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D-Node 103: DVS1 at First Ave, MN + Interview

Zak Khutoretsky AKA DVS1 is a DJ, producer, and promoter operating out of Minneapolis. Founder of Hush promotions, he’s been doing it proper since the mid-’90s and is a beast behind the decks. Although he’s long been the hype of his hometown and beyond, he’s recently expanded his notoriety, appearing in an RA feature and putting out excellent releases on Ben Klock’s Klockworks, the Droid-friendly Timefog label, and Derrick May’s legendary Transmat.

For the 103rd installment of D-Node we have this deep vinyl set he played right before Drumcell went on in Minneapolis. Below is a Q&A with the man himself.


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Droid: How long have you been DJing and producing?

DVS1: DJing for 16 years, producing casually for about 10, but only recently in the last 2 years really focusing on finishing ideas into full tracks. I’m still learning how to express myself as a producer. I’m a DJ first for sure!

[Droid: To get a sense of his music and his electric stage presence, here’s a clip of DVS1 performing a live set last year.]

Droid: Have you had any club residencies?

DVS1: Short stints at nights I have done over the last 15 years in MPLS, but really I prefer to not play out too much in my own city. I feel that if I was playing out every week or multiple times a week in my own city I wouldn’t have the pull that I’ve created and been able to hold on to over all that time. I want people who have been listening to me for years to still find some bit of interest in what I’m doing now. It keeps me on my toes as well and excited to play out in MPLS.

Droid: What’s the first record you purchased?

DVS1: Wow…that’s difficult. I think it was more like 1st crate purchased. I remember always having records around from my dad, but when I started buying music I remember buying a crate off a bum on the street in NYC in my early teens… it definitely wasn’t dance music. I wonder if that crate had any gems I would have wanted now! Come to think of it… what did I do with that?

Droid: How many records do you have in your collection?

DVS1: Around 10,000, give or take a few. I’m always selling some to make room for more! Mostly dance music, but definitely some hip hop, disco, soul, funk, random sound and noise records and just weird shit.

Droid: Best gig?

DVS1: Hmm…Current best gig was my recent visit to Berghain. I was honored to be playing in the “Mecca” with such an amazing lineup of my peers! Past would be at one of my first shows I did in Minneapolis back in 1997 with Electric Indigo, Heiko Laux, Neil Landstrumm, Tobias Schmidt, Shandy, Dave Tarrida, DJ Slip….that was just a magical night in my history. I probably played pretty bad after running around for days putting the party together, but the energy that night was on FIRE so it didn’t even matter!!!

Droid: Worst gig?

DVS1: I try and stay away from those… actually I must have blocked it out, cause I really can’t remember… although I know I’ve had a few pretty rough ones.

Droid: There’s a lot of expectation and discussion from the techno community for any release on Transmat. How did your record end up on that label, and how does it feel to be on Transmat?

DVS1: Long story short, Derrick and I have been friends for sometime through booking him in Minneapolis. I used to do sound for people and was hired to go to Detroit to run sound during the annual Detroit auto show. While in the D, I would hang out with Derrick a couple times a week. One night while sitting and listening to music, I snuck in some edits I was messing with and he asked me what they were as we were listening to random stuff. He asked me to finish the tracks and send them to him… fast forward almost 2 years and he decided to restart Transmat. I can’t really describe the feeling of being asked and actually seeing something like that come to fruition. As you mentioned in the question, Transmat carries weight, but even more importantly carries responsibility and history in our community. I just hope I’m doing it justice. I’m humbled and honored!!!

Droid: Though you’ve been at it for awhile, this past year has been particularly successful, with buzz, releases, and records on the Berghain/Ostgut side of things. Do you find that you’ve been getting more calls/commissions/bookings this past year?

DVS1: You know the greatest thing for me beyond all the hype is that I have received so many nice comments and emails from my peers. The people who I look up to for music currently and in the past are feeling my rhythm and expressing that to me. That’s really been the greatest satisfaction from this. It really validates my efforts with my music. And of course the added exposure is helping. I’m just now really starting to feel the full effect of my releases with people inquiring about music projects and bookings over the last 6 months. I’m excited for what’s coming down the pipeline!

Droid: Being a part of dance music and dance music culture takes some effort and often doesn’t pay. Why have you kept at it, and what does it mean to you?

DVS1: All though it doesn’t always pay monetarily, this music and the experiences I’ve had with it…throwing shows, doing sound, DJing, the friends and family, it pays in different ways. Music is my therapist, it’s what keeps me sane and makes me crazy at the same time. I love it! Just as you guys say…I live, breath, eat, shit and sleep this music! I’ve always done this out of an honest appreciation and dedication for it. I don’t know what I’d do without it.

Droid: Can you tell us a bit about this mix?

DVS1: I’m known for my peak time beat downs, but I really enjoy playing everything, from Theo Parrish to Jeff Mills and everywhere in between…slow or fast….

March of 2010, it’s a bit old, but I recently realized that I recorded this. The mix was recorded live doing an opening set for your boy DRUMCELL! He was in Minneapolis playing for one of my friends, and I was asked to open for him since he did a remix for my 2nd release. I really enjoy opening sets. It lets me start slow and build up and play tracks that normally don’t get played out as often. This mix was done with ALL VINYL and a few CDs of original material. The set was actually 2 hours, but the levels started to get pretty hot so I cut it off at 1.5 hours before it started to really get crunchy. As always, no edits, no fixing anything…I don’t play for perfection…house to techno and back again…Beats and Rhythms rule my world.

Droid: What’s in the works?

DVS1: Remixes… Sleaze Records(space), Perc trax(SAWF), Prologue(Lucy) + a few more. Full release for Mote Evolver/Luke Slater and another Klockworks for Ben Klock is almost done! I’m also trying to figure out some time to produce another live set!

[Droid: Here’s Drumcell & Audio Injection remixing DVS1 for Timefog.]

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10 Responses to “D-Node 103: DVS1 at First Ave, MN + Interview”

  • sil says:

    great feature, we’ll be keeping an eye on what’s to come from DVS1. his genuineness and cool attitude are much appreciated and a breath of fresh air from all the pretension prevalent in minimal/techouse…

  • paulette says:

    Hello, – May i sex dating with you?

  • ivan says:

    it is shame that the whole dvs1 mix is slightly distorted

  • finan says:

    Excellent blog! I truly love how it is easy on my eyes and also the data are well written. I am wondering how I may be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your rss feed which should do the trick! Have a nice day!

  • mode says:

    A+ would read again

  • techfreak says:

    Kick Ass Mix!! Tracklisting???

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