Born on Christmas Day, something he has always resented, DJ Hanzel was raised on an owl farm on the outskirts of the Black Forest in Germany. Hanzel spent his formative years tending to the owls, and learned much from them, including the joys of solitude and the importance of night. Though the farm ultimately failed due to a national recession, coupled with the fact that owls are inedible, Hanzel still regularly communicates with the owls.
After his family sold the farm they moved to Düsseldorf, where Hanzel spent large amounts of his days away from his parents because of their grueling work schedules in the civil sector (they manually moved the hands of the town square’s giant clock). While the compensation allowed Hanzel’s parents to support him financially, they found themselves at work 24 hours a day because there was never a moment they didn’t have to tend to the giant clock. This lack of supervision allowed Hanzel to wander the streets of Düsseldorf, where he became enamored with the underground art scene. And on one fateful night, he saw a show that would forever change the course of his life.
It was the final night of Düsseldorf’s annual Oktoberfest celebration, and Hanzel found himself inside a small, dimly lit bar. The bar was nearly empty as most Germans stay home on the last night of Oktoberfest in fear of the folk legend Herr Pumpkin Toppen (roughly translated to Mr.
Pumpkin Face) but DJ Hanzel and the small crowd of locals caught a late night set from techno pioneers Kraftwerk. While most didn’t quite know what to make of the soon to be legendary group, Hanzel understood what Kraftwerk was doing right away. And he hated it. He hated their little suits. He hated their podiums. He hated their obscene swagger. But most of all he hated that they did not “go deep enough.” For months he wrote letters to the German government asking them to arrest Kraftwerk for wasting his time. After not receiving any responses, DJ Hanzel decided to take matters into his own hands and became a musician out of spite, vowing to make music that would always go “one deeper.” While many were unsure of what that meant, his journey began.
Hanzel spent the next several years grinding away in Düsseldorf’s club scene while supporting himself with a corporate day job as a composer at a marketing firm. Perhaps his best-known pieces are the jingle for the German cereal Soured-O’s (“It is the cereal that is bread!”) and the
theme song for the light-hearted German family sitcom Death Comes For Us All (“Do not bother running! You will not escape!”). His music was heard by happy children across Germany, which greatly depressed him. But it was at his darkest hour that DJ Hanzel finally had his big break.
During a late night set at a club in Stuttgart, a Rottweiler ran on stage and bit off DJ Hanzel’s clothes. Footage of the event ended up on Germany’s number one primetime show “Germany’s Most Naked Accidents”, which was seen by the German music kingpin and head of Soft Pretzel Records, Uli Ziegler. Ziegler immediately offered Hanzel a multi-million Deutschmark record deal, all Hanzel had to do was sign. But right before he could, he realized something...
He realized that when he was writing music for his corporate job it was heard by millions and he was at his lowest, but he had been happiest during his childhood, alone, communing with the owls. Then it all clicked: The fewer people that hear his music, the more power it can hold. He decided not to accept the contract and instead create music with the intention of no one ever hearing it. He now labors tirelessly to one day write a song that even he himself has not heard, while at the same time fending off the inferior American DJ Di**on Fr***is from interfering with his work. DJ Hanzel continues his commitment to true art while always pushing himself to go “one deeper” – his latest effort is his LP anti everything, released earlier this year.