Playing since 2001, this year RDU’s Saturday morning show Hauswerk turns 21. A good excuse for a party, RDU, Flux and City Nights is putting on an event to celebrate. Style talked to co-host John Ussher about what the milestone means to him. Words Hannah Powell
RDU’s Hauswerk has been through thick and thin. Two decades, three earthquakes, and a global pandemic hasn’t stopped the show from running every Saturday at 10am.
John Ussher has been at the helm of it since 2008. A drama teacher by day, and a DJ on the side, John co-hosts Hauswerk with Dan Veitch. The two host one week on, one week off, and are often found playing together at gigs and festivals.
“We play different styles that complement each other. He often plays house music with lots of live elements in it with some instrumentation, whereas I tend to go more for the deep, clinical sound,” he says. “We often overlap and meet in the middle, and it tends to work quite well.”
Raised on Ōtautahi’s alternative radio station RDU 98.5fm, deejaying is in John’s blood. He’s been obsessed with it since he was 14, spending his pocket money on vinyl records every week. At 16, he played his first gig, all the while listening to house shows on RDU. When Hauswerk began in the early 2000s, a friend of his was the first host.
“I was tuning in every Saturday morning, and it was just one of those things,” he says. “I was like, ‘Oh man, that’s such a good slot’.”
When he returned from London in 2008, it was only natural that he stepped in to host. He fit right in.
“It’s such a good time to play the exact kind of stuff that I love to play. You don’t have to play just bangers, you can keep it really nice, keep the vibe nice, and it gives you a lot of flexibility.”
An excuse to keep buying music, deejaying on a Saturday is as much a part of his routine as teaching during the week. And why wouldn’t it be – he tells me deejaying is his favourite thing to do.
’21 Years of Hauswerk’ will be held on Saturday 16 July. French house legend Art of Tones is headlining. Dream.r is kicking things off, and John and Dan will be going back-to-back in the middle with Lou VT on vocals.
Synonymous with the Hauswerk sound, Art of Tones is the night’s guest of honour. With a deep and funky sound, John says the prolific DJ has remixed legends and been remixed by them. He’s also one of the most played house producers on their show.
Hauswerk’s 21st celebration will be nothing short of what it’s well known for. A nod to the hosts who have come before, and those who have made their mark, Hauswerk has been a staple in Christchurch households for years. Expect some bangers, a bit of disco, deep house, and to party. It’s all about celebrating the classic Hauswerk sound, 21 years and counting.
Tickets available at cosmicticketing.co.nz.