Some things are just meant to happen. To see Hermanez, the Belgium-born DJ and producer with Latin roots and heritage, rise to the top of the new crop, seems like a natural progression for those in the know. With releases on labels such as Leena Music, Klingklong, and Trazable, just to name a few, and residences in Amsterdam’s Melkweg, Cafe D’Anvers, and guest appearances at Circo Loco parties Michael Coninx has played himself into adept revelers’ consciousness and canny scene scouts alike- and this is only just the beginning.
Born in Genk, Limburg, Michael Coninx aka Hermanez, made an early entrance into the electronic music scene when he began to DJ at the tender age of 13. Spinning techno, he progressed quickly, and had his first booked club gig with 17. Quickly becoming part of the local circuit, he and his like-minded fellow DJ friends played at small events in and around Limburg, and winning an important DJ competition in Hasselt were the key moments which inevitably shaped him as a DJ and producer.
Soon, Michael felt that there was something else blossoming in him: gradually becoming more and more aware of his Spanish roots, he eventually adopted a pseudonym, Hermanez. After a foray into music production under the moniker of Miquell Santos, he decided to ditch the all-too-obvious, and dive into the depths of elemental electronics. His new-found self-consciousness helped Michael to amplify his musical spectrum and find his trade mark sound: bass-driven, heavy-hitting techhouse that can ease out into more minimal frequencies or pick up and surf on wild techno waves. Combined with a little tribal house touch that stands out of the mere imitation of “the exotic”, flavoured with driving rhythmic elements with voice samples, and always paying attention to a little “extra” on the side -- all those elements make up the special Hermanez sound.
The releases that followed suit and express his new-found stylistic matureness still generate excitement- as Hermanez, he managed to break through in 2008- with various EPs released on the UK label Miconn Records. His extensive labour in his home studio, built while working in a record store in Limburg, started to bear fruits: His debut featured remixes by Lauhaus, Martinez, Ramon Tapia, and Barretz, all producers who reflect current electronic music currents in a very fresh, groove-orientated angle, which perfectly complemented Hermanez’ sounds and wowed revered DJs from all around the world, amongst them Laurent Garnier, Sven Vath, Christian Smith, Barem and Gregor Thresher. A giant step forward for Hermanez whose first outing was swiftly followed up by an acclaimed release on Anja Schneider’s Leena Music, and a record on Paul Ritch’s Quartz imprint, plus remixes for La Factoria, Microfreak Records and Monique Musique.
It did not stop there: 2010 proved to be one of the most exciting years ever. Hermanez released “Cydonia” on Kling Klong on, the much celebrated “Locomotive EP” on on Circle Music on, which was supported by DJs like Brothers Vibe, Gregor Thresher, Bart Skills on, to name but a few, a track on Blabla on and one on Suara Records on, and remixed Thomas Schumacher, AFFKT, Martin Eyerer & Oliver Klein, Carlo Lio on and Kaiserdisco on. The clubs he played at read like a best-of list: He did not only tour Brazil and the US but also stopped by in the legendary Tresor on, London’s The Egg on and Munich’s Rote Sonne on.
Being a creative who does not like to limit himself, and a workaholic who locks himself in the studio for days on end, it is becoming increasingly difficult to pinpoint a single stylistic direction. Yet it is clear that Hermanez is on the rise, gaining momentum with every single one of his multi-facetted releases. Joining Great Stuff Bookings on, Labyrinth on and Apo Agency on, and with forthcoming releases on labels such as Kling Klong on (remixed by Hugo), and MBF on, it looks like 2010 was just a starting point for Hermanez’ great artistic journey into the future - and we’re all part of it!