Headless Horseman


Enigmatic & rhythmic IDM – flavoured techno.


From the shadows to the stage, Headless Horseman’ musical efforts are meticulously executed without compromise.
The eponymous Headless releases sum up the modus operandi of this artist: dark, raw and rhythmic IDM flavoured Techno.
His hardware only live sets at Berghain, Berlin Atonal, Boiler Room and worldwide have showcased the Horseman’s insurmountable skills as a producer and cemented his place in todays techno scene.
It is no exaggeration to say that Horseman is one of the most talked artists at this given time.
It’s a great honor to have him on board today and we wished to converse with the enigmatic creator of this artistic vehicle, to better understand two simple things: how did he become this character and the current value of it.




Headless Horseman emerged from the shadows in around 2013. Where did this character come from and why?

I was trying to find an escape from my current reality around this time in my life. Many soul draining events happened simultaneously and I reached deep lows and depression. I felt completely frozen physically and creatively.
Washington Irvings story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” strongly resonated with me from an early age.
The powerful connection between ghosts and the supernatural expressed in this work of literature played a huge role in my childhood and continues to do so.

By combining old folklore and fantasy I’ve been able to transform my mental state into another persona. By doing this I can approach the writing and creative processes freely with no boundaries.


Your most noticeable visual feature is a mask.Your mysterious identity follows on in the tradition on mythical acts like: Underground Resistance, Basic Channel and Kraftwerk.
Why do you wear this wherever you go?

The fringe makes me feel like some kind of super hero. I can exist in another dimension and free myself
from any and all inhibitions. It’s so easy to get subconsciously influenced in all aspects of life especially
when dealing with art. I just always wanted to do my own thing and start with a fresh palette every time I approach music creation. It has been very empowering to see how one adjustment in a garment can change the whole way one thinks artistically.


How Techno is come to you? Tell us your story.

I grew up studying classical guitar and my love of playing the instrument morphed into electric guitar and bought me into the band environment. I still heavily listen to darker and heavy instrumental and band music. One day after a gig with my teenage band there was a dj playing. It was love at first beat upon hearing this bizarre electronic music. Having the ability to write tracks without dealing with band practice and organizing the schedules of many is very empowering. Especially with techno. You can sketch an idea pretty much wherever you are and no matter what mood you are in.

I still study music to this date. I recently started learning the Viola and that helps balance out the time in front of mechanical devices.

One constant across all your projects is the dark and apocalyptic atmosphere.
Even on your latest album, you have tracks like ‘Her Black Wings’ and ‘Stormrunner’, which are very bleak. Do you naturally gravitate towards the darker side of the human condition? 
I find a lot of comfort in leaning towards soundscapes that make me feel disassociated with reality.
I used to fight these feeling but have learned to embrace them. Music is so therapeutic on so many levels and I found my comfort zone through designing sound. Its more or less the only part of my day in which my anxiety is decreased. Blend out the noise of our hectic lives and get lost in creation.
How do you envision Techno?
Does it have to do more with dancing or the sound itself and philosophy?
Everyone has their own reason for enjoying electronic music whether it be a form of release or way to enter some otherworldly dimension. The beauty of techno is that everyone can feel it in their own way. There is simply no right or wrong way to enjoy or analyze it.
In one moment a single element of a track takes you on a journey in your head and in an instant you can be drawn back to the percussive elements finding yourself in a more physical space.
You’re up to 8 releases on your own label ‘’Headless Horseman’. Will there be more to come LP-wise later down the line?
There is plenty more on the way. I spent the bulk of last year producing and Im thrilled to share the results in the near future.
I tend not to rush things and spend way to much time on small detail but the aforementioned atmospheres are what I get lost in and this brings me a great deal of satisfaction.

Being an excellent live performer brought your career to a top level in the electronic scene.
One thing that strikes us about your work is the emotion: you’re able to produce this raw, dark material that sounds so different to almost anything else.
How would you describe your sound to someone who is not familiar with you?

Thats a tough question. I usually try to describe it as dance music with slightly climatic cinematic atmospheric arrangements made with the help of machines. But most of the time for those who have no prior knowledge of techno I just tell them its like what they hear at the gym expect much darker and noisier.
How improvisational is your live show?
As far as the performance is concerned that’s always spontaneous and the ultimate goal is to create a dense wall of sound without getting too cluttered. 
The live setup consists of many puzzle pieces and a multitude of machines. The Octatrack is the heart of the setup. On this device I have loops, one shots, and beats all ready to be loaded on the fly direct from the flash card. 
The rest of the drum machines and synths contain stripped down patterns that act as building blocks. Half have melodic elements that I can add or take away notes from. 
Others contain atonal elements so they can universally work throughout the set. Any element can be mangled into something new at any given moment.   
According to the flow and the feeling of the audience I will steer the direction during the show. I like to do things with my hands so having a wide array of devices and knobs to modulate brings me a huge amount of joy. I do find that the best parts of the live shows are when I lose track of where I was heading and venture off into a new direction with no end in sight.  Techno “happy accidents” as we call them.  Furthermore having every sonic element separated on the mixing console allows for endless possibilities to jump into new audible dimensions.

Focusing on live performance made your studio process easier.
How are you tracking what works and what doesn’t work in a live set, to then be able to bring back to the studio and execute on it in more of this controlled environment?

Figuring out what works and what doesn’t is just trial and error when performing live. As much as I have definitely learned a lot from performing over the years, I very rarely execute a live jam in the studio. Its hard to re-capture the same energy when sitting alone without an audience. The bulk of my ideas are created fresh in the studio after some sort of event in my daily life has happened. As much as I’d like to be inspired in the studio setting the same way as in a live situation that simply isn’t the case for me. I treat studio time and stage time as two separate entities.

You’ve been touring relentlessly all over the world lately. Any favorite venue or setting?
The best setting is where the vibe and mood are right. As I have limited vision I feel the audience and we trade off each others energy. It would be impossible and unfair to settle on one or two venues being absolute favorites as the audiences and dynamic change from night to night in any given location.
Our 4th years anniversary is really a great achievement for us.
What kind of mix have you prepared for Sounds From NoWhere this time, did you have a certain focus in mind before making it?
It’s an honor to be invited for your 4 year anniversary. I wanted to do something different than what I normally do. Since I have been doing many dj gigs lately I just wanted to dive right it and make a mix that puts you right in the club setting. There have been so many great tracks surfacing that exhibit prominent sound design and robust rhythm so for this round I wanted to execute a mix that combines equally enough for the head as for the feet.
Finally what can we expect to hear from you in the next few months? Any new projects in the works?

There are a slew of new projects in the works. Along with a few new releases and handful of remixes there will be a new A/V show coming later in the year. Im constantly writing and in good time the next chapter of the Horseman will unfold. I also have a much more experimental live show planned that will be more of an immersive listening sit down experience.

Thank you very much for taking the time to speak with us, we greatly appreciate your courtesy. 

It’s been an absolute pleasure and thank you dearly for having me on the show.

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