For over two decades, Hoj has delivered cinematic sets filled with deep house landscapes.
Born in Iran, and raised in the USA, his passion is undeniable, a point which definitely resonates with his global audience.
With a residency, and landmark releases on Lee Burridge’s All Day I Dream imprint, he now provides a platform for like-minded producers by way of their joint venture label, Tale and Tone.
We are very excited to finally have this highly skilled selector on board for a Balance Selections mix.
Balance Selections Q+A
My last 3 releases:
Hoj – Ramblefog
Hoj & Powel – Leap Day
Hoj & Modd feat. Amega – Telefade
What music did you listen to as a child?
I grew up on classic rock – Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, that kind of stuff. Then I graduated to the heavier stuff – Slayer, Tool, Ministry, Metallica before finding the rave scene in San Francisco and become addicted to house music.
When was the first time that you realised that you liked electronic music?
I was 14. I was at an underground rave in San Francisco with some older kids. There were breakdancers. I was impressed.
When was the first time you saw a DJ in a club?
I don’t remember the DJ from that first night – I only remember the dancers. But from that event I was hooked, and I would tag along with the older kids as much as I could. When I got my drivers license, my friends and I began to hunt for events in the Bay Area. This was back in the days of “go to this corner store and give the clerk the secret password, and he’ll give you a map to the location”. I think the first time I really noticed the DJ was at a warehouse rave in Oakland – it was DJ Dan. Somebody gave me a DJ Dan mixtape that night – we listened to that thing constantly. The record stores in Northern California at that time didn’t have much of a dance music selection – or at least it wasn’t reflective of the house music we were listening too – but that mixtape got us through.
Which producers/artists/acts inspire you?
I’m inspired by DJs that can really connect with the crowd. I feel like when a DJ is able to establish that connection, the DJ and the crowd can move forward together and trust one another.
What was the last album that you downloaded/bought?
Khruangbin – Con Todo El Mundo.
I was at one of my favorite record shops in Oakland, CA. Whoever was working put it on the house turntable, and I loved the guitar. I bought it on vinyl and have listened to it all the way through at least 57 times since.
What is your current production and DJ set up like?
I intentionally keep things a bit limited in the studio. My DAW is Ableton Live – I have a Minimoog and a Juno 106 as well as a bunch of guitar effects pedals (the most used probably being the Moogerfooger Delay). For VSTs I’ve been going to Omnisphere a lot lately.
What releases do you have on the horizon?
I have EPs coming out on All Day I Dream and Tale and Tone in 2020. I’ll also be launching a new side project called Winter Lion soon.
Where can we hear you perform?
I’m looking forward to joining my All Day I Dream family in LA on Saturday, December 28th for an early New Years celebration. Then I’ll be up playing up in San Francisco the next day. Closing out the year west-coast style.
Tell us more about the podcast you made for Balance?
Lee Burridge and I started a label called Tale and Tone several years back – the idea was to feature tracks with story (Tale) and groove (Tone). I always think about that with my DJ Sets as well – to get people into my groove as we explore an audio narrative together. I wanted to reflect that in this DJ mix. There are several tracks that will be coming out on Tale and Tone in 2020 in the mix as well. I hope people enjoy it.
The top track in my DJ wallet currently is:
Zone+ – Lette (To be released on Tale and Tone in 2020)
If I could recommend only one of my tracks for you to listen to it would be:
Hoj and Powel – Leap Day
If I could recommend only one track for you to listen to it would be:
Tom Waits – Hoist That Rag
This is from the “Real Gone” album – the entire thing is pretty amazing and out there. Legend has it Mr. Waits recorded the entire album in his bathroom.
My favourite Balance compilation is:
I still have fond memories from the James Holden compilation from 2003.
The last movie I watched that I really liked:
My favourite TV show:
If I could choose anyone to compile a Balance comp it would be:
Balance Selections 111: Hoj
1. Lake People – Hapax Legomenon [Remote Scope]
2. Zone+ – Sunshine Bird [Tale and Tone]
3. Matthew Dekay – Spellbound [Oscillat Music]
4. VieL – Mindset [Tale and Tone]
5. Erdi Irmak – Down Under [Hoomidaas]
6. Adisyn & Prime Edge – Isten (Desert Mix) [Akbal Music]
7. Hunzed & Erik Schievenin – Morka (Staves Remix) [Deeperfect]
8. Robag Wruhme – Nata Alma [Pampa Records]
9. Zone+ – Lette [Tale and Tone]
10. Randall Jones – Little Helper 345-5 [Little Helpers]
11. Greenage – Esperanza
12. Kevin Di Serna – Euology [Tale and Tone]