We all love Dillon Francis. From his social media antics to his heavy grinding synth-driven take on Moombahton (or is it Moombah-core?) and Trap that rings throughout every festival season, we just cannot get enough of the guy. Dillon has said in the past due to his extremely taxing tour schedule he often trades partying until dawn for spending the evening in the comfort of his hotel room before and after shows to maintain sanity. To pass the time Dillon created a few new personas that he messes around with on Snapchat and Instagram. DJ Hanzel, a nihilistic purveyor of deep house with a thick German accent is the most famous of these monikers. So popular in fact that Dillon from time to time will don the old Ray-Ban Clubmasters and get behind the decks to perform live as DJ Hanzel. On the last Friday before Christmas the people of Los Angeles got to open their presents early in the form of Dillon suiting up and going one deeper in his hometown at Exchange.
If you're looking for a technically-sound Deep House set than look elsewhere as Hanzel's take on the genre is a bit skewed. You see DJ Hanzel ditches the smooth grooves and screwed down vocal samples of Duke Dumont and Hot Since 82 for thicker bass lines and more robust heavy synths that characterize the recently popular Future House genre. Compartmentalization and labeling aside the set was extremely fun. After being treated to a booming up-tempo house and techno opening-set from Phantoms there was a brief changeover that culminated in Hanzel being escorted to the stage by security like some foreign dignitary. "Vowww Howzit Going?" he greeted the crowd as he opened up with an Eats Everything edit of Breach's "Jack." For the next ninety minutes Hanzel had the crowd hanging on every breakdown and each "Vhat's Up!" Never before has a DJ been able to inject such a sense of humor into their set as much as Dillon/DJ Hanzel has. Simply put, it was just a very fun night. Dillon now has two acts he can successfully tour under and I'm okay with that as long as he doesn't oversaturate things (i.e. if he were to start consistently opening for himself). I hope we see more DJ Hanzel in the future and I welcome Dillon producing more tracks under this nom de guerre. He's by no means bringing anything new to the table but Hanzel sure knows how to throw an über cool party.