Introducing Hotcaller, who just dropped a monster remix of Here's Johnny
The Hocus Pocus classic gets a heavy electro re-do from an exciting newcomer.
How nuts is it that once upon a time a track like Hocus Pocus' Here's Johnny was like a massive commercial success on Australian radio? It's an almost-five minute relentless gabba stomper that is just super intense from start to finish. A YouTube commentor on the track (so, totally reliable) pointed out it knocked Celine Dion off #1 on the Aussie charts back in the mid-90s. For whatever reason, the Dutch group's song really connected in Australia.
And now you'll be able to reconnect with it courtesy of a huge new remix from Australian newcomer Hotcaller. We were quite enamoured with his take, and so sent him a few questions to find out a little more ahead of what looks to be a busy release slate - check it all out below:
Tell us about yourself?
Hi, I'm Mark, up until recently I produced and released music under a different name for years (RIP) but now I'm Hotcaller. Weirdly, it was the name of my local go-to Chinese takeaway for late night studio sessions. They're outta business now (also, RIP), but the name
kinda stuck with me. Basically, writing music was becoming more like work so at the end of last year I sat down and gave myself some time to just make something without an agenda, genre or an objective and see where it went. A year later I'm here with a three-track EP, a bunch of sick collabs with some artists I love and renewed excitement for what I'm doing. It's left me physically and mentally husked out but happier than ever.
What kinda tunes we talkin’?
If I had to pick some genres I'd say midtempo electro revival and bass music with a metal influence. I'm calling that hot mess "Nosebleed Electro" for short, and right now the tracks I'm putting out are pretty heavy. Next year I'll have some of my more melodically driven tracks going out so I'm excited because I still feel like there's so much more to the project that I've not even got close to sharing yet.
When I start, I'm think about the end result and about how I'd want people to respond at a live performance and I guess it turns out I mostly want people to make a circle of death. Then on top of that, I'd say my bipolar plays a big part. It was shit at first but now I try not to think of it as good or bad, it's just how it is. It's relevant to my process because at first it totally stopped my process, and now it's become the process. I go from loving the track to hating the track real quick. That back-and-forth is probably not unique, I think the bipolar just blows it way out of proportion. The highs are short and then the lows can go for weeks. I'll usually quit music for life and promise to never write again at least 10 times per song. I know that doesn't sound productive, but a big part of what's made Hotcaller a different experience for me - and I think a different result creatively - was learning to accept the shitty headspace and work with it. When I'm hating everything, I try to use that negative energy as a reason to work harder and push myself to improve, which is a bit brutal sometimes but it gets results. Eventually I'll push through and finish the track which is such an addictively dope moodlet that it keeps me going and inspires me to write the next track.
Can you tell us about your new Here’s Johnny Remix?
When I was kid my dad used to hum it to himself back in the 90s when it was #1 in Aus' for like five weeks, which is pretty rare for a hardcore gabba track and so I've always loved it but never been able to play it out. I've made it - selfishly I guess - out of wanting to be able to finally drop it. It's also pretty fucking dark which I love. Obviously, it has “The Shining” sample in it but it also uses the opening track and samples the original trailer for Aliens which is easily my second favourite movie of all time (after Alien haha). So yeh, I guess it was a good time to share it before Halloween.
I wanted to stay true to the original and show off some OG gabba but also give it something fresh by adding a melodic electro riff over a heavy 2008 bass-driven moshpit feel. So 90s-via-00s for 10s?
What's the rest of the year have in store?
I've got at least two more tracks due out before the new year, and then I'll be kicking off with some singles, an EP and a few of the collabs as well. There are no set dates but there's so much to get through, so I won't be keeping you waiting.
Where can we hear more of your music?
HMU on Soundcloud.