January 20, 2023—anti everything, the new album from the ubiquitous yet ever-elusive superstar DJ Hanzel, is out now—get it here. Additionally, a new track, “Pull Up,” debuts today—watch the visualizer here.
anti everything features previously shared singles, “Take A Little Bit,” “Gumby,” which Dancing Astronaut called his “deepest and heaviest cut,” “Make Me Feel” and “Talkin,” all of which found Hanzel doubling down on his overarching mission to “go one deeper.”
Born on Christmas Day, something he has always resented, Hanzel was raised on an owl farm in the outskirts of the Black Forest in Germany before he and his family relocated to Düsseldorf. Hanzel spent many hours each day away from his parents due to their grueling work manually moving the hands of the town square’s giant clock. This lack of supervision allowed Hanzel to wander the streets of Düsseldorf and become enamored with the underground art scene. 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, where he and a small crowd 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, Hanzel decided to take matters into his own hands and become 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 nonetheless.
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 writing jingles. His music was heard by happy children across Germany, which greatly depressed him, but it was at his darkest hour that Hanzel finally had his big break. During a late-night set at a club in Stuttgart, a Rottweiler ran on stage and tore off DJ Hanzel’s clothes. German music kingpin and head of Soft Pretzel Records, Uli Ziegler, saw footage of the event on Germany’s number one primetime show and 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—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. Hanzel continues his commitment to true art while always pushing himself to go “one deeper.”