How were you introduced to techno music, or what inspired you to delve into the genre?
Hi and thank you for the opportunity to talk to you guys. I have been making music since my teens and I always used to play in Bands, but after my latest band broke up, I was stuck in time and space without creative output and I felt empty and lost but I didn’t realise that straight away. So, after a while of not knowing what’s going on I started learning DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) like Cubase, Logic and Ableton to make music by myself. That was around 12 years ago. Techno and club culture was not as mainstream as it is now but in Berlin it was obviously big. At that time my girlfriend back then got into clubbing and it didn’t take long for me too. So these two things went hand in hand and a couple of years later I found myself playing live sets in clubs like Grießmühle or festivals like Lighthouse & Feel.
Can you see any influence from your previous work as Discoboxer in your productions as JohannesK?
For me this is a completely different shoe. While David (the “left hook” of Discoboxer) and I focused on live improvisation in a club or festival situation, I now focus on producing in the studio and getting detailed sound design in my tracks. My music also doesn’t have to be dancefloor oriented like we aimed with discoboxer.
I dont record one-takers as David and I used to. Often I just record weird material and sounds – sometimes even unsynced to the grid – after that I start editing the interesting parts. Many producers go that way but that is basically what’s different – except the sound – from Discoboxer and JohannesK.
What was it like releasing on renowned labels/ collaborating with powerhouses such as Freddy K for his label Key Vinyl and Krill Music?
It was obviously an amazing opportunity and honour to release on these established Labels. I’m truly grateful for that and we got a lot of nice gigs out of these releases.
Launching your own record label is an awesome milestone! Could you share your journey with LowEnd?
It was always my dream to run a record shop or record label but for dreams to come true you sometimes need to be brave and risk the first step into that direction. I didn’t take that step, until Duncan came into my life, because we became flatmates. And after living together for a while and having the same taste & interest in music, we decided during the first year of the pandemic to try and start a record label. We had absolutely no idea how and where to start and we had to learn everything step by step. Luckily we had our good friend Hara who took us by the hand which made the launch of the label much easier. Having a vinyl imprint was a must for us. And the concept to use hand painted artworks from artists in our environment and friend circle was added as a main feature pretty quick.
Are there any non-musical sources of inspiration that fuel your creativity?
During that time I wrote ‘Is The Tree Dead?’ which by the way will be out on 7th July. I had a big urge to be in nature. I regularly went for walks in the woods and I read a lot about religions like Zoroastrianism and Buddhism – I should pick this up again. I wouldn’t say it influenced me directly but i want to believe it had its input on me. I meditated everyday during that time and I honestly believe this gave me the peace of mind to let the music write itself. This is also how the EP found its title. Although I listen to music all the time, I try not to listen to too much electronic music while I’m in a writing mode/phase.
How was the collaboration with the artist behind the hand painted artwork Johannes Bosisio, and how did that journey unfold?
I have known Johannes now for a couple of years and it’s not only the name that connects us. The school I work at was right next to his art school and after seeing him there and also going to the party he and his friends organised – called Multisex – I just asked him if he would be up for a collaboration. Turned out that he liked the idea of having his art printed on a record.
I really love the aesthetics of his art and Duncan and I decided it to be the moods and artworks for our Label – LowEnd. So far Johannes provided us with 5 beautiful pieces and there will be one more for the upcoming Remix EP.
How does ‘Is The Tree Dead?’ represent your growth as a producer?
I never took any music classes but taught everything myself, through friends, try and error or video masterclasses or youtube. I always knew there needs to be a certain level of quality for me to release or even send out stuff to show friends or label owners/promoters. So it really took me a couple of years to be satisfied with my sound and the niche I wanted to ‘represent’. Although I appreciate the classics like 808, 909 and co, I really don’t want to use these sounds in my music, that’s why I put a lot of focus on my sound design. I’m always trying new methods and constantly trying to break the pattern of my workflow.
What equipment do you use?
I own an Analog Rytm by Elektron, some effect pedals and a eurorack modular synthesiser which is constantly changing. I buy and sell a lot of modules once I ‘played them through’ and 90% of the elements of my tracks are produced with the modular and processed heavily in ableton. I’m not a ‘i only use analog’ guy, i think that would limit my production process. I think a combination of analog and digital is key for an interesting sound.
How do you envision the evolution of techno as a genre in the future, or do you have any predictions for the industry?
As techno is a super big genre and business by now. I think the scene will create many more weird, cool or ridiculous sub-genres. Trends will pop up and vanish again. But I hope the big mainstream hype will soon be over and I hope what we saw the last few years with extreme DJ fees and absolutely oversold festivals will settle down.
What can we expect from you in the future?
Weird Techno and some ambient haha. Definitely more releases on LowEnd, not only from Duncan and myself. We have some talented friends that we really want on the Label.