We’re blowing some steam thru the summer-hole with a banging‘ nu release on $upra Recordings – this time we are going totally techno with Bio Beatz‘ debut album ‘Techno Ghetto Vol.I‘ and it’s completely for free – isn’t that sick?? 🙂
Jan Bioly aka Bio Beatz is been busy producing his stuff for some years now.
His sound could be described best as some pretty dark & hard and aswell berlin-influenced techno.
I prepared a little interview with Jan to let you know a bit more about him.
Ħ Ξ Ŀ Ŀ: Hej Jan, tell us a bit about you and your musical socialization.
Jan: I study sociology at the university of Bielefeld and am also working at the music editorial of the campusradio station ‘Hertz 87,9‘. My musical socialization started early in my youth with recorder and drums. with 14 and after a long time period of saving money I bought my very first dj-set, consisting of two turntables and a mixer.
While my friends were listening to hip hop, punk or metal, I was more into trance and techno – even tho I listened to their stuff a bit aswell, too. 😉
I ordered lots of trance records and we mixed them in the basement of a friend.
But there was also this dark age, where I was forced to be Dj at weddings or birthday parties, money-wise…thank god there was always enough beer..
Originally I’m from Dortmund and moved to Bielefeld because of my studies and my musical imprint started here.
I had never worked much with DAW’s to that point, only made some edits and stuff, but no real own tunes – till that day I fell off the wall, literally. I broke my fibula and was bound to bed for 7 weeks with crazy stuff inside my leg, like screws and shit. so, what to do? exactly – building tracks! 🙂
that’s already 3 years ago. it happened a lot since then and it’s getting more interesting every day. now I’m pretty much into producing music but it’s as always with the things you do: the more you dig, the more questions and possibilities come to light, f.e. the design of sound.
but to come back to the point of musical socialization: it shapes my sound and shifts its own shape constantly.
Ħ Ξ Ŀ Ŀ: Bio Beatz is a wordplay with your surname Bioly, isn’t it?
Jan: Hehe, not bad sherlock! but you don’t have to ask me! when I had my very first dj-set at the open turntables on hertz 87,9 I was asked after my dj name. well, I had none and me and my friends started brainstorming and Bio Beatz was the result – thank you Claas, btw! 😉
I guess it’s because of my surname but it might also be because of my eco lifestyle these days…
Ħ Ξ Ŀ Ŀ: So, why Techno? 🙂
Jan: It could also be classical music or jazz – the positive aspect of these three types of music is that they’re also working without vocals. the arrangements, rhythm and sound is the main focus of this music and this is exciting to me. techno must have an effect and there it’s interesting to build the right tune around the vocal, not vice versa. I’m not using vocals very often until now.
I love Techno because it combines complexity and minimalism in a simple way. An explanation of this assertion would go beyond the scope of the interview… 😉
Ħ Ξ Ŀ Ŀ: Which artists are inspiring you most in your musical work?
Jan: too many to enumerate em all. atm most of my inspiration comes from more or less local artists here in Bielefeld – it happens a lot here in Bielefeld, music wise. means f.e. I´m sending a track to my friends marc, lennart or rico or we meet and talk shop about compression or mixing of tunes. or we make a tune together. and speaking of inspirational name dropping: atm I’m mostly inspired by Greyscale, Danny Crane, Tension, No Emotion?!, Responder, Sven Sinclaire, Si-Chill, to name a few.
And of course my friend Max, who would stand behind me if he’d knew I would do this interview here and shout: I’M YOUR INSPIRATION!! 🙂
Ħ Ξ Ŀ Ŀ: Which hard- and software do you use for making music?
Jan: I started with Adobe Audition but I mainly worked with samples there. Meanwhile I arrived in Ableton.
When I’m doing live-sets I use a Vestax VCM-600, Novation Launchpad S , Novation Control and an Allen & Heath Xone K2 where I mapped everything for my belongings. I’m also thinking about integrating a Beatstep into my setup, so that I could use a modular system aswell – but I’m a student, I don’t have that much money, u know? 😀
Ħ Ξ Ŀ Ŀ: Is making music a hobby for you or how are the plans there?
Jan: Plans are often famous for changing – atm it’s more of a hobby but I keep asking myself how deep I want to dig into the materia..
If the music works or not is in the hands (and ears) of the audience – you can test it on the dance floor. I’m always happy bout constructive feedback and so long this exchange works I’m moving forward.
Ħ Ξ Ŀ Ŀ: What would you do if Techno was prohibited and/or illegal?
Jan: And now we move to the political part of the interview! 😀 or speaking of: what would you do if something you love is suddenly taken away from you. without entering the context: it would be called ‘civil disobedience’ in front of a court I guess. if something doesn’t harm or hurt people, why should it be prohibited?
Ħ Ξ Ŀ Ŀ: You’re also busy as a DJ – where can we dance to your sets?
Jan: I started on private parties at our washroom. then I met people who organized events and got contact to local clubs like the Nr.z.P. or the Forum. I’m performing there in irregular timespans, shortly after I get a phonecall. 😀
I have two fixed upcoming gigs this year, one at the RiNK-Festival and one in december in Bielefeld.
Ħ Ξ Ŀ Ŀ: DJing or producing – what’s better?
Jan: it’s depending on the situation – sometimes it’s great to see how a new track is born, morphing itself to a bigger track and I can use my new knowledge in producing and then it’s also awesome to play this tune in front of an audience and to see, how or if it works – so, both equally.
Ħ Ξ Ŀ Ŀ: Which DJ or producer would you like to meet and watch over his/her shoulder?
Jan: Bas Mooy! I don’t have to think long about that question. Absolutely digging his stuff! And he knows how to use modular systems. I would love to spend some hours, days, weeks, months in his studio..
Ħ Ξ Ŀ Ŀ: Thanks a bunch for the interview!
Jan: You’re welcome! 🙂
Also performing as a DJ, Jans sets are known for uncompromisingly harsh and rough techno music, which puts you on a hypnotizing, monotone ride – all these vibes are included on his debut album ‘Techno Ghetto Vol.I’.
Techno Ghetto Vol.I comes along with 15 tunes and is completely for free download on top of it all!
I give you three listening tipps:
1.) Electric Zmallroom
Named after a famous party-event here in our hometown Bielefeld at the Forum (where Jan is also a host of), this tune catches all those flavors you might love – salted with a spoonful of industrial – kept rough around the edges.
The title is a german wordplay with the english word ‘urban‘ but with Uhr (= clock) and Bahn (train or track) which implicates both, the accuracy of a ticking clockwork and the straight track, where there’s no escape or shortcut – you have to stay there until the end of this pulsating beast.
This tune with the epic length of 11:09 minutes is the closing track from ‘Techno Ghetto Vol.I’ and has the most berlin-vibes for me when it comes to soundaesthetics and design.
I hardly recommend to listen to ‘Techno Ghetto Vol.I‘ in one piece!
Listen/Download here or on bandcamp – even tho this album is for free download, you can also pay for it if you like.. 😉
thanks and enjoy!!
p.s.: for those of you who are short-timer, check this album teaser: