In the space of just a few short years, Oliver Heldens has managed to successfully parlay his career in the dance music mainstream into a much-lauded alter-ego in the world of techno as HI-LO— gaining acceptance from the underground scene in the process.
He’s achieved it through sheer determination and showing his passion and dedication to the sounds of contemporary techno, but most of all through putting out quality music that works on a range of dancefloors. Making the most of an era when genre boundaries are less important or distinct than ever and younger generations cast aside the snobbery of old, the name HI-LO is now synonymous with quality, hard-hitting, innovative techno.
What started as an experimental project back in 2015 for tougher sounds has developed into a fully-fledged part of Heldens’ musical identity and grown to quite staggering heights. By 2020, his tracks ‘Zeus’ and ‘Kronos’ were named in the Top 10 most played techno tracks of the year on 1001tracklists.com, contributing to him being the #1 most played producer overall on the platform that year across all genres. His DJ sets as HI-LO have laid waste to huge events like Ultra’s revered Resistance, Manchester’s Warehouse Project, and Austin’s Seismic Dance Event, and prominent clubs in the techno scene like De Marktkantine in Amsterdam, Watergate in Berlin, E1 in London, Mondo in Madrid and Nitsa in Barcelona, plus numerous stand out performances on Drumcode and Filth on Acid label showcases.
Combining a big room sensibility with a dark, underground, raw edge, HI-LO has become a trusted tastemaker with his tracks receiving massive support from luminaries of the scene including Adam Beyer (who signed his ‘Hypnos’ and ‘Wanna Go Bang’ EPs to his Drumcode label and invited him to remix his DJ Rush collab ‘Restore My Soul’) Carl Cox, Solomun, Tale of Us, Charlotte de Witte, Enrico Sangiuliano, Pan-Pot, Dubfire, Joseph Capriati, ANNA, Joris Voorn, Robert Hood, Richie Hawtin, and countless other a-list acts!
He provided a huge remix of Nina Kraviz’s ‘Skyscrapers’, crafted a highly successful partnership with Reinier Zonneveld releasing seven original songs together to date, in addition to his critically acclaimed collabs w Eli Brown, Layton Giordani, Space 92, Will Clarke and T78! Through all this HI-LO was crowned the #1 best-selling and best streaming techno artist of 2022, according to Beatport.
The next chapter in the HI-LO story is the launch of HILOMATIK, a new label showcasing his productions alongside music from hot new talents and techno heroes alike that will further expand his musical manifesto. The imprint kicks off with the mighty ‘PURA VIDA’ from the man himself and has many exciting releases and party plans lined up. This is no fad or trend; HI-LO is here to stay.