How Moving to Berlin Transformed Héctor Oaks’ Perspective on Dance Music

Nov 26, 2023

Luca Rizzello

2 min read

Vinyl-only techno DJ and producer Héctor Oaks cut his teeth in the Madrid underground scene before later going on to helm world-renowned festivals like Awakenings, Dekmantel, EDC Mexico, Monegros, Sonar, Sziget, and Time Warp.

But it was the Spanish artist’s move to Berlin that revolutionised his outlook on dance music and kickstarted his career.

“I can say that moving to Berlin changed everything,” he says in an interview with PW-Magazine. “I got deep into the rave culture and lifestyle, the ambience that you can breathe in this city still is something very special.”

When Oaks turned 20, he received a student scholarship in Berlin and relocated to the German capital. He didn’t realise that he wanted to be a DJ until the day he went to the temple of techno itself: Berghain.

“I decided that I'm gonna do whatever I have to do to play there just once, and then I can live in peace,” he says in an interview with Playful Mag.

Alongside his studies, he worked at a local record store and spent the bulk of his free time at house parties. "In the beginning I was over the top. I was trying to meet everybody and at the same time making music,” he explains.

As a newcomer to the techno scene, Oaks found Berlin to be welcoming. For him, the city was central to his development as a DJ and producer. “I was in every party socializing. It took me some time but slowly I got into the scene."

Today, Oaks is one of Berlin’s most sought-after DJ’s and has played at Berghain on multiple occasions. He’s also the head honcho at record labels KAOS and OAKS, which have seen releases from Prostitutes, Anetha, Ascion and more.

See Héctor Oaks in action this Friday 17 Nov at Big Pink in Detroit, which has been selected by Resident Advisor as their ‘RA Pick’ of events in the city.

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