers like Eduardo de la Calle, Yotam Avni , Konplott, and Floor Plan very much during the last year.

DJ Times: You’ve played Tribal Sessions in Ibiza all summer, and are heading to Sankeys NYC this weekend to play the Brooklyn edition. What can club goers expect from this edition?
Aber: Both the Ibiza and the Manchester Sankeys are on the top of the clubs list, and I’m very much looking forward to see what they been doing with the new Brooklyn room. I know the guys, and they’re going bring the high Sankeys standards to new New York as well.

DJ Times: What about your performance at it?
Aber: Just like in the studio, I don’t like to plan my moves. I need to have the freedom of not knowing what or how I’m going to play until the very last moment; feeling the room and the crowd its part of the very important process of being a DJ.

DJ Times: What’s your general creative process for production? What gear—software and hardware—have been your go-to’s recently?
Aber: I’m a big analog fan, actually. The only non-analog hardware in my studio are my Mac and the Native Instruments Maschine , which is one of my favorite MIDI controller of recent years. Other than those, you can find all the main Moog Synths, Manley Labs sound gear, Neve preamps and strips, and a bunch of old school synths from everything from Roland to the 1960s Obotronica. The “go by touch ” way of working with the gear as compared to software makes a big difference creatively in the studio.

DJ Times: What projects do you have in the pipeline?
Aber: I have a bunch of projects on the table these days. Mainly, I’m working on a new album at the moment. We’ll see how it goes, as it is not so easy [to work on it] now that I finally moved back to Israel after the Ibiza season. It’s a long travel from here every weekend which doesn’t leave me as much room for studio time as I wish.

Shlomi Aber’s US tour dates are below. Stream “O.D.” and “Helter Skelter” below and purchase the EP on Beatport now here.

Shlomi Aber November 2014 US Tour Dates
21st – Treehouse, Miami
22nd – Sankeys, Brooklyn
25th – Secret Garden, Michigan