Testiculo Y Uno are Twit One and Hulk Hodn, two heartfelt dedicated beat producers right out of the centre of Cologne's sizzling contemporary Hip Hop scene. For Carhartt Radio they mixed a one hour show full of dusty beats, exceptional samples, and lots of soulful vibes. All tracks been made in their cosy homestudio, where time does not matter and only music calls the tune. Hulk Hodn is also known as the DJ and beatmaker for one of Germany's most hailed Hip Hop acts Huss & Hodn, nowadays renamed into Retrogott & Hulk Hodn. Twit Uno is a man of many faces. He works at the famose Groove Attack recordstore, is one third of the men behind Radio Love Love, runs a DIY label, is part of Flatpocket, and works also together with the House producer Damiano von Erckert. As usual we ask both some questions to give the world some background information about two musicians who let their heart speak through music.
Hi Testiculy y Uno, can you introduce yourself for us a bit?
TyU: We are TESTICULO (Hulk Hodn) y UNO (Twit One), two beatmaker from Cologne, Germany.
Beside producing beats together you both are involved in many other projects. Can each of you describe for us what he is doing else?
Twit: Just recently I teamed up with Lazy Jones for the Flatpocket record and the last release was a 7inch record alongside 4trackboy. Earlier this year I released an EP called Mr. Pink, what have you been smokin'? with Damiano von Erckert on his label AVA. I just finished my solo LP which will be released in October via ENTBS. Besides making music I run a little Label called A.U.D.D.A. Next release on A.U.D.D.A. will be a Declaime record called Fonky Bastards. And of course there´s this Radio show called Radio Love Love with Hulk Hodn and DJ MemyselfandI.
Hodn: My last release was a LP alongside Retrogott. It is our fourth album together as Retrogott & Hulk Hodn. Then I did a collabo instrumental LP with my man Hubert Daviz called Kaseta. And of course Twit and me kicked off the successfull Hi Hat Club series on MPM.
Where did your initial interest in music come from?
Hodn: Yo MTV Raps!
Twit: I've been listening to music for such a long time...I couldn't really tell.
What do you find most challenging about the work you do?
Twit: Explore new music, not to get bored by my own sound, and see how people react to it in live situations.
Hodn: Looking for the right sample.
What do you want to accomplish with music?
Hodn: Mainly it is about having fun and connecting with other fellows and not try to make a livin´out of music.
Twit: I agree on that! And of course to deliver a nice soundtrack for good times.
Gallery #8013 (Twit One and Hulk Hodn record covers)
Do you think that Cologne has had a strong influence on your work, both as musicians and as label people?
Hodn: To me it doesn't really matter what city you live in to create some good music. It depends on the people you're surrounded by.
Twit: Cologne is a good place for open minded people and that can reflect into music. Also I made some beats under the influence of Kölsch (the local beer).
Hodn: Yeah, me too...
How do you think your generation is going to leave its mark on Hip Hop?
Twit: Like every generation it'll leave some good and some shitty marks.
What is your creative process like?
Twit: It all starts with listening to a record. From there it has a lot to do with coincidences and trees.
Hodn: I start by turning on the MPC 2000 XL and catch the vibe.
What makes a track exceptional to you? Tell us a classic that you feel is really outstanding and describe what it is about it that moves you so much.
Hodn: I can't really name a specific track because there would be too many. But I think a classic is a song you can listen to for more than years.
Twit: Right. i.e. Roy Ayers - Searching. That tune is timeless, it has a mellow vibe, a simple but real message, combined with a catchy melody.
If you could describe your sound in one sentence, what would you say?
TyU: Cool Bap!
On what future projects are you working on now?
Hodn: I'm working on a follow up EP together with Retrogott, another Hulk Hodn & Hubert Daviz LP and of course there will be a new Testiculo y Uno album.
Twit: Lazy Jones will release his debut Lp on "La Zitze" a sub label of A.U.D.D.A. and I've got a tape coming up called "Invisible headsets".
What advice would you give to producers, DJs who are just starting out?
Hodn: Do your thing and especially what YOU like. It doesn't matter how you do it, as long as it sounds right. Equipment? blah blah blah..
Twit: In digital times people sometimes release stuff too fast - but don't wait too long either. Like Avocado - you will know when the time is right to eat it. And for DJs - there is a lot to learn about music - so make sure you know where it is coming from. Technique comes after that.
What are your biggest musical influences?
Hodn: My biggest musical influence is definitely 90's rap music. And Jazz.
Twit: Sweet soul like all the Stax and Hi stuff and laid back Jazz. And it's really inspiring to listen to other producers like Kan Kick i.e.
What can music do which all other art forms can not?
Hodn: When it hits you you feel no pain.
Twit: It can make you dance.
How did you select the tracks for your Carhartt Radio show?
TyU: We started with one tune we both liked and kind of drifted through the set from there. It's some music of our releases, some remixes, edits, and unreleased stuff.
If you could be in any band, living or dead, for a day which band would it be?
Twit: If I had the skills - Booker T. & MG's.
Do you have any idols when it comes to music?
TyU: Too many to mention.
What are three albums that you'll absolutely never get tired of listening to?
Twit: Real Eyes by Gil Scott-Heron, Sweet Charles - For Sweet People, Bill Evans Trio - Moon Beams
Hodn: Quasimoto - The Unseen, Slum Village - Fantastic Vol. 1 & 2, Miles Davis - Kind of Blue
What was the last track that sent shivers up your spine?
Twit: William Bell - A Tribute To A King - a song about the loss of Otis Redding. I got that record just last weekend and this song is really moving.
What kind of music would you make in a world without electricity?
What was your dream job as a child?
Can you name us people that should collaborate for a better world?
Twit: Lord Quas and Erykah Badu backed by Azymuth - sad thing that this won't happen.
Hodn: Sun Ra and Thelonius Monk.
What is a typical weekend like for you?
Twit: Going to the fleamarket with my girl, packing my record bag, play in some club, having drinks, having a hangover.
What superpower would you like to have?
Hodn: I would like to make people shit their pants through mental power.
Twit: Yes, me too.
If you could spend a night partying with any of your icons, who would it be?
Twit: Tim Maia.
Hodn: Juju of the Beatnuts.
You are located in Cologne. What are your favorite spots and secrets in your hometown that you would recommend to somebody that comes around for a visit?
Hodn: The Metronom for drinks and Jazz - El Inca for South American cuisine.
Twit: I won't tell you about the secret spots since they wont be secret anymore if I would, but the Metronom near the Barbarossaplatz is a really nice place where you can listen to some Jazz and a have a few. Concerning food I recommend Well Being - a Vietnamese vegan restaurant - dope. Buying records: fleamarkets, the Groove Attack Recordstore, Nunk on the Antwerpener Strasse, A-Musik, and Early Bird on the Lindenstrasse.
Testiculo Y Uno Discography
Hulk Hodn Discography
Twit One Discography