Normen Hood lives in Zurich, surrounded by mountains and rivers, where he finds the inspiration for profound and energetic sound creations. As a DJ and producer, he takes his listeners on a dynamic journey full of hypnotic melodies and driving beats. This is also how he describes his signature sound, which can be heard on labels like Casomat, Hive Audio, Rawls Music, Opossum and Endangered.

His latest release lands on record label and audiovisual arts platform Gun Raven. It’s a remix of Gilles Said We Cannot Fuck, is a headspinning house/techno hybrid exploration from the Gun Raven label head Swim the Shine, backed up with progressive, melodic remixes from Normen and Marshall White and broken-beat rave from Ljudas.

Hey Normen, welcome to Music is 4 Lovers! Where are you at the moment and how was 2023 for you?

I had a great 2023 with lots of gigs and great encounters. Musically, I was able to discover a lot of new things and incorporate these influences into my tracks. To close off the year, a remix of mine came out on the 1st of December, called Gilles Said We Cannot Fuck, on Gun Raven (@gunraven).

Who is someone in your scene who is a real inspiration for your work?

There are so many people who inspire me every day to try something new or improve my skills.

Can you name any particular influences or tracks that have significantly shaped your melodic, progressive house sound?

I am a child of the 90s and was able to experience the early years of techno. I was particularly taken by the trance sound with epic melodies and stormy build-ups. For example, there was Legend B with “Lost in Love” (1994) or B.B.E with “Seven Days and One Week”, which I can still remember spontaneously.

Tell us about your typical production process – how do you get from an initial idea to a finished track?

The ideas come from trying things out. I start by choosing a synth sound that suits my mood and play different melodies to create an atmosphere. I often use my analog favorites Moog Grandmother and Korg Minilogue or the plug-in synths Repro-5 and Diva. Often more than two melodies emerge, which fight harmoniously for the lead, but also politely make room for each other again. In the end, it becomes a multi-layered symbiosis. I build the rhythmic framework for this. Field recordings are particularly fun for me and make the sound unique. In the arrangement, I always pay attention to the dynamics and tension in the track. In my opinion, the perfect track should be like a rollercoaster ride.

How important is the roadtesting of a record in your sets before you can really consider it finished?

Roadtesting is essential to recognize pressure, tension and clarity on the dancefloor. The PA in a club often turns a solid studio project into a monster or a little mouse. Testing in the club lets me recognize where I still need to fine-tune.

How will the development of artificial intelligence affect the production of electronic music in the future?

AI is already helping with techniques such as mastering and will certainly find its place in the future wherever specialist knowledge and pro skills are required. I don’t believe in having complete tracks made by artificial intelligence because the creative process, as the essence of making music, is and will remain the overriding need of the musician.

Is this a technology that you would use in your own productions?

I am also very interested in technological progress in music production. I am also happy to let this technology help me as long as I can realize my creativity and ideas without restrictions.

What can we expect from you in 2024?

I have a lot of tracks in the pipeline that will be released next year. I’m also launching my live act project Lava&Ash, with a female singer accompanying me.

And finally, as the year draws to a close, what’s one track from 2023 that you loved but has perhaps been unfairly neglected?

My personal highlight of 2023 was Manti – Ringmaster (Einmusika Recordings)

Gilles Said We Cannot Fuck is out now on Gun Raven