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17 Aug 11

#51 'Syvyyttae' by Juergen Junker + interview

 
 

Mixed by

Juergen Junker

Location: London, UK

Neurhythmics recording owner, artist and an established dj. Fuses disco, house, his own edits & tracks with a healthy dose of Chicago Jack.

Web:JuergenJunker.com

Myspace

Soundcloud

Full profile

Sit back and enjoy - Juergen Junker's guest mix is nothing short of amazing.

Juergen Junker should be a well established figure by now. Neurhythmics, his label, back after a 6 year hiatus has always be synonymous with quality.

His own productions have always been about dusty grooves, creative sampling and very characteristic JJ sound. But, at least I feel, that he has not really gotten the credit he deserves. Just take a few moments to get acquinted with Neurhythmics & Juergen Junker and I promise you won't be dissappointed.

As for "Syvyyttae" mix, well, by the time the 3rd track hits you are sold. A beautiful combination of old and new, you'll instantly hear that the man has skills and an ear for quality selection. Don't forget to check out part II on Soundcloud!

Juergen, thanks for taking the time to speak with me. I've been a big fan since the very first Neurhythmics release 10 years ago, dates back to the very beginning of deeprhyhtms, mind you!

Hey Timo, my pleasure, and thank you very much for the kind introductionary words. Indeed perfect timing then, seeing that we both have a bit of an annyversary this year.

Can you tell us a little about what motivated you back then and how did the label come in the excistense?

The motivation was and is probably still the same. Make and find music that I really want to release.

When I started out, I had the first couple of tracks out on Mark's (Mark Broom) label (Pure Plastic) which were a lot more stripped down and techno.

House however felt more and more relevant to me from a production point of view, since it was always what I loved playing, and it often was what I toyed around with in my Studio.

There needed to be a platform for that, and this became Neurhythmics Recordings.

Prior to moving to England and establishing the label you lived in Germany. Let's talk a little about that. Did you start out as a dj or did go straight into editing & producing your own music? How did you get introduced to dance music?

Dj'ing definitely came first.

I bought my first set of decks when I was 15, if I remember correctly, and it just evolved from there.

The first drum machine came later, and the production side just naturally came as a progression from playing records.

How I got into dance music?

"The major influence then came though with a couple of likeminded friends, when we started to go to the first parties with a real DJ, and we actually went on to travel around Germany to the various emerging clubs to indulge in what still was a reasonably small scene. Beautiful times, as you would discover new things and new music all the time."

Hehe, a classic question, and I guess It really kicked off with Hip Hop to start with.

That was what was around at the time, and soon after, and we're talking very early nineties here, I heard the first dance-tracks and housified productions around.

You know the kind where a pop-act was remixed by one of the first wave house-producers to give them a bit more bounce to the ounce.

The major influence then came though with a couple of likeminded friends, when we started to go to the first parties with a real DJ, and we actually went on to travel around Germany to the various emerging clubs to indulge in what still was a reasonably small scene.

Beautiful times, as you would discover new things and new music all the time.

There were the Breakbeat-orientated things in Mannheim's Milk Club, more serious techno in Frankfurt and in Berlin, and then back in the warehouses in the area a lot of American House-producers (many of them big names these days) would come over.

I guess that's really when it (House) hit me.

Today, how much are you involved in the UK house scene? How do you consider as colleagues or similar minded artists?

Not really that much to be honest.

The closest is definitely Spacebase, a party that stems from the seminal LOST parties here in London, and something I have been playing with Steve Bicknell for years now. A really good vibe, where we play anything from Disco to House to Techno and anything in between, and it always is reminiscent of the time when the genres would still happily go hand in hand

Then of course there is Lakuti and her SUD parties. She is really cool, and has been pushing things with her parties for years now, always keeping a really good and strong house-vibe.

I'm not that much involved with other artists or labels.

For years I was always told whoever I approached it's "very different", but wouldn't quite fit...

Yeah kinda figured that, so started to more and more do my own thing.

Do you still play out a lot, anything coming later this year?

Maybe every 6-8 weeks at the moment.

I do have a day job that keeps me pretty busy. I still play out in London, and was in Berlin in June.

Already looking forward to playing a very special Christmas party with David Moufang (Move-D) and Dirk Mantei (D-Man) back in Germany. Both I have known for ages and both are real pioneers of the scene in my hometown.

In between, let's see what happens...

Hamburg is still on the cards to do something with the Laid guys, who I did a record for earlier this year.

I'm always open for suggestions...

On a different note, do you come from a musical family?

Don't think anyone in my family is very musical, apart from my sister and my late grandfather maybe.

Both were and are more on a classical tip though.

I played guitar and piano for a while, both of which helped me to understand musical theory better.

Do you have any fond musical memories from your childhood?

Definitely!

Making puzzles on our living room table as a young boy and listening to lots of my parents "Neue Deutsche Welle" which was the kind of electronic influnced German music of the early 80's.

On the other side of the spectrum was classical Music, which came from my dad's, and more Soul and Hippie type stuff like Stevie Wonder and Janis Joplin from my mother's side.

Most memorable TV-Theme of the time: The Streets of San Francisco - simply because I wasn't supposed to watch it, but could always hear the music.

What was the first record ever that made a lasting impression on you?

Hard to pin down, as there was pretty much always music playing at home.

But, I think it would maybe have to be Rockit by Herbie Hancock, simply because that was also the first record I bought with my own pocket-money.

Admittably it was on a compilation, somethign along the lines of the "Now that's what i call music" type things, but I remember bugging my Dad at the time to go to the record shop with me, because I was to young to go and buy it myself.

Everything about that track was just magical, the weird scratching noise, the beats, and the way that there weren't real vocals.

It was something completely new to my ears.

Tell us what are the five most personal records to you and why?


RUN DMC - Raising Hell

Together with BDP's "By All Means Necessary and De La Soul's "3 Feet High and Rising" my top three Hip Hop Albums of all time.

I must have heard them a million times, and still can these days. They're not timeless by any means, you can really tell their period.

And sorry, had to roll them into one, as I can't really decide between them and need the space for the other 4..:)


Gill Scott Heron - We Almost Lost Detroit

The man was so unbelievably charismatic and gifted, and I'm glad that I was lucky enough to see him in concert before he passed away.

The intro of this particular song has obviously been sampled more than a few times,

but what makes it really special is just all the sadness, frustration and protest that is transcribed so perfectly into the music.

And his voice is simply one of a kind.


Candido - Thousand Finger Man

First time I heard this couldn't believe that it was an old track, i.e. from the 70's.

The drums, the percussion, that haunting synth intro.

Once that slap bass sets in and that infamous chord progression, that's it. Goosebumps every time.


Shalamar - Right In The Socket

Pure energy on the dance floor, and rarely leaves the box.

I heard a few re-edits recently, and despite loving a re-edit myself, this is one of the tracks that really doesn't need one.

No, really, it doesn't...



Don Carlos - Alone

Simply one of the purest and most perfect House-Tracks ever made. Period.

Everything sits just right, the way the track unfolds and develops is magical every time you hear it on a big system.

The sound of your label and Juergen Junker is drawing inspiration (and sampling) from soul and disco. Does that come from your history with hip hop?

(laughing), yeah, kind of gave it away earlier, didn't I?

Hip Hop came first for me, and House and Disco later.

To best explain is that yes, the whole sampling attitude, and still working with my knackered old MPC to do all my tracks, definitely is the Hip Hop influence of the early nineties.

Sample it, chop it, keep it raw, and make it fit.

Once I started to hear things in House and Disco that I knew from Hip Hop records, then it just opened up this whole new world of sounds and musical history for me.

But I can't forget Mark (Broom) here, who basically taught me a lot about the art of sampling.

Only for my Camouflage Edits (personal Disco Re-Edits), I really use the computer to re-arrange them.

"Hip Hop came first for me, and House and Disco later. I'm still working with my knackered old MPC to do all my tracks, definitely the Hip Hop influence of the early nineties. Sample it, chop it, keep it raw, and make it fit."

Are you an avid record collector or do you use anything as base material for tracks?

Now we're getting somewhere (laughing again), and yes, I am. I'm trying to keep things under control, so that the house can always cope with the amount of records around, but yes, records are the main source for base material for me.

I just love that approach of finding little snippets and taking the time to build that library for a track or a set.

Laborious at times, but always worth it, and unique every time.

But, without giving everything away, it's actually quite a random process at times.

Describe a perfect Juergen Junker track, what are the ingredients?

Here isn't really a perfect track for me.

Like most artists, sometimes I still find somewhere to pick a hole in my own tracks once they're all done and released.

Part of it is to let them go at some point, because otherwise they'll never ever be finished.

But if I would have to take a cook-book approach, then it would probably be something along the lines of the below

Ingredients:

  1. Solid Drums (slightly knackered)
  2. A Tight Bass hit (a bit dusty)
  3. Couple of vocal stabs
  4. A chord or key sound
  5. A Disco-loop
  6. Enough percussion to choose from
  • Prepare all your ingredients, finely chop and carefully place into your sampler.
  • Ensure that you have saved everything before you actually get started
  • Optionally pour yourself a drink, and start working on the tracks.

Juergen Junker - Fade The Drums (Neurhythmics Recordings NR001)

My favorite Juergen Junked track is probably "Fade the drums" from "Several Events ep", just as an anecdote, can you tell us a little about making of that particular track? Mike_Binary was involved, right?

Good choice. Mike is an amazing artist. And yes, funnily enough I do remember this.

I had just finished off some of the other first Neurhythmcis tracks, and at the time we were both working at Smallfish Records, and we would always play each other the latest things at work, that we did the night before.

Mike and me realized that we should really work on something together.

His musical side, the chords, strings and his general deepness, combined with my very rhythmic approach and love for beats, just seemed like a good idea.

I do remember watching an episode of Chalie's Angels, and that is where the vocal sample came from for that track, and Mike rocked up with that beautiful chord sound.

Neurhythmics is back (yay!) after a 6 year hiatus, tell us what happened?

I didn't think that I was going to do it again. For various reason:

I lost out quite a bit financially the first time round, in the end there were real troubles on the distribution side, and the whole thing just wasn't fun anymore.

So I said to myself pretty much, that's it.

I then met the owner of DNP (Diamonds and Pearls) at a dinner in Berlin last year, and we had a really good conversation.

He asked me what ever happened to the label. Seeing that he really liked the early releases, we soon began talking about reviving Neurhythmics through his distribution company.

I couldn't have made a better decision. All the guys at DNP are real professionals, super efficient, and know exactly what they like and and what they're doing.

So, in short, through like-minded souls, Neurhythmics is back

What has the reaction been like? Any surprises?

It's been very well received, and I do have a lot of support from friends, and people who I didn't even expect.

Nothing negative to be said, just a lot of very nice comments that people are genuinely glad to see the label back.

What is the challenge today with the label?

I try and not make it into a challenge. It's my baby, and it's there to be enjoyed. It's one of my hobbies.

"You know exposure is obviously great, but also generally comes at a price. I was always just about making some music and playing records, which I really love and think I'm actually alright at."

The sound you've pioneered with Neurhythmics is timeless and original and, it has to be said, severely underrated. Do you ever feel like you deserved more attention or exposure back then or right now?

You know exposure is obviously great, but also generally comes at a price. I was always just about making some music and playing records, which I really love and think I'm actually alright at.

I never made too much much of a "selling myself" approach, and when I did, then it was generally not commercial enough, or "Great, but you're a bit too much of a DJ's DJ" and all of that, so you know what?

Maybe I do, maybe I don't.

The only thing I sometimes think at the moment, is that House has a real surge again at the moment, and a lot of people jump on the bandwagon as usual, and then there's still people who've been living this for years and they rarely get or don't get recognized at all.

It's an age old story and history repeating itself.

What are the challenges - or blessings - of releasing and marketing electronic music today?

Forget the challenges for a moment and count the blessings. There is a huge audience out there, and always a new generation of listeners.

The whole social network thing is great to get the word out there, and that really has changed the game.

Just with Facebook and Soundcloud alone, you can cover more than just a bit of ground.

I like the interaction side of Soundcloud for example. never before has one been that close to the online audience that listening to your mixes or tracks.

And the whole trend of Youtube-Links of records being posted on Facebook looks like it actually promotes the purchase of physical product again.

Is your business as a label skewed more in terms of physical product? Do you have a significant impact with vinyl?

Neurhythmics is purely physical product. I know, I know, I could probably reach more people and should think about all the laptop DJ's, but releasing music for me is physical product.

Call me backwards, call me a romantic, but there is absolutely nothing that compares to having that piece of vinyl in your hand with your music on it.

"Call me backwards, call me a romantic, but there is absolutely nothing that compares to having that piece of vinyl in your hand with your music on it.

One of the big obstacles for a small labels in years past was distribution. Has the digitalization affected that part and how do you feel about it? Is it hard to distribute vinyl these days? Care to share any stories regarding this?

Hah, tell me about it. I think I was ranting about this earlier already. yes, I have been ****** a few times with the label, or to put it politely, indeed there were some issues on the distribution years ago.

Digitalization is not really an issue for me, as both Neurhythmics the label, and my Distribution partner DNP don't work with that.

We press up a carefully calculated amount of records, and that's it really. How hard the distribution side of it then is, that expertise really is with the guys from DNP.

However, they carved a special niche for themselves in the market, and have built up a great global reputation.

What does the rest of the year 2011 hold for Neurhythmics?

We just released the first "Saveur Secrete" in July, in which I finally managed to get some of Mike's vintage material re-edited and Stephen Collins had his debut release for us.

This year we will have two more releases.

In the autumn, there will be the second part of the "Unhampered By Regulations" by myself, which will also coincide with the 10 year anniversary, as Neurhythmics.

There might be something special collectible...

The last one for this year I'm very excited about already, and I'll have to quickly digress at this point:

Neurhythmics was and is always about friends and people I know. This goes from artwork, to tracks and everything around it.

So, on that note, I'm happy to welcome another new member to the family.

Roger 23 has released music for a number of years and has one hell of a musical background.

I don't want to talk too much about his EP yet, but but it oozes history and knowledge of the genre.

This is how the story will continue into 2012..

So the mix, tell us about that. I really loved the 2nd part that you put up on your Soundcloud page. Why these particular tracks and how did you approach making it?

I really liked some of the words on your website that said something along the lines of "a pile of records in the corner of the room" and "wondering why no one plays this kind of house music anymore".

Took some inspiration from that and picked stuff that I deemed appropriate, or hadn't played in a set or mix for a long time.

Completely recorded on the fly from my record collection.

Sometimes I like pre-selecting things very carefully, but other times it works best if you shoot from the hip.

So the first hour was for deeprhythms, and then it's just "never ending house music" and carries on into part 2 which is available on Soundcloud...Enjoy!

Playlist

01. Remote_ - Chasing Innocence - Neurhythmics, 2011[Discogs]
02. Aritmya - Parabolic (Ipnotic Version)- Calypso Records, 1992 [Discogs]
03. Remote_ - AWNH (Saveur Secrete Edit) - Neurhythmics, 2011 [Discogs]
04. Raymond Castoldi - Cycles Of Life - X-Ray Records, 1992 [Discogs]
05. Red Light - Amazon Blue - GFB Records, 1992 [Discogs]
06. BME Project - Another Lover - Bottom Line Records, 1992 [Discogs]
07. The Jazz Groove Syndicate - The Abyss - Jazz Club, 1996 [Discogs]
08. Abacus - Opinion Rated 'R' - Guidance Recordings, 1997 [Discogs]
09. The Jazz Groove Syndicate - Tribe Vibe - Jazz Club, 1996 [Discogs]
10. Candy J - Let's Get Together - Echo USA, 1991 [Discogs]
11. Mondee Oliver - Make me want you - Gherkin Records [Discogs]

  • SUPERB MIX!!!!

  • zino

    I only nedded the first track to be sold out! These are deeprhythm's at it's best! Wow!

  • Wundeep

    Just heard it today at the beach watching the sea waters, so much beautiful music from 1992, which is one of my favourite years in the Deep scene. Keep spreading love!

  • sandile mg MR deep

    nice 1 bra now this is what i call deep sounds

  • truly-madly

    Highly enjoyable, right up my deep street, as it were. Nice to see some Italian stuff getting an outing - all too rare. That Candy J track is interesting, new to me. Have been digging the Remote track for a while now too. Cheers!

  • Szulu

    Nice interview and I will be on the look-out for the label. Good thing the label does only physical releases...

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