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What do Smashing Pumpkins, BB King, Medway and a high school chamber choir have in common? If you said great music you'd be half-right. Dig a little deeper and you'll realize that they've all played a part in making Mike Hiratzka one of America's most significant progressive producer/DJ's. Mike's love for dance music is borne from the golden era of progressive in Florida. Already ensconced in the rock music scene at home in Cincinnati where he stage-managed a concert hall that booked the aforementioned BB King and Pumpkins, Mike moved to Orlando in 1994 to study recording engineering. There, he discovered a dance music scene in full bloom. Each week brought new talent to Orlando's legendary Firestone, with names like Sasha and John Digweed, Danny Tenaglia, Humate and Rabbit in the Moon playing to an up-for-it crowd, and Mike eagerly soaked in the sounds.

"There was an endless supply of great music," Mike says. "I gave up on rock, basically. I thought, 'this rules and this is what I want to do.' I was originally planning to go to New York to engineer on rock albums, but I decided to stay in Orlando and produce dance music instead."

Mike assisted on the production of a multitude of tracks (mostly breakbeat) for various Orlando labels before quitting to focus on his own productions full-time, a sound that Mike says reflects his personal preference for "driving dancefloor progressive." Mike also happens to share a house with Jesse 'Medway' Skeens, a man responsible for some of the greatest moments ever in progressive house, and the pair have collaborated on more than once dancefloor stunner.

"I'm just recreating the experiences that I had for other clubber," he explains. "That's what keeps all of us going. That magic that happens when someone gets on the decks and rocks it out."

At the same time Mike began rocking it out behind the decks himself, with residencies and guest appearances at places like Crobar, Space, and Shadow Lounge, alongside the DJ's who'd initially influences him. His reputation has quickly led to shows all over the world, including packed houses from New York to Canada and even Peru. As Spundae resident and Bedrock artist/producer Jerry Bonham put it, "Mike's productions and DJ skills go hand in hand…and he excels at both." In fact, Jerry was impressed enough with Mike's productions to include "Freakout", a Medway/Hiratzka collaboration under the name Minders, on his Interpretations 2 CD for Spundae Recordings, who also released the tune on the vinyl sampler of selected tracks from the compilations. Mike and Jesse recently completed a Medway & Hiratzka remix of "Freakout" which will be available soon on Dos Engine Recordings. Another of Mike's tracks currently receiving heavy attention is a collaboration with Jim Ramer as Kung Fu Rodriguez called "Streak", which has been signed to Spundae Recordings. John Digweed has already aired this track on Kiss FM, live from Bedrock, and played it during his set at Homelands 2001.

Hiratzka's reputation for flawless, unstoppable progressive sets recently culminated in his selection as presenting DJ for Altered States Vol. 2 for Bliss Productions, delivering a driving mix for CD 2 to compliment a first disc from Bliss's own Jon Cowan. "I'm honored to be working with Jon for the label. They're doing to great things for dance music," he says.

Mike's nowhere near done either. There's more to come, such as Mike Hiratzka & Jime Ramer - "In the Bottle" on Bliss Productions, and Envelop - "Say Her Name" on Tune Inn Records, a stormer co-written with vocalist Tara Busch. You can rest assured Mike's going to deliver some more big things. But we'll let Choo Choo Records label head and world-reknowned producer Barry Gilbey have the last word on this one. "Not content with being a truly nice guy, Mike Hiratzka is also one of the USA's rising stars," says Barry. "He is destined for greatness."