A few years ago I wrote a post explaining why I love Maya Jane Coles for Skiddle’s ‘DJ Love’ series, and I had lots of fun doing it. Now, the time has come to share my feelings about another incredible talent. Namley, Hito ❤
I first discovered this lady after spending a summer in Ibiza in 2013. Although the island was filled with a plethora of nights to choose from, Richie Hawtin’s Enter party became a regular event for myself and many more of the ‘locals’. Those that headed to Space early doors, around 9pm, could gain entry to Space for around €10. The exact price is blurry in my mind, but it was a fraction of the cost of a standard ticket, offering exceedingly good value for money both in terms of time (the club staying open for at least 12 hours) and talent.
In the clubbing world, heading out at 9pm is incredibly early however, after downing a bottle of 20 cent water outside the club to ensure you stayed hydrated inside (with each minute bottle of water costing at least €5?!) , this great deal offered by Enter meant that I experienced many incredible warm up sets on a weekly basis. In fact, some of those sets have gone down in history of my favourite musical experiences to date, enabling many artist’s to push their musical boundaries with sometimes unexpected but incredible results.
The warm up at Enter was as carefully planned by Hawtin as the rest of his impeccably curated event and was its own party in itself. When arriving to Space so early you were only let into the SAKE bar room, with the rest of the club shut off until around 12. Not an overly large space, it was still light inside and was an excellent way to begin proceedings. Often, you’d see Richie running around amongst the crowd sipping his own-brand rice wine…I’m pretty sure we spotted Marco Carola mingling at the SAKE bar once too. While this occurred, the audience was left totally controlled by whoever graced the decks.
This space, in my eyes, IS the domain of Hito. While guest DJs would often be invited to play here, there weren’t many weeks when this vinyl queen didn’t take over – either during the warm up period, or owning the stage for the rest of the evening. More often than not, Bella Sarris would also be there, marking the start of a long career for both of them.
With her kimonoed silhouette instantly recognisable Hito’s captivating aesthetic is like no other, yet it is her ability to select that won me over. An avid record collector and sonic searcher, this love of music saw her relocate from Japan to Berlin in the late 90’s, honing the sophisticated taste and diverse collection that we hear in her sets today, and will continue to for many more years to come.
The internet can be a harsh place, and when finding videos to use in this post it became noticeable that many ‘trolls’ would comment on her mixing ability. This is news to me, and throughout that entire Ibiza season there was not one moment during her sets where the flow was interrupted – Hito has an underlying ability to choose the perfect tunes for every moment, causing bodies and minds to get lost in the hard-hitting techno groove. The debate between mixing vs. tune selection will surely go on for eternity however, on a dance floor environment, I know which one matters the most to me…
A quote from Hito in her Vinyl Factory interview couldn’t say it better:
I like the touch-y feeling, you know? I can control it directly…I think it’s good for people to see needle skipping or vibrating. This is humanity: mistakes are human. But how you solve it is more important. I used to be very ashamed about my mistakes but now I think it’s about how you recreate from these points. That’s more important than 100% technically mixing.
Regardless of what these commenters may say, long-time Berlin buddy, professional collaborator and techno-mad innovator, Mr.Hawtin chose her to join a long list of esteemed ambassadors for his Model 1 / PLAY differently mixer, testament to her credentials.
Unfortunately, I haven’t had the opportunity to see Hito play since my Ibiza days, although she still remains one of my go-to DJs for when I’m in need of some mix based up lifting. But now, as her career has well and truly taken off, I can’t wait to stand in front of her booth once more to listen to her sounds, four years on.