• Markus Saarländer

Berlin Mixtapes: We Catch Up With Jonas Saalbach


We continue into 2019 with another exciting artist, one we have loved for a very long time here at Berlin-Brighton. We are super excited to bring you the multi-talented Jonas Saalbach.

The world of Techno is not round. You will find edges and vacuum in it. Jonas Saalbach is one of those, who moves between these. From time to time he is sending underground beats through the world and then he is producing big floor tracks. From a small town in the south of Germany he went into the urban jungle called Berlin. He made his way with passion. First as a DJ, later as a Live Act and full-time producer. He constantly worked on his fan base, which is traveling with him from Berlin to Dubai, via Beirut and London. During this time Jonas Saalbach found friends: people from the scene, mates like Einmusik and Sasse and a lot of homies like MZ Sunday Luv or Dahu, which are working with him on his sound or simply get inspired by.

With his performance at Fusion Festival in 2015 he made it to the big stages. Out of the niche, into the big crowded gigs and back to small clubs, where everything started. After his first successful long player “Ancient Lake“, which was released on Einmusika Recordings, he is trying to spread his story with releases and remixes on labels like Bedrock, Moodmusic or Katermukke. His main goal is quality. With his own radio show in San Francisco and a hand full of new and unique projects, his story will be filled with luck in the next years.

Not only that, Jonas has kindly compiled our next Berlin Mixtapes Episode 032 for your ears which you can all listen to here from this Sunday 3rd March.

Hi Jonas, how are you and what have you been up to this week?

Hey, I am feeling good. Thank you! It was a full time studio week for me. Working on some new productions, promo for my album, my live set and label work. At the moment I have a very good work flow, so I need to use this time and spend a lot of time in my little spaceship.

You've been in Berlin some time now, what made you make the move to Berlin and how long have you made it your home?

In 2011 I went on a trip in a van together with a friend for a couple of months. The last stop was Berlin and at that time I did not really have a plan what ́s next in my live. I really liked the city and its vibe, so I stayed there and did an internship in a sound studio. The fact that Berlin has a big music scene, especially for techno and house, didn't have anything to do with my decision. Actually, I didn't really know about it back then.

Where was your first gig in Berlin?

My first gig was actually in a 'Späti' (late-night store) that just opened. No joke – it was a small but good party. But my first real club gig was at 'Morlox'. Unfortunately the club needed to close because of gentrification. I remember that I was part of a demonstration the owners organised against the closing, but of course investors had more power.

You have played at some impressive venues in Berlin from the infamous Katerblau to Watergate, Ritter Butzke, Suicide Circus. Have I missed any out and which places do you love most?

I played in a lot of venues in Berlin and these are definitely the most important ones. Sisyphos is also a lovely place. Especially during the daytime at the outdoor area. It ́s super chilled to hangout there and dance a bit.

You released a superb LP last week called Reminiscence, which is out on one of our favourite labels here at Berlin-Brighton, Einmusika. Tell us more.

Thank you! It's actually my third long player on Einmusika and I am really happy about the result. At the moment I play most of the songs during my album tour and I really enjoy it! That is a good sign. It should be an album for the club but also just for listening at home or when you're jogging. During the production process, which was in total around 6 months, I produced around 15 tracks. 10 of them made it onto the CD. I would describe it as very melodic, emotional and organic club music.

A previous album released was back in 2017 'Perspective' received a great follow-up Remix EP - can we expect the same for Reminiscence and if you're allowed to tell us, do you have any particular artists in mind or that have stepped forward?

Yes, we are currently brainstorming and I definitely have some artists in mind, but as nothing is confirmed yet I can ́t tell you any more details :)

Since making a name for yourself on the Berlin circuit as well as with Einmusika, you have also released on impressive labels such as Bedrock, Katermukke, Dantze, Moodmusic, OFF, Dear Deer, Click and Audiomatique - What is next on the horizon releases wise?

Ask me in a half year again because I am currently working on new demos for labels. But for sure I will release a first EP on my own imprint 'Radikon', which I founded with David Guzy last winter.

What can people expect from a typical Jonas Saalbach set? What flavours and grooves do you inject into a dance floor?

First of all you will hear at least 50% of my own music, especially my new album tracks. I like to mix very deep, groovy and more minimalistic songs with progressive powerful dancefloor killers. The right balance is important in my opinion!

You have been in Berlin for a good few years now, where's your favourite place to just to kick back and chill?

If I really need to chill I leave the city and go out into the nature. And I need this time for myself more and more. No people around me, no cars, no stress. Just a forrest and chirping birds. This is my medicine to calm down between hectic travels from disco to disco.

Which other DJs or producers are you liking right now?

Yesterday I listened the whole morning to Marino Canal. This guy is insane and totally hits my taste. Check out his upcoming release on Siamese!

What are your go to labels?

Of course the labels I am releasing on. And I definitely always find good music on 'Lost & Found', the label from Guy J.

You have compiled our latest Berlin Mixtapes Series Episode 032 - Tell us more about your mix.

When I listen to it, I think I could also play that mix in a club situation. It begins with the first track of my album: 'Silent North'. After that it goes a bit deeper with 'Amalia' from my good friend Budakid. I always play music from friends, like 'Einmusik – Pulsar' which is at the end of the mix. And 'Canal' a new production from 'Dahu', just released on 'Steyoyoke'. There is also some unreleased music in it. In general I am pretty happy about the flow in that hour.

What else can we expect from you soon? What's next on the horizon for you DJ gigs wise? Where can people see you next?

Let ́s see in which booth my music brings me this year. After Brighton I have shows in Lebanon, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Turkey and Singapore.

Great stuff and thank you for speaking with us today, we're looking forward to more great things from you Jonas. Is there anything else you'd like to add for our readers?

No, but I want to thank you for the interview and I hope to see you on the dancefloor!!

Quickfire questions:

Genre: Melodic House & Techno Favourite Colour: Blue Where in Berlin are you: Friedrichshain What do you put on your chips: Ketchup First record ever bought: Dilated Peoples – The Platform Apple or Android: Apple Pioneer or Denon: Pioneer Ableton or Logic: Both, but more Ableton Can you juggle: No Weirdest/Coolest Item of clothing: Oettinger sweatshirt Favourite place to hang out in Berlin: Greenhouse Jam Best club: There are a few :) Best Beer: Störtebeker Weissbier - Alcohol Free Favourite place to eat: Berlin Burgers next to Ostkreuz

View on Sauerkraut: Legendary Favourite Wurst: Ahle Woscht Coffee or Tea: Both! Favourite Footy Team: Don't have one Favourite Track right now: Dahu - Entanglement 3 words to describe your mix: Just on point ;)

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Berlin Mixtapes Episode 032 - Out Sunday 3rd March - Available Here

#interview #berlinmixtapes #jonassaalbach #einmusika

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